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Friday, December 02, 2011

Is There a Republican Gaffe Big Enough for Dems to Seize Upon?

In his New York magazine essay "When Did the GOP Lose Touch With Reality?," former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum basically says Republicans have made the terrible political error of believing their own propaganda: portraying a mild-mannered centrist like President Obama as a hardcore revolutionary.

"The business model of the conservative media," he writes, "is built on two elements: provoking the audience into a fever of indignation (to keep them watching) and fomenting mistrust of all other information sources (so that they never change the channel)."

Trapped in a world of "pseudo-facts and pretend information," even "Republican billionaires are not acting cynically. They watch Fox News too, and they're gripped by the same apocalyptic fears as the Republican base."

Should dogma force them into nominating a satirist's daydream like Newt Gingrich, the winning side in 2012 could be the one that kept its sense of humor.

(Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist Gene Lyons is a National Magazine Award winner and co-author of "The Hunting of the President" (St. Martin's Press, 2000). You can email Lyons at


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