On Knowing Your Base

ON KNOWING YOUR BASE….The idiotic kerfuffle of the day revolves around the New York Times’ rejection of an Iraq op-ed by John McCain even though they accepted and printed an op-ed by Barack Obama last week on the same subject. (Obama here, McCain here.) I don’t blame the wingers for trying to gin up some outrage over this — it’s pretty good base fodder, after all, and they’ve had a tough week — but Steve Benen explains in a nutshell why the Times accepted one piece and rejected the other:

Go ahead and read McCain’s submitted piece. It has 12 paragraphs — 11 of which attack Obama directly. Obama’s piece focused on Obama’s vision for a sensible U.S. policy towards Iraq. McCain’s submission was a hit-job, focused exclusively on attacking Obama. While Obama’s op-ed mentioned McCain three times, McCain’s op-ed mentioned Obama 10 times by name, and 17 times through pronouns.

That about covers it. I don’t really understand why the Times published Obama’s piece in the first place, since it was basically just a campaign position paper, but it’s a free country. If they want to publish campaign position papers, I guess they can do it. McCain, for his part, was offered a chance to do the same, and instead wrote a relentlessly negative hit piece on Obama — and then decided he’d get more mileage from whining about the liberal media rejecting it than he would from rewriting it and getting it printed. I guess he knows his base pretty well.

Still, I want to point out one piece of unalloyed good news to emerge from all this. On Hannity & Colmes last night, deranged megahawk John Bolton said he was so spitting mad over this affair that “I may never publish another op-ed in The New York Times after this.” Oh joyous day!