Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Righty Blog Roundup: Conservatives reduced to laughable attacks on the WaPo

Over at Conservative blogs, bloggers have apparently abandoned any attempt to defend Bob McDonnell in connection with his thesis. Sure, the campaign and its defenders in the Righty Blogosphere have argued that the thesis is twenty years old, or that it is dirty pool to even discuss it, ot that it is irrelevant, but nowhere, as far as I can tell, have Conservatives even attempted to defend the views McDonnell expresses in the thesis, as opposed to trying to explain why they don't matter or have evolved into more Progressive attitudes.

Indeed, Righty blogs have ceased discussing McDonnell at all.

Consider, for example, the last six days of posts at Too Conservative, one of the better right-leaning blogs in the Commonwealth:

Sept 16:
* Rich Anderson Video

Sept. 15:
* 9/15 Reports: House of Delegates Round-Up
* 9/15 Statewide Fundraising Numbers

Sept. 14:
* NRA Endorses Bob (the sole post about McDonnell, the entire commentary of which reads, “Great news for the campaign.”
* You Report: Sign Wars

Sept. 10:
* HD-42: Dave Albo Up On Television
* HD-41: Bwana Goes After “Dug Out” Dave Marsden
* Lt. Governor Bolling’s First Ad
* HD-86: The Stevens Miller Mess He Hopes to Leave Behind

Other blogs with less class than Too Conservative have turned instead to simply attacking both Creigh and the Washington Post, the latter apparently for breaking the thesis story.

Of course, the argument that the Post broke the story in order to damage McDonnell's candidacy doesn't hold up because it was McDonnell himself who tipped WaPo reporter Amy Gardner off to the existence of the thesis in the first place.

Well, it had to happen, I guess. Somehow, some way, that inconvenient fact had to be dealt with.

A post this evening at Conservative blog Bearing Drift that tries to do that by attacking Gardner caught my attention for two reasons: first, for its sheer idiocy; and second, for showing the depths to which McDonnell's acolytes have to sink in order to plead on his behalf.

You can link to the post here:

Oppo-research on Bolling papers indicates McDonnell thesis was not an innocent find

Let me see if I can explain the logic of this post.

Bill Bolling, it seems, told a radio interviewer that shortly after the McDonnell thesis story broke, he learned that Democrats were doing some oppo research on his college writings.

Well, that seems to have made perfect sense to Bolling. Makes sense to me, too. Heck, based on the onging fallout in Thesis-acaca, there's obviously gold in them thar theses! I mean, of course they are being researched, by Democratic oppo-research teams, as well as Republican ones. Sheesh.

But here is what Bearing Drift then concludes from this set of facts:
Bolling said the call came shortly after the story broke, so it’s possible the Democrats were clued into doing this type of oppo-research on the rest of the field after reading the story. However, it’s awfully coincidental.

Got that? The obvious order of event, that Democrats were clued into the oppo-research of old college writings of other candidates by the thesis story, is not likely and logical, merely "possible ... [but] awfully coincidental."

And from that, Bearing Drift asserts about Gardner:
She [Gardner] went onto write “McDonnell brought up the paper in reference to a pair of Republican congressmen whom he interviewed as part of his research. McDonnell then offered: ‘I wrote my thesis on welfare policy.’”

Yet she was very quick to look into the thesis after the interview.

Was this passing comment in the interview that interesting to her? Was it vitally important to her investigative research to learn more about it?

Not likely…especially given this new piece of information:

Now, let me get this straight. Research undertaken by Democrats following the publication of Garner’s article on McDonnell’s thesis is evidence that Gardner was not telling the truth about learning of the thesis from McDonnell himself?

Pathetically, this is what Republicans have been reduced to in trying to defend Bob McDonnell and his indefensible thesis. This reasoning makes less sense than the logic I used to convince myself last Sunday that, yes, the Redskins could conceivable beat the Giants in the opener, and that is saying a lot.

In all seriousness, if Bob McDonnell would only come clean and admit that this thesis reflects his true feelings on these issues, then he can get on with his campaign. He can defend his views, and voters can decide for themselves whether his positions matter to them or not. He won't do that, of course, because as he knows, voters would overwhelmingly reject his extremist views.

But denying the obvious truth, and instead falsely and maliciously attacking the credibility and motivations of reporters who are doing a pretty good job, is unfair, unwarranted and uncalled for.

Not to mention amusing.


  1. Actually both sides do opposition research and if Creigh's campaign didn't at least know something about this, they would have been criminally negligent. Both sides do this stuff.

    That doesn't negate the fact that reporters are supposed to follow up on statements made by candidates they interview. And regardless of the fact that McDonnell is trying to reinvent himself, most political activists on both sides of the fence know that he built his early career as a rightwing cultural warrior. Reporters covering the Virginia political beat know this too. So, why wouldn't Gardner get curious and start digging - that's her job, for goodness sake.

    You are right, though, that even the most conservative blogs are not actually defending McDonnell's positions on these issues. And I suspect that most of the bloggers share those views in some measure.

    Yet they are wasting their time attempting to deflect attention from McDonnell's views, claiming they are irrelevant or that it is unfair to bring them up at all.

    But it is not an unfair attack or dirty politics to examine a candidate's past record, the statements he made and, yes, even what he wrote. You are right. It is up to the voters to decide whether the issue is relevant. But before they can make that decision, they need to have the facts.

    Oh, and much as I respect your impeccable logic in most things, the Skins are not going to beat the Giants this year.