Since I wrote a post last week condemning the NARAL ad, there has been an absolute media feeding frenzy condemning it. Liberals, I think have been pretty honest about it, and have been calling it what it is: a disgrace. E. J. Dionne's column on it was particularly good I thought.
I said at the time that the ad was terribly dishonest, and I stand behind my characterization of it. But that doesn't stop me from thinking there's a little bit of hypocrisy in the media's dealing with it, nor does it stop me from thinking that there's a lesson in this for Dems who are serious about winning elections.
Because the ad's rhetoric was no more dishonest than that of ads run by the Bush campaign last year. In fact, it's the same sort of dishonesty that has become a hallmark of republican thinking (just look at this bullshit from yesterday).
Remember when the Bush campaign claimed that John Kerry said that terrorism is a nuisance? (He didn't) Remember when they claimed that Kerry had a "global test"? (He didn't.) Remember the stuff about Kerry being "the most liberal man in the Senate." (He isn't.)
Remember the WMDs? Remember Iraq? Remember the first term of the Bush administration?
The list just goes on and fucking on. There is a huge amount of information that the Bush administration has lied through its teeth about publicly and unapologetically without a peep from the mainstream media. Yet we're all shocked, shocked that someone on the left, NARAL would use such dirty partisan tactics as taking something someone wrote out of context.
The clear lesson here is that Dems have to learn how to live with a media double-standard that's been created by years of republican mendacity. Not that we should accept the double standard, not that we shouldn't fight for a real media that holds the republican party to account. But that, until we have such a media, we play smart enough to not have the shit kicked out of us over something that's not that unusual.
Not that the NARAL ad wasn't wrong. It was. But it was also stupid. The aftermath was totally predictable and a serious group with serious issues shouldn't be dumb enough to get beat up over a story like this.