Saturday, September 18, 2010

Orthogonal thought


I've previously described the line connecting "birtherism" with Freudian "Kenyan anti-colonialism" as, well, a bullshit continuum, its gamut being lowbrow to highbrow.

Without respect to the issue of whether or not it's all bullshit, Robert Stacy McCain takes exception to the Left's umbrage on the whole thing. And it seems to me there may be a lesson in there for Republicans:

The facts of Obama's life cannot be questioned, and the narrative meaning can only be construed in the most flattering light without eliciting the accusation of mala fides.

Contrast this with how the liberal media treated Ronald Reagan. No matter what he accomplished, from the 1960s through the ’80s, no journalistic profile of Reagan was complete without a snarky reminder that Reagan was a “B-movie actor,” the star of corny dramas like Knute Rockne: All-American and still cornier comedies like Bedtime for Bonzo.

And how did that work out for them?

Reagan got himself elected governor of California twice.

Then President of the United States twice, going from 44 states and 50.7% of the popular vote in 1980 -- with his party taking a majority in the US Senate for the first time in 28 years -- to 49 states and 58.8% of the popular vote in 1984.

It was primarily his popularity that carried his successor, George H.W. Bush, into the White House. And a good case could be made that he provided the momentum that let Newt Gingrich "nationalize" the 1994 election and achieve GOP control of both houses of Congress.

Of course, a better comparison for the paranoid mindset versus Obama might be Bill Clinton. Four years of Whitewater, Vincent Foster, HillaryCare, cattle futures and "Clinton death lists" increased his popular vote rake-in by about 7%.

If I were a Republican, I'd ... well, I'd stop being a Republican most ricky-tick, even if I had to throw myself off a cliff to get the job done. But before I did that, I recommend to my fellow Republicans that they stop asking why the mainstream media howls when they get all weird about Obama and start asking themselves whether getting all weird about Obama is going to win elections for them.

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