A liberal Washington Post columnist laments today of the loss of civility in the public discourse. Strange that he is suddenly outraged that Americans would dare call Obama a socialist or a fascist, given that Bush-Hitler comparisons were widespread during the previous administration.
Liberals in the media spent the summer and early fall bemoaning signs at town hall protests and tea party rallies calling Obama a socialist or communist comparing him to Hitler (incidentally, many of these signs were actually created by supporters of uber-leftist Lyndon LaRouche, as reported by Seton Motley here and here). These pundits had no such admonitions for signs at anti-war rallies during the Bush administration comparing him to Hitler and the Devil, and calling the president a fascist.
So the Post's E.J. Dionne's complaints about the loss of civility in the debate over federal politics fit right in with the narrative liberal pundits have been pushing since last year: comparing an American president to a murderous dictator is unacceptable...if that president is a Democrat.
With the unemployment rate soaring in 10.2 percent in Friday's report on October, two old hands in the Washington press corps appeared on Sunday morning shows where they asserted that means we need another stimulus bill and/or the problem is the current “stimulus” bill wasn't big enough. On This Week, ABC News vet Sam Donaldson maintained “we're going to have to have more stimulus, more spending.”
Over on NBC's Meet the Press, Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne, a former Washington correspondent for the New York Times before covering politics for the Post, complained: “The problem is the stimulus was too small, and they compromised it down and so you had less effect. I mean, the fact is these numbers would be a lot worse without the stimulus.”
The White House has berated Fox News for days now for purportedly pushing an agenda and calling it news. So Americans may have been surprised when, as reported by Noel Sheppard, Obama invited two of MSNBC's most divisive liberal pundits--Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow--to the White House for an off-the-record briefing.
As it turns out, Maddow and Olbermann were only two of the left's heavyweights at the briefing. Yesterday, TVNewser received from the White House a complete list of names. Virtually all of them have their histories of shilling for the administration or Democrats generally, and of bashing conservatives.
Let us review the colorful histories of these pundits, and the reader can decide whether they "have a perspective," in the words of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (in the context of a Fox News attack).
"Sentences that begin 'The president says' are not as impressive as they used to be."
So marvelously stated ABC's George Will on Sunday's installment of "This Week."
But Will wasn't the only "Roundtable" panelist to utter something clever and/or revealing.
Quite the contrary, host George Stephanopoulos, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, and the Washington Post's E.J. Dionne also made statements on Sunday guaranteed to raise some eyebrows.
First up was Stephanopoulos who made a rather startling admission concerning exactly why the White House decided to give every senior citizen $250 (video embedded below the fold with transcribed highlights, relevant section at 19:12):
I don't take Ed Schultz too seriously. So when he says again tonight, as he did in the inaugural episode of his MSNBC show, that he wants national health care and doesn't care how much it costs, it's just so much noise.
But, at least in theory, E.J. Dionne, Jr. is a serious player, a card-carrying member of the liberal establishment. So when the WaPo columnist declares that he doesn't want nationalized health care stopped by the mere issue of figuring out how to pay for it, that gets my attention.
Incredibly, that's precisely what Dionne did on this evening's Ed Show.
You know what President Barack Obama's real economic problem is? He's not raising taxes enough. On top of that he needs to raise taxes not only on the very wealthy but on almost everybody else. That is the opinion of Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne, Jr.. Here is Dionne recommending that Obama in effect commit political suicide even faster than he already is:
The debate on the budget is phony, the howling on deficits a charade. Few politicians want to acknowledge that if you really are concerned about long-term deficits, you have to support tax increases.
That's why the most significant moment of President Obama's news conference on Tuesday was not his dodge of a question on AIG, but his defense of the least popular tax increase in his budget: limits on the benefits wealthier taxpayers get for their charitable contributions and mortgage payments.
That's how many Republicans are likely to react after retiring Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel blasted Republicans in general and Rush Limbaugh in particular, claiming Rush and fellow conservative talkers "don't have any answers."
David Shuster, subbing for Olbermann on tonight's Countdown, highlighted Hagel's remarks of today.
Warning its readers to “be prepared to gag,” the “Scrapbook” page of this week's Weekly Standard magazine recited “some of the worst over-the-top reactions to The One's ascendance,” starting with Time's Nancy Gibbs who opened this week's cover story by comparing Obama with Jesus: “Some princes are born in palaces. Some are born in mangers. But a few are born in the imagination, out of scraps of history and hope...” In the November 17 issue, she heralded (citing his full name) the greater meaning of Obama's victory:
Barack Hussein Obama did not win because of the color of his skin. Nor did he win in spite of it. He won because at a very dangerous moment in the life of a still young country, more people than have ever spoken before came together to try to save it. And that was a victory all its own.
She gushed over how “an election in one of the world's oldest democracies looked like the kind they hold in brand-new ones, when citizens finally come out and dance, a purple-thumb day, a velvet revolution.”
John McCain's ad denouncing Barack Obama for supporting sex education for kindergartners when he was in the Illinois Senate hit a nerve. Today, in a posting titled "Does the Truth Matter Anymore?," Columnist E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post expresses outrage on the newspaper's Web site:
And now comes a truly vile McCain ad accusing Obama of supporting legislation to offer "'comprehensive sex education' to kindergartners." The announcer declares: "Learning about sex before learning to read? Barack Obama. Wrong on education. Wrong for your family."
Margaret Talev of McClatchy newspapers called the ad a “deliberate low blow.” Here’s what she wrote in an excellent fact check: “This is a deliberately misleading accusation. It came hours after the Obama campaign released a TV ad critical of McCain's votes on public education. As a state senator in Illinois, Obama did vote for but was not a sponsor of legislation dealing with sex ed for grades K-12. But the legislation allowed local school boards to teach ‘age-appropriate’ sex education, not comprehensive lessons to kindergartners, and it gave schools the ability to warn young children about inappropriate touching and sexual predators.”
Is McCain against teaching little kids to beware of sexual predators?
The subject of Obama's support has come up before. In July of last year, MSNBC's "First Read" reported:
Joe Biden's 1987 stump-speech plagiarism of Neil Kinnock likely occurred more than once. Additionally, according to contemporaneous New York Times reports, including an editorial, Biden's orations featured unattributed speech-lifting from John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Hubert Humphrey.
That's a lot more than Joe Biden's defenders and two of his Wikipedia entries have thus far revealed.
Previous posts (here and here at NewsBusters; here and here at BizzyBlog) noted "interesting" modifications to the main Wikipedia entry of Biden, who Barack Obama selected as his vice-presidential running mate this past weekend.
The first post reported that the detail of Biden's undergraduate grades (generally C's and D's, with two A's in phys ed and an F in ROTC) "strangely" disappeared between Friday and Saturday. The second ultimately noted that a section relating to Biden's involvement in the presidential campaign of 2004 had been deleted, but that its text had inexplicably been moved to before 1988. It was as if the idea that Biden had "campaigned" in 2004 was true before Barack Obama selected him, but no longer true after that.
But to get to the next example of Wiki whitewashing by Obama-Biden's busy bees -- the worst found thus far -- we need to go back 21 years to the New York Times.
Got to be good looking 'cause he's so hard to see Come together right now Over me—The Beatles, "Come Together" (1969) [YouTube]
Bob Herbert just doesn't get it. As Noel Sheppard has noted, in his NYT column today Herbert accuses Barack Obama of "lurching right when it suits him, and . . . zigging with the kind of reckless abandon that’s guaranteed to cause disillusion, if not whiplash." The NY Times columnist goes on to condemn the candidate for "pandering to evangelicals;" agreeing with Justices Scalia and Thomas on a "barbaric" interpretation of the 8th Amendment; and playing a "dangerous game" with his "shifts and panders."
No, no, no, Bob! That's not what's happening at all. Obama isn't flip-flopping. He's simply fulfilling his pledge to bring us together. What makes Herbert's obtuseness all the more infuriating is that enlightenment was just a stroll down the corridor away, to the office of Gail Collins. Herbert's fellow Times columnist explained what is really going on during her appearance today on Morning Joe.
Yesterday I noted that Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune slammed the Hillary Clinton campaign for lying about the context of Barack Obama's remarks about President Reagan's political leadership.
In the January 25 Washington Post, liberal columnist E.J. Dionne reminds readers that then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton had some kind words for the Gipper during his first campaign for president:
It was a remarkable moment: A young, free-thinking presidential hopeful named Bill Clinton sat down with reporters and editors at The Post in October 1991 and started saying things most Democrats wouldn't allow to pass their lips.
Ronald Reagan, Clinton said, deserved credit for winning the Cold War. He praised Reagan's "rhetoric in defense of freedom" and his role in "advancing the idea that communism could be rolled back."