January 11, 2011

BAD ADVICE: Mark Halperin, last seen musing that what Obama needed was a “horrendous act of violence” that would save his Presidency, is now advising people on the right that they should turn the other cheek when falsely accused of murder after the hoped-for “horrendous act of violence” occurred. To avoid “escalation,” don’t y’know.

Bah. As the man Halperin is struggling to save says, punch back twice as hard. But you can taste the desperation here. When the lefty talking-point assault hasn’t even convinced Barbara Walters and The Economist is calling it “toxic,” it’s a pretty major fail. So now it’s time for Plan B. It probably sounded good on some JournoList: Try baffling ’em with a bible reference — those Christianist tea partiers fall for that every time, right?

As I said, major fail.

The biggest worry after the November elections was that a lot of people on the right would declare victory and go home. The shameless attempt to politicize the Tucson shootings and scapegoat people on the right has generated a huge amount of anger. Tea Party folks being who they are, I suspect this will mostly manifest itself as grunt-level political work in preparation for 2012 — precisely the opposite of what the scapegoaters were hoping for: Don’t get mad, get even, by making 2012 an even bigger shellacking than 2010.

More from Ed Morrissey. “You know what would help us? The media actually doing its job rather than participating in the smear campaign. What exactly did Halperin and his magazine do to report that conservatives were being smeared, as he acknowledges three days later? If their Swampland blog is any indication, exactly zero.”

Halperin liked the idea of politicizing a tragedy to scapegoat Republicans when he wrote about it in December, and he helped push it along in January when the opportunity presented itself. And he’s still doing so. He’s a Democratic political operative. Just not a very good one.

Related: Poll: 57% of Americans don’t buy media spin on Tucson massacre.

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