Wednesday, October 3, 2007

John Ridley: The Virtue of False Equivalency

It took me a while to put my finger on what I didn't like about John Ridley's column over at the Huffington Post. I finally realized that it was because I was seeing another example of the annoying "a pox on both their houses" kind of crap that periodically rears its ugly head. It finally clicked when I read this bit for about the 10th time (yeah ... i am slow sometimes)
MoveOn had their Petraeus/Betray Us ad which contained all the wit and insight of graffiti scrawled on a bathroom stall at a grade school for disadvantaged youths (and considering the level of competence that went into the decision to place the ad, it might as well have been exhibited in a toilet).

In response, the shy and demurring pundits from far right acted like bleeding wounds unable to understand why anyone would dare - DARE - impugn the integrity of someone who serves our country.

Swift Boating, after all, is so '04.

The difference of course between the SwiftBoating of Kerry and the ad was that everything in the MoveOn ad was ummm .. true .. and this was not the case of the swiftboat vets for truth nonsense.
Equating the legitimate, accurate criticism of a highly political General who is in the process of acting as a water carrier for a president with the misleading statements and outright lies of an organization like Swiftboat Vets for Truth is a typical tactic that seems to work. The effect that it has is to increase the cynicism of the average citizen and to decrease the likelihood that average citizen will vote because "well they are all the same anyway so who cares".

This is very important to remember because decreased turnout rate equals an increased chance of a Republican victory in 2008 so I expect to see much more of this type of talk as we get closer to the election. Voter apathy, or even equal antipathy towards both parties are a plus to the party in power because they are less likely to "toss the bums out" if they think that it really doesn't matter who is there. Even though the Democrats control both the House and the Senate they are still perceived as being in opposition so it is important to keep the pressure on.

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