Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 15, 2008
POLITICS: Spinning Anger

While we are on the subject of things that get written for reasons other than the relationship they bear to the truth, those of us who remember the successful effort to demonize Republican success in 1994-95 as "a temper tantrum," "angry white men," etc. (all the way to Bill Clinton essentially blaming the Oklahoma City bombing on Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh) see the same campaign ramping up again with media claims that Republican voters are dangerously unhinged and the only cure is to stop saying bad things about Barack Obama's record.

If you have been following this "story," it's helpful to have a few reminders that a lot of these stories are based on misreporting, and that there are plenty of examples of this and worse on the Left side (really, after the last 8 years of Bush hatred and the outpouring of venom and slime directed at Sarah Palin, is "which side has more unhinged angry people doing and saying vile things" really the hill the Left wants to die on?).

There are, in fact, angry, crazy people on both sides, and this is in fact the point in the electoral calendar when a lot of people's emotions are running high. The decision to make a media narrative out of one side at precisely the moment when Obama badly wants to delegitimize any criticism of his record and his past...well, it's just a story someone wants you to hear.

UPDATE: Some may quibble with my view that Obama is afraid of being called on his record and his past - how can he be afraid, he's winning? - but of course it's precisely because he's ahead at this point that he's afraid of McCain doing anything that will alter the trajectory of the race. When you're losing, you don't try to lock down the dynamics of the race in a way that makes it hard to go negative.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 6:33 PM | Politics 2008 | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

I, for one, can't wait to see the right wing's rationalizations and recriminations once Obama beats McCain handily. The modern GOP being what it is, though, we'll probably see a whole lot more of the "Clintons-killed-Vince-Foster/Ayers-wrote-Obama's-book" paranoia than any real, honest accounting for why they got their arse kicked. It'll still be amusing -- if a tad frightening -- to watch, though.

Posted by: 20MoreDays at October 15, 2008 7:59 PM

I'm sure, if it were to happen, seeing the GOP as the party out of the White House will be interesting (after 8 years out, and also I'm too young to remember the GOP out of power).

Among other things that would be interesting if they were measurable: the effect of the media on this election. Unfortunately, that's rather impossible to measure without an alternate universe with an impartial media.

Posted by: DKH at October 15, 2008 9:43 PM

"Venom" and "slime" directed to Palin is just calling her out as ignorant and a liar. Please Crank, explain how she can claim that the Alaska Legislative Council totally vindicated her? I'm hoping this is better than your "commander in chief of the Alaska National Guard" fantasy. Are you like Nathan Jessup in "A Few Good Men," "there is nothing sexier than a woman you have to salute in the morning?"

Obama's record? Ayres? Are you kidding?

Me. I'm waiting to buy my copy of "Nailin Palin."

Posted by: Magrooder at October 15, 2008 11:29 PM

The left not only likes personal attacks but loves to pick on the weak and wounded. They view weakness the same as wolfpacks supposedly do.

Although the left favors the interests and "rights" of homosexuals, as soon as a Republican is caught in an embarrassing situation they attack with a sort of unholy glee. "Hypocrisy" is the usual justification for their actions. That is, the closeted Mark Foley deserves the worst excesses of criticism, while "out" Barney Franks should not even be questioned about his far worse peccadillos.

But it is Republican women who come under the worst attacks, probably because they are seen as inherently weaker than men. It's much the same reason why men physically attack women far more often that the reverse--in other words, cowardice and a disposition to bullying.

We're aware of the recent sliming of Sarah Palin, where perverts (not that there's anything wrong with that) like Andrew Sullivan and the child abuser Larry Flynt hold nothing back in expressing their distorted fantasies. Perhaps we'll see an Oliver Stone movie if she becomes VP.

But before that there was Katherine Harris of Florida. She handled the election controversy of 2000 with complete and even-handed adherence to the law, but because she was perceived as a possible weak link in the Dubya victory, the chivalrous knights of the left vilified her in the most despicable manner. Why? Because she was a danger to the Dems' attempt to steal the election--and because she was a woman.

With Sarah the motivation is similar. When she came into view she paralyzed the Obamanites for a few days with her threat to their hopes. Then they gathered their forces, wakened the hive, and set out to diminish her. Some of the attacks have been petty, some have been exaggerated, some have been freakishly false. But the attacks have worked to some extent, partly because of what I consider mishandling by the McCain campaign.

But she's still a threat, still has a chance of turning out votes in key states. So the attacks will continue to build until election day, the only limiting factor the possibility of a backlash.

Posted by: Dai Alanye at October 16, 2008 12:09 AM

"a few reminders that a lot of these stories are based on misreporting"
First, Patterico made an assumption - without knowing who said it and why, you can not conclusively say who it was said about. And the Weekly Standard did the same. It's perspective, not fact. I do believe it was about Ayers - but I wouldn't call it out definitely as a fact.
They did still call him a terrorist, right? And those stickers calling for waterboarding him are still out there?

And as for your others links - nice to link the crazy guy Ace called out as leftist, any proof to that? And you know, there is a difference between what most people can identify as a 'simile' and not. Frum obviously doesn't understand that. It even uses the word like!
Hey, I know, desperation sets in so equivalency must be found.

"There are, in fact, angry, crazy people on both sides"
Did you see the interview with the woman who McCain stopped after she started calling him an Arab? Quite calm, entirely uninformed.
Sorry Crank, this is the voter you've been cultivating for 8 years. Low information, easily threatened (war on christmas!), and lack of ability to critically address problems. And very angry, since we've obviously moved past bitter.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bky2SGrmC8g

This is your party, and you deserve it - the Democrats are not my party, but they are for now. Hopefully after the coming loss it can be restructured so I can think of voting R again, but I don't really think that's going to happen. And no, I don't think the election is over.

Posted by: Dave at October 16, 2008 5:04 AM

It's interesting, for most republicans, McCain is the lesser of two evils. Most republican friends I have just don't want to vote for Obama and see his illuminati politicians in DC. We aren't voting FOR McCain. We are voting against Obama.

Posted by: MNotaro at October 16, 2008 1:42 PM

"The left not only likes personal attacks but loves to pick on the weak and wounded."

While the Right picks on the poor and disenfranchised.

Posted by: Berto at October 16, 2008 2:08 PM

Let's see, Palin says Obama pals around with terrorists.
Sandra Bernhard says Palin ought to be raped.

That seems equivalent. After all, both Palin and Bernhard are bonafide members of opposing campaigns, and are running for the second-highest office in the land.

Oh, wait.

Posted by: the wandering jew at October 16, 2008 2:54 PM

wandering jew - The statement about Obama was factually true. Ayers and Dorhn were terrorists, and I've been exhaustively through his relationship with them.

Are you asserting that "Palin ought to be raped" is a factually true statement?

Posted by: Crank at October 16, 2008 3:41 PM

"Pal around" has most certainly not been factually proven, but in any case I thought your point was venom and slime. You are finding equivalency between a statement made by a vice-presidential candidate about her opponent, and a statement made by a performance artist. That's basically like comparing an official campaign statement with a piece of bathroom graffiti.

Posted by: the wandering jew at October 16, 2008 4:52 PM

"Pal around" has most certainly not been factually proven, but in any case I thought your point was venom and slime. You are finding equivalency between a statement made by a vice-presidential candidate about her opponent, and a statement made by a performance artist. That's basically like comparing an official campaign statement with a piece of bathroom graffiti.

Posted by: the wandering jew at October 16, 2008 4:53 PM

He doesn't hate him, he's just afraid of what will happen if the liberal illuminati get in control of the government. I'd like to see who is angry when that happens.

Posted by: Expressions at October 29, 2008 6:58 PM
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