Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Kucinich Favors Republican Congress

Dennis Kucinich says that the Congress is going to look at reinstating the 'Fairness Doctrine.' This is like manna from heaven for GOP organizers.

Whatever else may be true of the Fairness Doctrine, it is seen as a weapon aimed straight at Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and other conservative radio hosts. There is probably no better way to get them to attack the Democratic Congress than to try to reinstate this anti-First Amendment policy. And there is no better way to get their listeners angry at that same Democratic party.

While listeners to talk radio are sometimes characterized as right-wing drones, an important segment are populist, swing voters. They respond to the anti-Washington message of people like Lou Dobbs. Many of those voters went Democrat in 2006. The Fairness Doctrine gives them a good reason to vote Republican, without the GOP needing to do one positive thing to win their votes.

And what motivates people like Kucinich to pursue it? Does he think that liberal radio is ready to compete on an equal footing with conservative talk radio? The Air America debacle demonstrates that even when it's well-funded and positioned to succeed, it simply doesn't attract the listenership of conservative talk radio. Does he think that he can shut people like Limbaugh up? If so, he's clearly smoking something. Or does he recognize that liberal radio can't succeed, but if given federal protection, it can limp along? Well, I suppose it might - but what good does it do? I don't see how Al Franken and Janeane Garofalo can add anything to the liberal cause that the Netroots don't already provide.

This is silly. It's a gimme for Republicans, who can only hope that Kucinich doesn't realize the damage he'll do to the Democratic effort.

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