That was Then, This is Now, Part ∞
posted at 10:56 am on December 28, 2009 by Slublog
E.J. Dionne, defending Harry Reid today:
You bet he [Reid] made deals, including the now highly controversial buy-out of Nebraska’s extra Medicaid costs to win the 60th vote for the bill from Sen. Ben Nelson.
You should notice this about political analysis: When a writer admires a wheeler-dealer, he or she inevitably compares that politician to Lyndon B. Johnson and typically asks: Why can’t others be more like LBJ? When a writer wants to condemn exactly the same sort of horse-trading, LBJ recedes and some other metaphor — the popular one now is “Chicago-style politics” — is wielded to imply highly unprincipled behavior. With just a few keystrokes, shrewd pragmatism is transformed into terribly sinful activity.
E.J. Dionne, January 31, 2006:
Second, a Congress saying that it really, really wants to change the way it does business ratified a backroom deal in the wee hours of the morning that almost nobody who voted on it knew anything about. Many on the right have been waging war on “earmarks,” those special projects that members of Congress insert into bills, often at the last minute — and that have proliferated since the Republicans took over the House. But secret special-interest deals can be at least as costly, often more so, than many of those earmarks.
I know defending someone like Harry Reid has got to be tough, but is it too much to ask that the new spin not contradict the old?