Montana Politics

Hurst Joins GOP’s Two-Pronged Election Attack – Commandeer the Left

Shares


Two themes have emerged in GOP campaigning in the last few election cycles. The first is recognizable: paint every Democrat as a radical socialist striving to take away your rights and money. This plays well with conservatives and moderates who aren’t well politically informed and thus lack a clear idea of what Democrats stand for and what socialism is. Denny’s attacks against Tester have followed this path. It’s far from fool-proof, however. After all, neither Obama nor Tester have been particularly liberal – they kept health care in private hands, have overseen an expansion of the private sector and a shrinkage of the public one in the years following the crisis, and have largely continued a robust, though not idiotic, foreign policy – leaving little for the GOP to go on.

Thus, the other half of the strategy – commandeer the complaints of the far left, repeat them, and use them to drive down voter turn out. It happened, somewhat accidentally, in 2000 – enough liberals failed to come out for Al Gore and gave the election to George Bush, thinking (as they were instructed by the left wing media) that there was no difference between Clinton and Bush, and there would be even less from Gore. In 2010 the strategy got more pointed when Latinos (who the GOP candidate had pretty much already lost) in Nevada were openly encouraged not to vote to somehow punish Democrats. It was a cowardly campaign, but the strategy was sound.

Now in 2012, we’re seeing it all over again. On this site we’ve got Craig Moore and Ingy both regularly taking sides with the far left, and Montana’s most famous conservative ‘reporter’ saying he doesn’t see any difference between Tester and Rehberg (per MT Cowgirl). The attacks against Bullock for failing to argue that the the 14th amendment applies to State regulations are the best example of this: the story was jumped on naively by leftists eager to uphold their narrative that there is no difference between the parties, and conservative operatives were savvy enough to jump on the bandwagon, knowing that a low progressive turnout was Rick Hill’s best hope, and their best chance to create the sort of Montana Schweitzer narrowly saved us from last session.

It’s a clever strategy – if you can’t convince them to vote for you, convince them not to vote. And all the grunt work is done by supposed leftists, ideologues who are so busy attacking moderate Democrats that they don’t realize or care who they are helping into office. Link to a couple of their sites and conservatives can both act non-partisan and help convince people not to vote. If you feel tempted to just say to hell with it and not vote, just know – that’s exactly what some very powerful people want you to do. Remember how that worked out in 2000?

About the author

The Polish Wolf

29 Comments

  • Don, I give you high Marx for your shout out. http://socialistworker.org/blog/critical-reading/2012/07/16/democrats-are-hypocrites-outso

    The Democrats can’t lecture Romney about firing people
    Source: The Guardian

    Obama himself has never challenged the kind of rapacious capitalism he is desperate to associate with his opponent

    Gary Younge
    Sunday 15 July 2012 15.30 EDT

    Following the stock market crash of 1987 the US House subcommittee on telecommunications and finance needed an expert to explain the underlying impulses that had brought capitalism to the brink. So they asked a criminal. Dennis Levine, once a prominent player in mergers and acquisitions, was coaxed out of prison in New Jersey, where he was serving two years for insider trading, in return for a Big Mac, fries and a chocolate shake.

    After explaining how the market was rigged, he was asked what the government should do about it. “You need to send out a slew of indictments, all at once, and at 3pm on a sunny day, have federal marshals perp walk 300 Wall Street executives out of their offices in handcuffs and out on the street with lots of cameras rolling,” he said. “Everyone else would say: ‘If that happened to me, my mother would be so ashamed.'”

    But when the most recent global economic crisis struck Uncle Sam took a different route. Rather than punish those who’d brought the system to its knees they rewarded them with billions of dollars in bailout money. For George W Bush this was consistent both with his philosophy and the interests of his base. But Barack Obama stood as a “transformative candidate” and this was a pivotal moment. Popular anger at the finance industry was strong and the banks were weak.

    Just a couple of months into his presidency he called a meeting of banking executives. But instead of representing the interests of those who voted for him and had been hardest hit by the crisis – the poor, union members, black people and Latinos – he sided with those who funded him and precipitated the crisis: “I’m not out there to go after you,” he told them. “I’m protecting you.”

  • “all the grunt work is done by supposed leftists, ideologues who are so busy attacking moderate Democrats that they don’t realize or care who they are helping into office. ”

    Actually, you are doing conservatives work for them by spouting this sort of nonsense. Conservatives don’t have to work on suppressing the vote of “supposed leftists” when people like you with your condescending attitude chase voters away in droves.

    Why would I want to vote for a candidate supported by people with shit-ass attitudes about people like me?

  • “all the grunt work is done by supposed leftists, ideologues who are so busy attacking moderate Democrats that they don’t realize or care who they are helping into office. ”

    Actually, you are doing conservatives work for them by spouting this sort of nonsense. Conservatives don’t have to work on suppressing the vote of “supposed leftists” when people like you with your condescending attitude chase voters away in droves.

    Why would I want to vote for a candidate supported by people with crappy attitudes about people like me?

  • nice to see the scapegoat has been firmly established.

    by the way, you guys do realize ID and MooGirl have helped catapult Hurst into a position of prominence with your attacks, right? if he’s such a joke of a journalist, which I agree he is, then ignoring him would have been more effective. instead you’ve brought attention and internet traffic to his shilling.

      • people attack those they feel threatened by. obviously Democrats in this state feel threatened by the Montana Watchdog and Hurst’s “reporting” at that site, otherwise there wouldn’t have been the concerted effort to take them on. but in doing so, you give them free publicity. that doesn’t seem very difficult to understand.

        ignoring people works, Don. I’d offer you a case in point, but that would give him attention, and giving someone attention is the opposite of ignoring them 🙂

        • Some people read the Watchdog and many of those people think it’s real news. I think this blog’s efforts to point out the problems with the Watchdog makes lots of sense and is important.

          • lots of “news” has some sort of slant or bias, and I get why Montana Watchdog is not a source you want people reading, but I’d be curious how you came to the conclusion that “Some people read Watchdog and many of those people think it’s real news.” is that just a hunch, or do you have something to back it up?

            I would assume you folks think the Missoulian prints “real news” right? do you think their coverage of certain issues is every slanted or bias? I would offer how the Missoulian covered the Medical Marijuana issue as a good example of how even “real news” can either negatively or positively frame issues, like how the Missoulian seemed eager to print anything related to the psycho Jason Christ. that reporting (and this is just a hunch) probably had some kind of effect on how people who read it thought about MM.

            • Read the Media Matters for America report. It explains pretty clearly what the Franklin Center is trying to do re: state coverage. They do want to be seen as real news, and I’m not sure every consumer of online news is as savvy as you are.

              Criticizing the Watchdog for its bias and errors is no different than what bloggers do when they criticize institutions like the Missoulian. There’s probably little chance it will change the coverage, but it at least gets an alternative view out there.

              By your logic, we should never mention bad journalism or biased reporting because it benefits the person/outlet mentioned. That’s just silly.

              • nice, I’ve moved beyond “not making sense” to “just silly” in your estimation.

                Dustin’s shilling has reached a wider audience thanks to your blog coverage, your twitter battle, your Hamm podcast showdown, Moo-girl’s blog coverage, etc.

                it’s impossible to quantify, but I’d imagine those who are now weary thanks to this coverage is a wash with those who find a slant/bias at the Watchdog that they like.

                • Of course it’s impossible to quantify, because you’re making it up. That’s usually one of the best signs that something’s made up.

                  If I “weary” you, just don’t read or listen to me. That’s easy. I’ve got to tell you I’ve found it surprisingly easy to do with people who weary me.

                • ah, an errant “e”.

                  anyway, do you have any substantive proof that your efforts have produced the results you hoped for? like an e-mail from someone saying something like

                  “Thank you, Pogie! If it wasn’t for your blog taking on this shill site I would have voted for Rehberg instead of Tester because of the Watchdog’s biased “reporting”.

                  I know you think most people in Montana are “low-information” folks (is that a fancy way of saying stupid?) so maybe you’re right, and your efforts have saved a few dim voters from voting Rehberg, but if that’s the case, we’ll probably never know.

                • One more thought, actually.

                  The irony of your last comment in light of your righteous indignation about this post is almost too wonderful for words.

                  You can live in your world of smug, “independent” condescension for those of us who believe that politics does matter, that the people we elect do make a difference in the lives of real people as much as you like. You can feel free to come over here and comment away about whether or not I am a shill.

                  I’m just not ever going to pay any attention to it. You have one note that you’ve played over and over again in some desperate cry for attention.

                  We’ve all heard it. And the note sucks.

                • Don, I didn’t call you a shill. I was referring to the Montana Watchdog. reading is fundamental.

                  and have I said politics don’t matter? I still vote (unlike how many Democrats in the primary?), because close to home, politics certainly matters. but when it comes to war and Wall Street, not so much.

                  I’m not trying to be smug or condescending. if that’s your impression, well, not much I can do about that except try to not let your dismissive attitude cause me to waste the energy it takes to be annoyed.

                  I simply tried to point out how the ID/MooGirl decision to take on Montana Watchdog could be slightly counterproductive, but that didn’t make any sense to you, so I tried to end it there. then you jumped back in.

                  not paying attention to my comments is a good idea. ignoring works. it is wearisome going back and forth like this.

                  good luck fighting the information war for those low-information voters, Don. I hope you can save them from the not-real news at Montana Watchdog.

                • Sorry I threw this out there without defending it – my computer cannot access ID. But what you fail to get, Lizard, is that Hurst is a bad example for the GOP. The more attention his absurdity gets, the worse he makes the GOP look.

                  But more importantly, your entire premise is not only flawed but frightening – we shouldn’t engage those we disagree with, just ignore them. That’s the problem with the US today: each side simply ignores the other. engaging in dialogue with Hurst may give him more reach, but it also gives those who read his work some context. That engagement is the key to giving people a balanced view of things. A balanced view does not come from half the people reading one site and half the people reading another – it comes from exposing thinking people to both sides in dialogue.

                • you speak of “giving” people a balanced view like it’s a gift people are willing to receive.

                  good luck with that.

                  meanwhile, you can keep making your assumptions about lefty criticism, saying that those critics don’t realize or care who they are helping. like much of this post, you would be very wrong, but don’t let that stop you.

                • So you do know that you are helping the right wing of the Republican party, you do care, and yet you continue to do it?

                  I am glad to hear you plan on voting, as voter turnout is critically important in keeping people with unrepresentative, right-wing views from ‘representing’ us. That’s why the right is constantly trying to suppress voters.

              • I also should point out that by the logic of this post, no one should criticize Democrats from the left because it will just be used by the right.

                I also found this bit rather condescending about the criticism of Bullock:

                “the story was jumped on naively by leftists eager to uphold their narrative that there is no difference between the parties”

                what a load of crap. yes, the corrupting influence of unlimited money in politics doesn’t discriminate between parties, but that’s NOT saying there is no difference between parties. depicting leftist critics in such an oversimplified manner, though, is an attempt to further marginalize those critics.

        • Lizard: “people attack those they feel threatened by”.

          If only that were as true as Lizard imagines it is. That should be a hint. It isn’t true. It is a simple arrogance provided to comfort those who don’t want reality to intrude.

        • Sorry I threw this out there without defending it – my computer cannot access ID. But what you fail to get, Lizard, is that Hurst is a bad example for the GOP. The more attention his absurdity gets, the worse he makes the GOP look.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: