As we say, not as we do: As a general matter, we haven't been fans of the New York Times editorial page under Andrew Rosenthal, who will soon be leaving his post.
We thought yesterday's featured editorial provided a good example of the "Rosenthal drift." Starting in its first paragraph, the editorial scolded North Carolina for its deeply regressive, restrictive voting law:
NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL (4/27/16): Late Monday, a federal district judge upheld one of the most regressive and restrictive voting laws in the country—a 2013 North Carolina law that eliminated same-day voter registration and preregistration for 16- and 17-year-olds; cut back on early voting by a week; barred counting votes cast outside voters’ home precincts; and required voters to show identification at the polls.The editorial continued from there. We were struck by that opening paragraph.
State lawmakers said these changes were necessary to reduce fraud and inefficiency in elections—though there is no evidence of voter fraud to combat or inefficiency to cure. The Justice Department, the American Civil Liberties Union, the N.A.A.C.P. and the Advancement Project, among others, sued on the grounds that the law illegally discriminates against minority voters.
Judge Thomas Schroeder, a George W. Bush appointee, accepted the state’s baseless rationales for the law, even as he dismissed or ignored the obvious political realities behind its passage...
Don't get us wrong! We're inclined to think that early voting is a good idea. We'd favor more inclusive ID requirements, as opposed to requirements which would tend to exclude voters.
That said, we couldn't help noting the way this editorial was lecturing North Carolina. The Times seemed to be telling the regressive southern state to do as we Yankee fans say, not as we Yankee fans do.
As you may know, the home base of the New York Times is in the state of New York. That's where our problem with this editorial started.
Has North Carolina "cut back on early voting by a week?" The state of New York doesn't allow early voting at all!
Has North Carolina eliminated same-day voter registration and preregistration for 16- and 17-year-olds? Were those actions included in "one of the most regressive and restrictive voting laws in the country?"
Maybe! But the state of New York doesn't allow same-day registration or preregistration either!
Was it just our imagination? Were the New Yorkers scolding the Tarheels for doing the same things New Yorkers do? Citizens, we're just asking! But that's almost the way it felt!
In fairness, the state of New York doesn't have voter ID requirements; North Carolina does. As for "barring counting votes cast outside voters’ home precincts," we're not sure how to search for that. We aren't even sure what it means.
At any rate, let's review. North Carolina reduced early voting; New York doesn't have it at all! Rosenthal was still able to see which of the states is vile!
By the way, conservatives see this sort of thing and know it for what it is. Do as we say, not as we do! It's history's oldest known rule!