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The Manhattan Declaration and the MSM

Tuesday, November 24, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

More than 78,000 have signed the Manhattan Declaration in four days.

A 12 paragraph story on the Declaration appeared on page A 22 of the New York Times on November 20. (Two of those paragraphs were devoted to a critic.)

The “I’m not dead” Los Angeles Times has not covered it, but no doubt columnist Tim Rutten will be along any day now to denounce it as unfairly representing the views of the Catholic Church though of course it has about a dozen bishops as signatories.

Newspapers are dying of many causes, but surely one is the refusal to cover in a serious way the serious conversations in the culture. Newsrooms simply don’t have many reporters aware of much less sympathetic to the tens of thousands of people signing the Manhattan Declaration, so its importance goes uncovered. Those who know of it or who will learn of it from alternative means like my radio show –I had Chuck Colson and Summit Ministries’ John Stonestreet on yesterday to discuss it– will rightly conclude that that which they are interested in doesn’t interest the editors of the newspapers they are asked to subscribe to. The result is the continued growth in the disinterest in a product that is wholly disinterested in the customer.

It isn’t that hard to find the stories that might attract a wider readership from cultural traditionalists, but the crusaders of the left holed up in their ever-smaller staffs on their ever more insignificant newspapers don’t want to make the effort or even acknowledge the existence of the majoritarian belief set.

The ad revenue stats don’t lie. Most newspapers will be dead within a few years. Even as their demise grew more andmore obvious they didn’t even try to return to the basic fairness that might have broadened their appeal.

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Rove on 2010

Tuesday, November 24, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The Architect is not optimistic about the GOP’s chances of retaking the House, but Blanche Lincoln, Michael Bennet, Arlen Specter, Beau Biden and Chris Dodd should be very worried.

And ReverseTheVote.org has raised more than $112K in a week. When the debate over the Democrats plan to make massive cuts to Medicare and introduce rationing into America, I expect contributions to resume at this brisk pace. If Congressional Democrats insist on attempting to jam through this deeply unpopular and wholly ineffective takeover of American medicine, I think Karl will have to revise his tote board.

Senator Lieberman may yet save the Democrats from going over the cliff, however, as his opposition to any sort of public option or trigger is explicit. From the Wall Street Journal:

Sen. Joseph Lieberman, speaking in that trademark sonorous baritone, utters a simple statement that translates into real trouble for Democratic leaders: “I’m going to be stubborn on this.”

Stubborn, he means, in opposing any health-care overhaul that includes a “public option,” or government-run health-insurance plan, as the current bill does. His opposition is strong enough that Mr. Lieberman says he won’t vote to let a bill come to a final vote if a public option is included.

Probe for a catch or caveat in that opposition, and none is visible. Can he support a public option if states could opt out of the plan, as the current bill provides? “The answer is no,” he says in an interview from his Senate office. “I feel very strongly about this.” How about a trigger, a mechanism for including a public option along with a provision saying it won’t be used unless private insurance plans aren’t spreading coverage far and fast enough? No again.

So any version of a public option will compel Mr. Lieberman to vote against bringing a bill to a final vote? “Correct,” he says.

This makes Lieberman a genuine moderate Democrat, and hopefully Arkansas’ Blanche Lincoln, Nebraska’s Ben Nelson and North Dakota’s Byron Dorgan will join with him to block the destruction of American medicine and the crippling of American fiscal policy.

The always-amusing Jonathan Chait is urging the Democrats over the cliff however: “[A] clear majority of Americans say that they want the Democrats to pass a health care bill with a public option, even if this means it would get no GOP votes.” Jonathan doesn’t link to his data set though of course you can find a poll somewhere that asks just that question, unlinked to costs and divorced from the massive Medicare cuts, and gets that answer. But if Chait really believes that, he should have his pundit card revoked.

What he really believes in all likelihood is that the Democrats should push through the public option despite the obvious risk to many House and Senate members. Chait and like-minded lefties want a win over the damned GOP, and they worry about President Obama’s re-election in 2012 which they fear will be more compromised by a loss on health care than by the passage of failure spread across two thousand pages. Chait of course is riskingnothing, not even his scribbler’s salary, because his job will endure for as long as The New Republic can keep a few high minded donors in the game.

Not so Democratic representatives and senators. If they are put to flight in 49 weeks by the army of walkers, no one is going to subsidize their electric bill and mortgage. Nor do they want to live on a writer’s salary or join the lobbyists’s scrum, especially if they have just a couple or four years in the House on which to hang their Beltway access credibility.

As the Obamacare debate moves into the end game, Democrats cannot afford to lose one senator or three House members. Chait urges them all on, regardless of risk. But the real polls tell a different story. As Rove put it yesterday (transcript here):

I remind you that the first time the Republicans in the 1994 election cycle took a lead in the generic ballot was in March of 1994, when they took a one point lead in the generic ballot. Well, about ten days ago, the Republicans took the lead in the generic ballot for next year’s election by a four point margin, 48-44. And the turnaround came in basically nine months. And I don’t see anything in the future that’s going to make people feel better. I mean, the Democrats, particularly the Obama White House, have deluded themselves into thinking that the problem that they had in ’93 and ’94 was not trying to pass a bad bill, but failing to pass a bill. So they’re sitting there saying all right, people may think this is bad, but once we deliver the gigantic tax increases on medical devices and pharmaceutical companies, and the huge cuts in Medicare, and a federal takeover of health care, and a government run insurance plan that craters the private insurance market, well, they’ll love us when we do that. And that kind of mindset only gets you into difficulty.

Hitchens on Hasan

Tuesday, November 24, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Don’t miss it.

How Did Two Suspected Terrorists Manage To Escape Through San Diego Last Month?

Monday, November 23, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The Washington Post reports that two suspected of recruiting teenagers to leave the U.S. and join Somalia-based terror organizations got away last month.

How was that allowed to happen?

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