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E. J. Dionne is a Lying Gasbag

Filed under: 2008 Election,Buffoons,Media Bias,Politics,Public Policy — WLS @ 12:10 pm

Poste By WLS:

I fully understand and expect there to be partisanship in opinion columns written by advocates on both sides of the political arena.  And while I find E.J. Dionne consistently wrong, I don’t generally find his writing to be wilfully deceptive.  His column today is an exception.

He finds little to cheer in the GOP candidates responses to the debate “questions” Wednesday night — though he has a few kind words for Huckabee and McCain.  But he makes a point of scolding Romney and Giuliani for “pandering”, while at the same time tarring the entire GOP with having a “growing anti-immigrant feeling.”  

But it was on immigration that Giuliani and Romney demonstrated for all to see that winning matters more to them than anything else.

Giuliani in particular had been warmly inclined toward immigrants, including undocumented immigrants, when he was mayor of liberal and diverse New York…. 

But on Wednesday, Giuliani played right into the feelings he once condemned and played down his past — even if he couldn’t fully deny it. After Romney assailed Giuliani for turning New York into a “sanctuary city,” Giuliani said that Romney had employed illegal immigrants to do work on his Massachusetts home, transforming it into a “sanctuary mansion.”

Romney, in turn, asked Giuliani if he was saying that a person who hired a company for home improvement work should be expected to ask someone in the work crew who had “a funny accent” to prove he was here legally. The exchange made both men look very small.

These paraphrases are as close as Dionne gets to actually quoting what either one of them said during the debate that he regarded a “anti-immigrant”  — remember, its their debate performance he is criticizing.  Near the end of his piece he encapsulates Romney and Giuliani’s comments on the immigration questions as leaving

“the odor of nativist compost being spread around the stage”  

using that line as part of a passage in such a way that an careless reader might attribute that phrase to John McCain when speaking about his GOP rivals.

So, what did Giuliani and Romney say that was so “nativist” during the debate?  Don’t bother looking for it in Dionne’s column, because there’s nothing there. 

After the jump, I’ve posted nearly all the passages from the debate transcript by Romney and Giuliani concerning immigration. 

After reading through them, I went back to re-read Dionne’s column again, just to verify that the column he typed had used the following letters from the alphabet:

a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, l, m, n, o, p, r, s, t, v,  and y.

I did so because I thought maybe had had been typing on a defective keyboard, one which was missing the letters necessary to include this sentence in his column:

 “Hillary Clinton pandered to the nativist tendencies of the Democrat party by reversing her position on issuing drivers’ licenses to illegal aliens after being blasted on the subject following the MSNBC debate.”

But, I found that he had used all those letters on his keyboard in his column, so I’m at a loss to explain his failure to mention Hillary’s odor — of nativist compost I mean.  I’ve never been close enough to her to know if she has any other. 

Among the comments by Guiliani on the issue of immigration policy were the following — I invite anyone to quote others from the transcript if they think I missed something “nativist”:

But, most important point is, we reported thousands and thousands and thousands of names of illegal immigrants who committed crimes to the immigration service. They did not deport them. And what we did, the policies that we had, were necessary because the federal policies weren’t working.

The federal policies weren’t working, stopping people coming into the United States. If I were president of the United States, I could do something about that by deploying a fence, by deploying a virtual fence, by having a BorderStat system like my COMSTAT system that brought down crime in New York, and just stopping people from coming in, and then having a tamper-proof ID card.

There was even a sanctuary mansion. At his own home, illegal immigrants were being employed, not being turned into anybody or by anyone. And then when he deputized the police, he did it two weeks before he was going to leave office, and they never even seemed to catch the illegal immigrants that were working at his mansion. So I would say he had sanctuary mansion, not just sanctuary city.

New York City was not a sanctuary city. New York City did three exceptions. The three exceptions were to allow children to go to school, to allow those illegal immigrants who were the victims of crime to report the person who assaulted them, beat them up, mugged them.

And third, to allow emergency care in the hospitals, which we were required to do by federal law. We had a policy of reporting every single illegal immigrant other than those three who commit any kind of crime or were suspected of crime, and we reported thousands of them to immigration service. Few of them were deported.

Here are comments from Romney on the various immigration questions:

It called itself a sanctuary city. And as a matter of fact, when the welfare reform act that President Clinton brought forward said that they were going to end the sanctuary policy of New York City, the mayor actually brought a suit to maintain its sanctuary city status.

And the idea that they reported any illegal alien that committed a crime — how about the fact that the people who are here illegally have violated the law? They didn’t report everybody they found that was here illegally.

And this happens to be a difference between Mayor Giuliani and myself and probably others on this stage as well, which is we’re going to have to recognize in this country that we welcome people here legally.

But the mayor said — and I quote almost verbatim — which is if you happen to be in this country in an undocumented status — and that means you’re here illegally — then we welcome you here. We want you here. We’ll protect you here.

That’s the wrong attitude. Instead, we should say if you’re here illegally, you should not be here. We’re not going to give you benefits, other than those required by the law, like health care and education, and that’s the course we’re going to have to pursue.

Let me tell you what I did as governor. I said no to driver’s licenses for illegals.

I said, number two, we’re going to make sure that those that come here don’t get a tuition break in our schools, which I disagree with other folks on that one.


Number three, I applied to have our state police enforce the immigration laws in May, seven months before I was out of office.

It took the federal government a long time to get the approvals and we enforced the law. And Massachusetts is not a sanctuary state, and the policies of the mayor of pursuing a sanctuary nation or pursuing a sanctuary city…

Well, you know, I like Mike. And I heard what he just said. But he basically said that he fought for giving scholarships to illegal aliens. And he had — he had a great reason for doing so.

It reminds me of what it’s like talking to liberals in Massachusetts, all right? They have great reasons for taking taxpayer money and using it for things they think are the right thing to do.

Mike, that’s not your money. That’s the taxpayers’ money.

And the right thing here is to say to people that are here legally as citizens or legal aliens, we’re going to help you. But if you’re here illegally, then you ought to be able to return home or get in line with everybody else. But illegals are not going to get taxpayer-funded breaks that are better than our own citizens, those that come from other states or those that come from your state.

I get a chance to just respond to that. We are not punishing children for what their parents did. I respect the fact that you worked your way through college. That’s the way you are. That’s wonderful. A lot of people in this country do tremendous things to get their education. But the question is, are we going to give taxpayer-funded benefits to kids that are here illegally and put them ahead of kids that are here legally?

There’s only so much money. Are we going to say that kids that are here illegally are going to get a special deal? Are they going to get a deal better than other kids? Do they get benefits by virtue of coming here illegally? And the answer is no.

If those comments are produce a “nativist odor”, then E.J. needs to provide his own definition. 


22 Responses to “E. J. Dionne is a Lying Gasbag”

  1. “The federal policies weren’t working, stopping people coming into the United States” Rudy

    He may have overlooked the static nature of his comment, but even if it is the speakers contextual error, how is Dionne a liar?

    Don’t forget, they’re not speaking to their base in this format, so careful parsing is essential. Their true feelings, nativist or otherwise, will not be front and center.

    Semanticleo (0aaaec)

  2. Dionne used the phrase “odor of nativist compost being spread around the stage.”

    Its up to him to back up his assertion with a qualifying statement from one of the candidates.

    “Nativist” is a preference native inhabitants over immigrants. Romney and Giuliani each drew distinctions between legal immigrants and illegal immigrants.

    One is not “nativist” by favoring native inhabitants over illegal immigrants, but also welcoming of legal immigrants at the same time.

    WLS (dfa1f1)

  3. “Nativism is an opposition to immigration which originated in United States politics.” Wiki.

    Still, “lying gasbag” seems excessive. ‘Odor’ is the underlying schematic Dionne suspects. But he didn’t say he saw compost on the stage. You’re sensationalizing it a bit.

    Semanticleo (0aaaec)

  4. You aren’t going to win this way. It’d be much better to point out that Dionne is using a false charge of “nativism” in order to support massive illegal activity.

    And, to point out how he was misleading:

    When Romney attacked Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor, for supporting a proposed state program under which some children of illegal immigrants would have gotten help to attend college

    Whether that’s cleverly worded to be factual or whatever, it’s misleading: the benefits were for illegal aliens themselves. And, some of the supposed restrictions Huck mentioned aren’t in the version that was voted on or the other versions:

    So, we can accuse Dionne of being misleading and of failing to research possible false claims made by a candidate.

    TLB (9163ab)

  5. You prefer Wiki or Websters? Mine came from an actual dictionary, not a playground.

    I grant you that Dionne is using “odor” as a rhetorical device. But here was his exact quote:

    “As for McCain, he seemed disgusted by the odor of the nativist compost being spread around the stage.”

    So, there’s no question Dionne is accusing Giuliani and Romney of having made “nativist” statements — or at least statements that pandered to a “nativist” sentiment that he has identified in the GOP.

    Yet he writes nothing then or now about the retreat that Clinton was FORCED to beat after her little YouTube moment. Why was she so incapable of even answering a direct question, only to later offer and answer contrary to her earlier stated position when her first answer got her into hot water?

    Hot water with whom?


    In the Democrat party?

    Don’t look for an answer from EJ.

    WLS (dfa1f1)

  6. I’m more surprised that someone is still reading EJ Dionne in the first place.

    Gabriel (6d7447)

  7. E.J. Dionne is yet more proof that being a Rhodes Scholar is a joke.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  8. WLS;

    I think your standard of ‘truth’ is admirable. I mean, it seems you think leaving part of the truth out qualifies as a lie. I look forward to consistent appraisal from you in the future.

    Semanticleo (0aaaec)

  9. Unless nativist has taken on a whole new meaning the word is just not that important.

    The OED definition most appropriate is: 1. U.S. Polit. A person who favours or advocates a policy of nativism; spec. a member of the Native American party (now hist.).

    davod (5bdbd3)

  10. 8 — Semtanticleo:

    “Truth” in the sense of covering the topic fairly.

    When an opinion columnist

    1) claims something exists on a particular topic for which there is no evidence, while at the same time

    2) failing to mention an established fact for which the evidence is uncontested

    his column is built on a lie.

    WLS (dfa1f1)

  11. Websters:

    Nativism — 1. A sociopolitical policy favoring the interests of native inhabitants over those of immigrants. — nativist n, nativistic, adj.

    No distinction between illegal and legal immigrants.

    WLS (dfa1f1)

  12. The term,Nativist,was used by those who thought unskilled labor-IRISH-would take jobs from the established populace. Since this term was coined before Manifest Destiney was completed its real realavance is to make people guilty if they harbor those thoughts,.Today, the numbers of people entering our Nation dwarf those of the middle 19th century.Moreover,our living space is closed making this and act of INVASION. Mr. Dionne is just a shill for the Democractic Party who wants these peopls as the new cadre of Democacts.His is the odor of fear not Romney…

    mike191 (a0af37)

  13. “No distinction between illegal and legal immigrants.”

    That’s the hidden schematic Dionne sees.

    Semanticleo (0aaaec)

  14. That’s the hidden schematic Dionne sees.

    And presents absolutely no evidence to support.

    Pablo (99243e)

  15. WLS – I thought the WAPO had tossed EJ because he was a lying gasbag and too many people had figured it out. Sorry to see he’s still there.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  16. You’re not going to hijack the thread — WLS

    Semanticleo (0aaaec)

  17. See above. WLS

    Semanticleo (0aaaec)

  18. Sematicleo is a troll. Why would anyone respond?

    Zelsdorf Ragshaft III (43f04c)

  19. EJ Dionne = an effeminate wimp with a lisp. what were you guys expecting?

    james conrad (7cd809)

  20. WLS – great catch! The leading news outlets still don’t know what to do with Hillary. They are so distracted by their love for her, they give her a humongous pass on most issues. She takes credit for accomplishments of Bill Clinton’s term at the same time directing questions about Bill Clinton’s failures to Bill.

    Who can forget the Clintons’ last day in office pardon of Marc Rich, indicted for tax evasion and trading with Iran, who made it to the FBI Most Wanted List, but who gave huge cash to the Democratic party and the Clinton Library? Well, EJ Dionne, that’s who. Marc Rich was indicted by Rudolph Giuliani, by the way. What does Hillary say about all of this, other than “I know nothing!” ?

    Wesson (fd354d)

  21. Near the end of his piece he encapsulates Romney and Giuliani’s comments on the immigration questions as leaving “the odor of nativist compost being spread around the stage”

    It is you who are mischaracterizing what Dionne said, which was:

    As for McCain, he seemed disgusted by the odor of the nativist compost being spread around the stage. “This whole debate saddens me a little bit,” he said.

    McCain wasn’t just referring to the remarks made by Rudy and Willard that night, but remarks made by Fred, and the first questioner — AND the way most of the GOP has been dealing with this issue. The whole subtext of both Willard and Rudy’s remarks was “I hate these people more than you do” — it had nothing to do with solutions, it was just about who had the biggest anti-Hispanic hard-on.

    p_lukasiak (e59d7d)

  22. Well, now you can put both Lukasiak and Dionne in the same gasbag category.

    SPQR (26be8b)

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