Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Reality Used to be a Friend of Mine

E. J. Dionne hits it out of the park today, picking apart the parsing Conservatives have been doing over Karl Rove's comments.
In the ensuing controversy, Rove's defenders cleverly sought to pretend that there was nothing partisan about Rove's speech. "Karl didn't say 'the Democratic Party,' " insisted Ken Mehlman, the Republican national chairman. "He said 'liberals.' " It must have been purely accidental that one of the "liberals" mentioned was the Democratic national chairman and another was the Senate Democratic whip. It must also have been accidental that both of them, like most other liberals, supported the war in Afghanistan, not therapy. At the time, Durbin called the war "essential."

On Friday White House spokesman Scott McClellan narrowed the Rove attack even more. McClellan found it "puzzling" that Democrats were "coming to the defense of liberal organizations like MoveOn.org and people like Michael Moore," when in fact Democrats were coming to their own defense. McClellan also ignored what Mehlman had conceded the day before -- and what the text of Rove's remarks plainly shows: that Rove was attacking liberals generally, not just these two targets.

That's how guilt by association works. Make a charge and then -- once your attack is out there -- pretend that your words have been misinterpreted. Split your opponents. Put them on the defensive. Force them to say things like: "No, we're not soft on terrorism," or, "I'm not that kind of liberal." Once this happens, the attacker has already won.
Right on.

You see this kind of thing happening even here at Make me a Commentator!!! Management would like to see me apologize for a simple mistake made last week. But what they don't realize is that they are also asking me to apologize for being a Liberal and presenting a Liberal view. And I will never do that.

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