It’s the Sun Flares, Stupid


I awoke this morning to learn from the TV news that there are gigantic sun flares on the sun, among the largest ever recorded.

Then I turned to the Washington Post editorial page.  The lead editorial was a scathing condemnation of the IRS for its treatment of conservative political groups. But it was the op-ed page that really surprised me.

The left-hand column, written by Charles Lane, criticized an energy scheme by Rep. Ed Markey, Massachusetts arch-liberal (or do I repeat myself?). In the middle of the page were two columns, one by George Will, the other by Michael Gerson. Each, in its own way, condemned the administration for the IRS scandal and President Obama for his recent (and all too typical) speech at Ohio State University  in which he  sneered at conservatives who “warn that [government] tyranny is just around the corner”.

Richard Cohen, the house liberal at the Post for decades, had a piece criticizing Republicans for what he sees as “a fetid combination of bad taste and poisonous politics” in their attempt to discover what the administration knew, and when they knew it, about the Benghazi attacks. But Cohen’s condemnation was curiously muted, pointing out that Obama’s administration was either “unsure of the facts or simply didn’t like them.”

And there you have it– The Washington Post op-ed page is dominated by condemnations of liberal Democrats, from Markey to Obama, and even Mr. Cohen, in his obligatory blast at Republicans, finds fault with the way Obama is handling the Benghazi situation. And then there’s the lead editorial’s demand that the “administration should provide complete answers and soon” about the growing (it wasn’t just the IRS Cincinnati office involved, we are told on page one) scandal.

Once in a lifetime? Once in a blue moon? No, a Post editorial page and op-ed page like this happens just once in sun flare history.

Note: It used to be said about the great welter-and middle-weight prizefighter Sugar Ray Robinson that “pound-for-pound, he is the greatest fighter in the world.” I believe that line-for-line, Charles Lane is currently writing the best column in Washington. And although I disagree with Richard Cohen on almost everything, he has a rare gift for writing an opinion column, combining strong opinions with a clear, casual, often witty style. And every now and then he will surprise you by criticizing some liberal folly.

You do good stuff, Mr. Cohen. Ever think of switching sides?

Editor’s Note: William F. Gavin was a speech writer for President Richard Nixon and long-time aide to former House Republican Leader Bob Michel. Among his books is his latest, Speechwright, published by Michigan State University Press.