Boss Rangel and the Spirit of 1876
Published on: March 5, 2010
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  • Roy

    Wouldn’t it be fair to say that Joe Bruno was engulfed in scandal, and Eliot Spitzer as well? Bruno and Sheldon Silver’s apparent stranglehold on state government always struck me as highly undemocratic.

    While we’re at it, if The New York Times is possessed by the muckraking spirit, maybe they can explain why we’re building a 2nd Avenue subway, which no one I know on the east side actually wants.

  • I hope you’re working on a response to the very, very well thought-out objections to your post on general Gentile opinion on Israel driving foreign policy. I look forward to reading it, hopefully on Monday!

  • Igor Dabik

    I dont understand why you keep taking this psuedo-appologist approach in criticizing people who have serious issues with comprehending the concept of freedom. I understand that in the academic community one must not appear ‘reactionary’ by any means, and everyone prescribes the balanced-realist syndrome to themselves. As if there is shame in being direct and stating an opinion with calmness assertion. Its a pathetic game which inevitably leaves your argumentation flakey. Are you really that insecure, that you feel if someone bundles you up with ‘the crazy right wingers that Jon Stewart talks about’ your intellect will somehow disappear? Are you such a slave to public presentation?

    This whole post could have been summed up in several key bullet points, that explained what happened with regard to the NYTimes story, and saying that the defenders hold an inherent belief that purity or almost ‘divine righteousness” of a government goes completely against the notions of liberty, and freedom of speech. There is no need to stroke their hair while you criticize them. Its rare for an academic to have authority by way of integrity, not authority by way of some egotistically-driven power trip dismissive of reality. Reality is not a balance act. The reaction to reality is. Reality itself is just facts and numbers. And the facts are that some people’s ideas directly go against the core values of the constitution. This needs to be pointed out clearly and concisely.

  • “Conason (one of the most consistently readable columnists in the business…”

    Uh, no. He’s a hack. If he were a conservative he’d be a hack. He writes to defend a position and that’s all he cares about. See this bit of idiocy.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/uc/20100304/cm_uc_crjcox/op_4513150

  • EJM

    Mr. Mead,
    Call me cynical but I suspect that the reason the NYT is going for Patterson’s scalp has much less to do with good government than it has to do with clearing the way for the white knight, Andrew Cuomo. Obama even asked Patterson to step aside, and when he didn’t immediately agree, the NYT times stepped in to push him.

    The NYT editorial on Rangel is somewhat more surprising, at first glance, until you realize that it makes sense to get him out of the Republicans’ crossfire well before election day. As several columnists have pointed out, Rangel’s sins are hardly egregious by modern Congressional standards (unfortunately) and many of them are known for years. Why the pressure on him from the Ethics Committee and the NYT now? He became a liability to the super-important Obama agenda, and might feed a Republican narrative about a culture of corruption in Pelosi’s House, so he too has to be sacrificed for the greater good.

    If you know something that should abuse us of cynicism regarding the NYT’s timing and motives, please let us know.

  • EJM

    Mr. Mead,
    Call me cynical but I suspect that the reason the NYT is going for Patterson’s scalp has much less to do with good government than it has to do with clearing the way for the white knight, Andrew Cuomo. Obama even asked Patterson to step aside, and when he didn’t immediately agree, the NYT stepped in to push him.

    The NYT editorial on Rangel is somewhat more surprising, at first glance, until you realize that it makes sense to get him out of the Republicans’ crossfire well before election day. As several columnists have pointed out, Rangel’s sins are hardly egregious by modern Congressional standards (unfortunately) and many of them are known for years. Why the pressure on him from the Ethics Committee and the NYT now? He became a liability to the super-important Obama agenda, and might feed a Republican narrative about a culture of corruption in Pelosi’s House, so he too has to be sacrificed for the greater good.

    If you know something that should disabuse us of cynicism regarding the NYT’s timing and motives, please let us know.

  • melvin polatnick

    Politicians face a unique challenge. While surrendering to temptation they must still maintain an honest appearance. Thanks to the Devil very few get caught and most finish their careers with impeccable credentials. God fearing people do not want to be a politician. They would rather take an honest job and wait for their heavenly reward. The politician wants his reward now and gets it.

  • Oldroy

    So if the Tom Delay comparison is important, maybe a sentence or two about the ultimate outcome of the accusations made against him would be important?

    Do journalists ever look themselves in the eye? Do you really think the whole world still accepts your wholly tainted opinion as anything close to a fact?

    This article is yet another reason why journalists can’t be trusted, nor can journalists doing stories about the state of journalism be trusted.

  • Peter

    What is it about Obama’s history makes the author think he is a “shiny new reformer”? He has never been a reformer from his beginnings in the Chicago cesspool to his facilitation of the Louisiana Purchase and the Cornhusker Kickback. In fact he has never come across a bit of corruption he could not accommodate.

  • John

    Perhaps competition from the WSJ will goad the NYT into paying attention to Albany.

  • David S. Levine

    Joe Conason is one of the many columnists “in the tank” of the coalition of scum, slime, filth, vermin and manure that is the Democ-rat Party. If this series is the beginning of the effort by the New York Times to regain its credibility with conservatives, so much the better for siciety. Without more I will continue NOT to read it and wait a day for any new information about Democ-rat Party crooks to be published in The New York Post. If there is an isntitution in the tank for leftism, it’s The New York Times. Hooray for Mr. Mead for bringing all of this to the fore.

  • David S. Levine

    “So if the Tom Delay comparison is important, maybe a sentence or two about the ultimate outcome of the accusations made against him would be important?”

    NO case against Tom Delay has ever been brought to court. all we have are unproven allegations. Once again we see why the Democ-rat Party is a coalition of scum, slime, filth, vermin and manure.

  • J. E. Stoll

    As a born and bred former New Yorker, I follow New York’s politics with interest even though I live in Virginia.

    I would like to make a point that seems to have been missed in both the article and the subsequent discussion points. Corruption has no relationship to race or ethnicity. There is, however, a direct correlation to power. Power breeds corruption. Whether the pol is white or black, Republican or Democrat, it is power that corrupts. Thus follows the second corrillary — absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    Thank you.

  • Samuel Adams

    As a Republican, all I can say to the party hacks that pushed Harold Ford out of the way, is thank you, thank you, and again thank you. Senator “Sock Puppet” is the dream opponent for a Republican party trying to make a comeback in New York…. Ford would have been tough to beat.

  • PKCasimir

    So Putin is going to compromise with a President of the United States whom he sees as a weak-kneed, spineless little jellyfish afraid of anyone who isn’t a Republican member of the House and a bunch of Europeans (to include the current Polish government) who make Neville Chamberlain look like Superman and abandon his dream of a new Soviet Union? Right, and pigs will fly.

    • Clayton Holbrook

      Well Putin certainly can’t negotiate with Yanucovych anymore. At this point if he’s interested in Ukrainian influence he will have to do so by force, or by engaging in the influential powers that will be helping Ukraine transition past this most recent revolution. That apparently includes the U.S. and E.U. In this case of Ukraine, some of Putin’s (or Russia’s, however you want to put it) interest align with that some of the U.S. and the E.U.

      • PKCasimir

        And what happens if Putin uses his allies and sympathizers in eastern Ukraine to secede from the Ukraine? Does Western Ukraine use the army to stop them? I hardly think so. What happens if Putin stops natural gas shipments to the Ukraine? He has a fleet in Sevastapol that employs 25,000 Ukrainians in well paying, by Ukrainian standards, jobs. That’s just for starters. Ukraine is not only broke, it needs an immediate $35 billion to stay afloat. Almost all of the heavy industry is located in the East and is dependent on the the Russian market. What happens when the IMF imposes conditions for a loan that demands the end of subsidies for gas. What happens when Ukrainians freeze? The FSB is a master at propaganda and subversion. And, sadly, this entire generation of Ukrainian politicians is incompetent and the country has systemic corruption, no democratic institutions and no real Central Bank.
        You underestimate the problems and the leverage Putin can employ. This Ukrainian tale has only just begun.
        P.S. Please list the interests in which Putin’s aligns with that of the EU and US.

  • Инна Холод

    New delirium U.S. government during the Cold War)) Wake up! Now the 21st century!

  • znanab

    “Putin in recent months has proved much more adept than Obama at advancing his country’s interests.” What would those interests be and what are the successes Putin has to show for his efforts? I know it is fashionable to portray President Obama as some dim, light-weight in comparison to the grand-standing Putin, but what exactly has Obama and the U.S. lost to Putin and Russia?

    As far as I can tell, Syria was always a client state of Russia (and the former Soviet Union) housing the largest Russian military base outside the latter entity. Syria is now in shambles and Russia has not been able to do anything to stop its decline. How exactly is that a win for Putin and a loss for Obama or the U.S.? Would a similar decline in say Japan (for whatever reason) be seen as a win for Obama and a loss for China for example? Nobody in their right mind would suggest that, but that is what everyone seems to be suggesting in the case of Syria.

    Similarly, what exactly has Obama lost to Putin when it comes to Ukraine Sebastopol? In the end, for all his adeptness, Putin could not keep his man in charge in Ukraine and is reduced to staging military exercises to flex his muscle and remain relevant. Sure things could change, but at this juncture, the clear losing party is Putin. To suggest that Obama or the U.S. has “lost” on Ukraine is just absurd.

  • Pedro Zozaya

    American journalists and politicians are mad from hate to Russia! American politicians are sick “delusions of grandeur” and “Russophobia”. Why in America believe that Russia can not be their “national interest”? Russia is an independent state. If Russia does something, it is not for to “resist America,” but because has “national interest.” In America, any “different positions” is understood as “anti-Americanism” and try to influence the “internal affairs” of other countries. Of course, this causes irritation in independent countries, but still no one “is opposed to America.” This is America, “is opposed to” countries that behave independently. I have the feeling that American politicians want to establish a dictatorship in scale whole the world.

  • Pedro Zozaya

    Western media often write about “anti-Americanism” that exists in Russia, but it is a very controversial statement. In Russia belong to the Americans are better than the Americans belong to Russia (recently saw poll on “Voice of America”, which is funded by the State Department). The Russian press, most mentions of America or “positive” or “neutral”, in the U.S. almost all the articles of “negative”.

    In general, if in Russia is “anti-Americanism” that he is much lower than the “anti-Russians sentiments” in the American press.

    It seems that the American elite needs “image of enemy” for its manipulation, therefore, in recent years, on the Russia poured tons of mud. It comes to the point of absurdity: from best of ruler in the history of Russian make “scarecrow”.

  • Pedro Zozaya

    Are you sick of “delusions of grandeur”? Why do Americans always try to interfere in our “internal affairs”?

    Each year in America there are high-profile racially motivated crimes, where the innocent suffer black-people… If Russia is to pay attention to these crimes, will impose sanctions, boycott, etc. you yourself will begin to resent that Russia interferes in the “internal affairs” of America. But you yourself are constantly interfering in our affairs.

    America is mired in hypocrisy and has no “moral authority” to criticize other countries.

    You consider yourself infallible gods of democracy, but in some respects Russia better than America.

    • Joezifu

      Read China’s Human Rights report on USA printed last week. Says same thing

  • Eightman

    It’s time for “realistic” realism with regard to Putin’s invasion of the Ukraine.

    Putin is a KGB thug who has not gotten over the verdict of 1989.

    If you appease him he’ll come for more. If you confront him with credible force he’ll back off and wait for a better opportunity.

    No negotiated deal with Putin is worth having.

    To deal with Putin and his allied thug regimes you must at minimum do the following:
    a) Rebuild the American military (1980’s Peace Through Strength)
    b) Reinvigorate NATO (reinforce Poland, the Baltic states and other “front-line” states)
    c) Inaugurate a vigorous missile defense initiative program for the U.S. and its allies.
    d) Impose export controls for strategic goods especially oil and gas development capital goods.
    e) Freeze Russian bank assets and impose travel restrictions for Putin’s oligarch allies.
    f) Initiate an all out energy development policy of the United States (Drill, Baby, Drill)
    g) Respect and support (where practical) the desire of people to be free from tyranny (foreign or domestic)

    And above all you must support the brave Freedom Fighters of Ukraine and settle for nothing less than the full sovereignty of the Ukraine nation.

    And this means a “Putin-Free Ukraine” and if the world is lucky a “Putin-Free Russia”

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