Sunday, April 24, 2011

Dana Milbank’s Circle Schism: Blame Breitbart

Dan  RiehlPosted by Dan Riehl Apr 24th 2011 at 4:58 am in Mainstream Media, Washington Post, media bias

With circular and ultimately faulty logic, Dana Milbank appears to have decided to paint Andrew Breitbart as divisive on the Right, while pointing out what he calls a Right-side schism, long before he knew what he might eventually write. In fact, he reveals how little he actually knows, or understands, about the Right and any schism.

To test the newly fratricidal Breitbart, I went to his book talk at the Heritage Foundation on Thursday and invited him to dispense more friendly fire. He obliged, with complaints about Beck’s rally on the National Mall and the birther movement.
Breitbart’s criticism of fellow conservatives is part of a new wave of infighting on the right. Three months after gaining control of the House, cracks have begun to appear in the conservative coalition. [my emphasis]
Said cracks appeared as far back as 2008, before any GOP majority was seated. Beck had conservative critics as far back as October of  08 when he joined Fox. The birther movement began during the Democrat primary thanks to Democrats aligned with Hillary Clinton, some Right-siders picking up on it only after she lost the primary. It’s always had a controversial home on the Right, leading to critics. Consequently, what Milbank attempts to hang on Andrew Breitbart as new, or different and divisive, is nothing more than what we’ve known for three years, or more, having nothing at all to do with Andrew Breitbart, except that he gave voice to things that have existed for some time in one speech.

As for any genuine schism, Milbank completely misses the point there, as well. The schism, or what one might also fairly equate with the tea party movement, dates back to 2008 under Bush, too. Far from being a result of the new GOP House majority, it’s what caused it to come to be given its impact at the ballot box in 2010.

At best, it’s a chicken-egg phenomenon going back three years, as stated. Nice try attempting to make Breitbart look divisive and the Right in disarray, or split. Better luck next time, Dana.
Also consider the vote on the 2011 budget compromise negotiated by Republican leaders: Fifty-nine House Republicans rejected it – a rebellion expected to grow when the House takes up legislation raising the federal debt limit. House Republicans’ 2012 budget, meanwhile, opened a third rift: Republican presidential aspirants such as Newt Gingrich have distanced themselves from it, particularly the provision ending the Medicare guarantee.
The Republican presidential race itself shows evidence of the splits. The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll finds Republican voters dissatisfied with the likely candidates, none of whom was mentioned as the top choice by more than 16 percent of voters.
Said schism, or re-vitalized conservative movement especially energized by the tea party set, is giving birth to a potential new GOP majority that has at least the potential to dominate American politics for some time to come. It has so called Paul-ians, or Libertarians, fiscally conservative tea partiers driven by government spending and growth, now hooking up with more traditional conservatives and social cons, in this or that proportion.

Certainly there are frictions and tensions. What all but still fledgling political movement doesn’t?  Ask an Obama now trapped in a discussion on reducing the deficit and, or spending how he feels about this schism poised to give him electoral fits in 2012. It’s a schism potentially so wide he risks falling into it in his quest for a second term. If that represents a House divided, I’ll take it.

Given the lack of insight in his latest effort, perhaps Dana Milbank’s real concern should be wiping the schism, or chicken-egg phenomenon off his face. It’s most unsightly on a professional journalist, if not really surprising given the state of journalism these days, don’t you think?

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