A long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away, Howard Fineman may have been a fine reporter. But for the last 15-20 years, he has been one of the worst GOP suck-ups in the American corporate media.
Fineman specializes in the loathesome art of being a beltway insider who talks about the conventional wisdom of beltway insiders as though it were reflective of the country as a whole.
Consider the following exchange:
HOWARD FINEMAN: It tells you that the president’s in a dangerous position and if the Democrats want to demagogue it, they’re going to be able to.
So sophisticated, so detached. But, in reality, it’s just another way of saying that the Democrats, whose position reflects the opinion of the majority of the American people, and a plurality of the GOP, cannot fight for that position without resorting to rank partisanship.
I hate Fineman, so his latest article is a refreshing surprise. He still resorts to his condescending and cynical analysis, but he absolutely eviscerates Bush while doing so. This indicates that the worm has turned.
Let’s start with the headline:
Bush’s implicit message to GOP: Stay course, call Democrats appeasers
Sounds like something I would write. What’s going on? Here’s how he summed up the President’s speech:
We’ve been saying this for three years. Fineman spent those three years running interference for Bush on Imus and Hardball. Now, he’s turned his guns in the other direction. Check this out:
On the surface, this is an easy argument to make fun of. If Iraq risks becoming a failed state, critics say, it’s because we blew it to smithereens in the process of removing Saddam & Co. Our justification for staying now is that we went there to begin with.
And if you think that is bad, check this out:
We have to remake the Middle East, not turn into it.
Ouch!! He just compared Bush to Saddam, and accused Bush of turning American into the Middle East. What’s gotten into Fineman?
To be sure, Fineman is careful to say:
I’m struggling to answer these questions. It’s too easy to see in withdrawal some panacea that will solve all the problems the invasion has caused. But it’s very significant that a GOP hack like Fineman has come out so harshly against the President’s speech. The implications of the speech were highly partisan and offensive. And Fineman was offended.