Friday, March 23, 2007

Why Does the Press Suck?

Stories and framing like this drive me insane. Without any evidence, David Lerman asserts that Senator Webb is a "maverick senator" who wants to "steer his party toward a centrist path." But the long quote from Webb used in the story reads-

``If the Democratic Party gets back on that message, I think they have a very strong chance in red-state America."

What you might ask is the message to which Webb is referring? Well, that is provided in the story as well- "a diplomacy-based national security strategy, greater accountability in government, and new economic policies to narrow the gap between rich and poor." There is nothing in that list of policies that is not embraced by the Democratic Party at large.

Please, Mr. Lerman, explain to us how these three principles run counter to anything that the Democratic Party has been advocating over the past six years. Do you really believe that Jim Webb is closer in thought to "centrist" Democrats like Joe Lieberman and Hillary Clinton than to the Democratic base? Clinton and Lieberman both supported, and continue in varying degrees to support, the failed Iraq War. Jim Webb does not. Hillary and Joe cast their lot with the corporatists of the DLC. Jim Webb is an economic populist. Joe refused to hold the Bush administration accountable for their failures related to Katrina. Webb demands accountability.

What Lerman is doing here is the buying into the frame that because Webb is a former Republican and former Marine that he is somehow to the right of the Party base. But his economic populism and anti-war position are clear indicators that Webb is not some Lieberman-clinton "centrist." All Webb has called for is a return to message for the Democratic Party as a means of becoming even more competitive in Red states.


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