There’s an awful lot wrong with this op-ed from Washington Post editorial page honcho Fred Hiatt, but I’ll just remark on his extremely strange opening graf:
For moderate voters clinging to some faith in government, the question over the past two decades of mostly two-party rule was: Can’t Washington do anything?
Now, with one party pretty much in control, the question has become both more hopeful and more anxious: Will Washington do anything responsibly?
It seems to me that we had “one party pretty much in control” in the opening months of 2001, as well as throughout the years 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. Has Hiatt forgotten about this? It honestly wasn’t very long ago. Meanwhile, throughout the course of an article castigating irresponsibility on the part of the current congressional majority, Hiatt doesn’t see fit to so much as mention the blanket opposition to everything that’s been coming from the minority. On Waxman-Markey, for example, if conservative legislators were working assiduously to make the bill more efficient, then we would get a more efficient bill. Instead, they’re opposing any effort to limit carbon emissions, which results in the need to make some unfortunate compromises to broaden support among Democrats, and then using those compromises as a bad-faith rationale for attacking the bill. That’s the fundamental underlying dynamic, and it’s totally missing from Hiatt’s piece.
Of course for an editor who doesn’t seem to mind if his columnists like Michael Gerson just make stuff up, I suppose that simply interpreting events in an odd and misleading way is a kind of progress.