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« What does racism mean? | Main | The Iranian street »

Jul 23, 2006

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David Wharton

Frank Rich: one more reason for me not to pay for TimesSelect.

After slamming Frist as singularly "craven" for "pandering" to the pro-life segment of the party, he now praises him for pandering to another segment after speculating that Frist read some "eye-popping polls."

In RichWorld, apparently, taking a position appealing to pro-lifers is hypocritical, but appealing to the other side -- even if that appeal is based on pure electoral calculation (according to Rich) -- well now, that is "standing up" for something.

Bubba

I get a kick out of the Lefties' continued obsession with the "religious right" and people like Ralph Reed.

They have yet to figure out that it's a self defeating obsession about their very own invention.

Connie Mack Jr

They have yet to figure out that it's a self defeating obsession about their very own invention* Bubba


Good Grief Bubba! After 20 years we find out that the communists invented or stem cell Ralph Reed?

Ed Cone

DW, I think you misread Rich -- he's not praising the craven Frist for supporting the research, he's saying that he's so craven that the polls have convinced him to do so. Yes, Frist agrees with Rich on this issue, but Rich still regards him as craven and unpraiseworthy.

Frist Stands for Nothing

Rich's point is that as a physician, we should not be suprised that Frist supports stem cell research because of his likely understanding of what broader stem cell research could mean in terms of disease treatment and prevention. However, Frist has shown in the Schiavo debacle that he was willing to trade his professional reputation to score points with the far right wingers who will dominate the 2008 GOP primary.

Thus, what's the point in believing Frist's sincerity now? He had his position on some other issue publicly changed last year by Bush, but now that Bush's ratings are in the hopper, he grows a spine?

David Wharton

Ed, I used Rich's own loaded terms: Frist was "pandering" to the right, but now is "standing up" for a position popular on the left. That rhetoric is hardly ambigous, and I read it accurately.

I wonder, in his column did Rich praise Bush as a man of principle for sticking to his unpopular stem-cell policy?

Just kidding! Of course I don't wonder.

Ed Cone

If you read it as Rich praising Frist, you are misreading it.

The reason Rich doesn't praise Bush for adhering to his principles is that he doesn't believe Bush is adhering to a principle other than political calculation. I don't know that this is the case, by the way, Bush may believe deeply in the argument he makes.

John Hood

Among other sins, Rich commits the unpardonable sin of badly mixed metaphors:

The beauty of Mr. Reed's unmasking is the ideological impact: the radical agenda to which he lent an ersatz respectability has lost a big fig leaf, and all the president's men, tied down like Gulliver in Iraq, cannot put it together again to bamboozle suburban voters.

Ralph Reed got what he deserved, I think, and the president's veto of federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research (it has no regulatory effect on the research) is certainly debatable. But as was said above, this is the kind of writing that makes one wince — and not in a good, that-makes-me-think way. It is just shoddy and poorly reasoned, bigoted to boot. Back to Broadway, Mr. Rich.

David Wharton

Saying that Frist is "...belatedly standing up for stem-cell research" is faint praise, but it is praise.

Hard-line partisans often say (and believe) that any reasonably intelligent person who takes positions contrary to their own is ipso facto a hypocrite, because such partisans often can't conceive that their own views aren't self-evidently true and obvious.

So for Rich, any move toward his own views is automatically a move toward principled politics, whereas asserting other views constitutes "bamboozl[ing] suburban voters."

Oh, those poor, dumb suburban voters! If only they could all read Frank Rich, they'd achieve a New York state of mind.

Samuel Spagnola

Excellent point, David. What do you expect from the liberal elite? The rest of us who don't agree with him and his ilk are just too stupid to know better. Typical Ivory Tower liberal elitism.

Bubba

"Hard-line partisans often say (and believe) that any reasonably intelligent person who takes positions contrary to their own is ipso facto a hypocrite, because such partisans often can't conceive that their own views aren't self-evidently true and obvious."

I would venture a guess that many who read Rich regularly fall into the category. The rest of us will sometimes read Rich for the unintended humor he provides.

Along with Krugman and the paper's not-so subtle agendizing, Rich represents the worst of the New York Times.

Connie Mack Jr

Rich represents the worst of the New York Times.* Bubba

Bubba! Has it ever occured to you, that Rick might think that you are the worst of the blogging conservative republican business?

Bubba

"Bubba! Has it ever occured to you, that Rick might think that you are the worst of the blogging conservative republican business?"

Connie! Has it ever occured to you that I don't care what Rich might think, assuming that he might actually be capable of that function?

Connie Mack Jr

Has it ever occured to you that I don't care what Rich might think, assuming that he might actually be capable of that function?* Bubba

Yes Bubba! It has occurred to me why you and Rich are not capable of living together in political sin.

Frankly! What you two do not agree on is none of my business. You are writting about politics aren't you Bubba?

Lex

[[I get a kick out of the Lefties' continued obsession with the "religious right" and people like Ralph Reed.

They have yet to figure out that it's a self defeating obsession about their very own invention.]]

Uh, no, Bubba, it's not their own invention. Google "Reconstructionism" or "Christian nationalism." This issue was on my radar 10 years ago when I began covering religion for the paper, and it has only grown in importance and influence since. If you love our current Constitution, it has very unpleasant ramifications. Heck, if you even believe Jesus meant what he said, it has very unpleasant ramifications.

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