In One Eye

Sunday, September 18, 2005
Since the New York Times will begin to assess fees for reading its op-ed writers on the Web starting tomorrow, this would appear to be the last ime I'll be able to read the sagacity of Frank Rich for nothing. I'll miss him to be sure, but I'm philosophically opposed to paying for Web content since the original premise of the Web was to share content quickly and freely.

Anyway, today Mr. Rich discusses Dear Leader's overweening attempts to demonstrate that he cares "about the black folks." As usual, it's initimable. His conclusion:
It will be up to other Republicans in Washington to cut through the empty words and image-mongering to demand effective action from Mr. Bush on the Gulf Coast and in Iraq, if only because their own political lives are at stake. It's up to Democrats, though they show scant signs of realizing it, to step into the vacuum and propose an alternative to a fiscally disastrous conservatism that prizes pork over compassion. If the era of Great Society big government is over, the era of big government for special interests is proving a fiasco. Especially when it's presided over by a self-styled C.E.O. with a consistent three-decade record of running private and public enterprises alike into a ditch.

What comes next? Having turned the page on Mr. Bush, the country hungers for a vision that is something other than either liberal boilerplate or Rovian stagecraft. At this point, merely plain old competence, integrity and heart might do.
For decades, Mr. Rich himself has demonstrated competence, integrity and heart. I'll sorely miss those qualities as the Times joins the rest of the oligarchs in valuing profits over principle.