A Tawdry Start to the 2012 Election Campaign

Arnold Ahlert is a former NY Post op-ed columnist currently contributing to JewishWorldReview.com, HumanEvents.com and CanadaFreePress.com. He may be reached at atahlert@comcast.net.


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At least that was the case until last Saturday.  And while a certain element of the collective attack orchestrated by the left with regard to Tucson is a reaction to that election, one would be naive to think that the majority of the orchestrators are backward-looking.  The 2010 election is a done deal, and the reality of it is that Republicans cannot overturn anything substantial enacted by the 111th Congress, as long as Democrats hold the Senate and president Obama holds the veto pen.

The exploitation of the tragedy in Arizona is a dress rehearsal, an effort to see what forces can be marshaled together and focused on the progressives’ real target:  the 2012 election.

Part of that focus is already playing itself out. Using the Arizona tragedy as a springboard, Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) is calling for the re-instatement of the Fairness Doctrine; Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) is calling for a change in the nation’s dialogue “by will or by law;” the National Hispanic Media Coalition is asking the FCC to “update its definitions of hate speech in the media;”  Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee has ordered government employees in that state not to go on “talk radio” stations during their work hours, singling out that particular part of the media and no other; and Rep. Bob Brady (D-PA) has drafted legislation to ban symbols or language which could be perceived as “threatening” or “inciting violence.”

It’s not flying. A CBS New poll revealed that 57% of Americans, including a plurality of Democrats, (49% vs. 42%) said they don’t believe Jared Loughner was motivated by “heated rhetoric.”  This suggests that nearly six-in-ten Americans may also recognize that what progressives in Congress are doing is nothing more than a ham-fisted attempt to stifle debate leading up to arguably the most critical election in modern American history.  One which may deal the kind of blow to progressive ideology from which it may never fully recover.

President Obama has just spoken out to the nation regarding the tragedy in Arizona.  The focus of that speech reveals a great deal about where this nation is headed during the 2012 election cycle.  According to an editorial by Juan Williams at Foxnews.com, the president was being “pressured by Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter and others on the left to use his speech in Tucson to castigate far-right vitriol on talk radio and cable news.”  Mr. Obama, on the other hand, avoided such advice like the plague, as well he should have.  In 2012, Obama will have no shortage of left-wing demagogues like Mr. Alter in his corner.  But if he is to have a chance of getting re-elected, further alienating the Independent vote which turned against him in 2010 (and polling indicates a substantial majority would have disapproved of the Jonathan Alter route), would have been be decidedly foolish.

Progressive Democrats and their media enablers may want to throw themselves under the bus.  Their attempted exploitation of a national tragedy has revealed a political tone-deafness best characterized as desperation.  But I doubt the president will join them.  Mr. Obama may be many things.  Politically naive isn’t one of them.

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  • okrahead

    Transcript of Countdown with Keith Olbermann from January 12, 2011:

    Keith Olbermann: Tonight it is my honor to bring to you Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik live from Tucson, Arizona. Good evening, sheriff, how are you doing tonight and how is your investigation going?

    Sheriff Dupnik: Good evening, Keith. I'm doing great and I'm pleased to announce that we have one of the conspirators in custody, and my department has a working theory of the case which we hope will soon lead to additional arrests.

    K.O. Additional arrests? So the early rumors that the shooter didn't act alone are actually true?

    S.D. That's right, Keith. We have identified at least two conspirators who were directly involved in the assassination attempt. Even as we speak, my officers are coordinating with the FBI and President Obama's justice department to build the case against these additional conspirators. I am confident we will be able to make additional arrests before this week is over.

    K.O. What can you tell me about these additional arrests? Can you tell me who these additional conspirators are, and how they were involved?

    S.D. Actually, that's exactly why I wanted to come on your show tonight. The general public needs to be made aware of this conspiracy and its perpetrators so that they can be on guard against it, and if necessary help bring the conspirators to justice. The first conspirator I will be asking for an indictment against is Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska and current leader of the Tea-bagger terrorist organization….

    Read the rest here… http://beautifulletters-bls.blogspot.com/2011/01/

    • Jim C.

      What is this? Fan fiction?

  • BLJ

    I think this strategy will backfire on them. They still can't see the forest through the trees. Obama's biggest problem is the majority of the white guilt vote will not be there for him this time.

    Progressives are mostly educated derelicts who can get past their own sense of self-importance. They live in a world of delusion.

    • The_Lord_Regent

      Schooled, not "educated." Mark Twain: "I never let schooling get in the way of my education." Words that ring ever truer today than in Twain's time.

  • USMCSniper

    Liberals think that they're better than everybody else, so they're doing it for everybody else's benefit. They are superiorists. They are entitled. They are aristocracy. They're born to lead. How many of them actually worked for what they have? Oh, there's the occasional exception, but most of them are entitled in their own minds.

    • IreneAdler

      I'm in the reading Animal Farm, by George Orwell. I make it a practice to read the book once every few years, lest I forget. What you wrote, Sniper, is exactly what this book is about.

      In this reading, I am having a hard time picturing Napoleon without putting Obama's face on that pig, and Squealer wears Gibbs'. With this and 1984, Orwell was amazing prescient.

      • IreneAdler

        Sorry for the poor writing; proofreading is a lost art.

  • Jim C.

    2010 wasn't about a "repudiation of ideology." It was about "I still don't have a job and you guys are in power."

  • Kazooskibum

    Just days after a Democratic adviser comes out and says that Barack Obama “needs” an “Oklahoma City” event so that he can connect with the American people.
    A Democrat ,who just happened to have challenged Obama & voted against Pelosi, suddenly gets shot, along with a conservative member of the 9th Circus court of appeals.
    Are we suppose to believe that it is just a coincidence?
    Obama and the Democrats are the ones who had the most to gain from this.

  • Dean from Ohio

    Naive? Whoever said people from Kenya were naive?

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