GOP apologist Christensen strikes again

Creating a fictional moderate majority:

House Republicans rolled out their voter ID bill, which was less restrictive than the one vetoed by Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue two years ago. Democrats and others will still hate it, but it will take some of the air out of the opposition. Because of some of the provisions, it is far less likely that grandma, students or poor people won’t be able to vote compared to the earlier version. The GOP had the votes to adopt any voter ID bill they wanted. But House Republicans decided against the hard-line approach.

What Rob has missed (or chosen not to include in his narrative) is that there is no substantial difference between the phrases "won't be able to vote" and "won't vote", as far as how they impact elections, anyway. There's a reason Republicans have different (harsher) versions of the same bill, and Christensen just proved the reasoning for that was sound. It's a basic sales technique (bracketing,) which creates a false "moderate" that can be chosen. And if you want to create a false moderate group of people, you set aside a smaller group via "labeling":

There were signs that the Republican legislative leadership last week was moving to rein in the red-hots.

One of the few drawbacks for Republicans in designing safe GOP districts is that it leads to the election of some of the red hots – people who are more comfortable venting on talk-radio programs than they are in actually governing.

That is how you get off-the-wall legislation that is both embarrassing and takes attention away from the more serious and substantive Republican efforts.

Um, Skip Stam is about as red hot as they come, and House Republicans have been worshipping at his twisted altar for a long, long time. Gerrymandering may have ushered in some crazy Tea-Party types, but the crazy was already in residence before they came. Of course, if you're more apt to pay attention to their happy talk instead of evaluating the "substance" of their previous legislative efforts, you might fall for the ruse. But somebody who has been reporting on the NCGA for so long should not be so gullible.


He makes a similar point

that I tried to make in this post, that the crazy stuff is distracting. But unless I'm badly misreading Rob's overall message, he's trying to sell the idea that the rest of the stuff they're doing is good. Or at least "not bad", which is just about as wrong as the former.

The Republicans' misdirection appears to be working.


This is one of the hazards of the blurry line between political reporting and punditry. Christensen is certainly welcome to his (misguided) opinions, but it's a sad state of affairs when those opinions carry the veneer of objectivity that readers used to expect from reporters.

Binker continues to do the best job, in my view, of managing that delicate balance.

It is good stuff

More and more these days it seems the MSM refuses to take a "big picture" look at all of the outrages being perpetrated by NC Republicans. Their fear of being labeled partisan or Liberal might be behind it, but I have a feeling some of them (like Rob?) actually think a lot of those regressive moves are a good thing.

It's not like Rob's afraid to generalize about Democrats:

One of the lessons of the 2008 election, in which Democrats won large victories, is that the Democrats over-reached when President Barack Obama proposed his national health care plan, his cap-and-trade legislation, and a series of other bills that angered many critics.

A "series of other bills"? Like what? In the runup to the 2012 Election, right-wing pundits hammered Obamacare, and occasionally mentioned Cap & Trade, but the rest of their rhetoric was just a mish-mash of hyperbolic nonsense about Socialism. In other words, nothing of substance. Making what Rob wrote above somewhere between uninformed and intentionally misleading.

Well, in a way, Christensen is right... the same way that saying that "Hey, you know, General Sherman passed over that one little building he could have burned, so it couldn't have been that bad".