Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

Republican establishment: spite and sour grapes

Jerry Stratton, November 30, 2010

Over at Goldfish and Clowns, Jerry Wilson writes about something I’ve been noticing and trying to avoid writing about since A Fragile Alliance:

Once the primary was over and O’Donnell has won, the Castle side proved itself pathologically incapable of either letting go or laying off the slams against O’Donnell supporters. Be it the high flyers like Karl Rove or peashooters like Patterico, they simply couldn’t let it go. They piled on O’Donnell non-stop, whenever called out on it bleating it was all “honest debate.” No. It wasn’t all honest debate. There was nothing honest about any aspect of the discussion. It was spite and sour grapes masquerading as debate. It was personal and pathetic. It did nothing but further divide at a time when division was the last thing that was needed.

It was even worse to see this coming from bloggers who understand how the media constructs their narrative to always oppose the Republican—and yet they chose to ignore how the argument was feeding into this narrative, and how the media was stoking it. They chose to buy the media narrative that they would have deflated had it been any other candidate.

I’ve been reading Ari Fleischer’s Taking Heat, and ran across this line:

Nothing makes juicer news than a good, old-fashioned Republican vs. Republican, or Democrat vs. Democrat fight. Intraparty splits make interesting story lines.

Fleischer wrote that back in about 2003, 2004, or so, back when it was still possible to believe that the major portion of the media’s bias came from a love of conflict, but it otherwise echoes what I wrote, that “that kind of a feeding frenzy makes its own numbers”:

Enter the Republican leadership, who, minutes after O’Donnell’s stunning victory, went deeper into man bites dog and provided the media with the narrative they needed: party leadership says their own candidate is unelectable and unfit for office. That’s man-bites-dog with no filters, and since it wasn’t coming from the media they were able to run with it successfully.

If you want independent voters to keep voting with you, you’re going to need to recognize that what you did was wrong, and never do it again.

In response to A fragile alliance: The tea party and the Republican party alliance is a fragile one: it requires support on both sides. The media and tea partiers recognize this. Republican party leadership needs to figure it out yesterday.