Wednesday, January 12, 2011
They know from experience that calling an opponent a racist (or sexist... or homophobic... or xenophobic... or whatever) puts that person on the defensive and diverts media and public attention towards their accusations and away from the substance of the policy argument their opponent is trying to make... and if the left is lucky, they never have to defend their substance of their own arguments.
We saw this when the left attempted to depict the tea partiers as a bunch of racists instead of standing up and defending the substance of their economic policies. We've seen it when anybody arguing for clamping down on illegal immigration is accused by the left of being bigoted against Hispanics. We saw it when conservatives arguing against the Lilly Ledbetter legislation were accused of being anti-women.
It is simply (yes, simply) a twist of this strategy when liberals accuse conservatives of creating an environment in which killings like this take place. By throwing out these accusations, they hope to delegitimize their political opponents in the eyes of the vast mushy middle of independent (and somewhat detached from the daily political fights over policy) voters... all in hopes of making these independent voters just a tad more skeptical of whatever it is that the Palins, Limbaughs, Hannity's, Becks and so on say the next time there's a political battle over one policy or another.
And, as the conservatives are slowly learning, the best way to counter this is not by rushing to show that we aren't racist or whatever it is the left is accusing us of being, but rather by going right back on the attack and calling the liberal attackers what they are... a bunch of pathetic crazies.