Monday, October 16, 2006

A new talking point
Brit Hume on the October 15 edition of Fox News Sunday:
Let's talk about this possibility -- it seems likely now, in almost all cards that the Democrats will get control of the House, which will bring us two years of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is not a popular figure or respected figure nationally. Her behavior will be more visible than ever, more conspicuous than ever.

Fred Barnes writing for the October 23 edition of The Weekly Standard:
If politics were fair, Democrats would be in as much trouble as Republicans. And they'd be just as vulnerable. They've been obstructionist, anti-tax-cut, soft on terrorism, and generally obnoxious. On top of that, Pelosi is the most unpopular national politician in America.

The Conservative information machine has been regularly attacking Rep. Nancy Pelosi for weeks. What marks this as an official talking point is the fact that both of these hacks are using the same image--unpopularity. What's interesting to me, is that this line of argument was first trotted out by Chris Matthews on the September 5 broadcast of NBC's Today Show:
I think it's interesting, Matt, that both sides agree on the stakes. ... It is whether we want Nancy Pelosi to be the first woman speaker of the House or not. My own view is that iconic fact of that woman sitting behind the president during a State of the Union address is an enormous change in our culture. ... A lot of the more conservative people will say, "Wait a minute, this woman's from San Francisco, she's a liberal."

As much as I think Matthews is often a loud-mouthed idiot and unwitting tool of the Conservative information machine, I don't think he is a conscious and voluntary right-wing hack (except where Hillary Clinton is involved). Matthews was probably speaking for himself and not testing out a line for the Republican Party and its supporters. It is they who are stealing his material.

It's a silly line, too. I would be very surprised to find out that very many voters have any idea who Nancy Pelosi is outside the Washington pundit corps, political bloggers and other junkies, and parts of California. And the number outside of those three groups who are willing to base their Congressional votes on keeping Pelosi from becoming the Speaker must be vanishingly small. Still, if the Republican Party wants to spend its time and resources propagating a message that is meaningless to most voters, I will not stop them.

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