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What’s The Matter With Democrats?

Reported by Ellen - March 30, 2008 -

What’s more infuriating than watching Sean Hannity’s hypocritical histrionics against Democrats? Watching the endless supply of nice, likeable Democrats who, in one way or another, fail to sidestep his tactics and, as a result, wind up aiding and abetting them. I’m sure Democratic pollster Doug Schoen is a smart, savvy guy. But he was so intent on not showing favoritism to Democrats that he spent most of his appearance on Friday night’s (3/28/08) Hannity & Colmes assisting the Republican memes about Barack Obama. It wasn’t until the end of the second segment, when Alan Colmes changed the subject, that Schoen put forth any assistance to his own side. With video.

Schoen was a guest, along with GOPAC chairman Michael Steele, for a double segment devoted to -- what else? -- Barack Obama and his pastor.

Colmes led off the first discussion (excerpted in the video below) by saying to Schoen, “Polls show, daily tracking polls, show Obama is coming up. He’s not being hurt by this (controversy over his pastor). If they want to keep using this against him, if this is that, what the goal is, it’s not working.”

Schoen answered, “(It's) not working with Democratic primary voters, (but it is) working with general election voters. The more detailed analysis of the subgroups shows among independents and Republicans, working class voters, he’s hemorrhaging in terms of key states like Florida, Ohio, Michigan, for the general election. But you’re right, Alan, for the primary, he’s holding up just fine.”

I can certainly respect Schoen’s efforts to remain above the fray but, as a frequent guest on Hannity & Colmes, he must have recognized that the name of the game is not dispassionate analysis of poll numbers but political theater designed to denigrate Democrats. Couldn't he at least have said, "Obama hasn't gotten a pass, as some of his support has eroded, but it hasn't been anything like a death knell to date?"

Schoen later went on to put forth Republican talking points as his own: “Here’s the real problem that the numbers underscore. Obama’s running a campaign of unity, yet he has not distanced himself completely from a minister who is divisive. He said that Rev. Wright has apologized. The Rev. Wright has in no way apologized. And until Obama makes it clear that he will have nothing to do with the Rev. Wright and completely repudiates him, these numbers will be a problem for him.” Hannity could not have been happier unless Schoen accused Obama of being a black racist. But, unfortunately, Schoen later helped out in that regard, too.

In Part 2 (shown in full in the video below), we heard The View’s Elisabeth Hasselbeck, squeaking at Obama in her “I’m still in 9th grade” voice, about his condemnation of Imus. Yet in neither part of the discussion did we hear any of the positive reception for Obama on The View that day: Barbara Walters and Joy Behar called him sexy; Sherri Shepard said she wanted to campaign for him. Just another example of FOX News’ fairness and balance.

Meanwhile, Schoen continued to do Hannity’s bidding. Hannity, the former pal of Neo-Nazi/white supremacist Hal Turner, has repeatedly hyped the words “white greed” from Wright’s Audacity of Hope speech in a blatant effort to paint Obama as a racist. Schoen confirmed Hannity's message. “'White greed has created the world’s problems,'" Schoen echoed. "It’s a problem!”

Colmes turned the conversation around. “Frankly, I think this campaign, Michael, when we start talking about the economy, and we talk about the Iraq war, and we start talking about the issues the American people care about, you’d rather talk about the pastor of Barack Obama than the real issues affecting the people of this country.”

Steele denied it but immediately reverted to attacking Obama over his pastor.

Finally, as the segment was almost over, Schoen got with the program. “You made an important point, Alan. (Voters are) gonna vote on the war in Iraq, where our condition is deteriorating, on an economy which is also deteriorating. They’re gonna be ultimately more interested in that. Sean’s right. Barack Obama has a real problem with Rev. Wright. But ultimately, this is an election that’s gonna turn on issues on war, peace and the economy… George Bush is a far greater millstone around the neck of John McCain than Rev. Wright around Barack Obama.”

What took Schoen so long to get there?