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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

We weren't wrong, just pre-right

The juxtaposition of the day comes from James Taranto's Best of the Web blog at The Wall Street Journal, under the heading "Two papers in one!"

  • "Mr. Obama is a man of supple intelligence, with a nuanced grasp of complex issues and evident skill at conciliation and consensus-building. . . . Abroad, the best evidence suggests that he would seek to maintain U.S. leadership and engagement, continue the fight against terrorists, and wage vigorous diplomacy on behalf of U.S. values and interests. Mr. Obama has the potential to become a great president."--editorial, Washington Post, Oct. 17, 2008
  • "For five years, President Obama has led a foreign policy based more on how he thinks the world should operate than on reality. It was a world in which 'the tide of war is receding' and the United States could, without much risk, radically reduce the size of its armed forces. Other leaders, in this vision, would behave rationally and in the interest of their people and the world."--editorial, Washington Post, March 3, 2014

It's a way of doing a correction without actually calling it a correction -- just write an opinion 180 degrees different from an earlier one and hope nobody calls you on it. I confess I've done this a time or two and found it not very satisfying. Better to admit your occasional (heh) errors with the hope that it will make your usual brilliance seem all the more impressive. This was a lot easier to get away with in the pre-Internet days when somebody had to remember what you wrote earlier, then trudge to the library to look it up on microfilm. Nowadays our embarrassments are just a "Google it" away from exposure.