Olympian Heights

OLYMPIAN HEIGHTS….You know, I really don’t begrudge David Broder his fondness for bipartisanship. Hell, I’d like to see the tone in Washington ratcheted down a notch myself. But perhaps he ought to read his fellow columnist E.J. Dionne today:

Hand-wringing over extreme partisanship has become a popular cause among learned analysts. They operate from Olympian heights and strain for evenhandedness by issuing tut-tuts to all sides, Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives.

But the evidence of recent days should settle the case: This administration has operated on the basis of a hyperpartisanship not seen in decades. Worse, the destroy-the-opposition, our-team-vs.-their-team approach has infected large parts of the conservative movement and the Republican Party.

Dionne is a nice guy, so even here he understates the problem. One doesn’t want to sound shrill, after all. But it’s sound advice nonetheless. Unless you’re willing to acknowledge what’s actually happening at ground level, your writing isn’t evenhanded, it’s just out of touch.

For more, check out “Perverse Polarity” from our June 2004 issue.