The New York Times‘ endorsement for the Democratic Primary is historic.
It shuns the political class as we’ve known it, and tacks to the hard left on a number of policy issues.
This is the most important newspaper on the establishment-left giving two cheers for socialism.
Conservatives don’t typically care about newspaper endorsements. Mostly because we rarely ever get them.
But for the left the endorsement of the New York Times is the holy grail of campaign hat-tips.
In endorsing two candidates, the Gray Lady has admitted there is not one clear stand out in the Democratic field.
In endorsing two women, the paper’s editorial board is licking its wounds over Hillary Clinton’s loss.
The choices: Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar may seem some way apart.
The Times is clearly trying to unite the hard left of the party, increasingly represented by Warren, and the more “moderate” wing which Klobuchar could ostensibly bring along.
The message is: “Please, run as a ticket, and leave Biden and Bloomberg in the party’s past” (not to mention Bernie, who gets a rough ride for his dogmatic approach, too):
The Times tacks left, stating:
At the dawn of 2020, some of the most compelling ideas are not emerging from the center, but from the left wing of the Democratic Party. That’s a testament to the effectiveness of the case that Bernie Sanders and Senator Warren have made about what ails the country. We worry about ideological rigidity and overreach, and we’d certainly push back on specific policy proposals, like nationalizing health insurance or decriminalizing the border. But we are also struck by how much more effectively their messages have matched the moment.
The editorial board stops short of endorsing full European-style socialism with EU-style open borders, but the massive leftward leap all but assures such a position in 2024.
In part, the double-endorsement is symptomatic of the left’s insecurity; the dualism of the Democrat Party.
It’s an attempt to hold together an entity ostensibly led by Nancy Pelosi, but with a keen eye on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
‘PASS THE TORCH’.
While the NYT’s 3000-word endorsement grants honorable mentions to also-rans and still-runnings like Andrew Yang, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, and others, there is a notable absence: Eric Swalwell.
Swalwell was hardly ever going to rise to the fore, with his politically toxic mix of inexperience, smugness, and his penchant for particularly poor puns.
The reason his name being missing is curious, however, is because the New York Times saw fit to crib the best moment from his campaign, from the debate stage in Miami on June 27th 2019.
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At the time, Swalwell uttered one of the first attacks on frontrunner Joe Biden:
“I was 6 years old when a presidential candidate came to the California Democratic convention and said it’s time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans. That candidate was then-Sen. Joe Biden.
“He was right when he said that 32 years ago. He is still right today. If we are going to solve the issue, pass the torch. If we are going to solve climate chaos, pass the torch. If we want to end gun violence and solve student debt, pass the torch.”
Swalwell, therefore, may feel chagrinned at being left out of the New York Times article given its focus on “passing the torch”.
In what seems like a “your powers are weak, old man” attack on still-frontrunner Biden, the editorial board declares:
“Mr. Biden maintains a lead in national polls, but that may be a measure of familiarity as much as voter intention. His central pitch to voters is that he can beat Donald Trump. His agenda tinkers at the edges of issues like health care and climate, and he emphasizes returning the country to where things were before the Trump era. But merely restoring the status quo will not get America where it needs to go as a society. What’s more, Mr. Biden is 77. It is time for him to pass the torch to a new generation of political leaders.”
BLUDGEONING BLOOMBERG AND BERNIE.
No endorsement could come without a bit of bloodletting , either.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg – despite spending hundreds of millions securing the Speakership for Nancy Pelosi in 2018 – attracts some of the most wince-inducing ire of the NYT editorial board, who effectively admit to blasting him over his refusal to sit before them as an auditioning committee like every other major candidate did:
“…Mr. Bloomberg’s current campaign approach reveals more about America’s broken system than his likelihood of fixing it. Rather than build support through his ideas and experience, Mr. Bloomberg has spent at least $217 million to date to circumvent the hard, uncomfortable work of actual campaigning. He’s also avoided difficult questions — going so far as to bar his own news organization from investigating him, and declining to meet with The Times’s editorial board under the pretext that he didn’t yet have positions on enough issues. What’s worse, Mr. Bloomberg refuses to allow several women with whom he has nondisclosure settlements to speak freely.”
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Bernie Sanders doesn’t fare much better.
The board attacks the Senator from Vermont over his health, calling it a “serious concern”, before hitting him over his dogmatic approach to policymaking:
“He boasts that compromise is anathema to him. Only his prescriptions can be the right ones, even though most are overly rigid, untested and divisive. He promises that once in office, a groundswell of support will emerge to push through his agenda. Three years into the Trump administration, we see little advantage to exchanging one over-promising, divisive figure in Washington for another.”
A comparison to the Commander-in-Chief they call a “white nativist” – Mr. Trump – at the beginning of their article is the most heinous of body blows as far as the New York Times is concerned.
While the double-endorsement which eye-rollingly ends, “May the best woman win” certainly urges the Democrats to tack left, it does so in a manner befitting one of the dreariest publications in the Western world: boringly.
Instead of celebrating these candidates, we’re urged to tolerate them.
Nowhere is this more clear than in their “endorsement” of Klobuchar, which concludes:
“Reports of how Senator Klobuchar treats her staff give us pause. They raise serious questions about her ability to attract and hire talented people… Ms. Klobuchar doesn’t have the polished veneer and smooth delivery that comes from a lifetime spent in the national spotlight, and she has struggled to gain traction on the campaign trail.”
With friends like the New York Times, who needs enemies?
Nevertheless the NYT board’s endorsement is historic. Not because it is for two people, nor because it is for two women (that actually lessens the impact for either of these women).
The article is one that will be studied in decades to come, as the moment the liberal-left establishment effectively laid down its arms against the radical, populist, hard left barbarians at their gates.
It may as well as opened, “Over to you, AOC”.
Raheem Kassam is the Editor in Chief of the National Pulse and co-host of the War Room: Impeachment podcast. The author of two bestselling books – Enoch Was Right and No Go Zones – Kassam was the former senior advisor to Brexit leader Nigel Farage, and is a Lincoln Fellow at the Claremont Institute, a fellow at the Bow Group think tank, and serves on the academic advisory board of the Institut des sciences sociales, économiques et politiques in Lyon, France. Kassam is based in Washington, D.C.