The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

E.J. Dionne, Political Psychic

Posted on | April 2, 2012 | 14 Comments

Everybody knows that E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post is a liberal Democrat — both a partisan and an ideologue — a “social justice” Catholic from Massachusetts whose political beau ideal is Ted Kennedy. (Ah, “compassionate liberalism“! Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.)

Only a person of such impeccably ironclad progressive credentials — author of the 1996 book, They Only Look Dead: Why Progressives Will Dominate the Next Political Era — could ever have been employed as political reporter (!) for the New York Times and the Washington Post before being promoted to the op-ed pages, the faculty of Georgetown University, et cetera.

So we know who Dionne is, what his qualifications are, and we recognize him as a special pleader for the Democratic Party and in particular its most left-wing elements. Yet it is apparently Dionne’s belief that his mental superiority is so vast as to endow him with omniscience, and it is this belief in his own clairvoyance — E.J., the All-Knowing! — which is on display in Dionne’s latest op-ed expedition:

Right before our eyes, American conservatism is becoming something very different from what it once was. Yet this transformation is happening by stealth because moderates are too afraid to acknowledge what all their senses tell them. …

Thus he begins, and thus he ends:

If our nation’s voters want to move government policy far to the right, they are entirely free to do so. But those who regard themselves as centrist have a moral obligation to make clear what the stakes are in the current debate. If supposed moderates refuse to call out the new conservatism for the radical creed it has become, their timidity will make them complicit in an intellectual coup they could have prevented.

You see how Dionne, unquestionably himself a man of the Left, here presumes to discern the intentions of the Right — a stealthy “transformation” of this “new conservatism” into a “radical creed” — even as his mind-reading powers enable him to see that it is the “timidity” of moderates which stops them from preventing “an intellectual coup.”

We presume that Dionne can only have known these things by mystical processes, because no one has ever accused E.J. of speaking two words to any genuine right-winger, and his idea of a “moderate” almost certainly includes half the Democrats in the Senate.

But wait: What is it that has inspired E.J. the All Knowing to this extraordinary exertion of his psychic powers? It was last week’s oral arguments in the Supreme Court about the constitutionality of ObamaCare. You will recall the Left’s panicked reaction at the skeptical SCOTUS questioning and the obvious inability of Obama’s solicitor general to refute the doubts raised by the justices:

Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. should be grateful to the Supreme Court for refusing to allow cameras in the courtroom, because his defense of Obamacare on Tuesday may go down as one of the most spectacular flameouts in the history of the court.

That’s from Adam Serwer in Mother Jones, for crying out loud! If even such a deep-dyed Bolshevik sees it like this — Serwer’s March 27 item was headlined, “Obamacare’s Supreme Court Disaster” — we can expect, at a minimum, that a 5-4 majority of the court will find ObamaCare at least partly unconstitutional.

That was what prompted Dionne’s March 28 denunciation of “judicial activism” by the court’s conservatives, merely for the tone of their questions, without waiting to learn what their actual ruling might be:

Three days of Supreme Court arguments over the health-care law demonstrated for all to see that conservative justices are prepared to act as an alternative legislature, diving deeply into policy details as if they were members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Right: And the Supreme Court never touched “policy details” in Brown v. Board, Roe v. Wade, Lawrence v. Texas or any other landmark ruling of which E.J. the All-Knowing approves. I remain convinced that the final verdict on the ObamaCare debacle was not written by a Georgetown professor, but by a blogger named Jimmie Bise Jr.:

“They could have been honest with us. They could have come to us as men and women and talked with us, sought our counsel. They could have tried to convince us that the good of their ideas was worth all we would have to give up to get it. They did not. They lied and lied and lied some more. They called us ignorant and vicious and heartless and stupid. They pushed a bill none of them had read in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve. They fudged numbers so badly they ended up counting whole piles of money twice. They accused anyone who disagreed with them of wanting to kill old people and innocent children. They built a law their own lawyers can not ably defend.”

Any rational, well-informed and intelligent observer could see that Nancy Pelosi’s frantic ram-it-through-in-the-middle-of-the-night trainwreck of a bill would turn out badly, and when even the Solicitor General — for whom no task is more important than protecting his boss’s signature legislation — can’t defend its constitutionality, we can only conclude that it is constitutionally indefensible.

So we return to today’s column by E.J. the All-Knowing. Donald Douglas says Dionne is pining for the days of Eisenhower, and William Jacobson is impressed with the awesome success Dionne ascribes to the Right: “Are We Really Doing That Well?”

What’s E.J. really up to? And who the hell does he think he’s fooling? What Dionne is clearly trying to do is to drive a wedge between the four conservatives — Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Scalia — and the court’s only true “swing” vote, Justice Anthony Kennedy.

If Dionne were honest, he would admit that he wet his pants when Kennedy declared during oral argument that ObamaCare’s individual mandate “changes the relationship of the federal government to the individual in a very fundamental way.”

Instead of doing that, however, Dionne pretends to discern a “stealth” radicalism among conservatives (i.e., Chief Justice Roberts & Co.) and accuses moderates (i.e., Justice Kennedy) of “timidity” in refusing to prevent an “intellectual coup.”

The wonder of it all is that E.J. the All-Knowing thinks that we — including Justice Kennedy — are too stupid to see what he’s doing.




14 Responses to “E.J. Dionne, Political Psychic”

  1. Adjoran
    April 2nd, 2012 @ 3:31 pm

    Normally, the Court will divine Congress’ intent by looking at the record and the debate.  But for this 2700+ page law, there is none.  No public hearings, no open debate.  It was cobbled together behind closed doors and rushed through. 

    Not one single member of Congress had even had the chance to read the final bill before it was crammed through a final vote.

    The fact is that only a fraction of the rules and regulations required by, but not specified in the law have been issued.  This law is like a wildfire set in the forest of our freedoms during a drought – it could destroy everything before we know what hit us.

    I haven’t read Dionne in many years.  I used to read some of his columns back in the pre-internet days, saw him on a few Sunday talk shows.  The man is a liberal hack.  He brings nothing of interest to the table. 

  2. AnonymousDrivel
    April 2nd, 2012 @ 4:11 pm

    Dionne wouldn’t know conservatism from a hole in the ground. In his political sphere he’s the boiling frog looking down at the flames of the broiler and telling the attendant scorpion, “Hey, buddy, would you mind cranking it up a bit? I feel a bit nippy.”

    “Conservatism” hasn’t been conservative in many decades which is an indication of just how we’ve “progressed.” Today’s conservative is closer to the pre-60’s Democrat. Today’s liberal is closer to the post-WWII Soviet. Dionne need not worry his tiny little head about conservatism hijacking his world. Unfortunately.

  3. Asian_chic
    April 2nd, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

    I read somewhere today that liberals are now for Newt’s suggestion that Justices can be hauled into Congress when they don’t like the outcome. What they are doing is beginning a meme ahead of the Supreme Court ruling. They are absolutely wetting their pants.

    For crying out loud! Do you really have to remind us of “Compassionate Conservative”? That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard of. I guess Conservatives are heartless but a Compassionate Conservative, now that’s something to get behind. 

  4. AnonymousDrivel
    April 2nd, 2012 @ 4:16 pm

    “The fact is that only a fraction of the rules and regulations required by, but not specified in the law have been issued.”

    How can that possibly be? Nancy Pelosi declared Congress “had to pass the bill to find out what’s in it.” You mean we still don’t know? I’m just as shocked about this as I am about the gambling going on in that fine establishment.

  5. AnonymousDrivel
    April 2nd, 2012 @ 4:30 pm

    “…conservative justices are prepared to act as an alternative legislature, diving deeply into policy details…”

    Hey, Dionne, you dishonest pinhead. Maybe if you were really listening, the conservative-leaners were actually arguing to do the exact opposite of your assertion. Rather than acting like a legislature and diving into policy, they argued that they couldn’t, shouldn’t, and weren’t going to go through line-by-line to figure out the policy that met Constitutional muster. They need only find one component (and it turns out it’s the core one, luckily for reasonable Americans) that fails the test and subsequently strike the entire abomination. And that is their role. Just because SCOTUS past have been derelict doesn’t mean the precedent for dereliction is a timeless obligation.

    So, in conclusion, did I mention Dionne’s a pinhead?

  6. ThePaganTemple
    April 2nd, 2012 @ 4:46 pm

    Everyone should go to this site here-

    Circle Of Moms and vote for our friend Zilla for top political mommy blogger. She’s in fourth place now, between Michell Malkin at third and Pam Gellar who is currently in fifth place, so let’s help her win if possible.

    But the really good news for conservatives is, unlike in the primaries, it doesn’t matter if you split your vote and support first one conservative and then another. Since you’re all experts at that, you can head on over there and support Zilla and still vote for Malkin, Gellar, and The Lonely Conservative who is holding on to a slim lead for first place over a leftist progressive dipshit broad who hates conservative stay at home moms.

    But at least vote for Zilla. As many people as read this blog we can help her win it.

  7. Bob Belvedere
    April 2nd, 2012 @ 5:13 pm

    You can’t mention his pinheadedness enough times to satisfy me.

  8. AnonymousDrivel
    April 2nd, 2012 @ 5:33 pm

    Dionne’s sooo pinheaded, dancing angels avoid him.

  9. Pathfinder's wife
    April 2nd, 2012 @ 7:42 pm

    This independent moderate could argue to Mr. Dionne that right before the eyes of history we have seen the term “liberal” be grotesquely manipulated by leftists looking for cover until that fair word became the very opposite of its true and original meaning.
    And in doing so the leftist jackboots have attempted to pull the nation’s political affiliations far more to the left than any of the citizens wanted to take it — all done with a lie and a brazen stealing of a word; a base marketing ploy along the lines of “Brawndo, it’s what plants need”.

    So, to that I would further ask Mr. Dionne if he really has any standing to be questioning where conservatism is going (although I do see some disturbing progressivist jackbooted trends there as well; hopefully they get rooted out before it’s too late).

  10. Andrew Patrick
    April 2nd, 2012 @ 10:33 pm

    Dionne is an absolutely mindless apparatchik. Fisking him has  become a hobby of mine.

  11. A Guy From Lithia Springs
    April 2nd, 2012 @ 11:12 pm

     You’ve got it backwards, sparky.      Today’s conservatives want to take the USA back to the 1890”s regarding political policy.    The AHCA was cribbed from GOP policy of the early 90’s and of course Romney-care, which is conveniently forgotten by the amnesiacs of the right.

  12. AnonymousDrivel
    April 3rd, 2012 @ 12:39 am

    What part of “‘Conservatism’ hasn’t been conservative in many decades which is an indication of just how we’ve ‘progressed'” did you miss? And did you notice that the “amnesiacs of the right” know damn well the provenance of Obamacare, but some – which is to say the pragmatics who make a political choice on the lesser of evils – choose Romney not for the Unconstitutional law Team Obama has forged but for someone, anyone not named Obama? Furthermore, conservatives are not backing Romney precisely due to Obamnycare. They’ve forgotten nothing. Or don’t you remember?

  13. ThePaganTemple
    April 3rd, 2012 @ 6:33 am

     Yeah, I see what you’re saying. Sort of like how the Democrats modern welfare state goes back to the Post-Civil War era and is in fact nothing more than Jim Crow with a smiley face, sans greasepaint.

  14. MM
    April 3rd, 2012 @ 10:35 am

    Great column Stacy-make sure you send a copy to one of EJ’s favorite butt boys-Hugh Hewitt