The obvious fairness of the Pioneer Press editorial endorsement of Pawlenty contrasts markedly with every endorsement the Star Tribune editorial board makes. The Strib is a relentless, belligerent, bullying organ of Democratic liberalism. Without fail it supports the leftwardmost viable candidate (here I am borrowing William Buckley’s classic formulation) for every office, including nonpartisan offices. If I were the publisher of the Strib and controlled its editorial board, I would order it to do roughly the obverse of what the Strib does and support the rightwardmost viable candidate for every office, with the exception of certain nonpartisan offices.
The truly galling thing about the Star Tribune editorial board and its endorsements is their sheer dishonesty. They hold themselves out as a kind of neutral arbiter and voice of reason, impartially weighing the merits of candidates regardless of party. Monday’s Star Tribune editorial endorsement of the Independence Party candidate for state auditor is classic in its dishonesty. As both Arne Carlson and Mark Dayton have proved, the state auditor position can be a great springboard to higher office. The Democratic candidate for this office, however, is a complete cipher with no chance of winning. The Republican candidate, Eagan Mayor Pat Awada, is a bright, attractive, articulate conservative who has the potential of using the office as Carlson and Dayton did. The Star Tribune has therefore discovered almost Periclean virtues in the Independence Party candidate that elicit the Strib’s endorsement. If you know the folks involved, the editorial is almost funny: “Hatch, Hutcheson get our [Olympian] nod.”
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