where the writers are
Something New for Conservatives to Whine About

Looking a gift horse in the mouth, conservatives everywhere are whining, moaning, gnashing their teeth and rending their silk blouses over the NYT's decision to send a first draft of McCain's recent Op Ed piece back for a re-write.

This is standard procedure! As someone who used to be a newspaper editor, and now is on the other side of the process as one who WRITES op eds for the signature of government policy people, THIS IS HOW IT IS DONE! You draft up a nice little op ed, you send it to the op ed page editor, they accept a first draft (rarely) or (almost always), they send it back with suggestions to make it better.

What the NYT has done here is not out of the ordinary. They do it to liberals, conservatives, moderates and every one else of whatever political stripe you can imagine.

The NYT has no problem with printing op eds from McCain's op ed writers. They've done it 7 times already since 1996. But there are standards.

To quote the Times: "It is standard procedure on our Op-Ed page, and that of other newspapers, to go back and forth with an author on his or her submission. We look forward to publishing Senator McCain's views in our paper just as we have in the past. We have published at least seven Op-Ed pieces by Senator McCain since 1996. The New York Times endorsed Senator McCain as the Republican candidate in the presidential primaries. We take his views very seriously."

And, as we've seen, they've saved McCain from considerable embarrassment by SENDING this one back for re-write. See, the editors at the NYT actually thought McCain WANTED to have an op ed printed on its op ed page, and not just have something ELSE to whine about while Sen. Obama is gathering all the positive headlines.

What is clearly going on here is the McCain campaign taking this all-too-ordinary editorial give-and-take and using it in some kind of lamebrained effort to "whip up the base" in "outrage" over one of their standard whipping boys -- "the LIBERAL media" -- and the most evilest evil of all -- THE NEW YORK TIMES!

Still... It is truly heartbreaking to see such a one-time strong person as McCain... a man who withstood (for the most part) the torture of his North Vietnamese captors, reduced to such base whining over such mundane things as a rejected first-draft of an op ed. What will he do if he somehow is elected President and congress rejects the first draft of proposed legislation? WHINE about it?

Get real. This is how these things are done. Now, when you hear conservatives whining about this today, unless they have actually worked on an editorial board at a newspaper or have dealt with one as a writer, they have no idea what they are talking about if they continue to talk about this like it was a deliberate swipe against McCain.

But I don't imagine for a moment it will stop them from doing so.