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November 01, 2010

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Brendan has posted three related items.
• This one, about the unpopularity of the Republican Party.
• The prior item showing Sarah Palin rated unfavorable in an ABC News poll.
• "Democrats are using personal attacks at much higher rates than Republicans"

It's my thesis that liberals and liberal institutions are highly skilled at demonizing. Just about any popular conservative figure or institution becomes not just wrong, but bad -- particularly those who enunciate a conservative philosophy effectively. E.g., the Tea Parties, Sarah Palin, George Bush, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Fox News, Newt Gingrich.

And, liberals can successfully demonize even the nicest people. E.g., Sarah Palin may not be qualified to be President, but she has led a fairly blameless life. Married to one man. Raised a family. Participated in civic affairs. Doesn't hold far-right views such as prohibiting the teaching of evolution.

By comparison, look at the record of some leading liberals:
• Top officer in the local Ku Klux Klan
• Numerous extramarital affairs
• Committed perjury about an affair
• Caught cheating in college and kicked out for a year.
•Drove a car into a body of water and left a passenger to drown
• Attended a church for 20 years whose minister routinely preached race hatred
• Plagiarism
• Allowing a prostitute to use his home to entertain clients.

One reason liberals are so successful in demonizing conservatives is that they work at it unceasingly. E.g., Brendan Nyhan's use of the word "Fox-ification" is a convenient way to smear Fox News even when they haven't done anything wrong.

P.S. During the campaign, the President made a specific effort to demonized John Boehner. It didn't work, probably because few people even know who Boehner is. If he becomes Speaker of the House, we can look for that campaign to renew.

Oh come on, everyone makes a gaffe. I'm not an Obama supporter, but he doesn't really think John Boehner is an 'enemy' like the Taliban, (even though in reality, Obama and Boehner are 'enemies' politically).

metrichead, if you don't believe me, take a look at what Patrick H. Caddell and Douglas E. Schoen, two staunch liberal Democrats, wrote in Saturday's Washington Post:
...on Monday, the president, who campaigned in 2008 by referring not to a "Red America" or a "Blue America" but a United States of America, urged Hispanic listeners to vote in this spirit: "We're gonna punish our enemies and we're gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us."

...since taking office, he has pitted group against group for short-term political gain that is exacerbating the divisions in our country and weakening our national identity.

...Obama is conducting himself in a way alarmingly reminiscent of Nixon's role in the disastrous 1970 midterm campaign. No president has been so persistently personal in his attacks as Obama throughout the fall. He has regularly attacked his predecessor, the House minority leader and - directly from the stump - candidates running for offices below his own.

...the president and others in the Democratic leadership have focused on campaign finance by moneyed interests - an ancillary issue serving neither party nor country. They have intensified attacks on business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and individual political operatives such as Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie - insisting that organizations are fronting for foreign campaign money and large secret donations and campaign expenditures. Even the New York Times has noted that "a closer examination shows that there is little evidence" that these organizations have engaged in activities that are "improper or even unusual."

It astounds us to hear such charges from the president given that his presidential campaign in 2008 refused to disclose the names of all of its donors...

... it is disingenuous for a president - particularly one whose campaign effectively dynamited the lone beachhead of public financing in American politics - to scream about money pouring in against his political interests.

...We are also disturbed that the office of the president is mounting attacks on private individuals, such as the founders of the group Americans for Prosperity. Having been forged politically during Watergate - one of us was the youngest member of Nixon's enemies list - we are chilled by the prospect of any U.S. president willing to marshal the power of his office against a private citizen.

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