One of the pleasures of

One of the pleasures of writing for Power Line is the opportunity it gives me to attack the work of E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post. The fact, noted by Rocket Man, that he is an easy target in no way detracts from that pleasure. Dionne has rarely offered an easier targer than this piece called “Lessons from Louisiana.” Early in the column, Dionne tells us that “independence beat Bush.” While this is certainly an oversimplification, it contains some truth, in that Landrieu successfully cast the election as a choice between a candidate who would invariably vote with President Bush and a candidate who would vote independently. Yet a mere three paragraphs later, Dionne describes the lesson from Louisiana to Democratic legislators as follows: “It doesn’t matter how you vote or what you say or how patriotic you try to be….Consequently, there is no percentage in making nice with this administration.” Thus, Dionne is telling us that Democrats can win by being independent but that it doesn’t matter how they vote. How, though, does a legislator establish that he or she is independent other than through his or her votes? In fact, as Dionne acknowledges in the very next paragraph, Landrieu voted for the Bush tax cut and has consistently voted pro-military. These votes made credible her claim that she is independent, and not a Daschle Democrat. Perhaps Dionne wants to obscure the real lesson of Louisiana — that, in many states, only Democrats who curb their liberalism will be able to survive, at least in the present environment.


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