Posted by: mutantpoodle | January 14, 2008

Tony Snow’s false equivalency

Tony Snow earned Atrios’s Wanker of the DayTM for the his comments on Bill Maher that “everybody” got the Iraq War wrong at the beginning. I watched the show, and there were a lot of wanker-ready choices for Snow, who was spinning furiously throughout. I might have voted for his completely unsubstantiated assertion that voter fraud is a widespread problem that needs to be addressed.

That said, my hurl the drink at the plasma screen moment came when Maher asked him (about 3:20 in on the clip above) about the unhinged hatred right wing talk radio has for Hillary Clinton, and Snow, in his best aw shucks manner, responded as follows:

SNOW: Yeah, I think it’s kind of limited, but it strikes me as kind of silly. I think we live in the age of unglued people. I mean, when it was announced that I have cancer again, there were left wing blogs saying “I hope the sonuvabitch dies – woohoo!” Well, I think we live in an age where there’s a lot of that on both sides, and I think people are smart enough to say, I don’t want to be associated with these creeps. So I’m with the [questioner] in the sense that I think that the level of personalizing politics has gotten to the point where it’s really sick….

I think we’ve got to realize – I’ve got plenty of frriends on both sides of the aisle and I’m happy about it. It’s one of the reasons I thoroughly loved my time at the White House. When I got sick I got wonderful notes from Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi and others, with whom I’ve been friendly for years, and the fact is that you can disagree with people vehemently, and you don’t have to think they’re going to hell because they disagree with you and they don’t have to think you’re going to hell because you disagree with them.

Oh, where to start.

First, Tony, which left-wing blogs, exactly? I mean, that anybody reads. Because I read quite a few, and while a few commenters were less than kind, the blogs themselves, unfailingly, wished him well.

On the other hand…

Space does not permit me to catalog the hideous drivel that has come out of Rush Limbaugh’s mouth about Hillary and Bill Clinton – and even about young Chelsea Clinton’s looks. Suffice to say that a reasonable person might conclude that Rush Limbaugh is unhinged.

Which makes one wonder why the Secret Service allows Limbaugh in the same room with the President.

Here’s what Tony missed (and no one on the panel called him on). And while many have said it before, here goes:

The unhinged on the left are truly a fringe, nowhere near meeting, talking to, or influencing virtually any Democrats. I don’t know of a rational person who would call the principals of the major left-wing blogs unhinged. (For the record, I don’t consider Michelle Malkin or Ann Coulter rational people.)

The unhinged on the right – in talk radio and elsewhere – are part of the Republican power structure. Rush Limbaugh, Pat Robertson, James Dobson, the late Jerry Falwell – these guys are all members in good standing of the larger GOP machine. Republicans not only talk to them but, quite often, kowtow to them.

So as sweet as it is that Tony Snow thinks that unglued Hillary hatred is silly, and that he’s friendly with her and others on the left, it doesn’t change the fact that Republicans use personal attacks, foisted by their “independent” media arms, as part of their overall campaign strategy. Far from “not wanting to be associated with those creeps,” the modern GOP wakes up with those creeps every morning.


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