Dispatches from the Creation Wars

He doesn’t appear to live in this one. John Hinderaker, the man who once praised the eloquence of George W. Bush, calling him “a great communicator” and saying that listening to him speak for 40 minutes was “an absolutely riveting experience” and “the most inspiring forty minutes I’ve experienced in politics,” has just called Barack Obama “the most gaffe-prone politician in memory.” You really have to wonder how someone can say such things with a straight face. And I think Balko nails it when he writes:

It is sorta’ cute, though, to watch the right-wingers and longtime defenders of President Bush attack Obama for–of all things–his inability to speak articulately. The choreographed way in which several high-profile right-wing blogs picked up the gaffe meme strongly suggests hat there’s already a coordinated effort afoot to push a narrative, here. “Barack’s a doofus!” (You may remember similar memes, such as “Al Gore invented the Internet!” and “John Kerry’s a Flip-Flopper!)

I know. The lack of self-awareness is mind-boggling. But I think it’s calculated. This is a page right out of the Rovian playbook. Project your onto your opponents your own biggest weaknesses. So the Bush campaign ducks the National Guard issue by calling John Kerry a coward. Draft-dodging Saxby Chambliss attacks Max “I Left Three Limbs on the Battlefield” Cleland’s patriotism. It’s brilliant, really. Your opponents are so taken aback at the sheer audacity (sorry, it’s the only word that fits, here) of the charge, they stagger, nonplussed. Then of course, you pounce.

Hence, the spectacle of a Bush sycophant like John Hinderaker taking aim at Barack Obama’s eloquence.

These sorts of stories are useful, though. And I’m sure we’ll see similar stories emerge from the left about McCain. The come out in every campaign. They’re useful in that they let us see which bloggers and pundits are serious people with any semblance of intellectual honesty, and which are knee-jerk party hacks.

Quite so. Those who eagerly jump on the talking points, no matter how obviously ridiculous and counter-factual they may be simply should not be taken seriously.