Friday, October 17, 2008
Hell Has Frozen Over While Pigs Fly Overhead
The Chicago Tribune has endorsed a Democrat for president:
This endorsement makes some history for the Chicago Tribune. This is the first time the newspaper has endorsed the Democratic Party's nominee for president.Washington Post yesterday.
The Tribune in its earliest days took up the abolition of slavery and linked itself to a powerful force for that cause--the Republican Party. The Tribune's first great leader, Joseph Medill, was a founder of the GOP. The editorial page has been a proponent of conservative principles. It believes that government has to serve people honestly and efficiently.
With that in mind, in 1872 we endorsed Horace Greeley, who ran as an independent against the corrupt administration of Republican President Ulysses S. Grant. (Greeley was later endorsed by the Democrats.) In 1912 we endorsed Theodore Roosevelt, who ran as the Progressive Party candidate against Republican President William Howard Taft.
The Tribune's decisions then were driven by outrage at inept and corrupt business and political leaders.
We see parallels today.
The Republican Party, the party of limited government, has lost its way. The government ran a $237 billion surplus in 2000, the year before Bush took office -- and recorded a $455 billion deficit in 2008. The Republicans lost control of the U.S. House and Senate in 2006 because, as we said at the time, they gave the nation rampant spending and Capitol Hill corruption. They abandoned their principles. They paid the price.
It is said that in this day and age when no one reads newspapers endorsements are meaningless. I disagree. Maybe younger people don't read them, but papers like the Trib still have a reputation and reach, and what else do you do in the morning when you're riding the train?
I admit I was fully expecting them to cling to pattern and history and go for McCain. This is almost as good as if FOX came out and endorsed Obama.
If they did, however, I might have to take a second look at the guy....
UPDATE: Chicago's other daily paper, the Sun-Times, has endorsed Obama too. Teases us with no link to text of endorsement -- must pick up the paper on Sunday. I haven't been paying much attention to the newspaper wars, but have always thought the Sun-Times has taken a sharp turn to the right in recent years. This is the more "Joe Six-Pack" paper of the two, and easier to read on the train.
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