How quickly things can turn. On May 15 of this year, in commenting on the intra-Republican contest between Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio, the Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne wrote, “Florida will be one of the clearest tests of whether Republican voters are more interested in doctrinal purity or in winning even if it means nominating an Obama hugger.” Yet in his most recent column, Dionne writes:
Memo to Democrats: You will be defined by President Obama whether you like it or not, so you might as well embrace him for the benefits he can bring you… the trajectory in both Virginia and New Jersey sends a message to many moderate congressional Democrats worried about the 2010 elections: Whatever problems Obama may cause them, they almost certainly can ‘ t win without him
In the span of less than six months, then, Dionne has gone from telling Republican they need to nominate an “Obama hugger” to explaining to moderate Democrats why they shouldn’t abandon Barack Obama, despite “whatever problems Obama may cause them.”
Mr. Dionne — whose distaste for Republicans and conservatives is evident in almost every column — cannot kick his habit of instructing them about the dangers of “doctrinal purity.” But for him, like so many other Obama supporters, the cockiness is gone, the fear is a’risin’, all before the Virginia gubernatorial election (where Democrat Creigh Deeds is down by double digits in the polls) has even occurred. The task now facing liberals like Dionne is to get moderate Democrats to be “Obama huggers” — or at least not to become Obama critics.
The times they are a-changin‘.