The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Monday, April 11, 2005

And now Fineman is shilling for the Dems

Is that grinding of tectonic plates I hear? After the Boston Globe's vigorous rimming of Congressional Democrats (earlier piece), I see that Howard Fineman's tongue is giving it some competition.

I'm thinking he's been down in the Newsweek morgue looking up stuff on Harry Truman: Truman, you'll recall, was accounted a born stooge and lackey by the contemporary press - until, that is, he won against the odds in 1948. Then the tide turned - held back by his 'losing China', of course, and the little matter of the Korean War - so that, by the time he died, his reputation was stellar [1].

It's a great story arc - and Fineman evidently has something of the sort pencilled in for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid:
There's nothing fancy about Harry Reid, the Democratic leader in the Senate. Sartorially, he is a symphony in brown. He hails from a Nevada eye-blink called Searchlight, but isn't at ease in the spotlight. "I would just as soon never have a press conference," he says. An amateur boxer in his youth,

With the sartorially, there's even a nod to Truman's haberdasher.

But the comparison Reid chooses for himself (and passed on by Fineman, with some relish) is - you'll never guess [2].

But savour this:
Reid, with 37 years in politics, is prospering partly by doing what shrewd boxers do in the early rounds to survive: let the other guy overreach. Proudly unphilosophical, he thinks the Democratic Party needs no soul-searching. "I believe in simplicity," he says. "Health care, pensions, energy independence—that's my agenda."

I don't know about Reid; but the voters will need to be pretty simple to swallow bollocks like that!

(The thought occurs: has Elisabeth Bumiller by any chance been giving lessons in puffery to her fellow hacks?)

  1. I think - but far too much connecting the dots involved to take as more than a hypothesis. Periodically, I've looked for a decent online treatment of Truman and the press - there is a dead-tree book somewhere - but found none. I'll keep on looking.

    But I think the arc - vastly underestimated to distinctly overestimated - broadly holds true.

  2. Rocky Marciano! Honestly. (I shan't spoil the dénouement for you.)

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