Dionne really is such low hanging fruit, going after his insipid columns is akin to taking a few practice swings with a bat before stepping up to the plate. Today he completely mistakes what is going on across the pond as the basis for his suggestion that McCain make a sharp left turn to be more like Obama.
You can find EJ Dionne's column here. Dionne's message therein to McCain today - ditch conservative principles and become more liberal, just like the Tories did, and you stand a chance of winning the election.
There are just a few problems with that. First and foremost among them is that Republicans lost power when they lost their mooring from conservative values. They spent our wealth like drunken Democrats. When the now indicted Sen. Stevens put the Bridge to Nowhere on the Senate map, all but a few Republicans walked across it like lemmings. But that aside, looking to the UK, it is true that the Tories would never be mistaken for conservatives in the U.S. They are Labour lite - but they have been that way for the better part of a century. Voters are not warming to the Tories because the Tories have suddenly changed brands. To the contrary, they are utterly rejecting Labour, whose ideas are pretty much the mainstream socialism that Obama promises.
I've been calling Britain a laboratory in modern socialism for years. If there is a lesson to be learned from the British experience, it's that socialism is a grand failure.
As to why the Tories lost power in the first place - they sacked Margaret Thatcher because of her opposition to the EU. When Thatcher came to power, she did so on the heels of hard economic times. She revamped the British economy and tore the economic heart out of British socialism. She was villified for it, and when she lost power, that did not mean the end to the Tory problems on Europe. That, plus a series of sex scandals and some bad economic times did in Thatcher's successor, John Major. The Tories imploded, much as Republicans in 2006.
Now, after eleven years of mucking things up like only socialists can do, we are being treated to the spectacle of Labour embracing conservative principles in an effort to hold onto power. The latest Green Paper on policing, promising a devolution of power, is about as far off the left playbook as Nancy Pelosi embracing drilling in ANWR. So, to the extent that there has been movement in the political parties over the past decade in the UK, its been the movement of Labour towards the center left occupied by the Tories.
That aside, EJ did chuck in a few laughers with the best being far and away to assert that Gordon Brown and Obama share a "broadly center left world view." Gordon Brown is anything but center left. And to claim that there is anything about Obama that can be characterized as "center" or even "center left" is laughable. This is a guy whose voting record is well to the left of the only self-proclaimed socialist in Congress, who wants to declare Iraq a defeat, and who wants to institute cradle to grave socialism in the U.S. That is "center" only if you are in Cuba or Venezuela. Even China has given up that ghost.
Oh well, Dionne may never get anything right in his columns, but he always provides fine entertainment - unintended, though it may be.