Legal Insurrection is a thoughtful blog and if you go there today you will read some incisive commentary on the never-ending Lefty assaults on conservatives. Although the situation is serious I don’t think it is as severe as the professor appears to.
I am going to reach back to my college days and once again lump the left into one large group, the Committee Against Reason (CAR).
Yes, CAR has been having a field day lately with the use of the term blood libel by Sarah Palin. In doing so they remind me of the 60’s and 70’s when junior high, high school and college students were told by CAR that white people didn’t understand other people’s burdens. We didn’t have any burdens, of course. That meant we couldn’t use certain words, shouldn’t play (or even talk about) the blues, or write about women and minorities because it was just beyond us. Today CAR has dusted off that old canard and are now once again roping off words and phrases that Caucasians just can’t use – such as blood libel – even if they get an OK from a member or members of the group supposedly hurt by their use of the word. In my lifetime I have watched CAR spread like mold from musty corners of campuses into the mainstream. Note also that CAR segued from “Sarah Palin Did It!” to “Look at the Words She’s Using!” without apology or pause.
In the Arizona case, as a former journalist, I have noticed the coverage was exactly backwards, the focus should have been on the dead with the wounded as an emerging sidebar. Instead, an obscure congresswoman was instantly elevated beyond the federal judge and five other dead. This doesn’t even mention the sin of discussing (incorrect) motive in the breaking stories.
Legal Insurrection sees it as an effective tool by CAR to destroy Sarah Palin and is worried it is working.
I am not so sure.
CAR tried this for eight years against President G.W. Bush, and it failed. Miserably. I think it failed because the middle part of the country still shrugs much of this stuff off. That is one of the hidden weaknesses in polls. You walk up to me and ask me what I think of some recent event. I give you my opinion at the moment with little indication how actually important it is to me and no indication of whether I will even remember the issue in six months. Or whether I will change my mind or whether I even know what you are asking me about. I have from time to time answered a question as if I knew what the questioner was asking about and then had to backtrack or “clarify.” I don’t do it anymore, but I have done it. It is also important to remember that he blogosphere is a swamp that doesn’t have as many denizens as one might think.
Moreover, elections are still usually won based on an issue and a motivated base. President Bush motivated his base because Americans didn’t want to be attacked again and were behind our military as it fought. Eight years wore down that base for awhile. It may be reasserting itself.
I don’t think President Obama will have much to run on. “Things Are Not Much Worse Than They Were Under Bush!,” “Yes We Did! (pass all the legislation you didn’t want),” “They Haven’t Attacked Us Really Very Much!” and “Have You Noticed I’m Not George Bush!” aren’t winning slogans. Conservatives have historically out voted and outworked CAR if only because we outnumber them. Finding issues and a candidate that will motivate the base are paramount. I am aware that many people find “independents” to be some sort of critical creature that has to be courted. Count me uncertain on that one, too. They may just be people who need their minds made up for them. The side that is most determined, most convinced of its cause, most active and can present a good case will get them. That is probably what happened in 2008. They squished all through the summer and in late fall looked at the ballot and realized most of the air was out of the McCain balloon. Sure, Sarah Palin was attracting attention, but she wasn’t head of the ticket and no one, myself included, was enthusiastic about McCain. Then they looked over, heard the calliope and saw the “Hope and Change” banner and said “oh, well, looks good!” and voted.
I think conservatives need to have a firm message and a candidate that is not afraid of the fire. Sarah Palin can fill those shoes. Someone else may also. Putting two plusses on a ticket should be a winner. CAR will always make itself unappealing to most people if a flashlight is shined under its rock.