Sunday, October 19, 2008

About Bloody Time

The Chicago Tribune has endorsed the hometown favorite, Sen. Barack Obama, for President. From the endorsement:

This endorsement makes some history for the Chicago Tribune. This is the first time the newspaper has endorsed the Democratic Party's nominee for president.

The Tribune in its earliest days took up the abolition of slavery and linked itself to a powerful force for that cause--the Republican Party. The Tribune's first great leader, Joseph Medill, was a founder of the GOP. The editorial page has been a proponent of conservative principles. It believes that government has to serve people honestly and efficiently.

With that in mind, in 1872 we endorsed Horace Greeley, who ran as an independent against the corrupt administration of Republican President Ulysses S. Grant. (Greeley was later endorsed by the Democrats.) In 1912 we endorsed Theodore Roosevelt, who ran as the Progressive Party candidate against Republican President William Howard Taft.

The Tribune's decisions then were driven by outrage at inept and corrupt business and political leaders.

We see parallels today.

The Republican Party, the party of limited government, has lost its way. The government ran a $237 billion surplus in 2000, the year before Bush took office -- and recorded a $455 billion deficit in 2008. The Republicans lost control of the U.S. House and Senate in 2006 because, as we said at the time, they gave the nation rampant spending and Capitol Hill corruption. They abandoned their principles. They paid the price.

We might have counted on John McCain to correct his party's course. We like McCain. We endorsed him in the Republican primary in Illinois. In part because of his persuasion and resolve, the U.S. stands to win an unconditional victory in Iraq.

It is, though, hard to figure John McCain these days. He argued that President Bush's tax cuts were fiscally irresponsible, but he now supports them. He promises a balanced budget by the end of his first term, but his tax cut plan would add an estimated $4.2 trillion in debt over 10 years. He has responded to the economic crisis with an angry, populist message and a misguided, $300 billion proposal to buy up bad mortgages.

McCain failed in his most important executive decision. Give him credit for choosing a female running mate--but he passed up any number of supremely qualified Republican women who could have served. Having called Obama not ready to lead, McCain chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. His campaign has tried to stage-manage Palin's exposure to the public. But it's clear she is not prepared to step in at a moment's notice and serve as president. McCain put his campaign before his country.
Coming from the Tribune, that's rather damning. Combined with Secretary Colin Powell endorsing Obama this morning, this has to be a bad start to the week's news cycle for McCain.


rknil said...

Nevertheless, the Tribune did endorse Bush in 2004. That would have been the time to correct the course of the country.

Ol' Guy said...

And the hits just keep coming: Ken Adelman, a lifelong conservative Republican. Campaigned for Goldwater, was hired by Rumsfeld at the Office of Economic Opportunity under Nixon, was assistant to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld under Ford, served as Reagan’s director of arms control, and joined the Defense Policy Board for Rumsfeld’s second go-round at the Pentagon, in 2001. He has bucked his conservative roots and endorsed Obama.

And closer to (my) home, the Naples (FL) Daily News, a conservative paper in the most conservative corner of America, has endorsed Obama.

moongrrl said...

When the Trib's endorsement hit my inbox, I literally sat there staring at the subject line open-mouthed.

And then, I looked out the window. No porcine aviation, yet, but hell *may* have frozen over.

Not that I'm complaining. :-)

The Squire said...

rknil: That's why there's the "bloody" in the title. Four years ago it would've been just "It's about time."

moongrrl: Naw - the Cubs didn't win the National League pennant, so Hell should be at its rightful temperature. Also, please score yourself five bonus points for using the word "porcine."

rknil said...

Also, Sarah Palin needs to drop off the ticket now. I realize this would be a disaster for the Republicans, but leaving her there is almost as bad.