Semi-Daily Journal Archive

The Blogspot archive of the weblog of J. Bradford DeLong, Professor of Economics and Chair of the PEIS major at U.C. Berkeley, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (Yet Another Washington Post Edition)

Sebastian Mallaby tells more lies:

Sebastian Mallaby - A Party Without Principles - washingtonpost.com: After years of single-party government, the prospect of a Democratic majority in the House ought to feel refreshing. But even with Republicans collapsing in a pile of sexual sleaze, I just can't get excited. Most Democrats in Congress seem bereft of ideas or the courage to stand up for them. They clearly want power, but they have no principles to guide their use of it.... [T]he majority of Senate Democrats summoned up the courage to oppose the Bush assault on the nation's traditions of justice. Of course they were right; you don't win a war of ideas by abandoning your most appealing ones. But if the Democrats had made common cause with the bill's Republican opponents, they could have filibustered the president's bill. Why vote against something and simultaneously allow it through? On an issue as basic as access to justice, can't Democrats stand on principle?...

As Sebastian Mallaby knows well--but hopes to keep his readers from realizing--the Democratic Senate leaders judged, correctly, that no Republicans save possibly Chaffee would join them in a filibuster, and that they could not hold enough Democrats to make a filibuster stick. What they decided to do, again correctly, was support Arlen Specter's effort to amend the bill, as their best chance to make it better. That attempt failed by three votes.

There was not "allow[ing] it through" on the part of the Democratic Senate leadership. As Mallaby knows as well as anybody.

A couple of years ago Michael Kinsley wrote that the problem the elite press corps faced was that it did not know how to deal with an administration that lied routinely and cynically. The problem is worse. The elite press corps does not know how to deal with its own members--many of its own members, like Sebastian Mallaby--who lie routinely and cynically.

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