One of the things about journalism in the US that gets me going is how pundits respond to anything the Republican or Democratic parties do or say. When the news covers a story, it is often framed in such a way that makes an action or phrase sound so preposterous that the party in question has done something outrageous and unheard of. The fact of the matter is, whether you're listening to Fox News or MSNBC, the facts were twisted to cater to an audience who would naturally become suckered into believing something so outrageous when it is nothing of the sort, sort of.
Let me use the recent coverage of voter purging in Florida and the Arizona Papers Please ruling to illustrate the problem. I'll first describe the pitch (the delivery) and then I'll follow through with the explanation the news completely missed.
First, in the voter purging situation, the "goal" at first glance was to weed out fraudulent voting. Judging by the citizens who were purged, it was clear all the wrong people were getting caught up in the mess.
Behind all of that, Republicans feel justified in purging these voters who largely vote for Democrats. Why? Republicans feel that they are the victims here. They claim to be the victims of a liberal conspiracy to allow illegal immigrants the ability to vote in order to steal the election away from them. In their minds, illegal immigrants are overwhelmingly corrupting the voting process to the point where Republican candidates lose. They feel as though purging the voter rolls will result in a course correction. This is why a Republican audience applauds Mike Turzai in Pennsylvania for saying a voter purge will lead to a Romney victory. Liberals foolishly respond, pointing out how Turzai's comments were an admission of rigging an election.
On the contrary, the Republican delusion is such that they don't see it as rigging the election, but adjusting the situation away from an incorrect belief that the election was rigged to favor Democrats.
It's wrong, but it is their delusion. Liberals are left mouths agape for the wrong reason. Liberals need to begin framing unscrupulous behavior in terms of the Republican delusion and not the reasonable assertion from outside the Republican bubble.
The Papers Please part of the Arizona law that was recently upheld by the Supreme Court has been perceived as a form of racial profiling whereby innocent Hispanic-American citizens would be stopped and accused of being an illegal immigrant just because they are hispanic.
What you need to understand is, the same sort of Republican delusion exists here, too. You see, Republicans in Arizona and elsewhere believe that illegal immigrants are Democratic strongholds threatening the American way of life and unfairly victimizing (white) American citizens by taking jobs, leeching off government programs, and committing crimes. The Papers Please part of the law, to them, was not an attempt to profile at face value, but it represents Republicans who already profile all Mexican-Americans as illegals. To them, a person of color is not a legitimate American. To them, a person of color is a pawn of the liberal conspiracy against the Republican voter and of America itself.
So if you understand the delusion, then you can report on the story better. It will sound as though you are being flagrant and mean to your opposition, but it's the truth. If you admit Republicans are delusional and see the delusion for what it is, you can correctly assess their behavior. Then, you can call them on it. Anything less is feeding into the same stalemate we have come to know.
The same sort of mentality applies to their opinions toward unions and welfare. To them, Democrats are crooked SOBs. To them, a union equates to thugs. To the, welfare equates to lazy leeches. Pick a good system and they will demonize it, claiming victimization.
It's why Romney's "Sauce for the gander" comment resonated. To the, Democrats are unsavory and conspiring against them, so it's only fair to conspire right back. It's disgusting.