NYT's Selective Interpretation of Republicans' Positions On Gitmo

Jillian Bandes
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Posted: May 24, 2009 10:43 AM
The NYT reports on Guantanamo's closure with a screeching headline: "Guantanamo Hands Republicans a Wedge Issue."

The basis for their charge of foul play is that John McCain had agreed with Obama that Gitmo should be closed during the last presidential election. McCain did, indeed, agree that it should be closed. But he did not speak for a majority of Republicans then, and he does not now.

During the election, 79% of Republicans thought the prison should stay open. 68% of Republicans think so now, according to Rasmussen.

Republican leaders' opinions have largely been in line with their constituents' on this issue. But the NYT contrasts these leaders' positions with McCain's position, drawing the conclusion that the Republican party is not only full of hypocrisy, but malicious partisanship.
The conflagration has been fanned by the determined focus of Republican leaders, fed by the alarms of talk-show populists and aided by the miscalculation of a new president who set a date for a closing without announcing a detailed plan for the inmates
What about the 90-6 vote in the Senate in favor of keeping the base open, with similar action in the House? What about the very poll the Times cites in its article, claiming that a "majority" exists among Americans who agree the base should be closed?

The Times article can be found in the politics section, not the opinion section.