Sunday, June 26, 2005

More editorial overview, continued

It's really too bad the Chattanooga Times Free Press can't find an editor for its editorial pages, especially for its Sunday Perspective section, who is qualified to be an editor.
In the edition of Sunday, 26 June 2005, there is this item in the "Rant" department: "It appears that the only physician in Congress has put his foot in his mouth. I hope he chokes on it."
First, the "Rant" is one of the worst things in any "news"paper, but Chattanooga's reflects what is worst in town and in the whole Tri-State area.
It is anonymous garbage, which is bad enough, and should the opinion be moronic or a fact misstated, it gets printed anyway, as long as the "editor" of the section allows it in.
Second, Congress has, in fact, at least two medical doctors. One is Bill Frist, the lamentable U.S. Senator who is apparently planning to run for president in 2008.
Tennessee's record in presidential candidates is not very good, but is probably not much if any worse than any other state.
Most recent was the unlamented Albert Gore, Jr., who garnered more popular votes in the 2000 election but lost in the Electoral College.
In 1980, Howard Baker, Jr., ran in the Republican presidential primary, along with what seemed to be six or seven dozen others.
There have been other Tennesseans over the centuries, including one of the in many ways worst presidents, Andrew Jackson, and one of the best in at least one way, James K. Polk.
Polk seems to be the last and perhaps only president who kept all his campaign promises, which included getting the United States into a war with Mexico, settling the "54-40 or fight" situation, and serving only one term (a wonderful idea that should be imposed on all presidents).
Even Jackson had some stature, although his mistreatment of the so-called "Indians" was so shameful it is a disgrace he is given any admiration today.
Bill Frist is not a patch even on Jackson.
And he might be the only doctor in the Senate, but over in the House of Representatives is a man who might well be the sole surviving member of Congress who knows what's in the Constitution: Dr. Ron Paul of Texas.
Wait a minute -- there IS another doctor, an obstetrician, just elected last year from Oklahoma. He is Tom Coburn, and he was in the lower house first.
Ron Paul, however, is the kind of man who would not be mentioned on editorial pages. He makes too much sense; he wants the government to obey the Constitution; he believes in the sanctity of the individual.
Well, now we know there are at least THREE doctors in Congress, but Times Free Press editors are not as knowledgeable -- or as smart -- as we.
And we are also smarter than the author of the "rant," whose target most likely was Frist, meaning the ranter is one of the mean-spirited, nasty-mouthed local Democrats.
A county commissioner, Curtis Adams, recently switched parties, from Democrat to Republican. Hardly a letter or rant that resulted was anything but a mean-spirited attack, with no substance but a lot of vitriol.
Wouldn't a good opinion page editor have sought out some intelligent -- being, considering the quality of the local Democrat Party, a very relative term -- spokesman who could speak of substance, and not just make personal attacks?
Another rant is a good illustration of the general worthlessness of the feature: "Styles and Wolfe: Two individuals starving for ratings and votes, obviously in need of a real life. Move on to a topic of real importance."
Jeff Styles is the morning talk-show host on WGOW FM, 102.3 in Chattanooga. John Wolfe also hosts a talk program, paid for with his own money, and he has twice been a Democrat candidate for Congress.
Wolfe makes a similar mistake to the ranter, spewing personal assaults, although he usually does try to point out some evidence or alleged evidence as a basis for his attack and, as a talk-show host, is almost always polite and nearly always letting his caller speak.
Wolfe has been treated very shabbily by the "news"paper generally but he did get an endorsement in 2004 by the Times editorial page, which would no doubt endorse the proverbial yellow dog if said dog ran as a Democrat.
Styles, by the way, is a very knowledgeable talk-show host, able to converse on a surprisingly wide range of topics. He is much more intelligent and substantive than, for example, Michael Savage or Sean Hannity or Alan Colmes. He might not have the finesse of some national hosts, but I would choose him over any of them to listen to or to talk with.
And I'll bet he already knew there are at least three physicians in the U.S. Congress -- which needs at least that many, being a pretty sick institution.

1 comment:

  1. I just wanted to make a quick point about Andrew Jackson; his ``Force Act`` and subsequent march on South Carolina due to their nullification of the Tariff within their boundaries set the precedent for Lincoln to launch the invasion of the Confederate States when they seceeded from the Union. (It likewise lead to South Carolina`s ``nullification`` of the Force Act which set legal precedent for the concept that States could nullify laws by the Federal Government within their borders, thus arguing the primacy of the States.)

    Had Jackson not dealt with this situation militarily, we probably would not have had the War Between the States.

    On the subject of nullification-did you see that Rhode Island is issuing a nullification of the Supreme Court ruling on medical marijuana use? Will George Bush march on Rhode Island?