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  • The Democrats’ Denial-of-Service Attack

    Posted by Jonathan on September 2nd, 2008 (All posts by )

    The TV news is all Palin, all the time. And daughter of Palin. Politically this isn’t necessarily bad for Republicans, to the extent it focuses scrutiny on Governor Palin, who I think stands up well to it. However, it is bad (or good, depending on your partisan inclination) in that it removes scrutiny from Obama, who does not. The risk of a media pile-on on Palin was one of the risks McCain took in selecting Palin. Only time will tell if it was a justified risk.

    The distributed Obama campaign — including the Obama organization, leftist bloggers and MSM — quickly figured out the dynamics of the situation and are responding effectively. The campaign or bloggers introduce daily talking-points that are repeated and amplified by a media cascade and can generate enough network (online and TV) discussion to crowd out most other topics. That’s what happened today and yesterday. Today’s main talking point was, McCain didn’t adequately vet Palin. This is clearly not true, given that McCain’s people were checking out Palin months ago. Yet given the story about the daughter, the talking point is just plausible enough to give media people cover in keeping it alive for a day as a major story. Conservative and Republican bloggers and MSM people unwittingly help their opponents by focusing even more attention on Palin in order to defend her and correct the record. While all of this is going on, Obama is almost invisible, and he appears to have picked up a few points in the polls. (Notice that the bounce didn’t begin until waves of Palin stories rescued him from the media spotlight.) The concurrent weather story, which isn’t really a story but is being hyped for all it’s worth by the pro-Obama media, further distracts scrutiny from Obama.

    Conservative MSM people haven’t quite caught on to the full extent of what is happening. Their supposedly non-partisan colleagues are gleefully helping Obama by repeating endlessly “questions” about Palin that displace both McCain’s message and serious scrutiny of Obama. Who wants to talk about Obama’s relationship with Ayers, or about offshore drilling or tax cuts, when there’s juicy gossip (or merely reckless speculation) to be spread about Palin’s family. On Brit Hume’s show tonight, the conservative commentators were almost sputtering with rage at the Democrats’ dishonest attacks on Palin. Yet these same conservative commentators spent most of their time attempting to rebut the attacks, which means they didn’t talk much about anything else. Larry Kudlow devoted much of his show to defending Palin. Conservative media people watch impotently as their leftist colleagues do Obama’s work. The big-media conservatives aren’t temperamentally or tactically equipped to respond effectively. Perhaps the pro-McCain bloggers will do better.

    Obviously Obama would like to keep Palin at the center of media focus. Obviously McCain would like to keep his own policies, and Obama’s failings, at the center of focus. McCain’s electoral prospects depend on how quickly he and Palin can maneuver to shift the focus back to Obama. McCain may yet come out OK if public disgust with scummy media partisanship generates a backlash, or if voters lose interest in the MSM’s dishonest Palin-as-soap-opera meme. Whatever happens, it’s clear that Governor Palin and her family are in for a nasty ride. The leftist political-media complex will go all-out to destroy her as long as attacking her deflects attention from the radical leftist at the head of the Democratic ticket.

    UPDATE: Other views, from Rich Karlgaard, Jay Cost and Tom Smith (Smith’s post links to several additional good posts).

     

    24 Responses to “The Democrats’ Denial-of-Service Attack”

    1. david foster Says:

      Rich Karlgaard (publisher of Forbes) has some interesting thoughts on these attacks. The phrase “John Birch Society” is mentioned.

    2. Sean Pelette Says:

      I hope that Gov Palin uses the platform of her convention speech to call out the MSM on their double standards regarding her and Obama. Ask point blank why they haven’t pushed for answers about Obama’s close 5 year working relationship with an unrepentant Maoist and terrorist who used public money to pursue his goal of reforming the education system to create a new class of social revolutionaries. Point out that while she put her career on the line confronting corruption within the highest levels of her state party, Obama was lobbying for public funds to be given to a corrupt land developer so that he could build a new slum that would fall apart after a few years. Is this what Obama means by ‘community organizer’.

    3. andrewdb Says:

      “Community organizer” is a good thing – being involved in the PTA and ultimately entering politics is a bad thing, as far as I can see. Apparently because the PTA is what women(mothers) often are involved in. Double standard indeed.

      I would much rather talk about Mr. Ayers.

    4. ArtD0dger Says:

      I suspect “community organizer” wasn’t the original label. I just read “Dreams From My Father,” and it’s usually just “organizer.” Young Barack decides to move to Chicago and “organize;” he tells his family he’s an “organizer,” and his job is “organizing.” After the tenth or so awkward instance, it dawned on my that he probably did a global search-and-replace for “activist.” Pretty shrewd, actually.

      Jonathan — I don’t quite see how having the dynamic and photogenic Gov. Palin all over the news for a few days constitutes a ‘denial of service attack.’ Today Palin rubber, tomorrow Obama glue.

    5. LotharBot Says:

      Personally, I think all the attention on Palin right now is good.

      It means people are getting out there and looking for information on her. Of course, the heavy partisans will only find negative stuff, and they’ll whine and seethe for the next two months… but they’ll just end up looking silly to average people who hear about her accomplishments and listen to her speeches or debates.

    6. Bob Roof Says:

      The McCain Campaign can’t let these lies and rumors go unanswered. They will zoom around the leftist media in a flash. The best we can hope for is corrections.

      I doesn’t hurt to call attention to the lack of interest in the Democratic Candidates the press has shown… hypocrisy is a trait the American people understand and hate.

      I doesn’t hurt to show Palin as a victim of these lies and non-stories, the liberal media will do great damage to themselves, as they continue to show themselves incapable of independent reporting and as mere shills for the Democratic Party.

    7. fred lapides Says:

      I am not going to be partisan in my comment but only to say that the Democrats, usually totally in total disarray when they campaign, are this time organized in a manner I have not found in them previously. By contrast, the GOP, till now very organized, seem to flounder a good deal during this election season. I am unsure what accounts for these changes.

    8. Phil Fraering Says:

      The big problem, Fred, is every time the Democrats have opened their putrid little oral anuses and excreted their trash since about Saturday it’s reinforced the resolve of the average Republican voter in a way McCain was stunningly unable to do by himself.

    9. Lexington Green Says:

      Roger Kimball has some interesting thoughts on the way the media is treating Palin. I can’t figure out why he is so sure Obama will lose, though. I see no reason to think Obama will lose. I wish I did, but I don’t.

    10. Shannon Love Says:

      Fred Lapides,

      I am not going to be partisan in my comment but only to say that the Democrats, usually totally in total disarray when they campaign, are this time organized in a manner I have not found in them previously.

      The democrats are massively emotionally invested in Obama and they rapidly paper over his faults and weaknesses. They circle the wagons uncritically around him. This creates the illusion of organization and coordination. People said the same thing about the Kerry campaign in 2004.

      The Republicans, by contrast, are decidedly lukewarm about McCain and do not emotional invest in him.

    11. Lexington Green Says:

      This is funny. One of Althouse’s commenters linked to it. Profanity warning.

    12. ElamBend Says:

      Lex,
      I agree with you, I don’t see how Kimble can be so sure Obama won’t win. I’m really curious to see the reaction among many of those on the left when he does win. So many have invested in him their own, often unrealistic, aspirations. No man could live up to that. Given Obama’s very thin experience in actually leading, I’m not sure how well he will fare getting done what he wants, let alone what those who think they own his political capital will want. (it will be interesting to see how he works with Polosi, how much she will listen to him)
      He has the potential for great disappointment for his followers and their reaction will be interesting. I fully expect failures not to be laid at his feet, but to be blamed upon the reactionary elements in the country.

    13. Lexington Green Says:

      So the storyline today is simple, “Media attacks; Republicans cheer.” The media would like nothing better than to paint Palin as evidence of sloppy legwork and irresponsible leadership by McCain.
      .
      Don’t tell that to Republicans — they have fallen in love.

      From this. Via Instapundit.

      If the point was to energize a base that was unhappy about Sen. McCain, it has worked.

    14. Lexington Green Says:

      Obama is being set up for failure by his own crazy style of running. By running as a post-political messiah, he is implying that some kind of life-transforming change can emerge from Washington. It can’t.

      What will happen is that he will turn his supporters’ frustration against his enemies. He will say, “I came to bring change and hope, to move beyond the old politics. But the Republicans have done nothing but try to thwart me at every turn.” He will then use his vast new “national volunteer” organizations, the Sturmabteilung he proposes to create at taxpayer expense, in Saul Alinsky-style against individuals, groups and busineses that oppose his program. When people complain, he will say “how can I dampen the enthusiasm of people who are hungry for change, but frustrated by the unfair and unreasonable resistance that is preventing the change we all hope for?” This guy will govern as a cross between Jimmy Carter and Robert Mugabe.

    15. Ginny Says:

      Let’s hope that the Constitution restrains him – a factor missing in Mugabe’s reign. (That those of Obama’s persuasion have devoted themselves to the teacher’s colleges of America and blocking votes on judges is, of course, worrisome.)

    16. Lexington Green Says:

      Yeah, he won’t be able to be much of a Mugabe, probably. But I put more faith in political backlash than in the Constitution. The “Constitution” means whatever judges say it means. I have long wondered when leftist judges would “freely” interpret the Constituion as a “living document” as far as its structural elements go. For example, when Obama suggested he would be President for “8 to 10 years” I thought, “ah ha”. He can’t be that stupid. So what does he mean? Maybe judges he appoints will find that two four year terms is a provision that can be read loosely, in a “living” way, where we have the unique circumstance of truly progressive president for the first time. After all, why should America be denied the opportunity to be led by Obama for as long possible?

      Is this paranoia? Paranoia is fear of an imaginary danger. Since we have no basis to say anything about Obama, other than that he is a con man and ambitious, we cannot know what he will do until he does it. However, suggesting that your above or beyond politics is a very bad sign. Politics is the process where different groups with different interests peacefully reach accomodation. To say you are above or beyond politics means that you have such absolute and undeserved commitment to your own views that anyone who disagrees with you is not worth talking to or negotiating with. The only way to get beyond or past or above politics is to use the power of the state to silence your political opponents. I presume that Obama will try to do that, since that is the only coherent program that can be derived from his “messiah talk”.

      We are heading into interesting times indeed.

    17. Lexington Green Says:

      Newt Gingrich jamming it down some guys throat. Nice.

    18. fred lapides Says:

      the Lugar-Obama legislation that has helped decrease the threat of old nuclear, biological, and chemical weapon in the former Soviet Union and the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 which Obama co-authored and that led to USAspending.gov, which keeps Americans better informed on government spending.

      Obama has also been very active in legislation to end the Iraq war and the much-heralded Dignified Treatment of Wounded Warriors Act, which passed in July of 2007 and addressed the hideous treatment received by Veterans under the Bush administration, began its legislative life as the Dignity for Wounded Warriors Act, introduced by Obama earlier in the year.

      But here’s the thing that any person going on television to represent Obama should repeat without end — and that should also be a part of the Obama campaign’s standard playbook: No Democrat, including Senator Hillary Clinton has been able to do one hell of a lot that meets the accomplishment benchmark of “passed legislation” in a time of unending, record-setting Republican obstructionism.

      Obama has been in the Senate for three years, two of which were spent with a Republican majority that would not even let legislation sponsored by Democrats reach the floor for a vote and, on the few occasions where Bill Frist granted such a luxury, Republicans shot down most Democratic initiatives with extreme prejudice.
      [always charming to listen to Newt the adulterer talk morals and issues…]

    19. Jonathan Says:

      Lex wrote:
      To say you are above or beyond politics means that you have such absolute and undeserved commitment to your own views that anyone who disagrees with you is not worth talking to or negotiating with.

      “He wouldn’t discuss things.”

      (Listen to this radio interview with John Lott, recounting Lott’s experience with Obama at the University of Chicago. The interview is maybe six minutes long. The quote above appears near the beginning.)

    20. Roy Lofquist Says:

      They’d better kill her quick or they will have killed themselves dead. The public will never believe them ever again on matters political.

    21. zenpundit Says:

      Brilliant post. Top notch analysis.

      The Obama campaign is invoking Nazism via email alerts to smear Palin. As it turned out, they were lying to boot.

      http://hnn.us/blogs/entries/54007.html

    22. ElemBend Says:

      I was thinking his ‘volunteer’ programs sounded more like Bolivarian Circles.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolivarian_Circles

      It’s interesting to read his program for all those organization because you can see, that finally, here is something he knows a little about.

    23. Lexington Green Says:

      Elambend: Right. Obama is going to try to create a third world style group of “popular democracy” movements, at public expense, as a way to intimidate and harass his political opponents, ala Chavez and Mugabe. Saul Alinsky is smiling, somewhere, to see that the US government itself is going to be subsidizing huge groups organized in his image to attack the capitalist system with direct action.

    24. Steve K. Says:

      The idea of political harassment groups a la Chavez cowing people into submission in a country of over 200 million firearms is stone cold stupid. Not that they wouldn’t try, though.

      Anyway, to the above on what happens when Obama fails to live up to expectations, the faithful will trot out a dolchstosslegende.