Thursday, July 15, 2004

Hannity and the Search for "Moderates" (LOL)

Had to pass along this nugget from talkingpointsmemo.com:

Tom Coburn, a former member of the House of Representatives from Oklahoma, who is campaigning to become the Republican party's candidate to replace retiring Senator Don Nickles, recently said he supports the death penalty for doctors who perform abortions.

"I favor the death penalty," Coburn told the Associated Press last week, "for abortionists and other people who take life."

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The good news is, the Democrats have a good chance of winning the seat (as posted in an earlier JABBS).

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You have to wonder if Coburn's point of view will be expressed at the upcoming Republican National Convention.

Sean Hannity, in his blowhard style, asked on yesterday's Hannity & Colmes: "Where are the moderates" at the Democratic National Convention. Hannity bemoaned John Kerry and John Edwards -- who he frequently labels the #1 and #4 liberals in the Senate -- and all the other "liberals" the party will "trot out" at the convention.

(FYI: The "#1 and #4" rankings are based on a limited number of votes during the current session. Neither Kerry nor Edwards was available for the bulk of votes taken, as both men were busy running for president. A more fair ranking -- not that Hannity would have noticed -- would be to look at their rankings over their Senate careers. Using that measure, Kerry ranks #11, and Edwards ranks #24. In other words, Kerry could be argued as a liberal Democrat, but Edwards is clearly a moderate in the party. And considering Kerry's track record as a fiscal conservative, it'd be tough to accurately label his voting record with a single word.)

Hannity, of course, doesn't want to discuss the GOP convention in such terms. But watch for the bait and switch played out on your television sets next month. The GOP will showcase New York moderates such as Rudy Guiliani, George Pataki and Michael Bloomberg -- people who have almost no voice in the Republican Party's platform. Zell Miller will also be on hand -- the retiring Democratic Senator from Georgia who has lashed out against his party and loyally voted with the GOP since 9/11. Again, Miller's views will in large part not be part of the GOP platform.

Be certain that even George W. Bush and Dick Cheney (and other members of the administration that get to speak -- Colin Powell comes to mind) will put the "compassion" out front and center as they make the case for "compassionate conservativism" or whatever other euphemism they repeat incessantly over the airwaves.

The Bush record will be glossed over. Programs that Bush put forth and that received bipartisan support -- only to be underfunded by the administration to the point of uselessness -- will be thrown out as examples of the "moderate" face of the GOP. It's all a sham, as anyone paying attention to the gap between what Bush says and what Bush does can attest. The Tom Coburns of the world are the true voice of the GOP's domestic agenda -- anti-women, anti-gay, anti-black. Whatever benefits the Pat Robertsons and Jerry Falwells and James Dobsons and their hatemongering, fearmongering vision of our nation. The Bush tax agenda is designed to foster an aristocracy -- benefiting those who inherit rather than those who earn their fortune. The "Two Americas" John Edwards speaks of exists, and the hypocrisy is that the GOP dares suggest Edwards is disingenious because he is a poster boy for the American Dream.

And let's not get into the failed foreign policy ...

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Sean Hannity wants to look the other way, label every Democrat a "liberal" as if liberalism were a disease, and then ask where the "moderates" have gone. He twists the question to fit his agenda -- the "moderates" are represented in the Democratic platform, and many of those labeled by a right-winger like Hannity as "liberal" would consider themselves "moderate." No doubt, the Republican Noise Machine will reverberate Hannity's sentiments until Election Day (whenever that is ...)

It's a game the GOP plays well -- and too often, the Chris Matthews and Wolf Blitzers of the world sit by idly, unwilling to contradict the name-calling and bait-and-switch games. The joke making the rounds here is that if the Republicans said the sky was green, the New York Tiimes would need a Democrat to be on the record contradicting that before writing its story of "conflict."

David

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