Sunday, November 16, 2008

Glenn Greenwald
Sunday Nov. 16, 2008 06:39 EST
Marty Peretz's assistant is the latest to be elected spokesperson for the Moderate Americans

As we've seen many times and in many contexts, one of the most empty-headed, trite and deceitful pundit techniques is to take one's own viewpoint and, without an iota of polling data or other empirical support, attribute it to the "average/ordinary/moderate American" and then, with deep concern, warn political leaders that they will harm themselves politically -- will alienate the fair-minded moderate voters -- if they don't follow that view. Even for the most ideologically extreme pundits who rely on this tactic, it always just so happens that their own views -- magically -- are the same as the ones that just happen to be held by the majority of Good Centrist Voters as well.

There are few more mindless practitioners of this technique than Marty Peretz's assistant, Jamie Kirchick. In a New Republic article yesterday defending Joe Lieberman and urging that he keep his Homeland Security Chairmanship (TNR, of course, announced in 2004 that its editorial mission would be to ensure that the Democratic Party was led by Joe Lieberman's "principles"), Kirchick identified some of those who are advocating for Lieberman's removal -- Daily Kos, Joe Klein, Josh Marshall, Jane Hamsher -- and then declared:

"If Democrats follow the cues of this crowd, then the party will lose credibility among the moderate majority of the American electorate."

Indeed. It is Jamie Kirchick -- who spent the whole year embodying the most ludicrous extremes of neoconservatism, venerating John McCain and demonizing Barack Obama as a weak radical -- who, along with Kirchick's ideological comrade, Joe Lieberman, is the symbol for the "moderate majority of the American electorate." Therefore, any opposition to the Kirchicks and Liebermans will doom the Democratic Party...


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