The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal,New York Sun and many other commentators are all asking variations on the question “why the sudden uproar over the ports deal?” (Michelle Malkin is having great fun with one aspect of the outcry.)
I speculated below on the underlying causes of the vast consensus against the deal among Americans (and Rod Dreher’s anecdote is particularly telling). The “Wisdom of the Crowds” verdict on this matter is something that elites have to deal with, and taking shots at Senators Frist and Schumer for political opportunism doesn’t answer the mass reaction question.
But I think the answer to the timing question is very obvious.
I follow the news pretty closely, and the first I have ever heard of this deal was last week’s column by and interview with Frank Gaffney. It was Gaffney’s reporting that took a story off the financial pages and made the broader public aware of the proposed sale. While the White House Press Corps was speculating on whether Dick Cheney’s hunting accident would have been more serious if Mr. Whittington had died, a major story was reported on by Gaffney and the Washington Times –and ignored by the MSM.