If you can’t destroy the politician attack his supporters
Does anyone remember when moveon.org put out an ad in the New York Times describing General Petraeus as General Betray us? I bet that Michael Barone no longer does. No, he spends an entire editorial whining about those “liberals” who won’t allow contrary views in such areas as attack ads—The American Issues Project or even Right Change. Or harsh Obama critics appearing on talk radio. Or get this one, those “liberal universities” that won’t allow contrary political views on campus. Oh those poor, picked on people that when Sarah Palin started connecting Obama to William Ayers—We distinctly heard “kill him, kill him.” Not exactly what I call “free speech” that immediately sounds like a threat against the life of another human being. But don’t assume that Barone will in fact castigate such utterances of “free speech” that sound distinctly immoral; not as long as it comes from his political side of the fence.
I have heard similar bully boy arguments from those who blog regularly at Huckleberries online.The names mentioned are the screen names of those who regularly comment there. Such as MamaJD. You are regarded as “irrational” or “not making sense” by coming up with an argument that “she” can’t counter. Not only is it an attempt at a put down, but “MamaJD” makes it known quite harshly that she doesn’t like contrarian views. She also wouldn’t mind in the least if those of contrarian views took their opinions elsewhere. A “liberal?” Not according to her. She is a McCain/Palin supporting Republican. Wonder why Barone doesn’t mention people like MamaJD. Or take Bruce who loves to harshly attack all things Democrat and generally leaves the Republicans alone on A Matter of Opinion. Remind “Bruce” that no politician in Washington, D.C. actually has clean hands, irrespective of political party, and he goes haywire. Bet that Barone is real careful not to take note that irrespective of the political ideology, there is no one individual, of the more radical bent, that wants to hear a contrarian view.
On to the attack ads: Right Change and The American Issues Project actually did not exist until a few weeks ago. That was when they sent out TV ads attacking the Democrats for the financial mess in the so-called “Free Market” that in actuallity, the GOP were just as guilty of creating. But we don’t want to accept accountability here, GOP; we want scapegoats. Barone mentions attack ads sent out by The American Issues Project that: Because Sarah Palin said this, the ad will repeat the talking points verbatim and without attribution. Or because John McCain said that, right after Right Change put out ads that would later become McCain’s own talking points without attribution. Barone shudders at the thought that The American Issues Project just might face criminal prosecution. Then again, ever hear of libel? It isn’t a “freedom of the press.” And it can be subject to criminial prosecution. So can plagiarism.
The fellow who went on talk radio and I’ll assume must have said some particularly ugly things to produce an equally vehement reaction. The Obama supporters flooding the station with hundreds of phone calls and e-mails. Well, looking at AOL in the last couple of months, thousands of commenters on blogs and message boards had become quite an echo chamber of hate Obama. Getting a word in edgewise amidst all the white hot fury, would be quite a challenge. But of course, Barone doesn’t think about those things, does he? Or about the University that becomes a proving ground for ideological extremes and no longer an institution for higher education. ↔ But then, Barone makes the one major gaffe in his editorial (republished from U.S. News & World Report by the 11 October 08 edition of the Spokesman-Review); this is when he claims that Senator Obama spent all of his adult life in higher acedamia. Oh yeah? Being educated is a bad thing? But actually no, he did not spend all of his adult life in the halls of higher acedamia. He became a community organizer and then went on to become a State Senator, a member of the Senate from Illinois. And while he served on charitable boards to aid education, he did leave the halls of higher acedamia some years ago. ↔ Where Barone made that sort of glaring error, how much more may we question the rest of his editorial.