Opinion Journalism or Journolistism?

Eric Alterman, member of the defunct(?) Journolist listserv writes in a column entitled “Sock It To “Em Obama!”:

Obama needs to get his base excited again and the legislative record, as impressive as it is, ain’t going to do it. At the same time, the dude just doesn’t do “mad” very well. 

Mr. Alterman makes a special point of singling out Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe as villains of the piece.

Meanwhile, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, etc., performed a similar dance all over the health-care bill

And what does EJ Dionne of the Washington Post (for which Journolist founder Ezra Klein also works) have to say? Well, in an article dated June 30th, entitled “Time for Obama and Democrats to Fight” Mr. Dionne asserts that :

It might help if voters saw President Obama and his party in Congress fighting for something going into these elections (including their record on health care and financial reform) rather than reacting, retrenching and retreating.


In the face of these core problems, there is increasing grumbling among congressional Democrats about the Obama administration’s habits. Some wonder if Obama is indifferent to their fate. Others sense that the president is far more solicitous to those who oppose him than to those who bleed for him.

And who are among the dastardly Republicans that come in for particular, opprobrious notice?

Well, let’s see:

Yes, crucial assistance to states that are slashing programs and raising taxes has been blocked by Republican senators —including Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine. Both prize their moderate images, but neither has been willing to break with the GOP leadership.

But what what does Brent Budowsky at The Hill have to say about all of this?

In an article entitled “It’s Time for Dems to Fight” (how’s that for originality?), Mr. Budowsky opines:

Democrats should wage a cavalry-charge battle for the workers of the nation with a Big Bang proposal to create more jobs.

Mr. Budowsky thunders:

Never again should states and cities that are nearly bankrupt, in large measure from policies favored by the same Republicans who obstruct solutions today, be forced to suffer the pain that is imposed by every new filibuster.

If Republicans want to wage a war against teachers who educate our children, police who protect our streets and firefighters who safeguard our homes, Democrats should fight them every hour of every day on the floor of Congress and say, as Clint Eastwood said: Go ahead, make my day.

Or as Mr. Dionne said in his column:

But either Obama and the Democrats really believe that giving the economy another shot in the arm now is essential, or they don’t. If they put no punch behind their argument, voters will have no idea that some state cutbacks or tax hikes they are worried about could be avoided if Congress were willing to act.

Among the many pieces of advice that Mr. Budowsky proffers is the following:

Democrats should say to Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.): Either you are moderates or obstructionists. Either you stand with Wall Street or workers.

Now, if one were of a suspicious cast of mind, they might have the feeling that a memo (Or is it “meme-o”?) has gone out to urge the Dems to fight, while putting heat on GOP moderates–in particular, Senators Snowe and Collins–to support the Dems’ agenda. Of course, that is a very silly notion with absolutely no basis in reality.

Still, I must say I’m looking forward to Ezra Klein’s new column “Dude! The Dems Gotta Fight!”–especially the part where he singles out Snowe and Collins for their obstructionism.


Any day now.

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