Saturday, April 19, 2008

The 'Republican talking points' meme

A good measure of how leftward the Democratic Party has drifted in the age of Howard Dean, DailyKos, and Media Matters is the "Republican talking points" meme that spread like a virus in online news media and in liberal blogs after Wednesday's debate.

The virus appeared to originate with The Nation, spread from there, and so quickly buried itself into the Left's consciousness that by Friday, when Eli Pariser of wanted to fire back at Hillary for dissing the Democrats' "activist base," he said:
MoveOn is 3.2 million reliable voters and volunteers who are an important part of any winning Democratic coalition in November. They deserve better than to be dismissed using Republican talking points.
Keep an eye out for this meme. What the Left is trying to do is to intimidate the MSM, so that if the media report any negative information about the Democrats, the media will be slammed for using "Republican talking points."

This intimidation is aimed at erecting a sort of media force-field around the eventual Democratic nominee. Given the rabid vitriol directed at ABC News in wake of the Philadelphia debate, other news outlets that report negatively on the Democrats can expect similar fusilades this year.

The crowd, having captured the DNC by such tactics, now wants to bring the MSM to heel . . .

UPDATE: NYT's Bob Herbert offers a variation on the theme:
The big issues of our time are being left behind as pettiness and mean-spirited partisanship carry the day. . . .
That raucous laughter you hear in the background is coming from the likes of Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, President Bush and Senator McCain. They can’t believe their good fortune.
(Via Memeorandum.) One of the pet conceits of liberals is that, if only the benighted American electorate could be compelled to focus on the real issues -- "the big issues of our time," in Herbert's phrase -- then progressive Democrats would triumph and finally inaugurate a full-blown Scandinavian-style socialist regime in America. Instead, the Right Wing Noise Machine distracts the voters with silly distractions about how the Democratic candidates are corrupt, dishonest or hypocritical, and the "big issues of our time" (i.e., how to Swedenize the U.S. health-care system) are neglected.

The Bob Herberts of the world often claim to want to see the issues debated among Democrats, but what they really want is for them all to sing from the progressive hymnal in perfect unison: Diversity through homogenization.

UPDATE II: Ed Morrisey spots another variation on the theme: "What Will Karl Do?"
Huffington Post writer Tom Edsall reveals that a union has developed an extensive and detailed attack on Barack Obama’s connection with William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, the former Weather Underground terrorists, while at the same time deriding it as “McCarthyism.” . . .
Not only can they indulge in what they call McCarthyism, they can blame their bete noir Karl Rove for it before he even utters a word.
Simple rule for Democrats: When in doubt, blame a Republican.

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