Columnist Frank Bruni has a column in today's New York Times that pretty much excoriates newly-announced Republican candidate Scott Walker. Nothing particularly surprising there. But what was striking to me was to read through the comments. Almost 260 posted comments by 8.00 am. And not one, not one, that was in any meaningful way supportive of Walker as a candidate, as a politician, or as a human being. I don't kid myself that the readership of the New York Times is representative of the US electorate as a whole. And I don't necessarily think that the sort of people who write and read the pages of the Old Gray Lady have any sort of monopoly on political, economic, or social wisdom. But there is something quite jarring in the fact that a man believed to have at least a credible shot at gaining the Presidential nomination of one of our two major political parties should have (apparently) zero appeal in the particular slice of American society that creates and consumes what was once thought of our national Newspaper of Record. I don't know if this says more about the decline of the Republican party in general, or the dilution of great national newspapers in our Balkanized media universe. Who needs to convince the Times op-ed board you'd be a decent choice for President, if all you've got to do is show up on Hannity or O'Reilly with flag lapel pin and mouth-breathe platitudes?