Media defends Chamber from White House accusations
by Kevin Ganster
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Having run with unsubstantiated accusations that the U.S. Chamber used foreign money to fund political ads, the mainstream media is now finding those accusations a little hard to swallow. Examining facts often has that effect. Somewhat surprisingly, the New York Times was first out of the gate on Saturday with a piece saying, essentially, there is no there there.
- When White House advisor David Axelrod told Bob Schieffer on “Face the Nation” that it he had no proof of his allegtaion and that it was up to the Chamber to disprove it, Schieffer responded incredulously: “Is that the best you can do?”
- The LA Times reports today that not all Democrats are happy about this attack on the Chamber, saying,
“In a potential sign of Democratic unease with the White House midterm political strategy, some of President Obama’s allies have begun to question his sustained attack on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce… Democrats are concerned that that it may be overstated and could harm moderate Democrats in swing districts. The Chamber also backs some Democratic candidates for congressional seats, and its local affiliates generally enjoy positive reputations across the country.”
- Today’s WaPo editorial on the topic says, “The White House seems willing to stoke xenophobia without any evidence for its accusations.”
- If you’re wondering what people are saying out in the provinces, there’s this editorial today from the Augusta Chronicle entitled, “Don’t change the subject,” with the sub-head, “Democrats concoct contributor flap to distract voters from real issues.” That’s what we’ve been saying all along (Has it only been a week??)
- Sunday’s Baltimore Sun: “Democrats’ attack ad sets new low for midterm mud,” compared this smear with an earlier era:
“That is the same tactic and logic that Sen. Joe McCarthy used in the 1950s: Level a headline-grabbing and unsubstantiated charge, like the State Department is filled with communists, and then say it is up to the State Department and the employees so charged to prove it is not true.
So much for hope and change; this is the politics of fear, slander and divisiveness on the eve of an election that looks as if it will deliver a damning verdict on the first two years of the Obama administration.”
- Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal editorial, “Shutting Up Business” opened with this:
“If at first you don’t succeed, get some friends in high places to shut your opponents up. That’s the latest Washington power play, as Democrats and liberals attack the Chamber of Commerce and independent spending groups in an attempt to stop businesses from participating in politics.”
- The assiduously non-partisan FactCheck.org conducted their own inquiry and posted this yesterday, called, “Foreign Money? Really?” It concludes with this: “Accusing anybody of violating the law is a serious matter requiring serious evidence to back it up. So far Democrats have produced none.” Yeah, we knew that.
- The AP piled on with, “Foreign money in politics? Not proven.“
- Yesterday, The Politico posted this question on The Arena: “Obama’s Chamber Attacks – Will Voters Care?” You can read the comments here, the great preponderance of which are critical of the Administration, an important bellwether some 20 days before Election Day.
- John Feehery, a well-respected former Capitol Hill hand, posted this yesterday on The Hill’s Pundits’ Blog, noting that the argument that somehow money from AmChams is being funneled into US political races, “is complete nonsense. It smacks of McCarthyism [and] is delusional.” We agree.
- And last but not least have been a flood of commentaries from blogs, most notably Powerline, RedState, NewsBusters, HotAir, The New Ledger, Real Clear Politics, The Daily Caller and The Examiner.
In this intensely partisan and highly-charged pre-election atmosphere in which we live, the left and their allies have done what was heretofore unthinkable: They have found a bipartisan issue on which Republicans and Democrats can agree. The only bipartisan position on this issue is in defense of the Chamber. In short, this rocket has now zoomed out of control and landed smack-dab on the folks who lit the fuse in the first place. Along the way, they have managed to resurrect old charges of foreign influence leveled against their own party and its leaders. The groundlessness of their claims have made folks from Bob Schieffer to the Augusta Chronicle see it as a poor attempt to distract voters from the dismal economy which their policies have created.