A Little Heresy Goes A Long Way For Political Writers
Pulling up the Washington Post and seeing a column by E.J. Dionne entitled “What our Declaration Really Means” is not a good way to start the 4th off July off.
My first thought after reading the piece was I wanted to recast this scene with Dionne and Jefferson instead of an obnoxious professor and Marshall McLuhan.
Without reading the piece, I knew what Dionne was going to do….twist the plain meaning of the Declaration and all we know about the Founders to serve his liberal agenda. Shouldn’t someone occupying some of the most valuable opinion real estate in the media at least occasionally have the ability to surprise their readers or viewers?
I remember during the summer of 09 when the health care reform town halls were heating up Charles Kruathammer said the tactic would backfire and basically went after the protesters as being too obnoxious. From memory, he latter admitted he’d misread the situation. A lot of people in Krauthammer’s target audience didn’t like him saying that but at least he took an honest look at the situation and called it like he saw it.
George Will used to be the gold standard of conservative columnists. These days, conservatives are just as likely to annoyed or enraged by Will as they are to agree with him.
What liberal writing in the Washington Post, New York Times or one of the news weeklies can you say that about?
Op-ed writers need to question themselves if they find that every event, every piece of evidence, every historical perspective conforms to their worldview and comforts their ideological brethren. Sure commentators like Dionne, Paul Krugman and Eugene Robinson will say they are neither or liberal nor conservative. Of course that’s silly but even if it were true the most diligent scientists question results that are too perfect, too expected. That never seems to occur to the likes of professional liberals.
Always writing from the same, unquestioning point of view shows how little thought actually goes into what passes for “thinking” in elite circles. A bit of heresy (and attacking liberals like Obama from the left doesn’t count) would go a long way to taking the rest of what they say seriously. If guys like Dionne aren’t going to take their job seriously, I see no reason why we should treat what they write as anything but what it is…partisan hackery.