The Plank

'Wall Street Journal' Finds The Perfect Democrat?

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Today's Wall Street Journal contains an op-ed by someone named Ted Van Dyk, a disillusioned Democrat that has fallen out of love with Barack Obama. "The first warning signals for me came with your acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention," Van Dyk writes. "In it, you stressed domestic initiatives that clearly were nonstarters in the already shrinking economy. ... Cut back both your proposals and expectations."

Who the heck is this guy? According to his byline, he was Vice President Hubert Humphrey's assistant and "active in national Democratic politics for over 40 years." He claims to have campaigned for Kennedy, Humphrey, Tsongas, and George McGovern--but a Nexis search reveals that he has been posing as an "enraged Democrat" abandoned by Democrats since at least the Carter administration. Liberals should dissent, of course, but this guy is just ridiculous. Check out this assortment of his clippings.

"Readers who remember Ted Van Dyk as a sometimes-conservative voice on the editorial page of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer might be surprised at his identification as a 'visceral Democrat.' ... in 1976, Van Dyk says, Jimmy Carter was about himself. He offered 'a campaign without a core.'" --The Seattle Times, Dec. 2007

"Commentary by Ted Van Dyk, Democrat, criticizes Pres Clinton, casts Bob Dole as rightful successor to Franklin D. Roosevelt, a leader 'for the little guy.'" --Wall Street Journal abstract, Oct. 1996

"Van Dyk is upset, he says, by Clinton's signing the welfare-reform bill-a 'stark abandonment of the little guy Democrats have championed since FDR'-and by Clinton's 'refusal to deal truthfully with the crisis of middle class entitlements.'" -Charlotte Observer, Oct. 1996

"Commentary by Ted Van Dyk criticizes House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, Whip David Bonior and majority of House Democrats for sabotaging free trade negotiations; labels them not liberal, but isolationist, protectionist, and reactionary."--Wall Street Journal abstract, May 1997

"With Vice President Al Gore's formal nomination for president last night, and his selection last week of Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman as his 2000 running mate, the Democratic Party may finally be coming out on the other side of what it later will see as its eight-year degradation by a president who polarized and lied to the country and who was guided by little more than his personal and political self-interest." --LA Times, Aug. 2000

"Commentary by Ted Van Dyk opposes election of Howard Dean as Democratic Party chairman as culmination of reactionary groupthink that has led party to repeated election defeats." --Wall Street Journal abstract, Feb. 2005

"As a lifelong Democrat, I am concerned that President Obama could come out of his first 100 days decidedly weaker than when they began. His November victory was not as strong as anticipated, given the unpopularity of the outgoing Bush administration, a weakening economy, and an often inept McCain-Palin Republican ticket. Yet Obama has proceeded as if he were a landslide winner, like Lyndon Johnson in 1965 and Reagan in 1980, and has pushed forward a costly and ambitious domestic agenda even though we remain in a severe economic downturn." --Seattle Crosscut.com, March 2009

There's not really a clear line of ideological criticism that runs through his columns. Are Democrats too liberal? Are they not liberal enough? The only discernable constant is that Van Dyk touts his lefty credentials and then uses that credibility to rail against the Democrats in charge... almost as if he did that for a living. Congrats to the Journal on finding a true-blue Dem willing to bash Obama.

--Barron YoungSmith

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