Tuesday, July 19, 2022


Unlocked a Roy Edroso Breaks It Down edition today about an Axios story suggesting the Democrats are turning into a party of "white college graduates" while the GOP gets more "diverse." This grossly mischaracterizes the evidence in a Republican-fluffing way that I'm noticing more often lately. 

For instance: Here's the top of the front page of Memeorandum at the moment --

"Democrats boosted a MAGA longshot..." You might get the impression from the headline on that Politico story that Pennsylvania has an open primary system and Democrats snuck into the voting booths to nominate the comically extremist Mastriano instead of a heavily-favored Rockefeller Republican opponent. But no, actual Republicans nominated the asshole themselves.

What Democrats did is run ads accurately describing the extremism of Mastriano and other candidates before the primaries, and Republicans did the rest:
Democratic ads also targeted Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, who was running in the GOP gubernatorial primary. The ads warned that Mastriano wants to ban abortion, “lead the fight to audit the 2020 election” and is closely aligned with Trump. “If Mastriano wins, it’s a win for what Donald Trump stands for. Is that what we want in Pennsylvania?” stated an ad, which was paid for by the campaign of Josh Shapiro, gubernatorial Democratic candidate and the state’s attorney general.

Mastriano won his primary.
The ads may have been mischievous, but this wave of stories imputes that if any of the far-right candidates nominated by Republican voters win, it'll be the Democrats' fault for letting them know how far-right they are. Similarly, if in debate the Democratic candidate baits the Republican into saying "I want to kill trans people," that too will be the Democrats' fault for leading him on.

The idea that only Democrats have agency is turning into a super-precedent that absolves Republicans of all their crimes, on the grounds that Democrats are the unseen hand behind them. For example: Do Republicans increasingly endorse vigilante justice? It's because Democrats support Defund the Police! (Not really.) Are draconian forced-birth laws predictably leading to nightmare scenarios? It's the pro-choicers' fault for predicting such results, thereby "muddying the waters." When it comes to prestige media -- increasingly a fancier mirror for rightwing propaganda and press-agentry -- Democrats literally can't win. 

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