My letter cancelling my subscription to the Detroit News.
"At long last, the transformation of the News' editorial board into a fundamentally unserious echo chamber of white-glove libertarianism is complete.
With the editorial refusing to endorse any candidate in the 2004 Presidential election, the News imagines that it, too, can return to September 10, 2001. Not coincidentally, so does Senator Kerry.
In addition to being a classic example of making the perfect the enemy of the good, it is clear that the real beef with the President is on economic issues, citing the the deficit, growth of government, and purported threat to civil liberties. Remarkably, precisely the same complaints could have been deployed for a 'pox on both houses' editorial against Reagan and Mondale in 1984. But twenty years ago, the News offered a full-throated hurrah for the far more spendthrift Reagan, whom the News expansively (and correctly, in my view) eulogized a few months ago.
What is the difference? Is it simply the fact that the Soviets were more of a threat than Al Qaeda to the investment portfolio of the editorial board? At least the Soviets didn't slaughter 3000 of my fellow citizens in two American metropolitan areas. Apparently, the editorial board would rather forget that unpleasantness, given the glossing over of 9/11 and use of the supremely inept phrase "passing threats."
Make no mistake: the News' sniffing disdain for both candidates is a de facto endorsement of the challenger. The challenger has revealed himself to be a disingenous equivocator willing to pander to the worst elements of his party. If he is elected, those debts will be called in with a vengeance. Let me put it in terms that the News' board cares about: remember those Bush tax cuts? They will become mere memory with a Kerry victory. The challenger's appointments to the judiciary and executive branches are certain to prove uncongenial to the News' all-controlling "governing philosophy."
I could also mention--unlike the News--the vast gulf between the candidates on crucial social issues such as abortion and marriage, appointments to the judiciary and so forth. But September's genuflections to the zeitgeist have taught me to give up on the News being a voice of traditional values on cultural issues. Better, apparently, to pretend such issues do not exist. Makes sense when the bottom line is the bottom line. It also makes sense when you are showing signs of developing a profound allergy to the devoutly religious. Like the President.
I will close with this: the editorial board forgot about Al Qaeda's slaughter at the school in Beslan, Ossetia, in September. The board further forgot about the discovery of school floor plans in a computer in Iraq for several American schools, including Birch Run.
My wife and three pre-school aged children regularly attend activities at the local elementary school, along with other parents and young children. No amount of black ink in the budgetary ledger or profitable investments is worth their lives. There's a war on. I want the enemy fought away from our shores, and not wait to "respond" after the fact.
It is clear that the News' editorial board feels otherwise, choosing instead to fantasize about a candidate entirely a creature of its inventive imagination--a candidate that exists nowhere in the body politic. In a tight race between such diametrically-opposed candidates, it is unconscionable. I will not reward this Hamletesque posturing with my money. Kindly cancel my subscription.