Oh, No, It's The "Republican Attack Machine!" --NOT.
As I mention in my Boston Herald column on the Left's "War Against The Oppressive Gender Binary," it's not conservatives who've turned the word "liberal" into a pejorative. It's liberals themselves, through their own ridiculous behavior and beliefs.
Liberal Walter Shapiro makes a similar concession in Salon today, writing about Sen. Barack Obama:
It is not just the Republican attack machine that created the image of Democratic candidates camouflaging their inner being at the behest of their campaign consultants. From Walter Mondale playing down his liberal instincts in 1984 to Al Gore, who, in reality, did did go through a phony phase in the 2000 campaign of wearing earth tones, the Democrats often got caught by their lack of authenticity. (Out of a sense of mercy, we will not even mention the 2004 John Kerry campaign.) It is this trap that Hillary Clinton has fallen into with her exaggerated claims of dodging sniper fire in Bosnia.
Nearly every day I get an email (or 70) accusing me of "making Barack Obama look bad," by using meanspirited, unfair Republican Attack Machine tactics like, oh, reporting his actual voting record and quoting him accurately.
I'm just a big meanie, I guess.
So it's nice to hear a political hack who's in the bag for his party, like Mr. Shapiro, admit that some of the problems his party is having are related to their own behavior. Republicans didn't trick Sen. Obama into spending 20 years in the "First Church Of I Hate Whitey." Talk show hosts didn't force Obama into the most liberal voting record in the entire US Senate. These are just the facts.
More importantly, they are facts that a reasonable voter might take into consideration on Election Day. If that causes Sen. Obama to lose the election, he will have been a victim of his own poor judgment and radical politics, not a conspiracy of the Republican Attack Machine.