Patterico's Pontifications

12/9/2004

L.A. Times Spins Passage of Intelligence Bill as a Negative for Bush

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 7:33 am

Ten days ago, the Los Angeles Times told its readers that the fight over the intelligence bill was a “test of leadership” for the president. In a news analysis titled House GOP Resistance Presents Bush a Clear Test of Leadership, the paper framed the issue this way:

No president relishes legislative fights within his own party. But for any president, one of the clearest tests of leadership is the willingness to stare down his own supporters to protect the national interest.

Today, now that the bill has passed, I guess he passed the “test.” I present to you a news analysis titled “President Passes Test of Leadership”:

Bush and Cheney personally lobbied for passage of the bill, showing that the President was willing to take on those in his own party in order to protect national security. Critics acknowledged that Bush’s success in winning passage for the bill with few concessions showed that the Administration is willing to work across party lines, as he promised to do soon after his re-election.

The news analysis I have presented is, of course, entirely fictional. Today’s actual news analysis spins the episode as negative for Bush. Here is a taste of today’s analysis, titled Bush on Notice Despite Win in Congress:

WASHINGTON — President Bush has gotten a fresh education this week in how to deal with an increasingly feisty Congress as he heads into his second term.

The protracted struggle to enact an overhaul of the nation’s intelligence community showed that conservative powerbrokers in Congress could not be steamrollered as easily as when Bush first was elected. Republican leaders are not as willing to “win ugly” as when they rammed his Medicare bill through the House last year, with arm-twisting so aggressive that it drew a rebuke from the Ethics Committee.

Rather than focusing on passage of the bill, the news analysis focuses on the resistance of the House, calling it a “warning sign”:

The Republican rebellion that slowed action on the intelligence overhaul was a warning sign that Bush will have to speak clearly — and listen carefully — to his GOP allies in Congress if he is to hold together his party’s motley coalition of defense hawks, religious activists and economic conservatives.

Any one of those congressional factions can make trouble for the president, especially since the issues on his second-term agenda — among them, overhauling Social Security, the tax code and immigration law — are far more divisive within his party than were the tax cuts that headlined his first term.

And it goes on like that.

Like many people, I have serious doubts about whether this bill truly is good for the country. But, given that the L.A. Times editors insisted that the battle over the bill was a test of Bush’s leadership, it would be nice if they mentioned that, at least in their eyes, he passed that test.

Vote For Me, For Crying Out Loud

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 6:17 am

I am within a freaking percentage point of Michael Totten. That’s about 50 votes. 50 votes. That’s nothing. Often 50 people visit this blog in a single hour. If you — and right now I am speaking directly to you — would just go vote for me now, we could get ahead of this guy.

Did I mention that he is taunting me in e-mails? Oh yeah. And I quote:

Your blog doesn’t totally suck compared to mine, although you wouldn’t know it from the so-far results of the Wizbang poll. :)

If you find such taunting off-putting — especially coming from a guy who is only .08% ahead — then please click on that link up there and vote, vote, VOTE!

P.S. Totten has been added to the blogroll here. He actually has a pretty good blog — for a liberal.

P.P.S. This annoying contest ends Sunday.

All-Purpose Retort for When a Newspaper Type Gets Snobbish About Blogs

Filed under: Media Bias — Patterico @ 6:08 am

“I don’t publish a horoscope on my blog. Does your big-time newspaper print one?”


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