Thursday, February 09, 2006

say what you will

Though he's considered the dean of Beltway pundits, David Broder's toolery has been exposed before, most effectively by Eric Alterman.

So while it's a disappointment, it's hardly a surprise to read this little gem from his column today:

Every Democrat on the committee signaled in the hearing a readiness to make needed adjustments in the FISA statute, as Congress has done five times since 2001 to provide more flexibility. The Democrats clearly had heeded Karl Rove's recent speech to the Republican National Committee, signaling an intention to tag them -- once again -- in the 2006 campaign as being soft on terrorism.

They went out of their way to avoid that charge, with Ted Kennedy even applying some reverse English to the argument, by suggesting that al Qaeda suspects might beat the rap in court by their lawyers' successfully challenging evidence obtained through surveillance conducted under questionable legal authority.

I love how he frames this as "Rove speak, Dems jump", as if the Dems were the obedient dog. Broder puts them in the passive, reactive mode. God forbid he frame it as "Rove once again exploited national secrurity for politics, falsely accusing Dems of..."

Look, we do have issues with the party not being effective at crafting a message and for sure the party has, since the Cold War, had to fight the perception that it is weak on national security. However, reality shows us that most Dems are quite serious about real and effective solutions to protecting the country from terrorism. It's discouraging then, to read more b.s. "conventional wisdom", framed in a way that puts Rove in charge, and doesn't call Rove on this disgusting campaign tactic. I would like to think that Broder knows better, but sadly he doesn't.

Perhaps it's time for a few firm but cordial e-mails to the dean, to let him know that people are tired of lazy punditry.

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