The guys at the New York Times editorial page are cleverer than they look. We’re the first to admit that’s a very low standard, but today they have an editorial that seems pathetic at first glance but turns out, on close reading, to be a gem. The title is “His Anger Is a Start.” The reference, it hardly need be said, is to Barack Obama. When we saw the headline, we rolled our eyes at the prospect of this once-great newspaper cheering on the latest show of presidential petulance.
But it turns out there’s a hidden message in the editorial for those–surely including a brilliant intellectual like Obama–who are familiar with the Kübler-Ross model, popularly known as the five stages of grief. With Obama’s presidency consumed by sickness and facing a grim prognosis, the Times offers the president the therapy he needs to work through his grief: