Advancing a Free Society

E.J. Dionne Misunderstands the Tea Party

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

On Oct. 22, Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne, among our most knowledgeable progressive political commentators, published a courteous rebuttal, “Debating the Tea Party: A Reply to Peter Berkowitz,” to my recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, “Why Liberals don’t get the Tea Party Movement.”  The rebuttal, or rather attempted rebuttal, is instructive for several reasons.

Dionne continues to insist, contrary to the evidence, that the Tea Party is a small and inconsequential movement. He leaves unchallenged my main claim that many highly educated Americans misunderstand the Tea Party’s central commitment to limited government because the political science and history departments at the distinguished colleges and universities that credential them are failing to teach the principles of American constitutional government (I do not dispute Dionne’s assurance that he was well trained by his college teachers).  And while insisting on the importance of a thoughtful conservatism, he seems to be unaware of its existence.

Continue reading Peter Berkowitz at The Weekly Standard