December 31, 2004


Lessons for Democrats (E. J. Dionne Jr., December 31, 2004, Washington Post)

[B]ad years offer useful lessons. Here are a few:

• Relentlessness pays off. President Bush won reelection by ignoring the conventional wisdom that vicious attacks on your opponent don't work and turn off voters. As soon as John Kerry won the Democratic nomination, Bush's campaign went on the attack and never stopped. It worked. [...]

• Cultural hypocrisy should be exposed. I cannot understand why liberals who regularly criticize the excesses of the economic market let conservatives get away with being the advocates of "traditional values."

When television networks and Hollywood exploit sex to make money, why aren't liberals asking why the free market so revered by the right wing promotes values the very same right wing claims to despise? The coarsening of the culture that traditionalist conservatives denounce is abetted by the very media concentration that economic conservatives defend. Why are liberals so tongue-tied in exposing this contradiction?

Boy, some old dogs really just can't learn anything, huh? The Democrats accused the President of everything from draft-dodging to being controlled by a little black box and he turned it around and handed them their heads--Mr. Dionne wants more of the same? And does he really think the GOP is going to shy away from an opportunity to hammer Hollywood, which is a 100% Democrat constituency?

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 31, 2004 5:57 PM

Wow, this guy is criminally clueless. The Democrats almost deserve to lose the next election in punishment for his hubris.

His "lessons learned" has that same Oedipean quality of self-inflicted blindness displayed in this Ted Rall classic:

Posted by: Frosty at December 31, 2004 7:17 PM

This one's a no brainer. Favoring free markets does not mean endorsing everything free-market agents do. To the contrary it means -- even requires -- censure when appropriate.

In addition to "The Wealth of Nations," Adam Smith also wrote "The Theory of Moral Sentiments." I suggest that EJay especially read the sections on self-command, virtue, and duty.

He may, of course, prefer to reread his dog-eared copy of "Das Kapital." I tried, anyway.

Happy New Year, guys.


Posted by: Ed Bush at December 31, 2004 7:35 PM

The same liberals who argue that government's duty is to protect the weakest among us see nothing hypocritical about supporting the legal murder of the weakest among us: unborn babies.

Posted by: Vince at January 1, 2005 7:06 AM

EJ Dionne is more clueless than Baldrick of Blackadder fame. I am waiting for his next cunning plan to get the Democrats out of the hole. HMO 'elites'. That Dionne fails to recognize the anger that ordinary people have all across this nation at the clear, and ever-present condescension with which they are treated by the MSM indicates that not only is he clueless but that if a clue came and bit him on the derriere he couldn't run back to Maman and tell her what bit him.

How did the NY Times ever let him get away? He fits perfectly between Krugman and Dowd. Or is the cost of padding the rooms where the Times Op-Eds are written just getting too high?

Posted by: Bart at January 1, 2005 7:22 AM

I think the Post once saw him as the heir to the comparatively centrist David Broder but Dionne has deteriorated into the worst sort of partisan hack. He definitely should return to the Times. He seems completely blind to the Soros-sponsered (and MSM supported) personal attacks on W.

About a decade ago I heard Charlton Heston say that the liberal-conservative split in Hollywood was 80-20, but he probably was counting all the conservatives in the closet.

Posted by: George at January 1, 2005 12:24 PM