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Seems as though liberals are panicking about “poll trutherism,” i.e. the Republican belief that the polls are systematically and intentionally slighting Romney. They see this as some kind of way of delegitimizing the election in advance, laying the groundwork to seeing Obama as “His Accidency,” part ii.

I must admit I find this a strange thing to panic about, and not just because Republicans are going to do all that stuff anyway and poll trutherism is only a hook to hang that particular hat on. I find the entire episode pathetic, more so than the usual “media bias” complaint. At least with that, if you say “media” people think network news and big-time newspapers like the New York Times, East Coast institutions that have lots of wealthy, famous people employed at them. Making a case that these folks are elites is easy. Making the case that they’re biased at this point in favor of liberals is much more difficult at this stage, but there was probably enough of a kernel of truth to it at one point to make it stick and it’s been a reliable attack from the right for decades. It’s just built into how people think. Anyway, it’s not hard to make them into a villain to some portion of the electorate just with those things alone.

Pollsters, though, aren’t elites or celebrities. My guess is that, to the extent that anyone even thinks about them, they think of nerdy people in glasses spending most of their time crunching numbers on a computer screen (no offense!). Hardly anyone has a “relationship” with them in the way that they might have one with an anchor or an editorial writer (the only exception is the exceptionally self-serving Scott Rasmussen, whose pro-GOP slant has gotten ridiculous–did you know that America fell in love with Mitt Romney after hearing his 47% comments? It’s true, says Ras!). Anyway, the basis for this kind of conspiracy just isn’t there because there’s not much of a readily available “other” to tie these guys to, and the facts don’t add up. How could this be interpreted as anything other than panic or desperation in the eyes of the public? My guess is that this will backfire on the GOP, Democrats are going to feel emboldened by the blood in the water that this tactic clearly exposes, and the silliness of the charge reduces the GOP from Bond Villains to Scooby Doo Villains (“If it weren’t for you meddling pollsters, my plan would’ve worked!”), not what any political party wants. I suspect that the power-obsessed Villagers of D.C. will just roll their eyes at the whole thing.

Admittedly, the GOP is very adept at playing the victim. But making the “aggressor” such a powerless and, ultimately, irrelevant group isn’t going to work. If you want to play the victim, you need to cast the aggressors as real assholes, opposed to Mom and Apple Pie and the American Way and baaaaaaaaaaase-ball and all the rest. Republicans have done that to a lot of different people, but this is like trying to turn shoe salesmen into America’s greatest menace. Not gonna happen.

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