Old Media: Democrats = Moderate, Republicans = Extremist

It is interesting to see how the Old Media constantly spins American politics, but one thing underlies the media’s conception about current events. The Old Media’s base assumption is that the left is “moderate” but all on the right are “far right.” This concept serves as the benchmark for almost every single analysis of American politics. It’s the assumption they nearly all start with as they analyze modern politics.

Ron Fournier, Washington bureau chief for the Associated Press, recently penned an analysis of Washington perfectly infused with this benchmark assumption. In early May Fournier wrote a knee slapper that claimed that there is “no place to go for moderates” because the US political scene is headed for “extremes.” And why is it headed for “extremes”? Likely it’s because it looks like the GOP is on the ascendance and the left is in retreat. But according to Fournier it’s because “moderates” are being chased from the parties.

Fournier thinks that “extremes” are befalling American politics because Charlie Crist of Florida was somehow “chased out” of the Florida Republican Party. He also points to Arlen Spector’s ship-jumping move from GOP to Democrat as evidence that the “extremes” are winning. For balance he tries to use the case of former Democrat, now independent, Joe Lieberman as an example of a “moderate” Democrat chased from the Democrat Party. These examples, Fournier posits, is proof that “compromise” is being killed in politics today.

Fournier is, of course, absurdly off base. The reason that Spector and Crist have been eschewed by Republicans is because both politicians campaigned as one thing and governed as another. Both pretended at being more conservative on the campaign trail than they proved to be in office. Both voted for apostasies and both lost their constituents as a result. As to Lieberman, the claim that he is a “moderate” is simply ridiculous. Joe Lieberman differed from the left on one issue and one issue only: the war in Iraq. Other than that one issue, Lieberman is not a moderate on any issue.

Notice the underlying theme here, though. Fournier seems to be saying that anyone that bucks his party and thumbs his nose at his own voters and tracks left is a “moderate.” Fournier assumes that Republicans voting with Democrats is worthy “compromise” that extremism is endangering. Absurdly, Fournier blames blogs and the new media for this death of compromise. One wonders how the character assassination by the Democrat Party of Judge Bork occurred in the new media free 1980s if all this “extremism” was created by blogs and the electronic media created in our modern era?

Another maven of the Old Media is lefty columnist E.J. Dionne whose recent piece echoed Fournier that the right is a nearly universally an extreme right-wing monolith while the Democrats are scattered in all ideological directions. In other words, Republicans are all extremists while Democrats are reasonably covering all aspects of the ideological scale.

Dionne goes on and on with the base assumption that Democrats are the only reasonable side of the aisle simply because he thinks they are not universally let-wing. Of course, one of his chief mistakes is to misunderstand that one of the reasons that some Democrats are trying to look more conservative is that Obama’s hard-core left-wing government is failing miserably forcing Democrats to scatter for cover. He fails to understand that the reason many of these Democrats won office in the first place is because they told the voters they leaned to the right. As it happens, even many Democrat voters want to lean toward the center. Dionne also seems to ignore that the so-called conservative Democrats that are about to lose their positions in Congress are on the bubble because they ran as conservatives yet few stayed true to the principles they claimed they had when they ran. All down the line so-called conservative Democrats at their earliest convenience voted with every left-wing Obama/Pelosi/Reid idea that came down the pike.

The idea that conservative extremism is ruining the country is laughable when everyone that is losing their seat is doing so because they drifted to the left. Instead of right-wing extremism causing all this uproar, the proper way to see it is that leftism has been the disruptive force. The lesson is drift left and the American electorate will punish you.

Another aspect of the Old Media’s meme is a scolding of the very Americans they claim as political reporters to be advising. These media types are shaking their left-wing fingers in disgust at the very voters that are punishing politicians for careening wildly to the left. You people are idiots, these media types think, idiots that are destroying compromise and polarizing our political system. See, it isn’t the unnatural injection of leftism that is doing this, it is the American people’s fault because they are holding true to their center right principles.

Again, it isn’t that Republicans are so hardcore right-wing or that Democrats are so wonderfully moderate, its that the losers from both sides lied to their constituents about what they were when they ran for office and those lies were universally employed to cover a leftward tilt.

Not all Democrats strategists agree with the Old Media types like Dionne and Fournier. to be sure. Democrat strategist Douglas Schoen is this month warning Democrats that they “need to flee Obama and tack to the right.” He sees clearly that Obama is far too left-wing for American voters. And as far back as December of 2009 Democrat operative Bill Daley, brother of Chicago’s mayor, was warning his party that it had better pull back from its far left tilt or risk losing to Republicans.

If there is extremism, it comes from the left and if so-called moderate politicians are finding their re-election bids embattled it is because voters are sick of being lied to by cynical politicians that run as conservatives to get elected yet govern like liberals once in office.

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