In today's Washington Post you'll spy an op-ed by longtime Washington insiders Doug Schoen and Pat Caddell arguing that Democrats, in order to minimize electoral damage this November, "need to start embracing an agenda that speaks to the broad concerns of the American electorate ... the agenda that is driving the Tea Party movement and one that has the capacity to motivate a broadly based segment of the electorate."
Schoen and Caddell identify themselves in the op-ed as "Democratic pollsters who argued against the health-care legislation," but that is a gross understatement -- Schoen and Caddell have opposed almost every Democratic and progressive position in recent years. They might consider themselves "Democrats," but in practice they are conservative mouthpieces who concern-troll their way through Fox News' evening line-up telling anyone who will listen how Democrats need to be more like conservative Republicans.
Pick almost any issue facing the country today, and you'll find that that Schoen's and Caddell's rhetoric matches exactly the rhetoric you hear coming from right-wing pundits and politicians.
From the April 15 edition of CNN's Rick's List:
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Charles Krauthammer falsely claimed that the recently passed health care reform law would add "about two trillion" to the federal budget deficit. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that the new law will reduce, not increase the deficit.
This week on his Fox News program, Glenn Beck is laying out "The Plan," a series of proposals he has developed with the assistance of conservative think tanks for "slashing the budget," which he claims is necessary for the United States "to survive."
Today's proposals were:
On his next show, Beck promises to "take on" the Department of Defense's budget.
The Associated Press reports that a man was cited in Idaho for firing his shotgun near a census worker who was trying to deliver a census form.
Fifty-4-year-old Richard L. Powell of St. Maries faces up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
The Benewah County Prosecutor's office says that on March 3 Powell told the census worker to get off his property and then fired a shotgun into the air.
Now while this incident happened before CNN's Erick Erickson said he would "pull out my wife's shotgun" if American Community Survey workers tried to arrest him for not filling out his form, it does again cause us to ask why CNN feels that it should promote someone contributing to this hostile atmosphere. Census workers are doing their jobs to help fulfill a requirement of the Constitution; they shouldn't have to worry about facing violence while doing so.
Stop me if you've heard this one before: The conservative blogosphere appears to catch a progressive politician in a gotcha, saying or doing something in the past which seems to contradict their current words or deeds, only to have the charge unravel mere moments later because it was simply too good to check.
Today's case is this post by conservative blogger Dan Riehl discussing the "Vote Different" YouTube video that attacked then-Senator Hillary Clinton in 2007. Riehl billed it as an "early Obama commerical". The link to Riehl's blog post was then promoted by Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit, whose post apparently prompted Reason's Nick Gillespie to describe the clip as "a pre-2008 Democratic primary season ad from future Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama". That Reason post was then re-amplified by Reynolds with a later blog post.
The only problem is, the ad didn't come from the Obama campaign.
The ad was created by Phil de Velils, who described his connection to the ad and the Obama campaign in a post on The Huffington Post three years ago:
Let me be clear: I am a proud Democrat, and I always have been. I support Senator Obama. I hope he wins the primary. (I recognize that this ad is not his style of politics.) I also believe that Senator Clinton is a great public servant, and if she should win the nomination, I would support her and wish her all the best.
I've resigned from my employer, Blue State Digital, an internet company that provides technology to several presidential campaigns, including Richardson's, Vilsack's, and -- full disclosure -- Obama's. The company had no idea that I'd created the ad, and neither did any of our clients. But I've decided to resign anyway so as not to harm them, even by implication.
This ad was not the first citizen ad, and it will not be the last. The game has changed.
When people wonder why the conservative blogosphere has such a hard time being taken seriously, it's for episodes like this, and as my colleague Ben Dimiero pointed out earlier, this isn't even the sloppiest incident in the conservative blogosphere today.
Considering the way Fox merged the Hannity show with the Bachmann/Palin rally last night, you would at least think that Palin's support helps Republican candidates. If Palin is providing a siginificant boost to the out of power Republican party, that at least resembles something newsworthy and might possibly give a slight reason for Fox's relentless boosterism. Nope.
According to Fox's own polling, 51% of voters are less likely to support a candidate if Sarah Palin campaigns for them, versus 25% who are more likely to follow the former governor's lead.
Viewers tuning in to Sean Hannity's April 7 show on Fox News were treated to something unusual, even in the world of cable news. Hannity hosted his show from the Minneapolis convention center, the site of a rally earlier in the day for the re-election campaign of Republican Rep. Michelle Bachmann, surrounded by a crowd with "Bachmann" placards.
Hannity was joined on stage by Bachmann, as well as Fox News contributor Sarah Palin. As Hannity noted, Palin had been the "headliner" at Bachmann's rally. The question is: where did the rally end and Hannity's show begin?
Hannity introduced the crowd by referring to the attendees as "conservatives rallying in support of the values that will help the Republican party take back control of the congress this November." In the past Fox has claimed that they had straight news shows separate from "editorial" shows, and while that was a demonstrably false assertion, they clearly need to add a category for "rallies for the Republican party" shows.
On his April 7 show, Glenn Beck deceptively cropped a speech from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in order to make it seem like she was saying something about health care reform that she wasn't.
Beck's video made it seem as if Speaker Pelosi simply said that "we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what's in it," and he went on to suggest that what Pelosi meant was that she was deceitfully hiding what was in the health care legislation until after it passed.
In fact, what Beck left off is the rest of Pelosi's statement. After commenting that discussion of health care reform had been focused on "the controversies within the bill, the process about the bill," she said in full, "But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy." (emphasis added)
In the past few months Beck has falsely claimed that health care reform will allow Obama to control your life, that it would create death panels, that it was the "end of the American Constitution", would send uninsured people to jail, and so on.
If that isn't the creation of a "fog of controversy," what is? No wonder Beck conveniently edited those comments out of the full statement. He just added to the fog.
Purporting to report "evidence of socialism" in President Obama's policies, Glenn Beck cited Obama "taking over" the auto industry, the banking industry, and AIG, as well as the supposed "total government control of our health care industry" and "control of the entire student loan industry" established through recent legislation. But aside from the fact that those policies are not socialist, many of them began under President Bush, while others retain significant involvement from private industry.