This week’s edition of “Republicans pouncing” news is brought to you by the New York Times, the letter F and the number 2. The Gray Lady served up no less than 28 paragraphs (!) yesterday, provided by columnist Sheryl Gay Stolberg, bemoaning the fact that Republicans have been pointing out a few key facts about the new crop of Democrats controlling the House of Representatives and/or running for President. Ms. Stolberg finds it patently unfair of the GOP to talk about today’s Democrats as a bunch of socialists, baby-killers and antisemites. Here’s a brief introduction to the screed.
In the 116th Congress, if you’re a Democrat, you’re either a socialist, a baby killer or an anti-Semite.
That, at least, is what Republicans want voters to think, as they seek to demonize Democrats well in advance of the 2020 elections by painting them as left-wing crazies who will destroy the American economy, murder newborn babies and turn a blind eye to bigotry against Jews.
The unusually aggressive assault, which Republican officials and strategists outlined in interviews last week, is meant to strangle the new Democratic majority in its infancy. It was set in motion this month by President Trump, who used his State of the Union address to rail against “new calls to adopt socialism in our country” and mischaracterize legislation backed by Democrats in New York and Virginia as allowing “a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth.”
Holy guacamole, Batman. That’s a lot of invectives to pack into just a few short lines. The Republicans are “painting Democrats” in an unfair light. They’re trying to “strangle the new Democratic majority in its infancy.” (Not for nothing, but given one of the subjects you’re addressing, do you really want to invoke the image of strangling infants? But I digress…) And it goes on from there at length. At great length. But the missing element in all of these complaints is any factual indication that the charges being raised are, you know… false.
First of all, saying that there are a bunch of socialists in the Democratic Party, particularly when one of your leading potential contenders for the POTUS nomination and some of your “rising superstars” proudly put their association with the Democratic Socialists on their websites doesn’t sound very “pouncy” to me. It’s more a case of simply repeating their own words and recognizing the claims they’ve made. And to be very clear here, ideas like Medicare for all and guaranteed pay for those “unwilling to work” are flatly socialist.
Moving on, you’ll notice that Stolberg herself mischaracterizes the President and other Republicans by saying they are mischaracterizing the new abortion laws passed in New York and under consideration in Virginia. Shall we bring up Governor Northram’s comments about the parents and the doctor “having a conversation” after the baby is born and “stabilized” again? And when you extend the timeframe for allowable, legal abortions up to and including the day the mother is due, you’re talking about exactly what they are describing.
As for the GOP pointing out antisemitism on the left, does Stolberg actually believe that they’re making this up or exaggerating it? I would remind you that the current Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi who is a member of the (checks notes) Democratic Party, only recently had to reprimand one member of her caucus over antisemitic remarks. And she was far from the only one drawing such scrutiny.
This is just a suggestion for you to ponder, but if you really don’t want the Republicans calling the Democrats a bunch of socialists, baby-killers and antisemites, perhaps you could urge the Democrats to stop talking and acting like a bunch of socialists, baby-killers and antisemites. But perhaps that’s a bit much to hope for from the New York Times or much of the rest of the MSM.
And still, even some good friends of mine are sticking with the “What media bias?” point of view.
Ah yes your tired old "Biased Media" argument. #Yawn
— Doug Mataconis (@dmataconis) February 18, 2019