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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Ah, the consistency of E. J. Dionne

It is almost too easy to find E. J. Dionne contradicting himself as he criticizes Republicans for what he once praised in Democrats, but here is his newest entry, courtesy of William Voegli.
E.J. Dionne, "No Final Victories," November 1, 2010: "Much of the post-election analysis will focus on ideology, on whether Obama moved 'too far left' and embraced too much 'big government.' All this will overlook how moderate Obama's program actually is. It will also pretend that an anxiety rooted in legitimate worry about the country's long-term economic future is the result of doctrine rather than experience... The classic middle-ground voter who will swing this election -- moderate, independent, suburban -- has always been suspicious of dogmatic promises that certain big ideas would give birth to a utopian age."

E.J. Dionne, "A New Era for America," November 5, 2008: "Barack Obama's sweeping electoral victory cannot be dismissed merely as a popular reaction to an economic crisis or as a verdict on an unpopular president ... In choosing Obama and a strongly Democratic Congress, the country put a definitive end to a conservative era ... Since the Nixon era, conservatives have claimed to speak for the 'silent majority.' Obama represents the future majority... [T]he [economic] crisis affords [Obama] an opportunity granted few presidents to reshape the country's assumptions, change the terms of debate and transform our politics."
When voters choose a Democrat, they're making a definitive and transformative statement. If they vote for Republicans...not so much.

1 comment:

Rick Caird said...

Guys like Dionne (and Chen, MoDo, Herbert, Rich, Krugman, etc )count on their readers having no memory of what they wrote two years ago. There are just no style points given for consistency unless it is consistency to one political party.

We really need an agreement where when someone like Voegli catches these double reversals with a back flip, a Dionne is forced by his home newspaper to write a column explaining why this time it is different and/or why the columnist's thinking changed. Those would be fun to read.