E.J. Dionne has not only devolved from a thoughtful columnist into a left-wing hit-man, but he has devolved even further, into the realm of a flagrantly dishonest left-wing hit-man. Today’s column contains falsehood after falsehood. First, he says the Sherrod flap grew out of a “doctored video pushed by right-wing hit man Andrew Breitbart.” Truth: The video was not doctored (it was an excerpt), and wasn’t even excerpted by Breitbard himself. And Breitbart himself used it in a way meant not to attack Sherrod but to note the applause by the listeners, which was a legitimate point. It was the NAACP and the Obama administration that over-reacted; conservatives, to our credit, asked for more context, and also provided fulsome, generous (perhaps even overly generous) testimonials to the unfairness done to Sherrod.
Second, Dionne blames Fox News for the Obama administration’s supposed projection about what Fox would do. As in: “The first reaction of the Obama team was not to question, let alone challenge, the video. Instead, it assumed that whatever narrative Fox News might create mattered more than anything else….” Might create?!?! Give me a break. As has been conclusively proved, other than one brief menton by Bill O’Reilly, Fox ran ABSOLUTELY nothing on Sherrod until AFTER she had been fired.
Dionne complains that last August, “an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 45 percent of Americans thought the reform proposals would likely allow ‘the government to make decisions about when to stop providing medical care to the elderly’.” What is wrong with that? That is or was a serious concern, even more serious with Dr. “I love rationing” Berwick in charge of CMS. Or is Donne going to call Nat Hentoff a liar? There really were “death panels by proxy” in the bills. How about his own Washington Post colleague Charles Lane, formerly a major domo at the liberal The New Republic? Here’s what Lane wrote: “Section 1233 goes beyond facilitating doctor input to preferring it. Indeed, the measure would have an interested party — the government — recruit doctors to sell the elderly on living wills, hospice care and their associated providers, professions and organizations. You don’t have to be a right-wing wacko to question that approach.”
Then we get to Dionne’s account of the Black Panther case. He writes: “This is a story about a tiny group of crackpots who stopped no one from voting.” WRONG.Does Dionne ever actually do his own research and read documents? Two different people, both of them highly credible witnesses, including civil rights legend Bartle Bull, swore under oath that they each saw three people literally turn around and leave without voting after seeing the Panthers.
Dionne reports Abigail Thernstrom’s charge that the other Civil Rights Commissioners are motivated simply by wanting to “topple” the Obama administration. But he doesn’t mention that each of the five has denied the charge vociferously, nor does he explain why their motivation has anything to do with what the actual facts are, nor does he ask why Thernstrom spent six solid months claiming that the case indeed was “blatant voter intimidation.” Thernstrom herself acknowledged in April that at least three voters “were intimidated…I mean I take seriously when anybody is intimidated, and I’m not dismissing that experience of theirs…but nevertheless, it seems to me the case of the New Black Panther Party actually blocking people from voting would be stronger if there were more than three people that we’re talking about here.” In other words, she admitted voter intimidation, but just argued that there weren’t MANY people who were intimidated.
But the worst thing Dionne does is smear the whistle-blowing attorney Christian Adams without ever talking with Adams and without checking the record. He says Adams is not to be taken seriously because he is supposedly a “Republican activist.” Oh? Adams volunteered for Bush ballot security in 2004. Does that make him a perjurer not to be taken seriously? What about his long record of winning awards at DoJ? What about his work on behalf of black voting rights in a major case in South Carolina? What about the fact that just in April, the Obama-Holder Justice Department gave him a promotion, and that he has sterling performance reviews throughout his entire career at DoJ?
Then Dionne writes this passage that amounts to one big lie:
Now, Adams is accusing the Obama Justice Department of being “motivated by a lawless hostility toward equal enforcement of the law.” This is racially inflammatory, politically motivated nonsense — and it’s nonsense even if Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh talk about it 1,000 times a day. When an outlandish charge for which there is no evidence is treated as an on-the-one-hand-on-the-other-hand issue, the liars win.
Nonsense? No evidence? There is Adams’ sworn testimony naming names and at times dates; unless he perjured himself, that is evidence. There are the lengthy reports of the going-away speech by Adams’ colleague Chris Coates, a longtime civil rights activist who once was a lead lawyer for the ACLU. (The only reason Coates’ own testimony is not sworn is because DoJ refused to let him testify.) There are Coates’ remarks when Adams left Justice, praising Adams’ integrity. There are sworn affidavits from two other former DoJ lawyers backing up the general thrust of Adams’ accounts. There are at least three other public statements by other former DoJ officials backing teh general thrust of Adams’ accounts, all on this point about whether the Obamites will actually enforce the law against black perpetrators, in defense of white (or other black but right-leaning) victims. And there are a host of other pieces of circumstantial evidence, as compiled by this Washington Times editorial.
Now, it is perfectly legitimate for Dionne to look at all this evidence and find it unconvincing, if he can argue against it, It is not legitimate to say there is “no” evidence and to smear Adams, a tremendously honorable man and somebody who Dionne’s hero Thernstrom gave ample credit to in the acknowledgements section of her last book. Why is it always, with the lefties, that a whistle-blower from the right is immediately to be smeared even though there is no evidence (and in this case, there really is not a single shred of evidence that I know of — and I have read hundreds, possibly thousands of pages of documents about Adams and read all the lefty attacks on him, and none yet provides evidence — that Adams has ever, once, at any time, been accused of being professionally unethical, much less being a perjurer. A lefty whistle-blower, on the other hand, is immediately hailed by the Dionnes of the world (and, worse, by supposedly straight news reporters), without question about their motives or their actual records.
E.J. Dionne is a dishonest hack.