Redbait and Switch: An Arms Race of Outrage
As the campaign year heats up, the politics of umbrage already is in full swing. But some offenses are worth getting outraged about more than others.
I refuse, for example, to get all worked up over
But let's be real. Nugent may be a blight, but he is not a "
Surrogates are designated spokespeople for candidates. Nugent was, at most, a Romney supporter from whom Romney might back away at light speed.
Schultz, at best, was dealing some payback. Republicans and other conservatives labeled Democratic CNN commentator
Rosen's connections to Obama were about as close as Nugent's to Romney. But that was close enough for the Romney supporters, who were desperate to close his yawning gender gap behind Obama among women voters.
That's how the politics of umbrage operate. When voters are upset with your side, try to feed their outrage about the other side. When the other side is not committing a serious scandal, manufacture some outrage over some other alleged offense.
Much of this inflated umbrage amounts to what
By that standard, the recent redbaiting offenses of Rep.
At a recent town hall meeting, West said that he thinks as many as 80 House Democrats "are members of the
His remarks sparked outrage and charges of "McCarthyism" among Democrats -- for good reason. The late Republican Sen.
West, too, declined to name names or back up an inch, except to further equate being a "progressive" to membership in the
Not that facts matter to those who want to believe this thoroughly unfounded notion anyway. All it takes is the allegation to bring fame, power and lucrative campaign contributions to whoever makes the charge.
McCarthy understood. So apparently does Rep.
She further called for major newspapers to investigate which members of
A "money blurt" is how the
Yes, old-fashioned redbaiting still offers today's enterprising politicians an easy, if ugly, way to raise fame and campaign cash. All they have to do is abuse the very democratic freedoms they claim to be defending.
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Redbait and Switch: An Arms Race of Outrage | Politics
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