Monday, October 09, 2006

Reinhard Takes BS Intravenously, Declares 5th "Competitive"

David Reinhard's latest absurdity came out yesterday, but it's only now that I'm able to stop laughing long enough to type at the keyboard. In an election season where the performance of the administration and Congress has become so reviled that prominent conservative pundits are openly suggesting Republicans do us all a favor and lose, David Reinhard continues gamely on. In a week where House seats seemingly flipped overnight and Dennis Hastert cheered every Democratic consultant in the nation by refusing to step down, Reinhard grasps at any utter piece of crap idea he can glom onto and tries to convince his theoretical readership that Darlene Hooley is in trouble in the Oregon Fifth.

I'm not sure Reinhard ever did anything resembling journalism in his career; it would have been hard to function as one with his legendary gullibility. Either that, or he's the human refractor--allowing the outrageous spin produced by another person to bounce off him and disseminate in a different direction. David Reinhard has a faster and less critical pass-through rate than a cat pre-greased with cod liver oil--just put it in front of him, and he'll spew it out later in someone else's presence.

You get the idea: Reinhard peddles other people's shit. Here he does a variegatedly amazing job, pulling super-untruths from all kinds of places in order to construct the idea that Mike "Please don't talk about my college years" Erickson will make 2006 the year the Republicans take back the 5th--when other, better candidates have failed under MUCH more favorable circumstances.

Start with the first sentence: "Oregon has one of the nation's competitive congressional races, and it's a Democratic incumbent at risk." Says who? Not the National Journal, which lists the 50 most competitive races (and I thought there were only supposed to be 30 or 40 in play in the first place!), and Hooley is not on the list. In fact, there are only seven Democrats on it at all, none before #30. (As a side exercise, look at that list and do this math with me: take the seven D's and cancel out 7 Rs. That leaves 36 R seats in some kind of competitive play. Give the Democrats half of them. That's 18 seats, and that's a majority--even in a scenario where EVERY Democratic seat in play goes R, and only half of the R seats go D.)

"The signs are everywhere!" shouts Reinhard, rolling out with great flourish as evidence...the Moore Information puff of magic commissioned by Erickson. Sure it was paid for by the candidate, Reinhard says, but I believe it! Never mind that Moore won't release the details of his methodology or say whether he asked any "push" questions before the vote test, as partisan pollsters like to do. And even that had Erickson at 37 percent, down seven! What kind of competitive is that?

But oh no, the poll's not the only sign. Outside concerns are pouring money into his campaign because they believe he can win. The Economic Freedom Fund made a big ad buy to support Erickson, and the NRCC is pumping money into the district as well. The ad hits at what Reinhard says is Hooley's support for giving Social Security to undocumented aliens, a smashingly ludicrous misconstrual of her actual position. The President wants to do it to0, David--make them citizens and then have them pay into it like the rest of us, legally. The ad (not so cleverly) implies that she wants to give them Social Security benefits, right now, in a brown bag left on the doorstep or something. It's a scream!

The EFF, by the way, is targeting races in a few states where they think Democrats may be vulnerable. Their big target appears to be #30 on the hotlist, Leonard Boswell. What's the key factor tying all of the races together? The incumbent seems to be up by at least 10 points and above 50% in all the races. Whatever club that is, it isn't the "competitive seat" club.

The other group support Reinhard builds up is the NRCC interest. My favorite part of the whole column is when David says,
Suffice it to say these groups -- especially the famously strategic GOP congressional campaign committee -- don't waste funds where they have no chance of winning.
Faaa-bulous! We're talking about the same committee that is pumping money into Larry Grant's race in Idaho. IDAHO! Tell me honestly Dave--if the Idaho 1st is rough territory for a Republican in an open seat, why on earth would you suspect that a purple district held by a Democratic incumbent free of scandal would be favorable territory?

Another gem of noncritical thinking comes as Reinhard nearly waxes erotic about Erickson's pot of money, making the pouring of millions of your own cash into a political race sound like a really smart business decision. He lets Erickson speak for himself:
The former Portland State football player is a successful businessman who's already bankrolled his campaign to the tune of $1.3 million. "We're matching her dollar for dollar," he said last week.
No Mike, she's matching YOU dollar for dollar--by law, actually, since you have triggered the 'millionaire's exception' of campaign finance. She can now draw increased contributions from people who've maxed out, and match you...dollar for dollar. You don't spend, she doesn't get the money.

The happy talk festival boat cruises into the dock as Reinhard closes his highly persuasive case for unfathomable anomaly:
It's easy to dismiss this as the October happy-talk of another star-crossed GOP candidate in another Oregon congressional race. But Mike Erickson and the dynamics of this year's 5th Congressional District race just won't let you do that.
Or more accurately, Dave Reinhard won't. The Shameless Optimist's conference is just down the hall, Dave, and be sure to sign up for the chance to win Cubs World Series tickets!