"The election has left the Republican Party reeling, its base shrunk to those Southern, Plains and Mountain West states where rural cultures still predominate. The party's smarter strategists are arguing that the worldviews of the social conservatives and free-market extremists who dominate the GOP are either irrelevant or ridiculous to voters in the middle of the political spectrum. "We can't be obsessed with issues that are not the issues that are important to American voters," Jim Greer, chairman of the Florida GOP, told the New York Times.
But Fox has won its viewership precisely by promoting such obsessions.
During the campaign just completed, you guys focused on Barack Obama's allegedly Muslim and alien roots and socialist ideology; meanwhile, in the real world, unemployment rose, foreclosures soared and Wall Street went flooey. Over the past eight years, you beat drums for such causes as state intervention in the Terri Schiavo case. You demonized undocumented immigrants (okay, CNN's Lou Dobbs gave you a run for your money on that one). You fed the Republican base with a steady diet of bile -- and now that bilious base is the biggest impediment to the Republicans' repositioning themselves so that they can win elections again. . .
You're not alone in reinforcing those beliefs that marginalize the Republican right, of course. You've got plenty of help from Rush and all the little Limbaughs who dominate talk radio. But together with your allies, you haul truckloads of troglodyte garbage to your flock. . .
And rather than present these voters with a picture of a complex, changing world, you guys at Fox serve chiefly to reinforce their fears, to paint people who hold different viewpoints as alien and threatening.
In that sense, your work remains dangerous and disintegrative to the nation. But it is also, more narrowly, tactically, for now, a great gift to liberals and Democrats. You ensure the ongoing Palinization and marginalization -- electorally, the terms are synonymous -- of the Republican Party.
And to think that you're doing all this not on the Democratic National Committee's dime but on Rupert Murdoch's."
It is an interesting theory, and if true, the Dems don't need the fairness doctrine.
What do you think?