Monday, October 15, 2007

Enabling the enemy

Et tu, Stephanie?

Too bad about the 2000 election, but all Democratic nominee Al Gore had going for him was environmental sensibility and playing a key role in an administration that presided over eight years of peace and prosperity. That was completely outweighed by Gore's constant claims to have invented the Internet and his obsessive-compulsive lying. Right?

Too bad about the 2004 election, but all Democratic nominee John Kerry had going for him was his distinguished service in the U.S. Senate and a fistful of medals for valorous service in Vietnam. That was completely outweighed by Kerry's unfitness for command and his constant flip-flopping. Right?

That's how George W. Bush ended up with two terms as president of the United States. The right-wing noise machine churned out gushers of lies and smears against the Democratic standard bearers and the mainstream media casually played along. The consequences of the media's irresponsibility and voters' gullibility have been horrendous.

Too bad about the 2008 election, because Hillary Clinton has a weird laugh, Barack Obama has a scary middle name, and John Edwards spends too much on haircuts. Whichever Democrat wins the nomination, he or she can be assured of a ceaseless barrage of smears and misrepresentations. It's how the Republicans do business.

Have we learned the unpleasant lesson yet? We can't ignore the attacks because they have worked entirely too well in the past. We must refute the lies and we must not hesitate to call the liars liars.

Furthermore, we must not play along. Is this too hard to understand? Apparently it is.

Stephanie Miller hosts a wacky morning talk show that features such delights as “Right-Wing World,” a bold skewering of neocon scoundrels by presenting them in their own words. Miller and her cohorts go after the bad guys unmercilessly and delight their liberal audience with jokes, vocal impressions, and sound bites. Unfortunately, one of the sound bites this week is Hillary's supposedly weird laugh. Please. How weird is it to laugh uproariously at Fox News asking her why she is so partisan? Fox News! Pots and kettles!

You don't have to be a Hillary Clinton fan to realize this is a bad idea. There's a good chance she'll be the Democratic nominee, in which case I will certainly vote for her against whatever offal the GOP throws up. In the meantime, we should not be doing the right-wing's work by participating in their puerile smear campaign. The mock concern over Sen. Clinton's laugh is the province of low-lifes like Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, and the whole vile Fox crew. Let's not do their work for them.

Cut it out, Stephanie! Don't enable them. They're the enemy. Got it? They deserve our censure, not our cooperation.

Drag that sound bite to the trash can and leave it there. You want to attack Hillary? Go for it. But do it without becoming participants in a GOP smear campaign. Criticize Sen. Clinton's votes on Iraq and Iran. Question her sincerity on campaign reform or universal health care. Those are all fair topics.

But reject anything that comes from the Republican noise machine and its minions. Remember 2000. Remember 2004. Remember George Worst-president-ever Bush.

1 comment:

The Ridger, FCD said...

Amen. Tell it, brother!

The politics of the personal attack has been with us a long time (Jefferson said Washington was too senile to see how horribly Adams was behaving...) but the current GOP has perfected it. Nothing of substance is ever said - it's trash and panic.

We have to call it every time we see it, and we have to not do it ourselves. And we most assuredly must not help.