Thursday, October 26, 2006

Why Rush attacked Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's

Small wonder Rush Limbaugh is beating up on Michael J. Fox—the Parkinson's ad really works.

The HCD Research and Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion (MCIPO) conducted a survey of American voters who'd seen the ad to see just how effective it is. Significant portions of those who saw it found the ad credible, and were more likely to vote Democratic after seeing it. The results were consistently the same among Democrats, independents and Republicans. This is not what accomplished gasbag and bloviating multimillionaire media personality Rush Limbaugh wants to see happen. Rush, always a diligent footsoldier for the messiest missions of the jihad, attacked Mr. Fox personally because he knew he couldn't attack the facts put forth in the ad. Smearing the messenger instead of the message—that's the way the modern Republican Party works.

And this is a big problem for the Republicans, too. During this election cycle, they're relying on the conservative coalition that Bush has cobbled together between rich people who want to raid social services and religious extremists who want not just prayer in schools but to squelch science itself. These are broadly unpopular positions, though essential ones to support if the Republican Party wishes to clutch to power. Their anti-science platform will hurt them in 2008, as well, when their candidate for president will either buy into his party's fourteenth-century worldview or wind up alienating those who do—thus making the Republican candidate's job extra difficult.

In the long run, this issue is only going to get worse for the Republicans. You read it here first—but I'm sure you haven't read it here last!

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