Washington Post columnists Dana Milbank and David Broder are both committed guardians of the establishment center, but they don’t always interpret their role in the same way.
Milbank led the cheers for White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel as chief dragger to the right (FAIR Blog, 3/2/10), whereas Broder saw his blame-the-boss disloyalty as unseemly (3/4/10); on the other hand, it was Broder who thrilled recently to the “pitch-perfect populism” of Sarah Palin (2/11/10), while Milbank’s column today (3/16/10) finds a similar spiel by Dick Armey to be as worthy of ridicule as, say, single-payer advocates (FAIR Blog, 6/12/09).
While Milbank’s take-down of Armey’s speech was amusing (“He asked if people ‘agree with, with uh, with uh, help me out, uh, the great prime minister, English prime minister–Churchill'”), it was about as lo-cal as his more typical mockery of the left. He quotes Armey’s assertion:
Jamestown colony, when it was first founded as a socialist venture, dang near failed with everybody dead and dying in the snow.
To which Milbank retorts: “Who knew they had socialists in 1607?” But Milbank doesn’t recall that Jamestown was in actuality a for-profit enterprise–a project of the Virginia Company of London, a joint stock company. Perhaps that would have been too pointed a punchline for Milbank’s ideological tastes.