To WaPo, Grover Norquist Is Too Rigid, But Donna Edwards Keeps Obama from Being a Republican

On Tuesday, The Washington Post's Jason Horowitz mocked Grover Norquist's vigilance (or rigidity) against tax increases as "almost religious" in its intensity, his no-new-taxes pledge a "sacred text." So when the sandal is on the other foot, and a leftist shows great vigilance (or rigidity) against any reduction in the growth of Medicare and Social Security, is that "almost religious"? Not to reporter Ben Pershing in his Friday article on ultraliberal Rep. Donna Edwards of Maryland. The headline was "Edwards emerging as liberals' voice."  Pershing portrayed Edwards as polite, but firm in her refusal to allow entitlement programs to be on the bargaining table. He began:

Rep. Donna F. Edwards had a clear message for the small group of constituents who gathered Saturday at an auto-glass store in Lanham: “Protecting Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid are incredibly important, more now than ever before.”

....Last Friday night, Edwards sent a letter to President Obama signed by 69 fellow House Democrats urging him to keep the programs “off the bargaining table” in the ongoing debt-ceiling negotiations. The day before, on July 7, Edwards surprised colleagues at a closed-door meeting in the Capitol basement when she publicly chastised her Maryland neighbor, House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer, over entitlement reform.

The quick succession of events illustrated what Edwards has become just three years into her congressional tenure — an increasingly prominent voice among liberal House Democrats. Most recently, she has been pressing the White House not to compromise on core party principles for the sake of a debt deal.

“I hope you’ll pardon me occasionally if I nudge the president a little bit,” Edwards said Saturday morning at a bagel shop in Germantown, earning an appreciative laugh from constituents.

The chances of a “grand bargain” on the debt ceiling that might include entitlement cuts now appear remote. But in an interview Tuesday in her Capitol Hill office, Edwards explained why she felt the need to challenge Obama.

“The message coming from the White House [on entitlements] felt like a bit of a surprise,” she said, “and I thought it was really important to respond with a lot of clarity and with a unified voice for our party.”

Being staunchly ultraliberal is merely "clarity" in The Washington Post. Since being elected in 2008, Edwards has a lifetime American Conservative Union score of four percent. While Horowitz found a liberal to decry Grover Norquist for a living in a world without nuance, Pershing found no conservatives and ended the article by quoting her own liberal supporters, who are delighted she's trying to keep Obama from being Republican:

Edwards’ district gave Obama 85 percent of the vote in 2008. But at both gatherings Saturday, Edwards heard from Democrats unhappy with the White House.

“Our president doesn’t seem to be wedded to Democratic principles,” said Herbert Vital, 47, a Verizon technician from Capitol Heights. “At some point, the Democratic Party is going to have to become the opposition party to our own president and not give him what he wants.”

Douglas Edwards (no relation), who runs the Missions of Love Charities in Capitol Heights, said it was his “prayer that our president will stop trying to be a Democrat and a Republican at the same time. He can only be one or the other. He’s given up too much.”

While the constituents who went to see Edwards on Saturday sounded displeased with Obama, they did not blame their own representative for what they see as his missteps.

“What is wrong with the Democrats’ message?” asked Drew Tucker, 57, an unemployed union electrician from Temple Hills. “When I see you, I thank God we’ve got somebody speaking on our behalf. We don’t hear the president speaking for the liberals.”

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis