Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Attacking the Messenger

I'd like to say more, but I've got places to go and things to do this afternoon, so this will be short.  I saw a story at TPM about how the DOJ Inspector General concluded that The New York Agency for Community Affairs was a front group for ACORN, using grant monies given to NYACA entirely to pay ACORN employees.  And that's it.  That's all the story said.

Was this a bad thing?  Was it illegal?  Is this proof that ACORN was illegitimate and deserved to be destroyed?  I have no idea, as the story didn't say.  It only reported what the Inspector General said and nothing else.  Yet, for merely reporting the story, TPM's writer was accused by liberal commenters of being a "Bloomberg puppet" and of being another James O'Keefe.

When I defended the story, one commenter actually wrote:
The sparse reporting in this "story" seems designed as red meat for conservatives who have demonized ACORN and nothing else.
Because yeah, TPM has a real incentive to throw red meat to conservatives.

And look, I understand how the rightwing spin machine works, and how this story will be spun as a bad thing for Democrats.  But does that mean we need to attack the messenger?  Because what these people want is to live in a bubble, where they only hear good news and ignore the bad.  As if that will make the stories go away.  But as I said in my initial comment, it's GOOD for us to know what Republicans will be talking about, so we can better separate fact from fiction when it comes up.  Burying your head in the sand will NOT make the bad things go away.

And more importantly...why do we care what they say about ACORN?  They don't even exist any more!  Same goes for all the other nonsense Republicans rant about.  How does it hurt us when Republicans deny Obama's citizenship, or call him a socialist Muslim, or any of the other imagined windmills these bozos keep attacking?  Because these stories are just a distraction to them, and the longer they attack these distractions, the less they'll be able to attack things with traction.

And that's a big reason why Obama's doing as well as he is.  Sure, his approval ratings aren't good, but the longer Republicans focus on trivial idiocies, the less relevant they are to anyone.  These dummies did a lot better back when they were attacking Obamacare than they are now that Obama isn't doing anything drastic to overhaul our system.  So it's a lot better for us if they waste their time denouncing a group that doesn't exist anymore than doing something useful.

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