Despite what Ezra Klein wrote: In Saturday morning’s Washington Post, Ezra Klein let it rip concerning a missing person.
The missing person is Norman Ornstein. Klein began his column with a review of Ornstein’s status in Washington:
KLEIN (5/12/12): "We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional," wrote Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein in The Washington Post. "In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party."Klein refers to this column by Ornstein and Mann in the Washington Post’s Outlook section on April 29. (Headline: “Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem.”) But in fact, that column was just an overview of Ornstein and Mann’s new book, which trashes the Republican Party as the cause of our society’s deepening political problems.
In Washington, "Mann and Ornstein" are a brand. Mann works at the centrist Brookings Institution, Ornstein at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. Over their four-decade partnership, they have established themselves as the two most respected, committed scholars—and defenders—of the U.S. Congress. They never tire of pointing out that the way the Founders designed the federal government, Congress came first, and it was intended to have an "institutional identity," not a partisan identity. It's that institutional identity, they now say, that is under threat, and more from one party than the other.
Their cri de coeur hit a nerve. The column, published two weeks ago, was recommended more than 241,000 times on Facebook. It generated more than 5,000 comments. It was tweeted more than 3,000 times. It made many Republicans very, very angry.
Inside Washington, Ornstein and Mann have been famous for decades. (See THE DAILY HOWLER, 5/9/12.) Their recent cri de coeur (“cry of heart”) hit a nerve, Klein says.
But now, the pair of scholars are missing—and no one is saying a word about it! Yesterday, for the third straight week since that book appeared, Ornstein failed to turn up on a Sunday news program. Mann was missing too. No one asked them about their book—the book which says that our current decline is the fault of only one party.
For decades, they were the most-quoted experts in Washington. Now, the Sunday programs can’t find them! Bob Schieffer can’t locate his trusted old friends. David Gregory is mystified too!
When will the man-hunt begin in the liberal world?
People! Get a grip! We liberals may not be that sharp!