The NYT reports:
Conservative commentators and die-hard Republicans often brush off denunciations of Donald Trump as an unprincipled hatemonger by saying: Yeah, yeah, that’s what Democrats wail about every Republican they’re trying to take down. Sing me a song I haven’t heard so many times before.
Howard Wolfson would be outraged by that response if he didn’t recognize its aptness.
“There’s enough truth to it to compel some self-reflection,” Wolfson, who was the communications director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid in 2008, told me this week. …
“I worked on the presidential campaign in 2004,” he said, referring to John Kerry’s contest against George W. Bush. He added that he was also “active in discussing” John McCain when he ran for the presidency in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012.
“And I’m quite confident I employed language that, in retrospect, was hyperbolic and inaccurate, language that cheapened my ability — our ability — to talk about this moment with accuracy and credibility.”
Did Democrats cry wolf so many times before Trump that no one hears or heeds them now?
I think that is a very fair point. Every Republican from Reagan on has been painted as dangerous and extreme, when they were not. Reagan, Bush 41, Dole, Bush 43, McCain and Romney.
In Commentary, Noah Rothman has repeatedly examined this subject. He wrote back in March that when “honorable and decent men” like McCain and Romney “are reflexively dubbed racists simply for opposing Democratic policies, the result is a G.O.P. electorate that doesn’t listen to admonitions when the genuine article is in their midst.”
We see this in NZ also. If you oppose race based seats on Councils you get called a racist. Donald Trump is in fact a racist but Republicans have got used to all their candidates being called racist, so it doesn’t resonate – even though it should.
And this is a two-way street. Republicans paint a broad spectrum of Democrats as socialist kooks, and Obama has been as strong a magnet for hyperbole as any politician in my lifetime. Let us not forget Dinesh D’Souza’s 2010 book “The Roots of Obama’s Rage,” or Newt Gingrich’sassertion that “only if you understand Kenyan, anticolonial behavior” can you grasp Obama’s method of governing, or Trump’s insistence that Obama produce his American birth certificate.
Yep fault on both sides. Obama is a loyal American who has pursued policies he believes are best for America. I disagree with many of his policies and think he has been reasonably ineffectual, but all this nonsense that he (or Clinton) is a traitor is tiresome.