Sundays With Dickerson - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Sundays With Dickerson

The announcement was made over the weekend that CBS News would be replacing the 78-year old Bob Schieffer as the host of its Face The Nation Sunday show with a representative of a new generation of biased leftwing Beltway insiders.

John Dickerson, son of the former CBS reporter and D.C. socialite Nancy Dickerson, has served as CBS’s political director as well as chief political correspondent at the online left-wing rag Slate for the last several years. Prior to those jobs Dickerson was a reporter at the left-wing print rag Time magazine. He now takes over for Schieffer, who made a reputation as one of the more partisan Democrats in television news.

Nothing — nothing — will change with Dickerson taking over for Schieffer.

What are we getting from the network that gave us Dan Rather’s defamations of George W. Bush’s Texas Air National Guard record, Walter Cronkite’s North Vietnamese propaganda, Daniel Schorr’s smearing of Barry Goldwater as a Nazi wannabe, and the serial spiking of Sharryl Attkisson’s investigative reporting of the Obama scandals?

We’re getting a man who in 2013, upon the re-election of Barack Obama, wrote a piece “advising” the president act to destroy the Republican Party. Dickerson penned this, as “analysis” of Obama’s best available move…

The president who came into office speaking in lofty terms about bipartisanship and cooperation can only cement his legacy if he destroys the GOP. If he wants to transform American politics, he must go for the throat. …

Obama’s only remaining option is to pulverize. Whether he succeeds in passing legislation or not, given his ambitions, his goal should be to delegitimize his opponents. Through a series of clarifying fights over controversial issues, he can force Republicans to either side with their coalition’s most extreme elements or cause a rift in the party that will leave it, at least temporarily, in disarray.

That, from an article titled “Go for the Throat! Why if he wants to transform American politics, Obama must declare war on the Republican Party” which demanded Obama take aggressive partisan action on some of the Left’s favored issues — gun control and immigration, most prominently:

The president can stir up these fights by poking the fear among Republicans that the party is becoming defined by its most extreme elements, which will in turn provoke fear among the most faithful conservatives that weak-willed conservatives are bending to the popular mood. That will lead to more tin-eared, dooming declarations of absolutism like those made by conservatives who sought to define the difference between legitimate and illegitimate rape—and handed control of the Senate to Democrats along the way. For the public watching from the sidelines, these intramural fights will look confused and disconnected from their daily lives.

As an aside, Obama more or less took Dickerson’s advice and spent the first part of 2013 in a fruitless attempt at flogging gun control as a panacea for Tucson, Aurora, and Sandy Hook. That effort inflamed the NRA and Second Amendment community and would lead to several Democratic senators in red states turned out of office the following year. And Obama’s subsequent attempts at executive amnesty have only increased GOP majorities on the border security issue even while the party’s leadership has been busy selling out its base on amnesty. Both issues have shown the Democrats’ extreme weakness and lack of appeal, particularly away from the East and West Coast liberal enclaves.

When the predictable backlash from conservatives came, Dickerson responded with customary indignation that anyone would take umbrage with his “Go For The Throat” article. After all, he was merely offering analysis of Obama’s options, you see. 

On the eve of the president’s inauguration, I wrote a piece about what President Obama needs to do to be a transformational rather than caretaker president. I was using a very specific definition of transformational presidencies based on my reading of a theory of political science and the president’s own words about transformational presidencies from the 2008 campaign. It was also based on these givens: The president is ambitious, has picked politically controversial goals, has little time to operate before he is dubbed a lame-duck president, and has written off working with Republicans. “Bloodier-minded when it comes to beating Republicans,” is how Jodi Kantor put it in the New York Times. Given these facts, there is only one logical conclusion for a president who wants to transform American politics: He must take on Republicans — aggressively.

It apparently never occurred to Dickerson that perhaps an Obama willing to experience real success in office would look for areas of commonality and consensus in Congress and among the American people and exploit those for bipartisan gains showing that he could actually govern, and that perhaps that kind of executive mentality is what the American people expect out of a president. After all, that isn’t only the record of Bill Clinton in office — it’s what usually emanates from the mouths of Face the Nation hosts when Republicans occupy the White House. After all, just last month Schieffer asked Republican Senator Tom Cotton if he planned to write a letter to the North Koreans next, an essential regurgitation of the Democratic Party talking point that Cotton’s Iran letter was tantamount to treason.

Republicans must be cooperative and flexible in their political and ideological maneuverings, you see. Only Democrats can go for the throat.

As if Dickerson shouldn’t already have been disqualified from duty as a serious presenter of media objectivity by his role in propping up the Democratic propagandist Joe Wilson, whose lies about Iraq’s attempts to purchase yellowcake uranium from Niger and the legacy media’s cooperation in spreading them led to the breakdown of the Bush administration’s foreign-policy credibility, the rise of the “Bush lied” slur, and ultimately the unjust prosecution and conviction of vice president Dick Cheney’s chief of staff Scooter Libby.

This is a bleak, soulless partisan. A lupine Democrat operative dressed up in the wool of an objective journalist. And as it happens a groupthinking hack whose political “advice” results in alienation from mainstream America.

So of course Dickerson gets hired to succeed Schieffer at Face the Nation. What else would you expect?

Scott McKay
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Scott McKay is publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics. He’s also a writer of fiction — check out his three Tales of Ardenia novels Animus, Perdition and Retribution at Amazon. Scott's other project is The Speakeasy, a free-speech social and news app with benefits - check it out here.
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