Opening Act: Both Sides Do It

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 25 2012 8:13 AM

Opening Act: Both Sides Do It

This Politico piece about both parties' fears of "apocalypse" if the election is lost; it may be the new record-setter for false equivalence.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

Democrats have been worked into the most fervor over claims that Republicans will employ widespread voter suppression at the polls on Nov. 6.
“The Republican Party in its current configuration is openly defying and attempting to destroy the U.S. Constitution,” wrote Denise Oliver Velez on the liberal blog Daily Kos.
Attorney General Eric Holder called the potential voting identification requirements a “poll tax” and Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin (D) said they are the new Jim Crow laws of our times.
Via more prominent conservatives, Obama has seen the return of another theory lacking any evidence from his first four years in office: that he would move to ban all firearms and take guns away from people.

On the one hand, you've got new voter restrictions that have been tossed out by Republican judges in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida. On the other hand, you have a theory about guns that's totally baseless. Both parties do it!

Alec MacGillis takes on his critics with political science.

In 2004, Kim Fridkin and other researchers at Arizona State University showed people footage of the third presidential debate, the debate plus 20 minutes of post-debate commentary on NBC, the debate plus 20 minutes’ time to read commentary on  So who won the debate, Bush or Kerry?  It depended on whether you watched the news.

This has been a fun argument, and I've always agreed with MacGillis that the overheated liberal media panic about Obama's first debate performance influenced the polls. But I maintain that the debate's big impact was a boost to Romney's favorables, which can't be explained merely through spooked media.

Richard Mourdock loses a newspaper endorsement basically because he spoke his mind about conception. Wait until after the election, candidates!

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 


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