Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Waiting for answers from McCain's internet enablers

Liberals and conservatives alike have complained about the "free ride" or "free pass" that John McCain has received from the media on flip-flops and untruthful statements. If you're wondering what conservatives I'm talking about, The National Review Online complained about McCain's Free Pass On Flip-Flops on January 1 -- the earliest entry among the first ten google hits for either "mccain free pass" or "mccain free ride". However, a little more searching reveals a 2001 NRO piece that begins:
For too long, McCain has been given a free pass by the media

Media Matters criticisms of the media's treatment would be much more effective with a few more reminders that conservatives were voicing the same complaint until a few weeks ago.

However, there's one way in which McCain's getting as much of a free ride from the SCLI (so-called liberal internet) as from the SCLM. No matter who started the negative campaigning between Clinton and Obama (Obama fans have never explained the discovery that "fairy tale" was a racist term to my satisfaction), there's no reason to assume that the McCain campaign, or the RNC, or conservative 527's aren't putting out dirt of their own.

So what's up with liberal bloggers like Ezra Klein or Atrios? On March 14, Klein wrote:
The sense around town seems to be that the odd emergence of this old video of Wright was part of a Clinton oppo dump, and that's likely correct.

Several readers, me among them*, made comments calling upon Klein to explain why he blamed Clinton or retract his statement. Two weeks later, he still hasn't explained that statement.

Last night, Atrios gave some half-assed "deep thought" (I assume that some kind of hip, cool internet irony was intended by Atrios' title) while linking to this Marc Ambinder post:
The Clinton campaign is distributing an article in the American Spectator (!) about Obama foreign policy adviser Merrill McPeak and his penchant for.. well, the article accuses him of being an anti-Semite and a drunk.

Again, several readers, myself included, left comments, on both posts, demanding an explanation for the assumption that Clinton was behind the attacks. Again no response.

It's a serious question, why would anybody assume that no Republican groups are putting out negative material? So what's the plan, spend the next two months blaming the Clinton campaign for anything negative about McCain that appears in the press or any anonymous phone call or flyer that attacks McCain? I'd almost love to be a paid Republican campaign strategist right now. It won't be the daddy party and the mommy party, it will be the daddy party and the cry-baby party.

The above is directed less at the Obama campaign (and Clinton campaign) than at bloggers like Ezra Klein, Marc Ambinder and Atrios. So if any of you dipshits are reading this, back up your statements or withdraw them.

Update: Forgot to mention what prompted to write about the presidential election instead of Stone Age and other local matters. I was stupid enough to turn on CNN at bedtime:
According to a new NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll, Hillary Clinton's positive rating has fallen to 37 percent, the lowest that poll has recorded since her early days in the Senate in 2001, and her negatives a hefty 48 percent. Senator Obama's numbers have also gotten worse, but by not nearly as much.

CNN's Bill Schneider joins us from Washington to walk us through the data -- Bill.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, voters in general, and Democrats in particular, seem to be blaming Senator Clinton for the negative tone of the campaign. Obama, as you indicated, has much more positive ratings. His ratings have not changed very much.

One in five Obama supporters say that they will vote for McCain if Clinton is the Democratic nominee. That's a lot of people. But what's even more -- there you are -- 28 percent say they would vote for McCain. But now look what happens if Obama's the nominee. What happens -- what would Clinton supporters do?

Well, this is -- no, this is Obama supporters. Nineteen percent would vote for McCain if Clinton is the nominee. Twenty-eight percent of Obama supporters say they would vote for McCain if Clinton is the nominee.

Schneider flubbed the report, and I have doubts about the poll numbers, but it was entirely predictable.


Might I recommend emailing Ezra directly with a copy of your comment?
And do you really doubt that Hillary Clinton's campaign was distributing the American Spectator article?

After working with Drudge, doing Limbaugh's show and meeting with Scaife... they'd blanch at using that?

Do you think Armbinder just made that up?
I can no longer defend Clinton as a person or even a senator -- I looked it up and found out that I overreacted to what Chris Matthews said on Mar. 4. He exaggerated the case, but Clinton did call Kerry's joke "inappropriate." However, I will point out when criticisms of either Clinton or unfair, or fatuous, or even knee-jerk. I'll especially point it out when I think that they'll ultimately prove counterproductive -- like the facile race-baiting charges. I sincerely hope you're right that I've overstated the potential pitfalls there, but I will point out, for the record, that I blogged about it over a month before that TNR piece. Also for the record, even though I don't like Clinton, I do think it's unfair to expect her to get out with Rezko still a problem.

My main point was that everybody on the Obama side is acting like everything negative that comes out is the work of the evil Clintons. I think that's a mistake for several reasons, one of which is that it lets the evil Republicans off the hook.

Actually, I started to email Klein (and a few other names) after a left a nasty comment on his blog in January, after he just made it look like an accepted fact that Shaheen's comment were deliberate race-baiting on the part of the Clinton campaign. I wish I had, because, on the ground that I had my ear to, I heard grumblings about the cries of prejudice or racism even then. In this case, I don't think it's as important and several people called on him to explain what he meant by, "that's probably correct." Enough people made the comment that I really can't respect his failure to respond. That's not the same as saying I can't respect Klein, maybe if he had a cable news show with 3H Dana as a regular guest.

Under the circumstances -- I just saw Dana three H's on Olbermann making a very anti-Clinton reference to Steve Kroft's Tim Russert act -- it's entirely appropriate to demand that Armbinder explain exactly what he meant by saying that Clinton campaign was distributing it. Appropriate to ask to know what he meant both by the Clinton campaign and by distributing.

But WTF? No love for the first paragraph. Yeah it seems obvious, but I don't hear many other people saying it. Lots of people are writing about the fact that the MSM ignores McCain's documented flip-flops, half-truths and outright untruths. But few point out that conservatives have been saying this for at least seven years. Why are Democrats so bad at using the Republicans own words against them? If the shoe were on the other foot, it would just be "The National Review has been saying it for years," but "William F. Buckley's National Review..."
"However, I will point out when criticisms of either Clinton or unfair, or fatuous, or even knee-jerk."

I really need to learn to proofread comments. I also see that the paragraph about emailing Klein mostly consists of an unintelligible run on sentence.
"Why are Democrats so bad at using the Republicans own words against them?"

I honestly don't know.
Sorry. YRHT has all due love for the first paragraph. Well said, good links.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Old Favorites
  • Political Boxing (untitled)
  • Did Bush Take His Ball and Go Home
  • Teratogens and Plan B
  • Foghorn Leghorn Republicans
  • Quote of the Day
  • October's News(Dec.1)
  • untitled, Nov.19 (offshore revenue)
  • Remember Upton Sinclair
  • Oct. Liar of thr month
  • Jindal's True Colors
  • No bid contracts