The New York Times struggles to explain civility

The relative civility demonstrated by most prominent figures in the Republican Party as well as its presidential nominees after losing last week’s election has taken the New York Times by surprise. After a hard-fought battle between the presidential candidates where harsh accusations of the other were lobbed by both, the New York Times expected the Republicans to sulk and continue their attacks against Obama. When the opposite occurred, the newspaper was left mystified by the conciliatory tone of the losing party.

There is a great tradition of paint-peeling political hyperbole during presidential campaign years. And there is an equally great tradition of backing off from it all afterward, though with varying degrees of deftness.
But given the intensity of some of the charges that have been made in the past few months, and the historic nature of Mr. Obama’s election, the exercise this year has been particularly whiplash-inducing, with its extreme before-and-after contrasts.

After watching Democrats and the liberal establishment in this country suffer from Bush Derangement Syndrome for the past eight years, and in turn lose all manner of composure, it is somewhat understandable that the New York Times would expect the same mean-spirited and vitriolic response from Republicans and conservatives that the Democrats and liberals exhibited in their consecutive losses. When it failed to materialize, though, they were left dumbfounded. Still, the New York Times had to find a reason why Republicans and conservatives have not responded to losing this election in the same manner Democrats and liberals responded to George W. Bush’s 2000 and 2004 election victories.

The shift in tone follows the magnanimous concession speech from Mr. McCain, of Arizona, who referred to Mr. Obama’s victory Tuesday night as “a historic election” and hailed the “special pride” it held for African-Americans. That led the vice president-elect, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., to get into the act. During the campaign, Mr. Biden said he no longer recognized Mr. McCain, an old friend. Now, he says, “We’re still friends.” President Bush, in turn, also hailed Mr. Obama’s victory, saying his arrival at the White House would be “a stirring sight.”
Whether it all heralds a new era of cooperation in Washington remains to be seen, and it may be downright doubtful. But for now, at least, it would seem to be part of an apparent rush to join what has emerged as a real moment in American history. [emphasis mine]

So, according to the New York Times, if the Republicans and the conservatives are being magnanimous, it must mean they want to be invited to the big party the Democrats are going to be throwing these next four years. For the liberal establishment, which the New York Times is a part of, any demonstration of high-mindedness in defeat must mean you have some ulterior motive. American conservatives must be planning something underhanded and devious because that is what liberals have always done when defeated.
As usual, the New York Times just does not get it, and they have once again shown their inability to view this country, and the world, objectively.
Class and dignity is a foreign concept to liberals, so it is no surprise the New York Times fails to see it.

4 thoughts on “The New York Times struggles to explain civility”

  1. The NYT’s surprise is an inverted form of projection: they know this is not how their side would have behaved if they’d lost, so they cannot comprehend it from ours. If McCain had squeaked through with an upset win, both the litigation and the riots would still be in full swing right now.

  2. “Class and dignity is a foreign concept to liberals”; you’re absolutely spot-on with that comment Alberto. I have to admit that their conduct over the past 8 years is sickening, and I’ve grown to utterly despise them. I’ve witnessed, and been a victim of their incredible intolerance. Their brutalization of Bush and his administration was unconscionable, especially during such a trying time in our history. I will never forget, nor forgive. They are worthless, gutless pieces of shit! A danger to this great nation and unworthy of power at the national level, where they can do so, so much harm. Hypocrites, with a severe double standard.

  3. Let’s see how many anti-Obama books are published while he is president, how many “Obama-isms” (or faux pas like 57 states) calendars there are like there are for Bush. And not just on the shelves, but prominently displayed. My guess is not many, of course, Obama will stop presses on any negative books like he did to other things.

  4. Be prepared for an onslaught of Obama as “the people’s savior.” I’ll bet he’ll make the cover of more magazines than Lady Di.

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