Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Times Disses Europe

The New York Times takes note of the severity of Europe's crises and calls the continent "leaderless." Sarkozy is damned with faint praise: "In a welcome concession to reality, France’s president, Nicolas Sarkozy, announced that French banks are now prepared to “voluntarily” extend the maturity of some Greek debt." Without minimizing the seriousness of Europe's multiple crises, I find it a bit rich that the Times, speaking with disembodied majesty as if representing the interests not only of the US but of the "world" or "global community," lectures Europe at a time when the US political system is not only in near paralysis but is threatened with disintegration because one of its two major parties refuses to concede anything to reality. If the Times really wanted to contribute to the reality-based community, it would be admonishing the Republicans to raise the debt limit as required by the Constitution that "constitutional conservatives" claim to favor. Amendment 14, sec. 4, of that document reads:

Section 4.
The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. 
The Times should clean its own house first.


GORBY said...

I understand your reaction to the Times, especially the posing and high dudgeon. But does this mean the Times is never allowed to make comments about Europe? It's not as if the Times is soft on the Republicans in its editorial pages. At what point would it be acceptable for the Times to make the - reasonable - observation that Europe is rudderless, and its political class suffering from a serious crisis of will and direction?

Arthur Goldhammer said...

Yes, Gorby, you're right. I was reacting to the annoying tone. On the substance, I largely agree.