There was a time when that might have been sad to me. His crap in 2008 ensured that I was left indifferent to the passing. I wouldn't even be writing about it now but I think David Walsh (WSWS) nailed it in his obit:
Cockburn did not look back from this. Whatever critique of this or that feature of contemporary society he offered during the next forty years was never rooted in a scientific assessment of capitalist society and the contradictions that would inevitably produce social explosions.
After all, could a serious threat to the powers that be have been tolerated for a decade at the Wall Street Journal, a principal mouthpiece of the US financial oligarchy? When the Village Voice fired Cockburn in 1984, largely because of his exposure of Israeli crimes, the Journal kept the journalist on the payroll, noting complacently that “Interesting columnists come, like Cromwell, warts and all.”
Cockburn’s writing has a political sameness about it, from year to year. To a certain extent, he required verbal gifts and “spice” to disguise the fact that he was repeating many of the same truisms (at best) over and over again.
Going through the pages of the numerous books put out by Cockburn and St. Clair in the past decade, for example, one comes upon colorful accounts, interesting facts and even insights. The New York Times and Judith Miller receive a deserved pummeling, along with the Washington Post, Fox’s Bill O’Reilly, Rupert Murdoch, Colin Powell, Elie Wiesel, the “war on drugs,” Bill Clinton and Al Gore, liberal proponents of torture, and so forth.
Cockburn certainly had an advantage over those who were frantically abandoning every principle and joining the pro-imperialist camp in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union and during the wars against the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now Syria.
[. . .]
In this regard, Cockburn and St. Clair are not distinguished from the pseudo-left as a whole, including the International Socialist Organization and numerous other “socialist” tendencies that conceive of the “left” as a lobby within the Democratic Party orbit.
And Lynn Sweet writes about the Dem and Rep back and forth:
The latest tangles started Tuesday, when Vice President Joe Biden at a rally in southern Virginia jumped off his script to make a point about Romney’s Wall Street proposals.
Biden said, “Romney . . . in the first hundred days, he is going to let the big banks once again write their own rules. Unchain Wall Street. They are going to put y’all back in chains.”
I don’t have a clue why Biden, from Delaware, decided to use a Southern dialect — that’s what it sounded like when I listened to him several times. And yes, race comes to mind because of where Biden said it.
Romney jumped on the opening Biden gave him at his rally in Chillicothe, Ohio, Tuesday night and Wednesday.
“Another outrageous charge just came a few hours ago in Virginia, and the White House sinks a little bit lower. This is what an angry and desperate presidency looks like. President Obama knows better, promised better, and America deserves better,” Romney said Tuesday.
The New York Post offers this take on why Biden said something that would at least appear to be painting Romney as a racist:
A recent poll by the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling gives Romney 20 percent of the black vote in North Carolina — a state where Obama took 95 percent of black votes in 2008.
And where, as recently as May, he was winning 87 percent of those votes.
Polls in other states with a large black vote have shown similar results.
Why? Who knows?
We’d guess that the president’s “evolution” on gay marriage has disconcerted African-American social conservatives.
But for whatever reason, the decline — while marginal — is real.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"