The Corner

Chait vs. the Wall Street Journal

The other day, the Journal editorialized on the likely results of a “liberal supermajority” in Washington. It wrote: “One early effort would be national, election-day voter registration. This is a long-time goal of Acorn and others on the ‘community organizer’ left and would make it far easier to stack the voter rolls.” Chait mocks this comment: “Why is it bad to let voters register and vote on the same day? I realize that it’s bad for Republicans, but it’s funny that the Journal offers no argument against this idea, except that Acorn favors it, so it must be bad. The scare quotes around ‘community organizer’ are another hilarious Journal touch — are they implying that these people aren’t actually community organizers?”

But the Journal did offer an argument: that same-day registration would “make it far easier to stack the voter rolls”–in other words, that the proposal would facilitate fraud. You can disagree or think that the increased likelihood of fraud is worth it for the proposal’s benefits, but it is simply untrue that the Journal advanced no argument. As for the quotation marks around “community organizer,” I assume the Journal is making a comment on how it’s frequently a euphemism for left-wing shakedown artists.

Chait also writes, “The part about the Fairness Doctrine is pure conservative paranoia. I’ve literally never heard an elected Democrat or even a liberal of any kind propose reinstating the Fairness Doctrine. I’m sure somebody somewhere has suggested it, but the idea that it’s a serious part of the Democratic agenda is pure right-wing paranoia.” I’d suggest that Chait listen a bit more closely to Nancy Pelosi, Dick Durbin, and John Kerry.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.


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