Chucklehead of the day

Usually when reading Jake Tapper I’m reminded of the political whizbangs who surround Governor Pappy O’Daniel. Today’s blogpost is remarkably obtuse even by his standards, however. Tapper commits so many basic factual errors that I feel obliged to ask: Does ABC pay him for this garbage? Or is he just a nightwatchman, say, with posting privileges and free coffee?

In quick succession Tapper makes these false assertions, all clearly regurgitated from Republican talking points:

  • that Barack Obama “pledged” to take public financing during the general election. (Instead, he said he’d prefer to do so if conditions were right.)
  • that Obama has not taken enough heat for his “broken promise” on public financing. (Since there was no “promise”, it’s a non-sequitur. Tapper says nothing about McCain’s refusal to abide by his application for public financing during the primaries, an application he used to obtain a bank loan before he opted back out of public financing without permission from the FEC. Surely McCain’s dishonest manipulation of public financing last winter is relevant to Obama’s decision not to tie himself to any such agreement with McCain this fall…but Tapper is silent on it.)
  • that Obama has been less than transparent about his donors because his FEC filings don’t list donors of less than $200. (No candidate’s filings have ever done so because the law requires only the names of donors of $200 or more.)
  • that Obama’s failure to name smaller donors breaks his pledge to be more transparent. (Obama never pledged to list small donors.)
  • that Tapper hasn’t “heard a good reason” why Obama is “refusing to disclose the names” of small-donors. (Obama has millions of small donors; it would be expensive to get together a list of them all. No indication that Tapper bothered to ask Obama’s campaign what the reason is.)
  • that McCain has embarrassed Obama by making available a list of his own small donors. (McCain didn’t do any such thing. By Tapper’s own account, it is the Republican National Committee that made public a list of its small donors…who are, I’d venture to guess, vastly fewer than Obama’s.)
  • that the Republicans’ aforementioned move to put Obama on the defensive constitutes “political jujitsu”, which Tapper admits is nearly but not quite a cliche. (When a phrase is used as incorrectly as this one is by Tapper, then it most definitely has become a cliche. Jujitsu is the practice of turning an opponent’s attack into something that works against him. That is not what the RNC stunt attempts because Obama’s fundraising prowess is not a mode of attack.)

It’s amusing to note that once again Tapper makes it perfectly apparent that he’s just parroting Republican talking points. He says that “it can certainly be argued” that Obama’s “failure” to make public his small donors’ names “doesn’t live up to his pledges of transparency and openness.” As if “transparency and openness” were not synonymous. Tapper then quotes an RNC press release: “Sen. Obama talks a lot about openness and transparency, but…” You see, Tapper was a busy guy. He had to transpose “openness” and “transparency”. A wonder he has any energy left for all that “power, pop, and probings” he promises.

What a chucklehead.

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