Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
July 16, 2008
POLITICS: John McCain Is Doubleplus Unyoung

If ever you wanted a perfect illustration of the difference between the coordinated, top-down nature of the activism of the online Left and the way normal people think and write, check out Jim Geraghty's review of how they refer to John McCain:

The liberal blog The Carpetbagger Report uses the word "confused" in almost every post about McCain; same deal at ThinkProgress. At AmericaBlog, the words "McCain" and "confused" have appeared together 108 times. DailyKos.com, hundreds.

As Geraghty notes, this is an unsubtle effort to suggest by sheer repetition that the 71-year-old McCain is doddering and senile (based on little more than his age and the fact that, like most politicians, he is subject to occasional verbal stumbles while talking, and talking, and talking, and talking for hours on end every day), and it has also been repeatedly deployed by the Obama campaign itself, including both the nominee (the guy who thinks we have 57 states, thinks Afghans speak Arabic and once told a crowd that 10,000 people had died in a tornado in Kansas) and his surrogates (Joe Biden and John Kerry, neither of whom is exactly a stranger to confusion). There is not even the remotest chance that this is all a coincidence, coming from the sorts of folks who routinely practice Googlebombing and coordinate their message - or silence - with email groups covering multiple blogs; rather, it appears that the likes of ThinkProgress (two lies for the price of one!) and the Carpetbagger Report have put their very vocabularies in hock to the Obama campaign's 'message' operation.

It matters not whether those bloggers actually believe that McCain is perenially "confused," just as it matters not whether they believe what they are saying when they apply the term "McSame" to a man so well-known for butting heads with President Bush and the GOP base that Jonathan Chait once called him "the most effective advocate of the Democratic agenda in Washington". What matters is the mere repetition of the campaign's talking points, whatever they happen to be at a particular time, in the hopes that by doing so they can turn these shiny objects into conventional wisdom - today it's "McSame" or "confused," tomorrow it's whatever other message Obama's marketing department desires them to sell.

We on the Right occasionally aspire to hammer a consistent theme against an opponent. But these sorts of efforts never achieve the levels of disingenuous groupthink found on the Left - we don't have the coordination, and more importantly we have more people interested in using their own independent critical faculties and their own words than in repeating whatever precise verbal formulations are focus-grouped by the leadership.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 10:34 PM | Politics 2008 | Comments (17) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Bravo.

Townhouse lives!

Posted by: sunflower at July 17, 2008 4:12 AM

Yes, I'm glad you reminded us of Townhouse. It's been awhile since we saw the top-secret list of leftist bloggers who have chosen to spout the Party's talking points message when they receive it via top-secret e-mails. They're like a dispersed, Internet-age Pravda.

Posted by: sk at July 17, 2008 5:04 AM

Townhouse was not just bloggers, as you may recall, but had 'journalists' on board as well ...

black is white
war is peace
groupthink is freethink

Posted by: Tryptic at July 17, 2008 6:08 AM

If Obama becomes president does that mean the end of afirmatiive action?

Posted by: Charles Wicklow at July 17, 2008 8:44 AM

The upshot is that if and when an armed revolution becomes necessary in this country, idetifying domestic enemies to the Constitution will be a snap.

Posted by: Fed Up at July 17, 2008 9:20 AM

Dan, the actual difference is that many (most?) writers on the right use their medium to promote ideas that they think are best & put forth arguments against those that disagree; some good, some bad. Many (most? Well, I guess we can remove the question mark from that one, can't we?) on the left have the agenda - or movement/party, if you will - first and foremost, and will do or say anything to defeat the enemy. Mind you, the enemy isn't radical Islam or terrorism, but Republicans.

That's why you see people who had no problem with Bill Clinton bombing Baghdad but who railed against Bush bombing "a sovereign nation that didn't attack us". That's why you see people who went crazy over false accusations of shenanigans surrounding Vince Foster's death completely silent on John Murtha's charges of murder against innocent American soldiers. That's why they don't think Murtha is confused when he says we should deploy to Okinawa. That's why they say Zell Miller is a former segregationist, but Robert Byrd is the 'conscience of the senate'. That's why any news that goes against Al Gore's claims that NYC will be underwater (we're now 8 years away from the point of no return, by the way......think anyone will ask him about that?) is shunned. That's why you don't see the good news from Iraq. It's all about the cause and getting people to adhere, period. We on the right will discuss whether or not abortion is wrong or should be legalized, whether or not Harriet Miers was a good choice, whether or not gay marriage should be allowed, or gay adoption is feasible or if social security should be looked at in a logical sense instead of simply saying "raise the ceiling on payroll tax allowances".

There is a dearth of individual thought on the left. It is simply "march to the groupthink or be ostrasized". Ask Zell Miller. Ask Joe Lieberman. Ask anyone who doesn't adhere to the nutroots demands.

Tell me, isn't that what evangelical religious types (known as zealots in the media) are accused of doing?

Posted by: RW at July 17, 2008 9:31 AM

As anyone who regularly reads political messageboards knows, you can identify the hot new talking points instantly. The lefties are constantly on message and will find a way to shoehorn the new talking point into a discussion about anything. What's amusing is how they all think they're so clever, not realizing we've heard it 10 times already today. :p


Posted by: BEAM at July 17, 2008 10:48 AM

But Mc Cain is pretty old. If he were a Latin, Omar Mineya would sign him to be a Met back up infielder.

Posted by: TROOPER YORK at July 17, 2008 11:12 AM

What's amusing is how they all think they're so clever, not realizing we've heard it 10 times already today. :p
------

The prototypical "smart" lefty is one who got their liberal arts degree in something pretty low on the educational ladder degree of difficulty (fill in your own blank) while still a diploma from a fine college, thanks to mom & dad's legacy/cash, then goes forward to recite almost word for word what they heard from their Marxist professors for four years, all to the cheers of fellow parrots who shower them with praise for their keen insight and deep thinking abilities.

All these young libs who are praised as being 'smart' (funny, their cohorts continually feel the need to tell everyone how smart they are, when a truly intelligent person earns that notation) are saying the same things that every other lib has been saying since LBJ.

Yes, BEAM, they think they're clever. Funny, though, how the most clever among us continually needs the gov't to take care of them. You'd think that checking up on the free market & capitalizing (pun intended) on all those brains with monetary rewards would be an option, instead of, you know, economics teaching jobs, writing at seldom read mags for low wages, make-shift Soros funded jobs, etc.

Posted by: RW at July 17, 2008 12:28 PM

Those lefties are so kind to call McCain "confused".
I prefer, "doesn't know what he's talking about". The guy makes W look like a Rhodes scholar.

The powers behind the GOP nominate these guys because they want every American to be as shit-ass dumb as their leader (and just as easy to manipulate).

RW,
"Funny, though, how the most clever among us continually needs the gov't to take care of them."
You think Boardmembers of Fortune 1000 corporations are "clever"? That's not the word I'd use.

Posted by: Berto at July 17, 2008 12:55 PM

"It's all about the cause and getting people to adhere, period. We on the right "

You should go back and look up Crank's support of Vitter. Or allowing the president to conduct warrantless wiretaps. Or allowing Nixon to bomb Cambodia. Or Iran-Contra. Or the fact that our chosen war in Iraq was not based on an active threat, but had intel that was chosen in order to validate a war decided on a long time previous.

Did you on the right discuss if the Southern Strategy was good? If going on a 5 year borrow-and-spend spree was good?

The list goes on - you are no different, but that you think this is a bit embarrassing.

BTW, did you see the reopening of the embassy in Iran? The use of sanctions and dealing to start to change North Korea?
Why is the president an appeaser? You are going to call him out on this.. right?

Posted by: Dave at July 17, 2008 3:48 PM

Dave,

We on the right are willing to discuss all the policies involved, as opposed to shutting down debate whenever we disagree or trying to shut down the opposition.

Did you on the right discuss if the Southern Strategy was good? I
Are you talking about Richard Nixon winning in '72, or the fact that the Democratic party ruled the south - RULED IT - until the mid to late 90s? Did you know that the Dems ran the south, Dave, during the 70s, 80s and beginning of the 90s? Or do your talking points just cover the basics & you need to contact TPM for some intel?
You are going to call him out on this.. right?
If we negotiate with Iran w/o conditions, yeah, I damn sure will. Stick that in your robot-talking-points pipe and take it over to some place like Balloon Juice, where they're quite common. Then ask why Barack vote for FISA, why Harriet Miers isn't a USSC judge, why Trent Lott was forced to step down, why Newt was forced to retire, why Mark Foley was forced to retire, etc.
The list goes on - you are no different,
You keep telling yourself that, Dave. You keep telling yourself that Rudy Giuliani, Condi Rice, Colin Powell and others are non-existent in the Republican party and all those pro-lifers are welcome in the Democratic party.

In closing, Dave: God. Damn. America.

Right?

Posted by: RW at July 17, 2008 6:08 PM

"Did you know that the Dems ran the south"
You should probably look up what the Southern Strategy was, and then talk. Search google. It's the first entry! This isn't hard, but I know it must be.

"Then ask why"
Why you didn't answer anything I brought up, and instead deflected and tried to move on to something different? Nah, I already know the answer. Belief in moral superiority and "the cause" as being correct, and doing whatever needed to do it.

"why Harriet Miers isn't a USSC judge, why Trent Lott was forced to step down, why Newt was forced to retire, why Mark Foley was forced to retire, etc. "
Yawn. Unqualified, supported a man who ran as a racist for running as a racist, lost, and hit on (boy) teenagers.
Done anything about Larry Craig? What happened to Delay? Wheldon? Thousands of missing emails that belong to the American people? The very real fact that party choice was brought into everyday hiring in the Justice Department?
You see, these are people who generally don't get to keep what they're doing(or for Miers, move up). You know why? It's called politics. Since if these things didn't happen, the other groups would beat on them.

"as opposed to shutting down debate whenever we disagree or trying to shut down the opposition".
"In closing, Dave: God. Damn. America."
When in doubt, smear. Roger Stone: "Admit nothing, deny everything, launch counterattack."
Nice try. I like bringing out the Internet Tough Guy bit at the end, wraps it up nicely.
I also like the bracket of opening of how good and reasonable the right is, and then closing with a vicious, unreasonable, and entirely unsupported slam.
Hey! That's the ideology of conservatives right there!

"Pro-lifers are welcome in the Democratic party."
Let's see the big tent language in the 2008 Republican platform. Sadly, I think it will only be those who support government enforced pregnancy. After all, states' rights are good, aside from when states' rights are bad.

You are no different, only the goals are. But keep waving your fists, and blaming all the ills on the world on the Dems, and especially make up things about them. That will work out for you in the long run. As I've said before - easier to tear others down rather than build up yourselves.
The party of reality and reason has moved away from the Republicans, and I don't think it's coming back. The only question is if there is another William F. Buckley out there.

Posted by: Dave at July 17, 2008 9:17 PM

I just figure that when the lefty commenters start changing the subject, I'm doing OK, and when they start muttering about "Southern Strategy" and Iran-Contra, I've hit paydirt.

Posted by: The Crank at July 17, 2008 9:25 PM

Yeah, when they start spouting off leftwing talking points as a rebuttal to the notion that there is a dearth of independent thought and a penchant for repeating talking points, you know that it's just another day...

I like bringing out the Internet Tough Guy bit at the end, wraps it up nicely.

Quoting Rev. Wright is being tough?
Wow, doesn't take much to portray toughness, nowadays.

Bye, Dave.

Posted by: RW at July 17, 2008 10:00 PM

"I just figure that when the lefty commenters start changing the subject, I'm doing OK, and when they start muttering about "Southern Strategy" and Iran-Contra, I've hit paydirt."
Actually Crank, it was a direct response to RW's screed and about how "good thinking" the right is, and not about adhering. Gaps in memories and all that.

"Bye, Dave."
Bye! Have fun pretending! Whatever gets through those long nights of not having anything left to offer America.

Posted by: Dave at July 18, 2008 12:08 AM

Um. Maybe it is just me, but perhaps McCain is constantly referred to as confused because he is. Lieberman can't whisper all the answers to him, can he?

Posted by: Magrooder at July 18, 2008 10:50 PM
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