[i]The Economist[/i] endorses Kerry!

Discussion in 'Elections' started by bojendyk, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. bojendyk

    bojendyk New Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    South Loop, Chicago
    I saw that Skipshady mentioned this elsewhere, but this is too big to be buried in another thread. The Economist, which is conservative, as well all know, decided that they aren't endorsing Bush this year.

    http://www.economist.com/opinion/displayStory.cfm?story_id=3329802


    Their endorsement of Kerry is by no means enthusiastic, but it says a lot that what I'm pretty sure is the best-selling* conservative magazine in the US endorses Kerry.

    *According to the endorsement, The Economist sells 450,000 copies in the US alone; the most recent stats I could find for The American Propsect, The Weekly Standard, and The National Review (from 2002) were 47,000, 65,000, and 160,000, respectively.
     
  2. skipshady

    skipshady New Member

    Apr 26, 2001
    Orchard St, NYC
    Yeah, I'm not shocked - The Economist is conservative, but never partisan - but this is definitely a curveball. They've always taken the "We're not comfortable with the secrets and lies, but those concerns are overstated and we like Bush" approach.
     
  3. mbar

    mbar Member+

    Apr 30, 1999
    Los Angeles, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Their endorsement is a great read.

    It's not particularly shocking , however. The Economist is conservative in the UK but that only puts you smack dab in the middle of the US political spectrum.

    Mike
     
  4. skipshady

    skipshady New Member

    Apr 26, 2001
    Orchard St, NYC
    That surprised me a bit. US readers account for 45% of the worldwide total - then again, maybe it's not all that surprising since you can get the mag at any Barnes & Noble.
     
  5. nicephoras

    nicephoras A very stable genius

    Fucklechester Rangers
    Jul 22, 2001
    Eastern Seaboard of Yo! Semite
    I love the Economist. It reflects my thinking relatively well, although I'm not as libertarian, and as my Dad calls it, its more "European" - more meat in their stories. It really puts Newsweek to shame, let alone Time.
    This doesn't surprise me at all, as even Conservative stalwarts like the Financial Times have endorsed Kerry.
     
  6. Roel

    Roel Member

    Jan 15, 2000
    Santa Cruz mountains
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Netherlands
    This is big news, as the Economist is very prescient. They sifted through all the problems of the Bush administration (fiscal irresponsibility, arbitrary invasion of Iraq, Patriot Act, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, lack of management accountability, etc) and finds them unfit to lead.

    I've been subscribing to The Economist for almost 25 years. Their stories are big on facts and analysis, short on partisanship. They aren't quite as buttoned down as they first appear, and often show great wit. They cover regions of the world that most of the US press (except Knight-Ridder) tend to ignore.
     
  7. Matt in the Hat

    Matt in the Hat Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 21, 2002
    Brooklyn
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    YES!

    Thank you to the best magazine in the world that is not 4-4-2
     
  8. chad

    chad Member+

    Jun 24, 1999
    chicago
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    or hustler.

    i kid, i kid.
     
  9. GRUNT

    GRUNT Member

    Feb 27, 2001
    Lake Oswego, OR
    Club:
    Portland Timbers
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This is big, IMO, because it appeals not so much to partisan sheep as to critical thinking moderates, many of whom will not blindly follow their party. The sheep are perpetually lost, but hopefully this article helps moderate Reps shake off their incredulity, and let their brains lead the way.

    However, I am very disappointed the Economist would explicily state the Iraq War was "not a mistake", only that the conduct has been faulty. One would think those at the Economist understand the concept of opportunity cost.
     
  10. ratdog

    ratdog Member+

    Mar 22, 2004
    In the doghouse
    Club:
    Chicago Red Stars
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    They're center-right in American terms. After all, they did recently eulogize Reagan on their cover as "the man who beat communism" even though they know better.

    It seems that the U.S. and foreign press have largely figured out that they'd rather have a lacklustre center-right Dem in office than a divisive far-right extremist, especially a dangerously incompetent divisive far-right extremist.
     
  11. skipshady

    skipshady New Member

    Apr 26, 2001
    Orchard St, NYC
    This was my favorite part:
     
  12. nicephoras

    nicephoras A very stable genius

    Fucklechester Rangers
    Jul 22, 2001
    Eastern Seaboard of Yo! Semite
    Precisely. What's great about a Kerry victory? [Stockdale]GRIDLOCK!!!![/Stockdale]
     
  13. Matt Clark

    Matt Clark Member

    Dec 19, 1999
    Liverpool
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Actually, The Economist isn't that conservative by UK standards, either. It's certainly no Spectator.

    As others have mentioned, it distinguishes itself primarily by being ideologically neutral on most issues (certainly, any that do not impinge upon its central creed of free-market economics as the only proper way to run the world). In many instances, it is markedly liberal.

    It's also not that surprising that they have endorsed Kerry. By any objective standard, Bush has failed more or less every test an observer such as The Economist would set. And given that the magazine is so committed to eschewing ideological sentiment in favour of pragmatic, rational appraisal, their only likely conclusion was always going to be that the guy that ain't doing the business needs to give way to the guy that might manage it in his stead.
     
  14. Mel Brennan

    Mel Brennan PLANITARCHIS' BANE

    Paris Saint Germain
    United States
    Apr 8, 2002
    Baltimore
    Club:
    Paris Saint Germain FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    So if the FT and Economist are endorsing Kerry, who's endorsing George, and will it matter in the end?
     
  15. Matt Clark

    Matt Clark Member

    Dec 19, 1999
    Liverpool
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
  16. gremista

    gremista New Member

    Jun 27, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary
    I believe "Bild" in Germany endorsed Bush. Rational was better the devil you know the the one you don't. They felt Kerry would be asking for troops that germany will not give, thus the potential to further damage the relationship between the US and Germany

    Will it matter in the end...probably not.
     
  17. Matt Clark

    Matt Clark Member

    Dec 19, 1999
    Liverpool
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    One of Bild's main commentator, Hugo MÜller-Vogg has endorsed Bush. Why Bush is the better President (in German, obviously)

    He lists 10 reasons why Bush should be elected for a second term in office. My favourite is number five, in which he argues that Bush has learnt that you must work with the international community in order to prosper and he will make this the focus of his second term.

    And yes, he says that Kerry would ask for German troops and therefore further damage relationships between the two countries.
     
  18. gremista

    gremista New Member

    Jun 27, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary
    Didn't realise it was one of their commentators

    Just read a headline in a Hungarian paper, and trust me, my Hungarian is pretty damn weak

    Thanks for the clarification
     
  19. Karl K

    Karl K Member

    Oct 25, 1999
    Suburban Chicago
    This is an OK piece that summarizes many of the key arguments for and against both candidates.

    However, I strongly disagree that

    The biggest mistake, though, was one that will haunt America for years to come. It lay in dealing with prisoners-of-war by sending hundreds of them to the American base at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba, putting them in a legal limbo, outside the Geneva conventions and outside America's own legal system.

    Biggest mistake?? There were many many other mistakes made by the Bush team far larger than this one. This is a "classic" liberal European view, that turns its eye away from stuff like the oil for food scandal, and the exchanging of economic bodily fluids with Saddam and the Iranian mullahs, and instead worries about whether WE are violating the civil rights of "combatants."

    Oh well.

    But overall, well reasoned. Note the "damning with faint praise" lines about Kerry in this piece --


    John Kerry, who often seems to have made up his mind conclusively about something only once, and that was 30 years ago.

    What is more disconcerting, however, is the way those positions have oscillated, even as the facts behind them have stayed the same. In the American system, given Congress's substantial role, presidents should primarily be chosen for their character, their qualities of leadership, for how they might be expected to deal with the crises that may confront them, abroad or at home. Oscillation, even during an election campaign, is a worrying sign.

    His oscillations this year imply that he is more of a ruthless opportunist.

    John Kerry says the war was a mistake, which is unfortunate if he is to be commander-in-chief of the soldiers charged with fighting it. But his plan for the next phase in Iraq is identical to Mr Bush's, which speaks well of his judgment.
     
  20. Matt Clark

    Matt Clark Member

    Dec 19, 1999
    Liverpool
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Don't get me wrong - that may well have served as the paper's official line on the matter. It's not a leader, but that doesn't mean it's not their basic position.
     
  21. Matt Clark

    Matt Clark Member

    Dec 19, 1999
    Liverpool
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    That's because you, unlike The Economist and most other intelligent life on this planet, lack the ability to comprehend the specific contradiction inherant in going to war in defence of an assumed set of values and then doing nothing to protect and much to damage those values through negligence, indifference and callous self-interest.

    To, in short, pay lip service to a set of values that underpin your assumed (and fallacious) moral superiority in a given scenario even as your actions within that scenario paint you a hollow, empty liar.
     
  22. skipshady

    skipshady New Member

    Apr 26, 2001
    Orchard St, NYC
    You're missing the point here.

    The biggest tragedy in the prison abuse scandals and handling of POWs wasn't whether international law was violated. Rather, it's about the credibility of the US and the Middle East campaign.

    The Middle East was always skeptical of the US and was always going to scrutinize the US, especially when the stated mission was bringing democracy and the rule of law to the Middle East. So if there is even an appearance of impropriety, it damages the mission's crediblity. And when there is a disconnect between rhetoric and practice, as was the case here, it hurts more than helps the US campaign.
     
  23. Mel Brennan

    Mel Brennan PLANITARCHIS' BANE

    Paris Saint Germain
    United States
    Apr 8, 2002
    Baltimore
    Club:
    Paris Saint Germain FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This is who you are; a so-called adult who berates the "classic" view that one calls to task the self to have the moral context to call to task the other.

    You want...what, exactly? To cast a, from your POV, clear eye on "stuff like the oil for food scandal, and the exchanging of economic bodily fluids with Saddam and the Iranian mullahs," and thus...what?

    Will somehow understanding those sh!tty truths about the world make our acts, our lawless (not illegal, but sans legality, a space of interpretation that BushCorp hoped would allow them the space to do whatever but what will in fact encompass the doom of their ideologies for decades to come) framing of the crimes of terror in the establishment of Gitmo and Abu G. okay?

    This is "classic" Keller thinking, and it's just like BushCorp: the ends justifies the means for us, even though that's the same mode of being in the world as those who wage terror.

    For us, the MEANS HAVE TO MATTER. Either we are bound by the rule of law as a civilization (which can only be demonstrated when that commitment is TESTED, like the post 9/11 environ) or we contribute to barbarism by example.

    The above quote demonstrates with whom you stand. Let the cyberspatial record forever demonstrate that.
     
  24. Karl K

    Karl K Member

    Oct 25, 1999
    Suburban Chicago
    This is the typical argument that is reheased constantly, and you know what?

    It's crap.

    It's silly to get involved in these kinds of moral calculi. The US will always lose if it engages in these kinds of rhetorical battles, because we are not perfect.

    The only way we can avoid "mistakes" that generate this sort of attitude is to (1) be perfect and (2) be totally isolationist in every respect. #2 I think is what Kerry ("let's get back to where terrorists are a nuisance") and much of the left would really like to return to.

    Now, don't get me wrong; I certainly don't condone Abu Ghuraib, and as far as Guantanamo is concerned, well, that whole situation is a lot more complicated and a lot grayer than most folks would care to comprehend.

    I say it again, the Bush team has made far worse mistakes (and I would couch that word with a lot of caveats in the case of Guantanomo) than this one. I would trade three of Paul Bremer's REALLY bad decisions for another Abu Ghuraib. There'd be fewer dead people.

    The problem with this "classic" European view is that it always, and I mean ALWAYS, fails to take a balanced view. So when Europe takes US to task for what WE fail to do, and tries to paint US with the scarlet H (for...yes, you guessed it...hypocrisy)...well, that high-horse, "high-minded" huffiness has a degree of credibility that approaches absolute zero.

    Objectively speaking.
     
  25. mbar

    mbar Member+

    Apr 30, 1999
    Los Angeles, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I agree with you.

    I think Europeans in general feel very nervous about the evangelical christian aspect of modern republicanism.
     

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