Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Politics of "Pile On"

Is this what passes for a unified message these days? While I can understand the importance for a political party to stand together pressing for specific goals, it's become completely ridiculous lately in the reality based community. Here's a hint: Having a united message doesn't require everybody adopting the same talking points or even the very same words!

What I'm referring to in this instance is the pile on spin regarding the criticism of Hillary Clinton in Tuesday night's debate. Her campaign put out a video Wednesday morning called "The Politics of Pile On" and suddenly the phrase was ubiquitous. I suppose that from now on any criticism of Ms. Clinton will be called piling on, just as a couple of weeks ago any questioning of the Families USA /Frost family ad campaign was called smearing Graeme Frost.

First of all, I did a cursory Google search and as far as I can tell the first reference to "pile on" in relation to Hillary was an AP article from October 22 about the GOP debate titled GOP Hopefuls Pile on Clinton. Perhaps that's the inspiration for the phrase. But today, after the video and press release were put out, variations of it have popped up all over the place.

Let's examine just what this pile up stuff is all about. Hillary flip flopped all over the place regarding whether or not she supports Eliot Spitzer's effort to have illegal aliens obtain driver's licenses in New York. She was called on it by the other Democrats in the debate because she wouldn't give a straight answer. The video is here. It was so bad that today she finally had to clarify by saying yes, she agrees with what Spitzer is doing. So, to distract from the fact she screwed up, the lefty blogosphere is taking her campaign press release to heart and portraying the debate as a bunch of mean old men piling on the woman.

And who is to blame for encouraging this piling on? Well, early Wednesday morning a blurb appeared on Drudge Report:
Right on cue stories started appearing on memeorandum attacking Russert and blaming him for setting Hillary up. As usual these days, irony is lost on these people. "Politics of Pile On", indeed.