Conversations with the morning paper | Bleader

Conversations with the morning paper

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Notes on reading the Tuesday Tribune:

Is this bait-and-switch being played on the op-ed page? "Weeding out some of the GOP hopefuls," says the headline to the Dennis Byrne column, which turns out to be an exercise in flogging Barack Obama with the memory of Harry Truman. Key passage:

"Truman came out of nowhere, which isn't necessarily a qualification for the 2012 GOP nomination (witness Barack Obama). But Truman did represent the stereotypical Heartland quality of common sense (unlike Obama). I imagine Truman as president today, as opposed to the finely crafted Obama, and wonder how Truman would approach today's 'Great Recession.' All the dithering going on in Washington today, the transparent maneuvering for political advantage, at the expense of the commonweal, the airy notion that the nation can spend money it doesn't have without consequences..."

Language like "finely crafted" and "airy" signifies something without naming it. Some sort of preciosity, I guess, hard to put into words. But here's an example! It's the sort of fancy-pantsism that tries to speak for the Heartland but can't resist a $9.99 word like commonweal.

And here's Philip Hersh in the sports section observing that "one could make a case for Amonte Hiller as the best coach of any college or professional team in Illinois." Given that Kelly Amonte Hiller's Northwestern women's lacrosse team has won six national championships in the past seven years, I'd say one hell of a case can be made. It would be open-and-shut except that so few schools play lacrosse, and so many fewer play it well, that Maryland not only went to the finals of both men's and women's lacrosse (losing both matches) but in each case beat Duke to get there.

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