ROLDO: Does PD Plan Nod to Brown, Knife to Obama?

By Roldo Bartimole

I fear that the Pee Dee will pull one of its silly editorial tricks come November.

Here’s what I sense. Hope it’s wrong but…

The PD boldly will endorse Sen. Sherrod Brown for the U. S. Senate. A Democrat over Republican. Josh Mandel, Brown’s opponent, has been shooting himself in the foot. The Pee Dee has been taking note of these self-inflicted wounds.

So it’s an easy choice for the PD to go with Brown.

That leaves the decision for President of the United States.

Well, having shown itself as willing to nominate a Democrat, I figure the editorial board (which is a misnomer for “the boss” Terry Egger) will nominate Mitt the Romney for President. Making Republicans (and Kevin O’Brien) happy.

I really think that something has to be done about this. Not after but before the nominations for President.

I believe the Plain Dealer management should know there are people here so angry at the thought of another editorial betrayal that like decision – like the silly ones of the past – will deserve retribution. After all, this is Democratic county.

The paper did endorse Obama in 2008. It has endorsed Romney in the 2012 GOP primary. It drew criticism for that from one blogger who noted that the paper’s editorial board needs “to be administered a drug test.” Maybe just a sanity test.

You may remember the debacle in 2004 after the board choose John Kerry as its Presidential endorsee. Oh, wait. Publisher Alex Machaskee then ordered it changed to the other guy – George Bush. After some internal wrangling, the PD choose the silliest way out.

The paper punted. It didn’t endorse anyone. It made a fool of the paper nationally.

So it has that absurd endorsement record.

The PD is at its financial knees these days. The owner – the Newhouse family via Advance Publications – has already shown at the New Orleans Picayune that it will cut circulation to several days a week to save money. Some feel that the PD, a Newhouse paper, could be next.

Staff members are in dread fear that this is their future. Many, if not most, are looking for other work places, other careers. Good luck.

It is time to let the PD management know that people are ready to dump their subscriptions if the PD intends to play the game again.

An endorsement of Romney would not change many votes. Yet in an election predicted to be a squeaker in Ohio – a state that could easily make the difference between win and loss of the office – a change of a small number of votes could result in President Mitt Romney. A dreadful thought.

It would mean for starts the possible end of the Affordable Care Act (i.e., Obamacare), damaging to millions of people and their health care.

Such a Republican victory, in my view, would not only mean the end of new health care for millions, but enough of a victory for Republicans that they will believe they have public support to go further.

This is a right-wing surge election. Don’t allow anyone to tell you differently.

These fascist-trending Republicans would like nothing better than dumping Medicare. It is the right-wing’s dream to slice away, even destroy, Medicare. And Social Security would be next.

That would mean we all would be servants of the upper class and the greatest victory ever imagined by those who control the strings of power.

That’s the real meaning of this election. That’s the real meaning of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Citizens United. The Court – dominated by the five ultra-right conservatives – voted a toilet flush of Democrats by opening the floodgates of cash from ultra-wealthy donors. Combined with Republican sabotage via refusal to allow any real legislation to fight our depression, they thus killed progress on new jobs. They have planned this for quite a while.

The vote-buying by multi-millionaires and billionaires has to be the most disturbing event in all American history. It simply cannot stand. It requires a full Democratic Congress, despite the weakness Dems have shown certainly since Bill Clinton won the Presidency.

Frankly this election should be a replay of the 1964 when President Lyndon Johnson ran away with the election against a right-wing challenge by the GOP candidate (“extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice”) Barry Goldwater. Big difference from 1964 is the Republican-damaged economy has made Democrats impotent. One must add the fact that Barack Obama is black in a nation not relieved of racism. That makes all the difference. Unfortunately.


Roldo Bartimole has been reporting since 1959. He came to Cleveland in 1965 to report for the Plain Dealer where he worked twice in the 1960s, left for the Wall Street Journal in 1967. He started publishing his newsletter Point of View in 1968 and ended it in 2000. In 1991 he was awarded the Second Annual Joe Callaway Award for Civic Courage in Washington, D.C. He received the Distinguished Service Award of the Society of Professional Journalists, Cleveland chapter, in 2002, and was named to the Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame, 2004. [Photo by Todd Bartimole.]


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