Which of These Things Is Not Like The Other: Unorthodox Views and David Broder

Minor blog-spat on the left: It began when Matthew Yglesias, writing on Tapped, declared that his “biggest fear about the courts over the next few years is that in seeking to protect Roe the Democrats will wind up giving away the store on almost everything else.” Yglesias agrees with Jeffrey Rosen that the conservative judicial agenda is less about social issues, and more about declaring the basic progressive economic agenda unconstitutional, thereby weakening the very foundations of the regulatory state.

This prompted Digby to write: “Matt Yglesias and others think that Roe v. Wade is probably a goner and may even be a good thing because if we expend a bunch of energy defending it, more important things will be sacrificed. If some women have to take one for the team, well, nobody ever promised them a rose garden.”

Yglesias replies that, “as a means of guarding the orthodoxy,” Digby has “totally mischaracterized” his views. He suggests people instead take on his “actual unorthodox opinions … legalize assault weapons! Drill in ANWR! Let the media consolidate!” We’ll let you know if Digby takes the bait.

And Kevin Drum has a mildly unorthodox, though probably correct, opinion of his own about the Arlen Specter brouhaha, which, he writes, “is turning out pretty well for Republicans.” Specter looks set to win the Judiciary Committee chairmanship, over the objections of the religious right, which will be perceived as “a triumph for moderation.” But it’s clear that he’ll have no leverage to do anything other than the bidding of the president and his social conservatives allies. Says Drum: “If they had actually planned things that way, I’d have said it was an unusually well played round of political theater.” But what makes him think they didn’t?

Just because the election is over doesn’t mean there’s no longer a need for the National Review to vigilantly monitor liberal media bias. Tim Graham, writing on The Corner, takes up the challenge, exposing the shocking disparity between the amount of praise Madeleine Albright got from the press for being a female Secretary of State, and the much smaller amount that Condi Rice is now having to settle for. It’s amazing Condi can get up the morning. And according to Graham, the media’s blatant “pro-Madeleine bias” is still going on to this day!

Finally, Eric Alterman — who’s written an entire book about this kind of stuff, so he must be right — agrees with Campaign Desk about David Broder’s Sunday column in the Washington Post. Alterman eviscerates it almost as effectively as we did, and declares Broder to be “such an easy mark for these right-wing Republicans, it’s an embarrassment to read him.”

Zachary Roth

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Zachary Roth is a contributing editor to The Washington Monthly. He also has written for The Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, Slate, Salon, The Daily Beast, and Talking Points Memo, among other outlets.