Joe Gandleman at The Moderate Voice levels the usual charge: "White House: NY 23 Shows GOP Becoming More Extreme"
Political ByLine goes part of the way in rebutting this silliness:
My question to Joe and also to the White House; is this —– is that not this very tactics that were taken by the late Senator Joseph McCarthy; who engaged in a sort of "Thought Police" towards those who were of the mindset that Communism or as it now called, socialism; was the great alternative to American capitalism? I ask this in all seriousness, since when did disagreeing with political and ideological mindset become extremism?Erick Erickson offers a few figures in favor of the more firm approach. Shorter Erickson: "Politics ain't bean-bag."
The truth is my friends, is that the White House is engaging in the tactics of Saul Alinsky. That is to diminish and discredit those who are in opposition to the policies and politics of the socialists. What disturbs me is the fact that there are some Conservatives, who are engaging in the same tactics as the left —- in the name of Liberty. I am quite sorry but, utilizing "Rules for Conservative radicals" makes us no better than the liberal left. We simply have to arm ourselves with the honest truth; believe me, it will shine forth. There is no need to mimic the left. We are better than that; we should act like it.
Where I was waiting for Pat at PBL's analysis to go is a consideration of the NetRoots and Joe Lieberman in 2006.
The sea change in American politics is that people are paying attention and getting involved. The Moderate Voice loses all credibility, and appears nothing more than a propaganda mill, when they lose the context of what is going on and decry "extremeism" on the Right.
What extremism? How is it extreme to ask basic questions about the Constitutionality of truly radical legislation that literally runs to multiple reams when printed? How?
The closest I can come to empathizing with the plight of the 111th Congress et al. is that they're still driving the Progressive status quo of the last century. The internet, social networks, and the recent Great Political Awakening are still shiny and new. There isn't much cause to get all worried about the Right until the ballots are counted in November 2010, but which time a new operating point may have been reached.
Politics is a bore. Not the heavy-duty action of the campaign, but the ridiculous grind of dealing with the US Code, the budget, the scandals, the government worker unions (you think SEIU is a challenge?), etc. There is still no guarantee that, faced with the Really Ugly Details of the deficit and the debt, the conservatives will stay locked on, and continue to elect candidates who make Tough Decisions.
So really, the Right is more about naïveté than extremism. We're no sooner going to get transparency and insight into the sausage making inside Congressional budgeting and DoD spending than the fertilizer is going to hit the air circulator. THEN is when the worry about extremism becomes real. When the cute budget deficit graph and the funny 'national debt road trip' turn into a scylla and charybdis of economic doom is when times will become 'interesting'.
Maybe Joe knows all this, and maybe that's why he's trying to help keep the dream of the lotophagi going.