The Consensus

Matthew Yglessias the other day:

“Haven’t we reached an odd moment in our history when the burgeoning consensus among the media is that one of Barack Obama’s big problems is that he’s too good at drawing big crowds? His vulnerability is that he’s a charismatic guy who people want to see talk?”

Yes, it’s odd. But what’s even odder is how today’s “burgeoning consensus” merges so seamlessly with yesterday’s conservative talking points. Rush Limbaugh, for example, has been mocking Obama’s “fainting audiences” for months; lately he’s taken to calling Obama “the Messiah”. Obama isn’t just charismatic, he says; he’s scary charismatic. Of course, developing GOP talking points is Limbaugh’s job. That’s what he’s paid to do. But how did LImbaugh’s line become “the consensus”?

This isn’t new. The conservative line has become “the consensus” in the past two presidential elections, too. And it apparently doesn’t matter that the consensus then was precisely the opposite of the consensus now.

In those days, the Democratic candidates, both Kerry and Gore, were ludicrously uncharismatic. “Democrats”, they said, “are wooden, intellectual nerds with no sense of what people really want. It’s hard to believe anyone outside academe could possibly be impressed by either one”.

So, I don’t. Charismatic. Uncharismatic. Does it matter? Not really. All we know is that the liberal media will bend over backwards to make the conservative talking point “the consensus”.

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Filed under elections 08, obama

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