Friday, June 17, 2011

Letter of the Week

"In his June 13 op-ed column ["Waiting for 2013"], Fred Hiatt struggled to find both political parties at equal fault for the debt stalemate. After the release of Republican Paul Ryan's long-term budget plan, Mr. Hiatt wrote, 'the president has stuck to the position, belied by his own budget numbers, that his vision of government is affordable without raising taxes on anyone but the rich.'

"In fact, as The Post reported, the president, in an April 13 speech on the national debt, released a deficit plan that targeted $3 in spending cuts for every dollar in new revenue.

"President Obama can be accused of many things, but failure to meet the other party halfway on the budget is not among them. The vast majority of Republicans, meanwhile, have sworn an oath to raise no additional revenue, a position wholly at odds with any serious attempt to fix the deficit.

"So why the equal treatment? Time-honored journalistic convention lets a writer assume a position of neutrality by sharing blame equally between disputing sides. But at moments of deepening political asymmetry -- as in this country today, with a rising radical wing on the political right -- that approach misses the mark."

-- Letter to the editor, WaPo, June 17, from Richard N. Mott of Arlington, VA. My only quibble with this spot-on analysis is that I suspect it's journalistic cowardice rather than convention that motivates Hiatt and his fellow Villagers. They're ignoring the biggest political story of the last 25 years: the radicalization of the Republican Party.

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