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October 25, 2008

“One Party” Scare Tactics

Democratic-Risk

With not much left in the playbook, the GOP is launching a last-ditch effort to scare voters over one-party rule.

Today’s NYT reinforces that anxiety, playing on the tentativeness and submissiveness of the Democratic congress over the past two years. Juxtaposed with this ghastly and context-free picture of a sleepless Hoyer and a worn- and disaffected-looking Pelosi, the article mixes the prospects of a filibuster-proof Democratic Senate majority with such terms as: “risk,” “damage,” “high expectations,” “mistakes” and “overconfidence.”

If the vocabulary is depressingly familiar, it’s because this language, and all kinds of variants, permeated the lyrics of the (largely successful) intimidation tactics directed at congressional leadership by the Bush-era fear and intimidation machine.

From what we know of Obama, however, a blue governing majority — driven by the White House, as opposed to the weak-kneed team of Pelosi, Hoyer and Reid — will neither be unsure nor overconfident. In the meantime, however, the prospect of new characteristics didn’t deter The Times — amplifying Republican desperation tactics — from taking this cheap visual swipe at Pelosi in a visceral warning that the Dems can’t seem to manage power and authority.

(image: Brendan Smialowski for The New York Times)

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