Just One Reason Conservatives Are So Strange
When Barack Obama chose Joe Biden to be his running mate, the least unsurprising thing in the world happened: Republicans went through his record in order to find embarrassing moments, points of conflict with Obama, etc. In other words: opposition research. Now, while I may have disagreed with their characterizations of Biden’s record — I didn’t think they were doing anything extraordinary.
Contrast this with the reactions to progressive opposition research to Sarah Palin and now Paul Ryan. Take Fox News pundit/host Monica Crowley, for example (fun fact: she once accused Obama of lying about being black). She tweets: “Evidence the Left is freaked out re Ryan? Axelrod, DWShultz, Maddow, etc all stumbling & bumbling on the morning shows. Plus, lying.”
I’ve been on the receiving end of similar criticisms from the right since I started writing about the Ryan selection, and it echoes a lot of the same things I heard after Palin’s selection (or as I call it: the greatest days of blogging I’ve ever had). Apparently when the left pulls up information about a Republican candidate — vetting them, if you will — no matter the candidate or the situation, it is a sign that we are supposedly scared of the selection.
Sure, we and all right-minded Americans should be afraid of the visions of America offered by extremists like Ryan and Palin, but as viable political entities there’s no reason to fear them at all. And even if there were, digging into their backgrounds and past statements isn’t evidence of that. It’s evidence of politics at play, nothing more or less.
This bizarre response from the right feels like yet another instance of that movement’s paranoia, insisting despite all evidence that the entire world is always plotting against them. And it gets worse.
We are therefore witnessing a well-rehearsed and coordinated and almost balletic exercise in voter suppression, as Obama and his helpers spend hundreds of millions of dollars convincing middle America that Romney is a rich elitist who made a fortune in rapacious finance capitalism, and whose concern for the bottom line trumps transparency, compassion, and community.
Here in the real world, this is called “campaigning.” What the Republican party is attempting to do in Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania is voter suppression. What their operatives were convicted of in Maryland is voter suppression. What Obama is doing is communicating to the voters about what his opponents plans are for the country.
As someone who repeatedly lamented the impotence of the Democratic Party during the Bush years, it is a marvel to witness the conservative reaction to a Democratic administration that has their act together on many of the basics of politics. Rather than do what the Democrats did under Howard Dean and Barack Obama — get better quickly — Republicans instead have decided that the best thing to do is whine.
Turns out they are the ones who are scared of something.