Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Always Encouraging a Diversity of Views Here at mrontemp, Even If They're Outright Lies

I am not a believer in Big Mo or expectations or what have you. Here's how I evaluate the results of an election.

See who got the most votes.

That person is the winner.

I know that I have automatically disqualified myself from punditdom with the phrase above, but I suspect that Fred Barnes and Morton Kondracke aren't interested in a threesome anyway. (I'm sorry, but "Beltway Boys" is the worst possible show name for two grown men.)

Michelle Malkin apparently has a different view. Or perhaps she wrote her article before the New Hampshire results were announced?

Hell hath no fury like a Clinton spurned. Hillary's back-to-back defeats in Iowa and now New Hampshire have the famously disciplined politician in a tailspin.

Yes, Clinton was really freaked out after her defeat last night, I'm sure.

But Malkin's article was unintentionally funny. Jon Swift's article was intentionally so as he had a little fun with Maureen Dowd:

When New York Times reporters walked into their offices last night, people were clustering around one office to watch what they thought they would never see: Maureen Dowd with the unmistakable look of tears in her eyes. A woman gazing through the door was grimacing, saying it was bad. Three guys could not stop watching her, drawn to the "humanized" Dowd....

[T]here was a poignancy about seeing Dowd crack with exhaustion from decades of hating the Clintons so much. But there was a whiff of Nixonian self-pity about her choking up. "I just don't want to see us fall backwards into the Clinton era," she said tremulously. In a weirdly narcissistic way, she was crying for us.

But enough about fabrications, intentional or otherwise (incidentally, I encourage you to read all of Jon Swift's post). Mark Daniels brings up the historical perspective:

The Nixon White House and many in the Republican Party regarded Muskie as the most formidable Democratic nominee. That's no doubt why a major New Hampshire newspaper, then read by a huge percentage of Granite State residents and ardently conservative both in its news coverage and editorial page content, went after Muskie full throttle.

First, it claimed that Muskie had made an insulting joke about French-Canadian Americans. This, at least in 1972, was a significant constituency in New Hampshire. Muskie was fending off these allegations when different ones appeared. These alleged that Muskie's wife told off-color jokes and was guilty of drunkenness.

The latter allegations were particularly hurtful to Muskie. He and his wife were extraordinarily close, their relationship cemented by their daily prayer, Scripture reading, and devotions.

An angry Muskie decided to challenge the newspaper publisher, William Loeb, with a rally in front of the paper's offices in Manchester. But emotion took hold of the Maine senator. He choked up and some claimed they saw tears fall as Muskie defended the woman he loved and faced the prospect that his once seemingly invincible campaign would fall apart.

When McGovern won the New Hampshire primary that year, many felt that his victory was at least in part attributable to Ed Muskie crying. Presidents, conventional wisdom said, can't cry.

Well, that was such a danged twentieth-century opinion. Michelle Malkin and Maureen Dowd can relate, I think.

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