Erick ‘Son of Erick’ Erickson left CNN to go to an outfit more suited to his ideology and skill level. So, now, Mr. Erickson is writing columns for Fox News. His first column demonstrates everything you need to know about wingnut welfare. Consider his opening:
The editors of the New York Times often come across as school girls at a Justin Bieber concert when it comes to the Democrats. Thursday, they upped their school girl skirt just a bit more for the Democrats.
There are people in the world called editors. Editors do things like nix paragraphs like the one quoted above. In fact, they nix whole columns if their premise is that the New York Times editorial staff prefers the Democratic agenda to the Republican one. Everyone already knows that.
But we can’t even say that that is the premise of the article. The premise of the article is that the Democrats should follow the advice of the New York Times editorial board and actually try to do something.
The problem is that Mr. Erikson dedicates the next eleven paragraphs of his article to a discussion as varied as a pro-Soviet writer from the 1930’s to the allegation that Poppy Bush had never seen a grocery store scanner before visiting the National Grocers Association convention in Orlando, Florida. In fact, you could say that the column ignores its own premise.
It is only near the end of the piece that Mr. Erickson finally addresses the point.
According to the editors, the Democrats’ should go big on “taxes, guns, education spending, [and] financial regulation.”
Yes, please, act on all those items.
The Democrats in the Senate should raise taxes. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said last year the Democrats needed to raise taxes even on the middle class.
The Democrats should try to pass an assault weapons ban.
They should try to pass more financial regulations.
They should try it all.
The idea is that vulnerable Democratic senators who are up for reelection in 2014 in states that Romney won will not be too happy and will pay a political price if the Democrats try to take action on any of those items. We could have a debate over that idea, but Erickson doesn’t offer us one. He’s thinks it is self-evidently obvious that, for example, the people of Alaska will be furious if the Democrats pass a more thorough background check for gun purchases, even though 92% of the public supports that. He thinks the people of Louisiana will lose their minds if Congress enacts stronger financial regulations of Wall Street. He thinks the people of Arkansas will flip out if we invest more in education. The people of South Dakota will be furious if we close loopholes in the tax code and lower rates. And he thinks people in North Carolina will never forgive the Democrats if there is any kind of bipartisan immigration reform.
Maybe he is right on one or all of those arguments, but he doesn’t make the case.
The broader problem is that Mr. Erickson doesn’t know how to write a political column. Even the Washington Times wouldn’t publish a column this poorly written and so poorly argued. But you don’t need to be a decent writer to get a big contract from CNN or Fox News. You really don’t. You just have to be on the right side of the aisle and willing to write stuff that appeals to wingnuts.