You can still find good stuff in the NYT

After a bunch of y’all piled on with me as I criticized The New York Times for that Haley piece, I felt a little bad for the Gray Lady. Especially since I know they do have good writing in the paper still. Or at least in the magazine. I enjoyed this passage from a piece by Andrew Ferguson of The Weekly Standard:

Gingrich’s inattention to detail is one reason his speakership was so chaotic, as readers of a certain age will recall, and the primary reason he was shunned by his own party after four years with the gavel. “Lessons Learned the Hard Way,” released months before his defenestration, is a more conventional memoir than anything else Gingrich has written, and it was supposed to serve as a mea culpa for his mistakes as Speaker, as well as a bid to regain the loyalty of members who had grown tired of his boyish exuberance. It didn’t work.

Admitting mistakes comes easily to no public man — as memoirs from figures like Bill Clinton and Donald Rumsfeld demonstrate — but in “Lessons Learned,” Gingrich gave it the old West Georgia College try. This didn’t work, either. There’s lots of mea in “Lessons Learned,” but the culpa is all on the other side.

Early in the book, he offers an account of the drafting of the Interstate Transportation Bill of 1997. Most readers, he admits, might think such a story uninteresting. “But in this case most readers would be wrong.” In fact, in this case most readers would be right. The point of the story, though, is that Gingrich handled the transportation bill pretty damn well. Indeed, he handled nearly all his duties pretty well — except for when he worked too hard or cared too deeply or thought too much or trusted too many of the wrong people.

I only shared that for the play on mea and culpa. Good stroke, that.

I also appreciated the next paragraph:

Democrats, for instance. One lesson Gingrich claimed to learn the hard way was, as a chapter title has it, “Don’t Underestimate the Liberals.” As speaker, Gingrich discovered that Republicans are too good for their own — um, good. “The difference between the well-thought-out, unending and no-holds-barred hostility of the left,” he wrote, “and the acquiescent, friendship-seeking nature of many of my Republican colleagues never ceases to amaze me.” Democrats flatter themselves with the mirror image of this fantasy, of course, pretending to be envious of the robotic efficiency of Republicans and the freedom of action allowed them by their utter lack of conscience or shame. Self-awareness is not listed in the catalog of traits required for faithful partisanship. About the true nature of their enemies, however, if about nothing else, professional Republicans and Democrats are both exactly right.

I like it when partisans are described just as they are.

One thought on “You can still find good stuff in the NYT

  1. bud

    Where’s the good writing part? This certainly isn’t it. Why continue to write about a washed up former speaker who isn’t even seriously in the running for POTUS any longer. Come on Brad, this is pretty thin subject matter for a great paper like the NY Times. I think you just place entirely too much stock on this partisan bashing obsession of yours.

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