The Morning News and John Cornyn: A Match Made in Fantasyland

Categories: Schutze

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An "op-ed" page in a newspaper -- the page opposite the editorials -- is supposed to be a kind of village square for diverse voices, but does that mean it should be a billboard for lies? The case in point today would be the op ed page of The Dallas Morning News, given over to an especially sleazy pitch by Texas Senator John Cornyn.

Cornyn's piece is a distorted campaign attack ad that doesn't belong in this forum and shouldn't see the light of day anywhere without some kind of challenge.

In his essay, Cornyn repeats the you-didn't-do-that lie about a recent speech by President Obama, then goes on to paint pictures of hard-working small business people whom he suggests the president has insulted.

The lift-out quote that Cornyn exploits, from a speech the president gave in Roanoke, Virginia on July 13, http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/Roano has the president apparently telling the small business people of America to kiss his ass. Here's the quote:

"If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."

In his signature choir-boy au contraire style, Cornyn pivots on the president to say: "On the contrary, Mr. President, there are plenty of entrepreneurs whose success came from hard work and personal creativity, including many who live right here in Texas."

Yeah, well, let's all strain our brains and take a big guess about this. In a tightening presidential race, did Barack Obama, a master campaigner, decide to spit on small business in particular and capitalism and the American way in general? Thinking strictly in terms of life here on this particular planet, how likely is that?

Well, au contraire, the president did not spit on small business in his speech, which was instead a quite long and somewhat droning paean to the American values of hard work, self-sufficiency and cooperation. In fact, I couldn't tell from the video, but it looked to me like it was hot out that day in Roanoke, and I personally probably would not have stuck around for the whole thing, so predictably clichéd and politically campaigny it was. Maybe it's my own defect of character, but I personally happen to hate being patted on the head by people who want my vote, Republican or Democratic.

There's a decent discussion of what Obama really said on a Washington Examiner blog (but watch out for a bad headline over it). The full context is this:

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We prefer our John Cornyn filtered.
"If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.

"The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together."

Cornyn, of course, guts all of that context and gives readers only the "you-didn't-build-that" quote, then supplies a long catalogue of soapy sappy anecdotes about hard-working small business families who must be out there sniffling and whining all day long because the president has insulted them.

I do get that this is all just gotcha campaign politics as practiced by both sides. But why does The Dallas Morning News feel compelled to turn over its op-ed page to a free slasher ad for Republicans?

The attempt by the Romney campaign to hijack one line out of the president's speech and use it in smear ads has been all over the national news for a week. The Republicans already have it on T-shirts.

But at least half of that spirited discussion has been spirited rebuttal. About the best statement I have seen of the other side is on the New York Magazine blog, Daily Intel, this morning:

"The clear and obvious takeaway from the ' controversy is that it's another instance of a campaign seizing on its opponent's mangled syntax to accuse him of believing something he clearly does not believe," writes Jonathon Chait.

If anything, Chait says, the whole brouhaha reveals the extent to which political correctness has become a Republican syndrome: "To the extent that this latest gaffe debate reveals Something Larger, it's the extraordinary hyper-sensitivity surrounding the egos of the rich in our current political culture."

All I'm saying here is that you don't give Cornyn -- who is a master at unctuous sleaze anyway -- a free billboard for propagandistic distortions and then allow him to go utterly unchallenged, as if his screed is some kind of public safety bulletin from the United States Senate.

There's a right way to do it, if you're the op ed editor and you just absolutely cannot tell the Cornyn people no. You run his piece, and then right next to it you run Chait's piece or something like it.

But allowing Cornyn to appear alone like Moses down from the Mount reveals the paper's boringly predictable true colors. When push comes to shove and the rubber meets the road, they're a Republican house organ. Read it and sleep.


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115 comments
Mr_Hand
Mr_Hand

Chicken or the egg.   How did the government pay for the roads and bridges that they so benevolently bequeath onto the serfs??  

Daniel
Daniel

It may not have been what he meant, but the phrasing was boneheaded and therefore fair game in an election season -- much as when Romney said "I don't care about poor people" (which he really doesn't, but that's not what he meant).

 

But yeah, giving op-ed real estate to a sitting Senator is ludicrous.

jeneheffer
jeneheffer

Let us all agree that politics, especially campaigning for an election is at it's worst. It is full of the  dirtiest, nastiest, lies from both parties. Cornyn is no worse than the rest. 

dallasdrilling
dallasdrilling

John Cornhole is an idiot much like his wanna be son, Tom Leppert.

UnCoverUp
UnCoverUp

Cornyn, Hutchison and their fellow lawbyer (lawyer-lobbyer) cronies over at the DMN know very well that many large US-based banks and insurers, such as American International Group, Inc. (AIG), would have been sued into bankruptcy in 2008 by the counter-parties to the fraudulent derivative contracts these racketeers peddled around the world. In the aftermath of the 2008 financial collapse, any US business that continues to benefit from the existence of the US financial services industry, should thank senators like Cornyn and Hutchison for voting for massive off- budget spending to bailout criminal organizations like AIG.

 

Because, Cornyn and Hutchison both used political-career extortion against the new US Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, Sarah R. Saldaña, to obtain assurances that she would selectively not prosecute their bankster cronies, it is clear that the last line of defense against these crimes are citizen grand jurors investigating the banksters and the politician who aided and abetted the banksters in their crimes as quid pro quo for their political careers.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Hey, what words are we prohibited from using on this new verkukteh commenting system?

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

It was distorted by republican trash as usual. President Obama was referring to bridges and roads that were built by the community and his point was that all businesses profit from community input.

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

Grow up, this is how the game is played by both sides.   The issue is most simply buy into whatever side they already support to reinforce their belief system.  There is little if any critical thinking involved.  Maybe this is why independents are disgusted by both parties and the process in general.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

If this is the best all the King's horses and all the King's men can do to put Humpty Dumpty's silver-tongued oratory together again, they might as well cut to the chase and argue that accurately quoting President Obama is racist. The obvious interpretation sticks because it fits with the reality of the last three-and-a-half years – that America's chief executive is a man entirely ignorant of business who presides over an administration profoundly hostile to it. - Obama's Policies Have Built Stasis & Sclerosis - Mark Steyn, OC Register

LoneStranger
LoneStranger

If you think the Morning News is a Republican tool now, you should have read the paper a few days before President Kennedy came to Dallas!  Full of hate!

MisterMean
MisterMean

Every time I have contacted my so called senatorial representative he has sent back a letter that fails to address my points. And in some cases it feels like he is purposefully trying to insult me.    It is like he (or his staff) never read it.    I recall a news report stating that most members of congress are at a 8th to 10th grade reading level.  He is a poster child for term limits.  A true “Tal-i-ban-Repub-li-can” and would probably be happier over in some middle eastern country where they are intellectually back in the middle ages.

JanePhillips
JanePhillips

Schutze, please stick with local politics and leave you obummer love at home.

stephenb51
stephenb51

Right on as usual Jim. DMN=whore.

booCornyn
booCornyn

...screw Cornyn and the horse he rode in (backwards) on...

morrainepeak
morrainepeak

Sarah Saldana is an Obama appointee and the DOJ enjoys almost  complete autonomy from the  congress/senate in these matters .  Unless you are inferring that the current US Attys office is afraid of Cornyn or is inept (or corrupt), your comments make no sense.

morrainepeak
morrainepeak

"all businesses profit from community input"  Bridges and roads exist everywhere on the planet particularly in places where there is no capitalist small business or large business inherently such as North Korea which is totally state run, as I recall.  Furthermore one of the best community road builders was Herr Hitler whose autobahn in the 30s was a source of national pride but who did not provide a very accommodating environment for minority small or large businesses.  Your "argument" is ludicrous.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @holmantx fucking stupid and asinine comment.  Most of Obama's programs are Bush's programs.  There is so little difference it's idiotic for you to suggest such a difference.  Idiotic as someone who thinks pro-wrestling is real.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

 @holmantx Sorry, but I beg to differ from your alternative reality. Bush and the state-capitalist de-regulators put America's business economy in the toilet. If anything, Obama has bent too far backwards to pull the business sector's irons out of the fire for it.  What we really suffer from in America today is an utterly failed business leadership pulling us headlong into Third World second-class-power status. What we probably need is a more radical solution than what Obama and Geithner can offer. 

Albert
Albert

 @LoneStranger And then a Communist wannabe did the deed, but people still blame "right-wing Dallas".

Albert
Albert

 @pak152 

 

It's "compression". A literary device in which you steal another's idea and use it to stick your foot in your mouth.

 

 

Albert
Albert

 @MisterMean 

 

If the staff is purposefully trying to insult you, that probably means they read your letter. Just  a hunch..

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @MisterMean He's just full of shit and advocating for who pays him.  He knows he's full of shit.  He, I guess, deserves credit for looking like he believes the bullshit he states. 

morrainepeak
morrainepeak

 @stephenb51 It seems to me that Schutze's former colleague and boss man Robt. Wilonsky recently jumped the good ship DO to work for the "whorish" DMN.  Does that make him a whore-house employee?

UnCoverUp
UnCoverUp

 @morrainepeak You are correct that Saldana was appointed by the Obama Administration, but only after Cornyn's and Hutchison's lawbyer cronies, who make their money, as these senators once did, serving criminal enterprises like AIG gave their OK for her confirmation by the US Senate. Cornyn and Hutchison are similarly responsible to confirming the spineless lawbyers employed as federal judges in Texas at exorbitant expense to taxpayers.

 

It remains clear that the last lines of defense against crimes by politically connected banksters, and the prosecutors, senators and judges who have aided and abetted these crimes are citizen grand juries.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

 @morrainepeak You make absolutely no sense, and what in the hell does HitIer and North Korea have to do with my comment?

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

 @JimSX 70 congressmen and 19 state legislatures flipped from blue to red in 2010 by the TEA Party movement and that was a start.  We won't get bipartisanship and sufficient horsepower to tractor ourselves out of this until the rest of this Radical Left dead-enders are ejected from Congress and the Executive Branch and you know it.

 

These Leftists fluked into power, went nuts because they knew they only had one shot, martyered themselves on redistribution instead of the economy, and their fifteen minutes are now just about up.

 

Last Friday's gaffe was but a symptom of a wounded and very dangerous animal.  It's scorched earth time and I for one say . . . bring it on.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

 @scottindallas Maybe you should come over for dinner.  My neighbor, Mrs. Shpilkes is bringing over her to die for gedempte flanken.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

 @scottindallas Calm down and have a nice cheese blintz, Scotty...  [Mrs. Katz hands Scotty the delicious confection with a cup of coffee].

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz I suppose your reading comprehension is the problem.  You confuse those with that.  Plural versus singular. 

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz he said, you didn't build "that"  That sounds like he's referring to the business, but he was referring to bridges and roads, THOSE, not THAT

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @holmantx That's a bit premature too.  You know the difference between utilities and free markets, the tea party and the GOP evidently don't know the difference.  Sadly, the Dems fail to articulate the difference either.  Again, the GOP assailed Obama for the car bailout, which was Bush's program.  Everyone lied about it, the Dems and the GOP.  Politics is intellectual fraud, when you take it seriously, you make a fool of yourself,(if you ain't getting paid to care)

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @Albert The secret service officers said that they were commanded to stand down, and also said they were caught in a crossfire. 

morrainepeak
morrainepeak

"CIA did it"... under a Democrat administration

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