Someday the Democrats may learn an important lesson about the collective wisdom of the media in the nation’s capital: On important questions of policy and politics, the Washington press corps is almost always wrong. They are always full of opinions about everything from clothing, haircuts and marital problems to political tactics, but the safest course is always to ignore their advice.
At the moment, the most popular line among the certified pundits is that the Congressional Democrats are in danger of displaying excessive zeal in probing Bush administration corruption—and specifically the apparent politicization of the federal law-enforcement system by the White House and the Justice Department.
But the Washington punditry has been reliably wrong about everything of consequence for many years, from Whitewater to weapons of mass destruction. For any sane politician, the “biggest risk” is listening to these people.
Since the substantive issues raised by the U.S. attorney purge—such as the political abuse of law enforcement by the White House and the false testimony of Attorney General Gonzales, among others—are of such scant interest to so many commentators, let’s focus instead on public opinion.
While the cable sages were castigating the Democrats for trying to “flog” Mr. Rove, the pollsters at CNN–USA Today were asking voters about the issue. The answers were decisive: By a margin of three to one, the respondents supported the issuance of those supposedly controversial subpoenas. In fact, most said they wanted not just Mr. Rove but the President himself to appear in Congress and answer for his actions and those of his subordinates.
The Washington press corps is just as remote from American views and values as when it was howling for President Clinton’s head. By now, the Democrats should know that when these soothsayers warn against your present course, it is best to keep going straight ahead. And when they complain that you’re barking up the wrong tree, it is time to bark louder.
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Joe Conason rightly advises the Dems to not listen to the "liberal" press, instead listen to the "liberal" general public:
Posted by Grey Matter at 9:21 PM