Howell Raines has been deposed from his perch atop the New York Times masthead, but he's still peddling his rhetoric. This column, from the Guardian, contains several lies and distortions, along with the usual helping of anti-Republican sneering one would expect from either Raines or the Wanker.
White House strategists are betting that leaving Iraq in 30 days - no matter what chaos ensues in that country - will leave them time to revise history between now and election day and, more importantly, get on with the work of destroying Kerry's image.
The first portion of the sentence is factually incorrect. Tranferring sovreignty does not constitute "leaving Iraq". There are no plans to pull our troops out at the end of the month. Raines either does not understand that the transfer of sovreignty does not entail a withdrawal of our forces, or does not care that he is distorting the facts.
As America's first war-hero candidate since John F Kennedy, he ought to be leading the national discussion on what went wrong in Iraq.
Raines conveniently leaves out (Republican) war hero George H. W. Bush, who remains the youngest person to ever be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (he was 20), and three Air Medals for his service in World War II, and (Republican) war hero Bob Dole, whose Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts form his World War II service don't compensate for the loss of the use of his right arm from the injuries he received while saving the radioman's life. As to Iraq, Kerry cannot lead the discussion until he figures out his own position on the war. Every week he has a new position, and it's hard to lead a dialogue when one does not have a clear position from which to debate.
The difference between him and Bush is that Kerry represents the liberal, charitable wing of the Privilege party and George W represents the conservative, greedy wing of the Privilege party.
Here Raines lapses into the jargon for which he developed his reputation at the New York Times. The simplistic shorthand that conservatives are greedy (presumably because they feel that they should not be taxed into the poorhouse by the government) was his preferred favorite theme while he was running the editorial pages, and it remained one of his favorites while he was running the paper.
There's hardly an American who does not know that George W got into the Air National Guard when others couldn't through his father's political pull, that he got into flight school ahead of others due to his father's political pull, that he was allowed to skip his normal weekend drills and make them up without being punished because of his father's political pull.
Let's see: Bush's father was just beginning his second term in congress when Bush joined the Air National Guard. Not a lot of pull there, but I'll go with it. However, the last statement is a lie, and I am quite sure that Raines knows it, as ANYONE can request to miss scheduled drill dates and make them up at a later time, regardless of their family's political influence (or lack thereof). At least he is not accusing Bush of not making up the timea popular, thoroughly debunked meme that is an article of faith among many Democrats.
As Al From of the Democratic Leadership Council noted, Americans aren't antagonistic toward the rules that protect the rich because they think that in the great crap-shoot of economic life in America, they might wind up rich themselves. It's a mass delusion, of course, but one that has worked ever since Ronald Reagan got Republicans to start flaunting their wealth instead of apologising for it.
First off, a quick look at the Forbes 400 (the annual listing of the 400 wealthiest Americans), shows that a significant portion of them were self-made. Even this highly critical report, bassed on a press release from the left-wing United for a Fair Economy, admits that almost a third of the list started from scratch, with no inheritance or large family business to build upon. It's no delusion that one can become wealthy without starting out with anything, as almost any sports star will attest.
Secondly, Raines actually believes that the rich should apologize for being wealthy? WTF? Only in the world of the guilty white southern boy is it something for which to apologize. And the people who are most liikely to "flaunt" wealth are the nouveau riche of whom Raines denies the existence, not those who have grown up wealthy.
There is a whole lot of other drivel in the article, but those four excepts are the most egregious (and easily rebutted) portions of the article. It's not surprising that Raines found an outlet for his writing in the Guardian; they are a match made in Hell, distinguishable only by their accents.