Star Tribune's strategy for reelecting Norm Coleman
Part of the Star Tribune's strategy for reelecting Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) over Democrat Al Franken has been to keep this race issue-free. The pages of the Strib have never discussed Norm's record in any substantial way. Neither have they informed their readers of what Al's positions on the issues are.
When Norm attacks Al or there is bad news about Al, it is front page news. Of course, Norm's scandals have gotten short shrift except when they front-page their defense of Norm. Any good news for Al's campaign, inside pages of the Metro. So the Strib's strategy to help elect Norm took the obvious step of endorsing him.
Also unsurprisingly, their endorsement was issue-free.
Independent judgment, exercised on behalf of the best interests of the country and state, is what we hope to see from our U.S. senators. With that hope in mind, this newspaper recommends the reelection of Republican U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman.
Norm only "lessens the partisan polarization" if you haven't been paying attention to his record. Could it be any more obvious that they don't?
If Norm is reelected, he is in the running for the most partisan job in the Senate, Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. They think that somehow after being a stalwart supporter of George Bush, after being wrong on all the important issues of the day (and wrong exactly how Bush has been wrong), he won't toe the party line on all the important issues?
Here's what the editors of the Strib have
forgotten willfully ignored:
- Started his term by declaring he was a 100% improvement over Paul Wellstone. Was later forced to recant and apologize.
- Supported Bush on all the important issue of the day: Iraq, tax cuts for the wealthy, privatization of Social Security, immigration, Medicare Part D and deregulation of everything (just to name a few).
- Appointed by Dick Cheney to lead the efforts in the Senate to defend Karl Rove during the Scooter Libby trial.
- Ignored no-bid contracts, corruption, greed, incompetence and lawlessness in Iraq because investigations would embarrass Republicans.
- Part of Truth Squad attack team that went after John Kerry in 2004.
- Declared Bush's leadership in Iraq akin to Lincoln's during the Civil War.
The Strib recalls Norm's hard work to secure funding for rebuilding the I35W bridge, but fail to note that Republicans like Norm continually underfunded the maintenance of our infrastructure ... the reason the bridge fell down in the first place.
They fail to mention the two reasons Minnesotans opposed the bail-out. First, conservatives consider it socialism. Secondly, the rest of us see it as a bail-out of the fat cats who got us into this problem in the first place without any help for the middle class. Yet again, Norm failed to represent the needs of Minnesotans and chose to support the people funding his campaign.
They consider pandering and strategic voting to make his record appear more moderate than it is to be a step in the right direction. WTF? The only time that Norm behaved in a bi-partisan manner, it either didn't matter or, like with the I35W bridge, to do otherwise would be unconscionable.
They go on to talk about how Norm would lead the Republican party in a more moderate direction during his second term. Based upon what? Your fact-free editorial? His record doesn't show it.
This paragraph is incoherent taken in the context of this endorsement. They haven't established what leadership qualities Minnesotans expect nor have they given any reasons other than the I-35W bridge, the unpopular bail-out and the prospect of denying Democrats a filibuster-proof majority as reasons Norm's leadership qualities even exist.
The truth is Norm has proven himself a toe-the-line back-bencher. This editorial fits in with the Strib's pro-Coleman, issue-free journalism.