Tuesday, May 03, 2005
E.J. Dionne, Jr.
I once met the Washington Post's E.J. Dionne on a train from New York City to Washington DC. He sat across the aisle from me and tried to make small talk with the woman seated next to him. He introduced himself as a "Newspaper Columnist" to which the woman replied, "Oh", and promptly went back to reading her book.
He smiled at me. I smiled at him. And then I took a three hour nap.
Mr. Dionne attempts to make use of The Gambler song (by Kenny Rogers) in today's column. He states that it is time for Democrats to "Leave the Table" in regards to negotiations with W on Social Security.
Sigh. Like they were ever really at the table anyway.
Mr. Dionne is having trouble living in reality. This syndrome affects many liberals, especially those inside the beltway - even more so for those who can still remember what it was like when liberals ran Washington DC. Case and point from his column:
That the president is fixing the Social Security reform game should be obvious. The most basic corruption of the process is the way the Republican congressional leadership has transformed the bargaining that once took place between the House and the Senate.Yes, Mr. Dionne. It is a stacked deck. That's what happens when the party you're in hasn't controlled either side of congress in 10 years. Its what happens when you continually lose elections. When you don't run the show you don't dictate the process.
In the old days, when each house produced different versions of the same bill, a "conference" committee typically including members of both parties from both houses would thrash out the details and reach a compromise. Now the Republicans will concede whatever is necessary to get a bill out of the Senate, even as the lockstep-Republican House produces a right-wing version of the same proposal. In conferences, Republicans routinely freeze out all but the most pliable Democrats. The supposed "compromise" that emerges is not a compromise at all. Democrats who go along become enablers of a game being played with a stacked deck.
Mr. Dionne goes back to the tried, tested, and failed liberal playbook and concludes that simply repealing the W tax cuts and keeping part of the estate tax would plug the gaping hole in the Social Security program. Dyed in the wool liberals like Dusty Harry, "Scotch" Kennedy, and "Bella" Pelosi have already laid claim to that money, Mr. Dionne. According to them, simply repealing W's tax cuts will fix the federal budget, wipe out the trade deficit, and cure male pattern baldness.
Social Security is in trouble. W and some like minded Republicans are the only people who seem to want to actually deal with it. They've opened up the floor for debate. All the liberal leftist Dems can do is say NO! So Mr. Dionne's advice is for them to take their ball and go home.
Typical liberal. He wants to quit simply because his side is not winning, and all indicators point to that same side going down to defeat...again.
In the interest of fairness, there was one sentence in Mr. Dionne's column with which I completely agree:
This is nonsense.Well said, Mr. Dionne. You may now return to burying your head in the sand.
Here endeth the lesson.