Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Incredible Invisible Dems, Greens and Libs

Following up on a week in which the three Republicans vying for the two LD1 House seats appeared on the front page every day, we have another piece by Joanna surveying Republicans for CD1 on a question that they are bound to agree on. We'll get to that.

I don't think Joanna's the problem, rather the headline writer who persists in implying that no one other than Republicans exist. Today's "CD1 GOP candidates reflect on federal health care legislation" again omits the "primary" qualifier that would have made this a fair headline. Previously:

LD1 GOP candidates describe the legislation they'd introduce
Candidates tackle Clean Elections issue
LD1 Candidates: What should the Legislature do to help Arizona's economy?
LD1 candidates: Is SB 1070 helpful or harmful for Arizona?
State House candidates in Prescott forum Friday

This isn't rocket science. You just have to look at what you're writing and see it from the readers' standpoint. What is the plain meaning of it that the reader takes away? In all these cases, the headline says these are all the candidates, with pictures to define the list.

I'm obviously no fan of skimming the headlines and thinking you know what's going on, but it would be ridiculously naive to assert that even a majority of readers are more thorough than that. These headlines make readers dumber about the election, and if it isn't intended by the Courier editors, they're demonstrating incompetent neglect.

Wait!, I hear you cry, it's about the primaries, and there are no contested Dem nominations! Not so. We have important Dem primary votes for Secretary of State, Attorney General, Supervisor of Public Instruction and Corporation Commission, and the results of those elections will affect our lives as much or more than the LD and CD races. Will we see profile and debate pieces on them as well? Color me skeptical at this point. The Libertarian and Green candidates deserve good coverage as well, and it's the primary duty of a local paper to fairly inform voters about who and what they'll be voting on.

Now, as promised, about today's piece. Joanna, please. You're asking Republicans about the Affordable Care Act? How could their predictably uniform answers possibly help voters differentiate among them? Rather than informing voters about the candidates in a meaningful way for the primary, it's like you chose the question simply to foreshadow the discourse in the general race. It makes this article a complete waste of time, both for Republican partisans and uncommitted voters.

Next time, for gad's sake, ask about something where the party isn't in lockstep. I admit that may take a little research.

Update, Wednesday: Another one.

The birthright-citizenship thing

The next session of Congress will likely include some kerfuffle over the 14th Amendment, with much throwing of the "anchor baby" epithet.

Following up on something I wrote earlier in this space, I'm looking for the policy arguments in favor of birthright citizenship for all, including the children of illegal immigrants. I get that the 14th institutes this right, but what I'm not seeing are arguments to support why we want this right protected. Yes it's American tradition now, yes it's liberal and charitable, but I want to see a solid, cogent argument based on national interest. If you've read something like this, please post a link in the comments.

The new Republican economic catechism

"Republicans used to believe that prosperity depended upon the regular balancing of accounts -- in government, in international trade, on the ledgers of central banks and in the financial affairs of private households and businesses, too. But the new catechism, as practiced by Republican policymakers for decades now, has amounted to little more than money printing and deficit finance -- vulgar Keynesianism robed in the ideological vestments of the prosperous classes."

"This approach has not simply made a mockery of traditional party ideals. It has also led to the serial financial bubbles and Wall Street depredations that have crippled our economy. More specifically, the new policy doctrines have caused four great deformations of the national economy, and modern Republicans have turned a blind eye to each one."

-- Reagan budget director David Stockman, The New York Times, July 31