The same basic question was asked of Michael Steele on Hardball. Steele LIED and Sundheim LIED using the SAME GOP TALKING POINT: 'Both sides do it in equal measure'. It's the BIG LIE — if repeated often enough it will take hold. And it has. The Beltway Media accepts it as an article of faith. When some wingnut/Republican pundit repeats it, hosts on the fake progressive channel generally won't even contest it. That's what chief GOP propagandist Frank Luntz is counting on, to plant uncontested falsehoods in the mainstream media, that they become fake "factoids" and articles of faith to the Idiot Punditocracy.
As a Republican mole at MSNBC, Steele is much too cunning to overplay his hand; his objective is to get the talking points past a Chris Matthews, David Corn, or Joan Walsh, uncontested. He is adept at the polispeak filibuster and the topical pivot in mid-sentence, so he'll work in a phrase like 'we know that the same thing happened during the Bush years, but, blablablah ...' I heard the Steele LIE; ergo Luntz knows if I heard it, everybody else did too. So long as it went uncontested (it'll be contested occasionally, but if the uncontested ratio is, say, 4:1 or 5:1) then mission accomplished for the false ideological divide narrative, reinforced and promoted by the Beltway Media.
This is sophisticated propaganda, folks. It works, chiefly because of the laziness of the Beltway/MSM to stay on top of what insider Andrea Mitchell calls 'message discipline', not to speak of TEH STOOPID and the Idiot Punditocracy.
On Granholme's show, Duf Sundheim robotically repeated once again, "both sides do it," then pivoted to the preposterous Frank Luntz talking point that there are 25% ideological extremists on both left and right of the parties who would like to "tear everything down." Excuse me?!
This is a seriously outrageous LIE, for these reasons: Democrats, liberals and progressives are politically committed to exactly the opposite of 'tearing things down'. We're for activist government, rebuilding our infrastructure, expanding our social safety nets, reinforcing our retirement plans, investing in universal healthcare, expanding educational opportunities for all citizens, and ending our foreign wars. This, in broad terms, is the agenda of the left. There's nothing here about destroying or tearing down anything.
Frank Luntz is essentially throwing smoke on the Tea Party agenda which is — not to put a finer point on it — to 'tear down' government. From his perspective, can you blame him for trying to fool the American people, who reject the Tea Party agenda by sizable majorities? But rather than vigorously contesting the Sundheim LIE, Granholme chirped something like, 'We could talk about this forever, but unfortunately we're out of time ..."
Memo To Alex Wagner: Please desist (to quote the NYT's Maureen Dowd) with this Sparta v. Sparta thing already ... I thought I'd made a pretty good case that (a) this is a Castellanos-Romney plant to spin the 'inevitability' argument in their favor as Romney looks increasingly flawed; and (b) it's a historically false metaphor. Yet, it's like beating my head against a wall. Alex, surely you must know that "spartan" (small 's') means frugal and ascetic. The Sparta myth is forever defined by Thermopylae, where 300 Spartans held a mighty Persian army of thousands to a standstill. Totally opposite of the Romney campaign that spent lavishly carpet-bombing its opponents, particularly Rick Santorum, with meager results (status quo; standoff) for the millions spent to destroy Gingrich and Santorum. Were he not so totally incompetent and undisciplined, the 'Spartan' here would be Psycho Ricky, not Mittens.
You say the Romney campaign describe themselves as a lean, mean operation (questionable), yet have wasted vast amounts of SuperPac money trying unsuccessfully to "close the deal." Alex, you're super smart, engaging and charming, but you keep making rookie mistakes. On today's program you correctly identified Romney political guru Alex Castellanos with a blurb about the Romney campaign — good, props to you for not identifying him as simply a CNN media personality — then, inexplicably, went right over the lemming cliff with the self-serving and false Castellanos-Romney Sparta v. Sparta metaphor.
As if that weren't enough, in a prior appearance to opine on the continuing GOP-Limbaugh war on women, you totally disregarded what your distinguished guest Dan Rather, with some 50 years' experience covering politics, said on your show less than 24 hours earlier, that this spells trouble for the GOP and women will remember this when they go into the voting booth. Instead, you cited the worthless stats that unmarried and single women went for Romney while married women preferred Santorum. SO WHAT?! The Pew poll has the gender gap in women at 59% for Obama to 38% for Romney — a 21-point difference! Hello ... Alex, anybody home? Apparently not, when you preface your statement with "I don't mean to sound like a politician, but ..." Well Alex, you did. Which makes you sound like S.E. Cupp, emblematic of TEH STOOPID. So, without further ado, Jennifer Granholme and Alex Wagner: