Wedge Issues: Dems Rarely Face Challenges from Media
Wedge issues, those subjects on which basically everyone has an opinion and those opinions are hard and fast, are generally something most politicians try to avoid if at all possible. Usually, it's because their party base takes a very strong stand on a subject that most Americans disagree with in part or in whole. If used properly, wedge issues can be used to separate a politician from the general public.
For Republicans the wedge issues tend to be abortion, creationism, and racial politics. Democrats have these issues too, however the left-dominated media almost never focus on them as Ace writes:
The media loves close questioning about abortion. And Bob Jones University. And the Confederate flag. And etc., and etc., and etc. -- every issue that cuts against Republicans, where the wedge divides base from center, always gets an enormous amount of attention from the Washington press corps.
And what about Democrats' wedge issues? Not only does the media refuse to ask such questions, except in the easiest softball way -- allowing candidates to give their carefully-vetted focus-group-tested non-answers without having to survive the scrutiny of a follow-up -- the media is often insistent that even asking such questions is "divisive" and therefore unethical, if not unAmerican.
Witness the Democratic candidates being permitted to skate by with vague answers about gay marriage. Oh, marriage is between a man and a woman, but the federal government should certainly not push that viewpoint. (Imagine a Republican trying to get away with claiming that abortion is a woman's right, but the federal government should play no role in guaranteeing that right. Show of hands of all those who think the MSM would allow that position to stand uncritically without a great deal of questioning about whether or not it makes sense to hold a position "personally" and yet be determined that there be no public action whatsoever on behalf of that position.)
Are Democrats ever asked what they'll do once they withdraw US troops and Iraq becomes an Al Qaeda safe haven? What they'll do if "diplomacy" does not stop Iran from getting the bomb -- will they go to war or accept Iran into the nuclear club?
No. Such questions are cutting, sharp, and probing, and therefore dangerous to Democrats. Better leave them with their gauzy evasions if they're to have any hope against the Evil Republicans.
So here we have a very serious wedge issue for Democrats -- a majority of Democrats believe that Bush either knew about 9/11 beforehand, or may have known beforehand; but to the majority of Americans -- including the vital center -- such conspiratorial paranoia is insane, and a Democrat offering support for such a view would be all but unelectable.
Does anyone -- anyone -- expect anyone in the MSM to confront the Democrats about their growing Truther problem?