Tuesday, September 18, 2007

"New Yorker" misrepresents New Yorkers

Less than a week after the sixth anniverary of 9/11, the Lawrence Journal-World allowed Elizabeth Black to express her views on the six years that have passed since that tragic day.

Black's piece, entitled "Many hearts still bear painful memories of 9/11," started out with her experience as a "New Yorker" on 9/11. It quickly degenerated into an anti-George W. Bush screed devoid of facts or reason. Unfortunately, this type of opinion piece has become increasingly common in the Journal-World.

Black, who was born in southwest Kansas, apparently believes her one summer in New York City makes her a New Yorker. And, as a "New Yorker," Black feels free to attack us yokels in Kansas and the rest of the Midwest, which Black labels a "Sea of Stupidity."

"The pain of that day is never more than a nanosecond away from every New Yorker," Black writes. "The rest of the country doesn’t really understand it. I’m sorry to say that, but it’s true. If the rest of the country understood how New Yorkers, and to a lesser extent Washingtonians, felt, they would never have allowed six years of nonsense to pass. They would never have re-elected a president who, when he couldn’t find Osama, lost interest and turned to go after someone easier to hit."

Black continued:

"For the most part, New York has given up on Middle America. As well they should. When the 2004 election results were tallied, a sea of solid red covered the vast middle of the country. The vote was a resounding affirmation for the Texas team that brought us the trillion-dollar invasion of Iraq, even after the facts were known — no WMD, no al-Qaida connection."

According to Black's interpretation of the 2004 presidential election, we voters in the Midwest were too unintelligent to recognize the nonsense peddled by Bush and Cheney. If we had, we, like New Yorkers, would have voted for John Kerry and the nation would have been spared four additional years of the corrupt team from Texas.

It's a nice narrative for the liberals at the Journal-World and their far-left readers. However, Black's opinion is contradicted by the facts.

In 2000, before 9/11 and Operation Iraqi Freedom, Bush received 35 perccent of the vote in the state of New York, while Al Gore received 60 percent and Ralph Nader received 4 percent. If Black is correct about New Yorkers, then Bush's percentage of the vote in New York should have dropped in the 2004 election. However, Bush received 40 percent of the vote to John Kerry's 58.4 percent of the vote. In other words, Bush picked up 5 percentage points in New York, while votes for the liberal candidate dropped by more than 5 percentage points.

Of course, Ms. Black might respond that she was referring to New York City and not the entire state of New York. According to the New York Sun, Bush received roughly 400,000 votes in New York City in 2000. However, in 2004, Bush received 543,000 votes in New York City, an increase of 35 percent. John Kerry received 9,000 fewer votes in New York City in 2004 than Al Gore received in 2000. Bush also won the New York City borough of Staten Island 57 percent to Kerry's 42 percent. Bush was the first GOP presidential candidate to win Staten Island since his father did so in 1992.

In Brooklyn, Bush's vote total grew from 96,000 in 2000 to 156,000 in 2004, an increase of 63 percent.

Now, let's look at Kansas. In 2000, Bush received 622,332 votes. In 2004, he received 736,456. This is an increase of just over 18 percent. That's an impressive improvement, but barely half the improvement Bush experienced in New York City. Using Black's ridiculous argument, it would be more accurate to say Kansas should have given up on New York City since so many more New Yorkers voted for Bush in 2004 than in 2000.

(Another fact that Black apparently missed: A check of the votes of blue states in 2000 vs. 2004 shows that Vermont was the only blue state in which a higher percentage of voters voted for the Democratic presidential candidate in 2004 over 2000. )

Black also noted that we should have made changes after 9/11. "We should have refused to burn the bloody oil our enemies sell us," she wrote.

By "we," Black apparently meant you and me. In a May 14, 2007, column in the Journal-World, Black noted that she decided to relocate in Lawrence after receiving a parking ticket. Turns out the ticket was placed on her car's windshield. I'm pretty certain that car needs oil to get from place to place.

Perhaps some time in the future, Black will take on New Yorkers for sending Hillary Clinton back to the U.S. Senate in 2006. After all, Hillary voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq. In addition, her husband's administration:

- Left office in January 2001 claiming Iraq had WMD and was a threat to the U.S.
- Said Iraq and al Qaeda were cooperating, especially on weapons production.
- Had eight years to get bin Laden and failed. In fact, after Clinton launched missiles at empty tents in Afghanistan and an aspirin factory in Sudan in August 1998, he launched a preemptive strike on Saddam in December 1998 and an illegal war of choice (if, as liberals claim, wars without the UN's imprimatur are illegal) in Kosovo during the spring of 1999.
- And, if we are to believe bin Laden (and I believe we should, just as we should have taken Hitler seriously when he wrote Mein Kampf), it was the Clinton administration's policies vis-a-vis Iraq that ultimately gave us 9/11 and other "messages with no words."

Which do you think is more likely? Black writing an opinion piece attacking New Yorkers for reelecting Hillary in 2006? Or Black voting for Hillary in 2008?

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