Try to contain your surprise.
The only surprising thing about it is how late it came – just two days before election day. Two of Oklahoma’s three days of early voting had already passed when this editorial hit the streets and internets.
Read the editorial here.
The 2012 Tulsa World is a generally centrist newspaper with a sorry history of right-wing extremism as recently as the 1970s. The newer generations of ownership seem to be more flexible and even somewhat progressive occasionally in their political leanings. Nevertheless, it’s a fact that the newspaper has endorsed every Republican presidential candidate since at least 1940. (Rumor has it that they actually supported FDR back during the Great Depression – for a while.)
This means that the World has endorsed such outstanding past candidates as Wendell Willkie (1940), Thomas Dewey (twice – 1944 and 1948), Richard Nixon (THREE times – 1960, 1968 and 1972), John McCain in 2008, and of course George W. Bush – twice!
The reasons given for their 2012 endorsement are really thin stuff – arguing for “change”:
“(Change) starts with a Congress whose composition is unlikely to change much with Tuesday’s vote. It is far-fetched to believe Obama would achieve a different result in a second term. Romney, by both party affiliation and personal style, has the better chance of becoming the master mechanic who unlocks Congress’ gears, convincing lawmakers that the status quo is unsustainable. Romney is a businessman and he will get down to the business of reversing a $16 trillion debt, falling family incomes, lingering high unemployment, a 15 percent national poverty rate.”
Really? Because of Romney’s “party affiliation” and “personal style”? (I didn’t know Romney had “personal style.”)
In effect, the World is arguing that extremist Congressional Republicans have demonstrated their determination to oppose whatever President Obama favors, even if it was their own idea. Therefore we have no choice but to cave in to their demands for lower taxes on the rich (never mind the deficit), the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, draconian spending cuts to programs that help ordinary people, and a further bloating of the defense budget. And who-knows-what culture-war horrors they would inflict?
In other words – Congressional Republicans are holding the country hostage with their obstruction of everything, and we have no choice but to give in to their demands lest they carry out their threats – like driving the nation off the “fiscal cliff” on January 1, and refusing (again) to raise the completely arbitrary debt ceiling to allow us to pay obligations for which Congress has already made appropriations.
Meanwhile, Romney has offered no road map as to how he would start reversing the debt. He has endorsed the Ryan budget which would actually INCREASE the debt. Romney has offered no plan to stop middle-class incomes from declining, nor to reduce poverty. All he has offered is still another tax cut for the wealthiest Americans. Everyone else will just need to wait for the trickle-down to trickle down. That will happen when pigs fly.
Maybe the World will entertain the thought of a Democratic president when the current newspaper management inherits the stock from the retired dinosaurs who still control it. In the meantime, I don’t know whether to attribute this year’s very late (November 4) endorsement to blind partisanship, or to pandering towards Oklahoma’s deeply red electorate.
Will all of Oklahoma’s 77 counties vote for a Republican president again in 2012, as they did in 2008? We’ll know tomorrow.