E.J. Dionne, the Apostle of Liberal Conventional Wisdom, Continues to Dwell in a Fantasy Land
Posted by Gregg Opelka Sep 29th 2010 at 7:37 am in Tea Parties, Washington Post
The Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne has just given us a new line of attack on the Tea Party: now the movement is just a giant scam out to hoodwink the American public.
Is the tea party one of the most successful scams in American political history?… the tea party constitutes a sliver of opinion on the extreme end of politics receiving attention out of all proportion with its numbers. …The tea party may be pulling a fast one on the country and the media.
The only one trying to pull a fast one here is Dionne—who’s playing fast and loose with the facts. More about that shortly. But first, a question: “What makes a liberal deny reality?” There can be only two answers.
Either the liberal is so blinded by ideology that he simply cannot see the truth, or the liberal’s unwillingness to recognize painful reality compels him to try to minimize it. Paul Krugman falls into the first category. A Keynesian crackhead from his salad days, Krugman believes the first stimulus was too small.
Dionne falls into the second. He can’t accept the inescapable truth that the Tea Party is here to stay. And so, Dionne does what most ideologically strait-jacketed liberals do: he minimizes. By the way, throughout his article, note how Dionne intentionally spells the movement in lower case (“tea party”), literally diminishing the group by not granting it upper case status. In comparison,“Republican” and “Democrat” get full capital letter respect in Dionne’s piece. Anyway, here’s E.J.’s “proof” that the Tea Party is fringe.
Last April, a New York Times/CBS News poll found that 18 percent of Americans identified themselves as supporters of the tea party movement, but slightly less than a fifth of these sympathizers said they had actually attended a tea party rally or meeting. That means just over 3 percent of Americans can be characterized as tea party activists. A more recent poll by Democracy Corps, just before Labor Day, found that 6 percent of voters said they had attended a tea party rally or meeting.
Dionne makes much of the fact that only 3% of the American public had attended a Tea Party rally or donated to a Tea Party organization. He conveniently fails to point out that the now stale NYT/CBS poll, published April 14, was taken well before the first wave of Tea Party rallies, which occurred in hundreds of cities all around the country on April 15th and were attended in toto by hundreds of thousands of supporters.
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