Beware the Victims

Joseph Ashby
All great basketball players develop a "go-to" move. Go-to moves are offensive, usually used when a team needs a makeable shot in a difficult situation (such as in the final seconds of the shot or game clock). The move must be difficult to block because it will be used to get out of tight spots. Some of the best go-to moves, like Michael Jordan's fade away jumper, come to define the player and intimidate opponents.

The left's defining political move (as extensively documented in Ann Coulter's 2009 book Guilty) is to use the unassailable as political attack dogs. Democrats use victims, of one circumstance or another, to speak against political rivals. Any rebuttal of these sympathetic characters prompts the left to cry foul, nursing fictional wounds.

Since the big-spending early months of the Obama administration, the Democrats have unsuccessfully fought to win back their 2006/2008 political momentums. Most recently, accusations that the tea party caused the Tucson shooting fell flat and the effort to make the memorial service into Obama's "bullhorn" moment appear to have failed. It's time for the Democrats to use their go-to move.

Last Friday, the "independent" news program Democracy Now (deep in the left's underbelly, where many Mainstream Media reports are born) interviewed Tucson shooting victim Eric Fuller. Fuller was everything a white-flagged attacker needs to be: An innocent bystander, a senior and a war veteran. He could have appeared on TV or radio and blamed the shooting on global warming and the media would still bow to his "moral authority" as a shooting victim.

Fuller didn't disappoint, calling for Sarah Palin's imprisonment and connecting the Second Amendment with murder. Fuller had the MSNBC primetime crew chest-bumping and clearing their upcoming interview schedules. Media Matters picked up the interview and, before long, liberal blogosphere came down with full on Fuller-fever.

Unfortunately for the deep-blue media, Fuller's appearance on ABC's This Week abruptly halted his own rise to left-wing media stardom. During the taping, Fuller threatened an Arizona tea party leader, exclaiming, "You're dead" from the front row of the studio audience.

It's important to note that Fuller's ignominious exit from the ABC News set did not make his argument any less valid. His outburst only changed his viability as a liberal stone-thrower (perhaps "snowball-thrower" -- trying to tone down the rhetoric). He just doesn't seem very victimy anymore.

Fuller's fall from credibility (or perceived credibility) is not the end of the strategy, or even the beginning. Obama himself pretends to be the victim of partisanship when he is one of its main practitioners. Obama regularly plays the part of the playground bully who complains of sore hands after beating on his schoolmates.

During the debate over Obamacare, the President railed against special interests, while behind the scenes he cut deals with several health care-related industries to gain their support. He falsely accused doctors of sawing off limbs and performing other unnecessary surgeries, and simultaneously chastised the right for dishonest debate.

On January 13, 2011 in Tucson, Arizona, Obama used the same tactics. As he addressed the nation, he scolded us for using the "usual plane of politics and point-scoring." He was above the fray, the mature mediator over the petulant children over whom he presides. Pundits on the right, such as Charles Krauthammer, praised the speech. How could they not? Obama said all the right things.

Then again, saying the right things has never really been a problem for the President. At the memorial service, Obama forced his detractors into corner: "How do we criticize a speech about ending pettiness without looking petty?" (Never mind that Obama is the "just words" president, the instigator and perpetrator of very political games he stood to condemn.) To criticize his speech was to attack the victim -- in this case Obama, who was a target of the ideological and unreasonable right wing. And thus the President became untouchable (among "polite" pundits) and still able to castigate his political opponents. He executed the go-to move and scored.

Now that it's all said and done, one thing is certain: it's never really said and done. President Obama hasn't made his last phony sympathy play and Eric Fuller won't be the last victim to assail his ideological adversaries while using personal tragedy as a political shield. The same media that regarded Cindy Sheehan as foreign policy heavyweight as long as it was politically useful will see to that. It is incumbent upon conservatives to see the liberal's go-to move coming, and force them into a more difficult shot.
All great basketball players develop a "go-to" move. Go-to moves are offensive, usually used when a team needs a makeable shot in a difficult situation (such as in the final seconds of the shot or game clock). The move must be difficult to block because it will be used to get out of tight spots. Some of the best go-to moves, like Michael Jordan's fade away jumper, come to define the player and intimidate opponents.

The left's defining political move (as extensively documented in Ann Coulter's 2009 book Guilty) is to use the unassailable as political attack dogs. Democrats use victims, of one circumstance or another, to speak against political rivals. Any rebuttal of these sympathetic characters prompts the left to cry foul, nursing fictional wounds.

Since the big-spending early months of the Obama administration, the Democrats have unsuccessfully fought to win back their 2006/2008 political momentums. Most recently, accusations that the tea party caused the Tucson shooting fell flat and the effort to make the memorial service into Obama's "bullhorn" moment appear to have failed. It's time for the Democrats to use their go-to move.

Last Friday, the "independent" news program Democracy Now (deep in the left's underbelly, where many Mainstream Media reports are born) interviewed Tucson shooting victim Eric Fuller. Fuller was everything a white-flagged attacker needs to be: An innocent bystander, a senior and a war veteran. He could have appeared on TV or radio and blamed the shooting on global warming and the media would still bow to his "moral authority" as a shooting victim.

Fuller didn't disappoint, calling for Sarah Palin's imprisonment and connecting the Second Amendment with murder. Fuller had the MSNBC primetime crew chest-bumping and clearing their upcoming interview schedules. Media Matters picked up the interview and, before long, liberal blogosphere came down with full on Fuller-fever.

Unfortunately for the deep-blue media, Fuller's appearance on ABC's This Week abruptly halted his own rise to left-wing media stardom. During the taping, Fuller threatened an Arizona tea party leader, exclaiming, "You're dead" from the front row of the studio audience.

It's important to note that Fuller's ignominious exit from the ABC News set did not make his argument any less valid. His outburst only changed his viability as a liberal stone-thrower (perhaps "snowball-thrower" -- trying to tone down the rhetoric). He just doesn't seem very victimy anymore.

Fuller's fall from credibility (or perceived credibility) is not the end of the strategy, or even the beginning. Obama himself pretends to be the victim of partisanship when he is one of its main practitioners. Obama regularly plays the part of the playground bully who complains of sore hands after beating on his schoolmates.

During the debate over Obamacare, the President railed against special interests, while behind the scenes he cut deals with several health care-related industries to gain their support. He falsely accused doctors of sawing off limbs and performing other unnecessary surgeries, and simultaneously chastised the right for dishonest debate.

On January 13, 2011 in Tucson, Arizona, Obama used the same tactics. As he addressed the nation, he scolded us for using the "usual plane of politics and point-scoring." He was above the fray, the mature mediator over the petulant children over whom he presides. Pundits on the right, such as Charles Krauthammer, praised the speech. How could they not? Obama said all the right things.

Then again, saying the right things has never really been a problem for the President. At the memorial service, Obama forced his detractors into corner: "How do we criticize a speech about ending pettiness without looking petty?" (Never mind that Obama is the "just words" president, the instigator and perpetrator of very political games he stood to condemn.) To criticize his speech was to attack the victim -- in this case Obama, who was a target of the ideological and unreasonable right wing. And thus the President became untouchable (among "polite" pundits) and still able to castigate his political opponents. He executed the go-to move and scored.

Now that it's all said and done, one thing is certain: it's never really said and done. President Obama hasn't made his last phony sympathy play and Eric Fuller won't be the last victim to assail his ideological adversaries while using personal tragedy as a political shield. The same media that regarded Cindy Sheehan as foreign policy heavyweight as long as it was politically useful will see to that. It is incumbent upon conservatives to see the liberal's go-to move coming, and force them into a more difficult shot.