(This is the first of an occasional series highlighting Durham Herald Sun Editor Bob Ashley’s work.)
Bob ("Paxton Owner Man") Ashley edits the H-S on both the news and editorial sides.
The other day an Ashley editorial began:
The lesson of Karl Rove, who resigned his White House job this week, is that the qualities of an effective political strategist don't necessarily translate into effective governance.The editorial went on to slam President Bush as well as Rove.
If you're a "hot, hot" Leftist, you had to love the editorial.
But if you're an American who puts country before party, you'll recognize Ashley's editorial is one more example of why under his editorship the H-S has declined in quality, circulation and ad revenue.
Below in italics are “highlights” of the editorial followed by my comments in plain.
In the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, Rove ran Bush as "a uniter not a divider," but sadly, it turned out to be an empty slogan. In the waning months of the Bush administration, the country is more divided than ever.
America “more divided than ever?”
Quick! Someone tell Ashley about the Civil War.
Then let him know about the bitterness of the Reconstruction era.
Remind him he lived through the 60s when there were riots in many American cities, including Chicago during the ’68 Democratic National Convention.
Someone who really was a uniter would have taken advantage of the post 9/11 spirit of unity, both domestic and international.
President Bush did seek to build on the post 9/11 spirit of unity.
But then look at some of what happened.
Senator Hillary Clinton rushed to the Senate floor waving a tabloid headlined: BUSH KNEW.
Then she held the tabloid up and steady while press photographers got their shots.
Mind you, Senator Clinton assured us, she wasn’t doing any of that because she thought Bush knew in advance about 9/11. She was only asking because her constituents wanted to know.
Michael Moore didn’t have any doubts BUSH KNEW. He made "Fahrenheit 9/11" to prove it.
Moore's "Bush knew" claim has as much substance as the claim of extremists of an earlier generation that President Roosevel knew of the impending attack on Pearl Harbor and failed to act.
So what did the Democratic Party do in response to Moore and his docu-slime?
Well, first there was a high profile Fahrenheit 9/11 showing in Washington which many of the party's Congressional leades attended. They cheered and hugged Moore. Then they complained Bush was dividing America.
The Dems were so taken with Fahrenheit 9/11 they invited Moore to sit in their Honor Box at the 2004 Democratic National Convention with former President Jimmy Carter.
I’m sure many of you saw the scene on TV.
But with their misplaced focus on Iraq and their disdain for contrary opinions, Bush, Rove, Cheney and the rest missed the chance to create an FDR-like international coalition against Islamic extremism.
What "FDR-like international coalition" is Ashley talking about?
Our WW II allies?
FDR didn’t put that coalition together. The Axis did. It was Hitler who made Stalin and Churchill war allies. What's more, almost all of our WW II allies were in the fight before we joined it.
The post-war U. N.? Is that the "FDR-like international coalition" Ashley's talking about? FDR was a major contributor to its creation.
But the UN's failed to live up to its promise. It's riddled with corruption as the Oil for Food Program demonstrated. The people it benefits most are the relatives and friends of third world dictators who come to New York and live as millionaires.
This administration made other mistakes, but the war in Iraq is the raging elephant in the room.
At the time of the Korean War, President Truman’s decision to use military force was considered by most Americans to be a major mistake. Now it's considered one of his wisest and gutsiest actions.
We’ll see with Bush and Iraq. In the meantime, Ashley’s already made his judgement.
You can't pin the missteps in Iraq solely on Rove, although Michael Isikoff, writing in Newsweek, said that Rove's "behind-the-scenes role in the selling and spinning of the war was far more significant than is commonly known."
Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff?
Isn’t he the one who reported the bogus “Quran down the toilet” story that was followed by riots, arsons and murders by mobs in many Muslim countries?
Yes, Isikoff’s the one.
Well, folks, that's enough for now.
I’ll be back again highlighting Editor Bob Ashley’s work.