December 20, 2005

Jonathan's "Alter"nate Universe

Does anyone remember the nightmare that was election night 2000 when the pundits didn't know what the heck to say because no one was really certain what was going to happen? I do.

I remember watching all the cable news channels, even * blech * CNN. And when they called Florida for Bush late into the night, Jonathan Alter of MSNBC went nuts. He kept screaming about how Gore got more popular votes and that Bush would be illegitimate, blah, blah, blah. He wasn't just forcefully arguing his position - he was losing his mind on national television.

At that moment I realized that the normally mild-mannered Alter had, in fact, lost all touch with reality (not to mention whatever journalistic objectivity he may have had).

Well, this morning he concocted an impeachment fantasy and went and posted it up on MSNBC's website. If you read some of this incoherent blather without knowing the author you would swear it came off of Kos' site.

"WeÂ’re seeing clearly now that Bush thought 9/11 gave him license to act like a dictator, or in his own mind, no doubt, like Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War...

...This will all play out eventually in congressional committees and in the United States Supreme Court. If the Democrats regain control of Congress, there may even be articles of impeachment introduced. Similar abuse of power was part of the impeachment charge brought against Richard Nixon in 1974"

Here's the problem with Alter's analysis: he's so impaired by the mindset of Vietnam and Watergate that he's seeing what we wants to see rather than what really is. And he's making as ass of himself. Don't get me wrong, it's very amusing. John McIntyre at the RCP Blog explains:
Just to recount the facts: in 1968, Richard Nixon and the virulently anti-hippie George Wallace got 57% of the vote. In 1972, Nixon received over 60% of the vote. In 1976, with Republicans utterly on the ropes after NixonÂ’s disgrace and impeachment, Jimmy Carter barely beat that political powerhouse Gerald Ford. The public put a final punctuation point on the era in 1980 with ReaganÂ’s 489 electoral vote wipeout of Carter.

But to someone like Alter, the late 60’s and 70’s were the penultimate halcyon days for the press and politics. It was when the “good guys” in the liberal press took out the “bad guys” in the Republican party. The mindset survives among many to this day who constantly see the ghost of Nixon around every corner.

Alter is clueless when it comes to the political ramifications of this story. Politically, the White House loves this story. As I mentioned in my column yesterday, it dovetails nicely with the debate over the Patriot Act, Iraq and works to reinforce the existing image of the Democratic party as just not serious when it comes to the nationÂ’s security.

Liberals are busy focusing on the past. But, fortunately for us, we have a President who understands the threats of the present and future.

Keep digging, guys. You'll hit bottom sooner or later.

Hat Tip: The Political Pit-Bull

Posted by: Gary at 03:30 PM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
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