Maintaining Optimism in the Face of Reality. Occasional observations on the state of the world, society, business and politics. Usually anchored by facts, always augmented by opinion.

I'd Expect Better from the WSJ  | e-mail post

Normally when I read the Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal e-mail I am at least moderately entertained. Few legitimate newspapers would go so far in wearing their political leanings on their sleeves. In fact, it could be argued that the Opinion Journal update reads among the most partisan of any weblog, with headlines like "Dems Get Dumber Still" in their e-mail from yesterday.

Now, as most readers have probably surmised from my writing, I am right of center on the vast majority of political issues although I'm certainly left of the core Republican platform on a number of social issues. In any event, I think both the Journal and I have a largely economic basis for our political leanings, so I was really somewhat disappointed to read the following in the Opinion Journal e-mail from yesterday (on the web here):
Edwards: Kerry Isn't French Enough!
The other day John Edwards showed up in his native South Carolina, a state Kedwards have zero probability of carrying in November. There, according to the Columbia State, he decried "outsourcing" and said, "Here's what would be good for the American economy--to outsource George W. Bush."

Huh? As we understand it, to "outsource" someone means to give his job to a foreigner. Edwards is a lawyer; doesn't he realize it would be unconstitutional to "outsource George W. Bush"?

Set aside for a moment the fact that it only lowers the debate to take issue with a rhetorical flourish; I'll throw in my own "huh?" on other grounds. As I understand it, the WSJ is supposed to be (or fancies itself?) the premier business newspaper in the U.S., if not the world. Also, as I understand it "outsource" is different from "offshore" (and since I've run an IT services company for 14 years, I think I know what I'm talking about on this one), although the WSJ writer seemed to have collapsed those definitions, thus ruining their joke for anyone who actually knows the difference. Outsourcing has been in vogue long before it was even practical to send so much non-manufacturing work overseas. I know the Journal mocks Kerry supporters for defending his ambivalence as "nuance," but this is a case where nuance might matter.

The WSJ missed an obvious possibility as well: Edwards may have simply been suggesting that the Presidency be outsourced to Halliburton in a no-bid contract. This might not be too bad, Cheney could return to the CEO spot at Halliburton and possibly bring in GWB as a consultant.

e-mail post | Link Cosmos | [Permalink]  |  | Saturday, September 25, 2004
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