Win By Losing

by digby

Paul Rosenberg lays it out:

Anyone who remembers the Clinton years knows what this means. The Republicans never accepted Clinton as President, and the Democrats failed to crush the Republicans for this outright disloyalty to the democratic process. The media, in turn,normalized this state of affairs. Unlike any other President, Clinton had no "honeymoon" period, and was subjected to a continual witch-hunt designed to cripple him and drive him from office. They came very close to acheiving their ultimate goal, and were quite effective at keeping him hamstrung. One consequence of this may well have been 9/11, as their demonic politicization of everything under the sun impeded the full-scale focus on combatting terrorism generally and al Qaeda in particular. And, of course, the impeachment of Clinton significantly damaged Gore's chances of winning the presidency in 2000, hardening the media's hostility against him for failing to join in their witch-hunt.

So this is what we're fighting against now: the pre-emptive undermining of everything we're fighting for in this election.

This is correct. It's true that the Republicans are on the run and their movement is crippled by the epic failure of the Bush administration. But they have a permanent character assassination apparatus, funded by extremely wealthy aristocrats, devoted solely to the destruction of liberalism. They aren't closing up shop and taking up needlepoint. Indeed, they are much more active when the Republicans are out of power than when they are in.

It's not inevitable that Obama will not have a honeymoon or that the press will become the willing love toys of the rightwing as they did in the 1990s. But it pays to remember that the media were quite in love with Bill Clinton during the last half of that campaign and they turned on a dime once the wingnuts started working the refs in earnest. (You see, as with John McCain, the conservatives didn't care for Bush Sr and were actually quite happy that Clinton won so they could purge the party of its moderates and focus on its "revolution." For them, the way to real power is in being a ruthless opposition.)

So, as Rosenberg writes, this voter fraud nonsense is about legitimacy. Regardless of whether Obama wins a clear victory, the story doesn't stop the day of the election. Indeed, they will be recycling the left's complaints from 2000 almost verbatim making us sputter in rage about the absurdity of such a comparison. And they'll build a powerful myth of victimhood around the phony belief that Democrats steal elections. Lack of faith the in the electoral system serves conservatives far better than it serves liberals.

Here's a great movie by ACORN and Brave New Films which you should send around to any skeptics you know and keep bookmarked for future use. you may need it.