Two Views of The Blame Game
Byron York is one of my favorite political journalists. His latest piece in The Hill strikes a thoughtful and hopeful note, analyzing the opinion polls and concluding that "the effort to find a single scapegoat — preferably one whose name is George W. Bush — just won’t succeed."
John Hinderaker of Power Line comes to a different conclusion:
The Democrats are never discouraged when early polling results don't favor them. On the contrary, they recognize that this happens a lot, since they tend to advocate positions that aren't very popular. So they aren't deterred. They keep pounding away, and they know they can count on the support of the media, so that over time--often, over a period of years--their position, though initially perceived as bogus by most Americans, becomes the conventional wisdom. I still think that will happen here if the Bush administration doesn't do a better job of defending itself.John, as much as I love his blog, tends to be a pessimist. A year ago he was fairly certain that Kerry would be elected president. So I take his darker predictions with a couple of grains of salt.
And yet, and yet . . . I do think he has a point about the MSM's ability to creat a public perception simply by pounding away at a theme. Example: In 1991 most of the polls showed that the public generally believed Clarence Thomas, not Anita Hill. A year later the opposite was true. Ms. Hill remains something of a celebrity with great moral standing among the Left.
The Bushies do need to do something to take back the initiative over Katrina. It will be interesting to see if they try, and if they do, whether they succeed.