From Pine View Farm

Distract and Conquer 0

When you have nothing to say for yourself, attack someone else (how very Rovian): Dick Polman on his emails from the Repub party:

. . .

(By the way, this business about the “Democrat” party, a label clearly intended as a pejorative, is getting a little old. Wouldn’t it sound equally dumb for the Democrats to refer to their opponents as the “Repub” party?)

Anyway, the email proceeded, at considerable length, to attack the blog (kos–ed.) proprietor for various alleged financial, political, and ideological sins. The GOP even attacked him for going on vacation in El Salvador, although I was unaware that El Salvador had been deemed by the governing party to be an unacceptable locale for the expenditure of leisure funds.

What’s most instructive here is not the bill of particulars amassed against a blogger that most Americans still probably haven’t heard of; rather, it’s the fact that GOP headquarters opted to launch the attack at all. And the reason is clear: at a time when the party is down in the polls, and in danger of losing at least one chamber on Capitol Hill this November, the GOP is casting around for an enemy, any enemy, who might rile up the conservative base voters and get them out to the polls en masse.

It’s easy to see why the Republicans are worried. The Pew Research Center pollsters report that Democrats are 16 points more likely than Republicans to say that they are pumped up to vote this November; moreover, just 42 percent of Republicans and GOP-friendly independents are feeling good about the party’s track record in power — and that’s down nearly 20 points from two years ago.

All the more reason to target somebody who might get the base to forget its beefs with President Bush and the GOP Congress, and instead direct its anger at the other camp. Most recently, the party has tried out a number of prospects: Democratic Senate candidate Ned Lamont (soft on terrorists), Nancy Pelosi (depicted in party emails as a wide-eyed zombie), Howard Dean (depicted in full scream mode), and, of course, the old reliable, Michael Moore (depicted in full scruffy mode). Now they’re trying out a blogger.

I suppose the big question, however, is whether conservative base voters on the GOP mailing list will now be motivated to forget their grievances about the GOP Congress’ red-ink budgets, as well as the president’s record on Katrina and Iraq…and be roused to storm the polls and strike down all Democratic candidates just because a liberal blogger says things like (gasp) “the French are right” and charges advertisers (gasp) $2400 a week for the most visible position on his home page.

One phrase: Enemies List


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