Reinhard seemed to exist on the pages of the Oregonian for one reason only- to maintain, along with liberal columnist David Sarasohn, the faux sense of balance so popular among the media these days. A balance, I might add, that tries to level right wing fantasy with center left moderation. To this end Reinhard excelled at his job- peppering his column with easily dis proven lies both big and small.
So it was with cautious optimism that I greeted the announcement just before the end of the year that Reinhard was retiring his column. Surely this action signaled a recognition by the Oregonian that the country, and their metro readership, had grown tired of the right-wing pablum that has poisoned the public discourse over the course of the last few years. The paper would have to acknowledge that the America of Barack Obama would be vastly different than the American of George W. Bush.
Unfortunately, when faced with these new realities the Oregonian opted instead to paint the pig. They hired "independent" and "center-right" columnist Elizabeth Hovde to fill Reinhard's two right shoes. She begins with the paint--
Like many people in this great, green, soggy region of independents, I am not partisan. Subscribing to the platform of just one political party feels as awkward as dressing up for church in Portland, a city where many pastors preach in jeans.
She's just a regular Tom McCall. Only less partisan.
How does she define this independent, non-partisan POV of hers?
I am conservative, however. I'm pro-life. I am anti-bailouts. I think unions are outdated, overly political and that every state should have a right-to-work law ending compulsory unionism. I oppose Oregon's Death With Dignity Act; I oppose even calling it the "Death With Dignity" Act. I am skeptical of some of Portland's Smart Growth policies and believe they've helped create massive sprawl just across the river.
She is anti-woman, anti-union, anti-land use and anti-personal/ regional responsibility.
I worry that many public schools teach sex education in ways that undermine parents. It's maddening to me that minors can't get tattoos in Oregon but they can receive abortions without a parent's knowledge, care or guidance. I grow weary of government safety nets that not only comfort those in true need but also become hammocks for those with an ability to be self-sufficient.
She believes strongly that one should keep one's head firmly up one's ass when dealing with the realities of teen pregnancy. She further believes that it would be better for the poor to die and decrease the surplus population.
I believe government's job is to support an equality of opportunity rather than an equality of outcome. That's why President-elect Barack Obama's talk about being your brother's keeper scares me silly, and his cradle-to-grave vision for education makes me clutch my wallet. At the same time, I feel hopeful when he speaks and am glad he's rejuvenated so many Americans.
She thinks Obama is a socialist and taxes are teh bad.
I supported the Iraq invasion in 2003. Heck, I even voted for George W. Bush -- twice.
This speaks for itself.
It's ridiculous that the Oregonian would replace one intellectually lazy, conservative dimwit who wears their stupidity like a badge of honor with another who shares 99% of the same views but calls herself an "independent" and then try and pass that off as change. It's more of the same and it's an insult to their mostly center-left readership which they continue to refuse to cater to.
I used to be sad at the prospect of traditional print newspapers going the way of the dodo. Not anymore. It's become clearer and clearer that they have no one to blame but themselves for their situation. They treat their customers like morons and then are surprised when their customers start looking to alternate outlets of information, most notably the Internet, to get their news. Feigning surprise at this turn of events just makes them all the more pathetic.