October 12, 2008

(h/t Dave)

Finally, someone pushes back against the media's need to create false equivalencies! Nobel Economics Prize shortlister Paul Krugman tries to make a cogent point about how there are those in the Republican Party who simply cannot accept a Democrat governing:

KRUGMAN: This is also…this is not just about McCain, what he did. The fact of the matter is, for a long time, we’ve had a substantial fraction of the Republican base that just does not regard the Democrats governing as legitimate. Remember, the Clinton years, craziness, right? That they were murderers, drug smugglers, and the imminent prospect of what looks like a Democratic victory would drive a lot of these people crazy even if Sarah Palin wasn’t saying these inflammatory things. It’s going to be very ugly after the election.

Only to have Cokie Roberts try to draw the false equivalency of Democrats not accepting the results of the 2000 and 2004 elections:

ROBERTS: On both sides, that’s true. I also think you’ve had a huge number of Democrats who think the Republicans are illegitimate and that was particularly true after the 2000 election and to some degree, after 2004. And so, you really do have, at the core of each party, people who are not ready to accept the verdict of the election.

Um, Cokie? Not the same thing at all. By all standards, Bill Clinton won the elections. The witch hunt that went after him had nothing to do with the legitimacy of his election...they just threw as much mud as they could to see if something would stick, regardless of truth--Vince Foster, Travelgate, Filegate, Whitewater, Gennifer Flowers/Paula Jones/Monica Lewinsky.

The Democrats who view this administration as illegitimate do so because there is significant (and almost wholly media-ignored evidence) that the election was manipulated for George W. Bush. We don't need to make up scandals that go nowhere...we just need to find some backbone in DC to actually investigate those openly before us.

It's unfortunate, however, that Krugman is not given the opportunity to explain why he rejects such false equivalencies...allowing something other than the standard GOP framing out there.

Krugman also raises an important point that I think all of us should bear in mind even after the election. Assuming that trends stay the way they are in the next three weeks and Obama is elected, our job is far from over. It is not inaccurate to say that much of these slings and arrows pointed towards Obama are the foundation for the work the Republican Party will spend the next 4-8 years to de-legitimize an Obama presidency. At its core, this faction of the GOP believes that Obama does not deserve the presidency -- because he is not like them -- and will stop at nothing to bring him down, just as we saw with Clinton. The particulars are different: birth certificate, secret Muslim beliefs, anti-American pastor, consorting with terrorists, and if we're completely honest, the color of his skin as well. But while the specific allegations are different, the tactic is exactly the same.

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