Tuesday, September 04, 2012

DNC pre-game report



As I’ve already noted, my exposure to the events in Charlotte this week will be, if for no other reason than to keep my blood pressure reasonable, limited.  But I’ve got a couple of thoughts on what’s going to happen as they get underway.

  • In contradiction to Jonah Goldberg’s prediction, I think we do get the “four more years” chant, on more than one occasion.  The awkward questions that this ought to raise in response won’t be asked by the media.
  • Any mention of the national debt will be made in the context of what a problem George W. Bush and the Republican Congress left.  No member of the mainstream press will opine, or ask  any question which implies, that this is not the correct framework for thinking about the debt.
  • The Democrats will repeatedly, and loudly, proclaim a position on abortion which is far further from the consensus of American public opinion than that held by the Republicans.  They will do this while calling the Republicans’ position “radical.”  At no time will any member of the mainstream media reveal this, nor challenge them on it.
  • The Democrats will convey the message, both implicitly and explicitly, that "real women" have to hold certain positions on certain issues.  The mainstream press will never think to call this position, that women are limited in their thought processes by biological determinism, "sexism."
  • The Democrats will convey the message, both implicitly and explicitly, that African- Americans have to hold certain positions on certain issues.  The mainstream press will never think to call this position, that people with dark skin are limited in their thought processes by biological determinism, "racism."
  • The Democrats will be addressed by a graduate student whose claim to fame is that she previously appeared before Congress to insist that the Federal Government mandate that all insurance policies cover birth control, and, in the process, provoked an intemperate remark from a radio host.  Their advocacy of this position is indicative of either a) their serious lack of understanding of the American body politic or b) mine.  
  • Some people will defend Sandra Fluke, and the contraceptive mandate, as a shining example of "separation of church and state."  Those people have a radically different understanding of the Constitution and the first amendment than I do.
  • The Democrats will claim, repeatedly, that the stimulus bill and other economic measures passed by the Democratic Congress in 2009 and 2010, and signed by President Obama, left the country better off than it would have otherwise been.  The impossibility of proving counterfactuals leaves this as a position that, though wildly improbable, is not necessarily false.  There might actually be some questioning from the media on this, but it will be largely in a helpful, share-with-our-viewers kind of way, with no significant challenges.
  • Joe Biden's convention speech will be filled with the kind of blatant factual errors that the mainstream "fact checkers" tried - incorrectly - to portray Paul Ryan's speech as containing.  The "fact checkers" won't find anything worthy of comment.
  • The storyline going in to the Convention is “Democrats dispirited, unenthusiastic.”  That sounds like the media actually sharing negativity about the Democrats, but that’s not the correct understanding.  (The Republicans are living up to the “stupid party” nickname by gathering and sharing these stories.)  The proper frame for understanding the “enthusiasm gap” stories appearing today is as background context for Friday’s “Democrats united and enthusiastic after great convention” stories. 

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