Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

"Ultra-anti-war wing of Democratic party," called "Taliban" on FOX's Big Story

Reported by Chrish - August 10, 2006 -

John Gibson wondered aloud if there is an "absolutist, a kind of Taliban of the Democratic party now threatening all incumbent Democrats who may have supported the war at one time?" on The Big Story today 8/9/06.

Gibson had as back-to-back guests former Bush assistant and Cheney adviser Mary Matalin and then former Clinton Chief of staff Leon Paneta. They both spoke of the implications of the defeat last night of Democratic incumbent Joe Lieberman. Gibson predictably overdid it with the RNC talking point that the so-called far-left fringe has taken the party over and the anti-Iraq war position equates to weakness on national security.

Matalin was on board, of course. Her time was spent on a litany of talking points that we will be hearing quite a lot of in the next few months.

1. This fall we'll have a choice between a "pro-defense, tough on security " party and "a peacenik party, defeatists, cut-and run party." She insisted multiple times that "no one is pro-war," they are pro-security, pro-defense.

2. Democrats don't have a foreign policy, no security policy, and no plan.

When Gibson pointed out that "Democrats would say" according to the latest polls 60% of Americans now oppose the war, she replied that it's a completely specious and irrelevant number. People are tired of the war and the savagery, but they're more frightened of the kinds of enemies that face us. She got in the final talking point, that Hezbollah and the war in Lebanon and the war in Iraq is all of a piece, Iran is completely funding and controlling Hezbollah and a big threat to us.

Brace yourselves for another campaign season of fear and insecurity-mongering.

They showed a clip of Lieberman saying he's fed up with partisan politics and if Lamont ever got to Washington he'd be just another partisan polarizer. Lieberman still doesn't get that the frustrated majority of his constituents don't want someone to go along with the Bush administration, they want their oppositional voices heard.

Since a substantial majority - or just "most Americans" - identify themselves as against the Iraq war, it is up to Gibson and his ilk to try to radicalize a "fringe far left" to blame Lieberman's defeat on. Gibson asked second guest Paneta if he was concerned that an "ultra anti-war" contingent had taken over the Democratic party, and Paneta said he worried about the extremes of both parties, believing neither far left or far right has the answers. He said people are generally angry, not just about the Iraq war but also about high gas prices, high deficits, immigration reform, healthcare, you name it, we're in crisis and Washington isn't dealing with it. He sees the Lamont win as an anti-incumbent vote.

Of course Gibson cited Michael Moore's letter,
saying that Moore "threaten(ed) all Democrats who voted for the war", and "warned" Hillary Clinton in particular that she will not make it through the primaries if she doesn't disavow the Iraq war now.

He asked Paneta if there is an "absolutist, a kind of Taliban of the Democratic party now threatening all incumbent Democrats who may have supported the war at one time?" Paneta kind of shrugged it off, saying Michael Moore doesn't speak for the core of the Democratic party any more than the radicals on the right necessarily speak for the Republican party. The solutions are not going to be found at the extremes, he said, and Gibson turned the conversation to Israel.

Comment: With 60% against the war the Republican strategy is to dismiss the number itself, (irrelevant!! but "51%" is a mandate) and to keep applying radical labels like "ultra-liberal" and "peacenik" to make moderates want to distance themselves.

NOTE: Amend 8/10/06 MediaMatters notes the following from Cal Thomas, also at FOX. The right-wing smear machine, that well-oiled, much used echo chamber, is humming right along.

Cal Thomas: Lamont's victory "completes the capture of the Democratic Party by its Taliban wing"

Summary: In his column, Fox News' Cal Thomas claimed that Ned Lamont's victory over Sen. Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut Democratic Senate primary "completes the capture of the Democratic Party by its Taliban wing." Thomas explained that they are called the "Taliban Democrats because they are willing to 'kill' one of their own, if he does not conform to the narrow and rigid agenda of the party's kook fringe."