Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Empathy Test

I am not going to get into the spat going on between the Pro Bachmann/DumpBachmann factions. But I will sit back and watch the squirming that continues to show the lack of basic objectivity and understanding going on in the Right Wing Noise machine (read NARN and their surrogates)

Whenever I first look at a situation, I always give it the once over with the 'Empathy Test'.
"How would I perceive the same or similar behavior if the party affiliation was reversed."
Actually, it is more of an objectivity test. I pride myself in not hopping on every Dump Bush band wagon just for the sake of the free ride. I am clearly the most centric of the active Minnesota bloggers, but still caucus with the DFL as their views match my vision for the future much more closely than the other side. My ability to be objective is one of my strengths

So let's look at the two recent Bachmann incidents. First, let's start with "Two in a Bush". Eleventh-Avenue-South published a report of Michelle Bachmann lurking at a JustFair rally. There is a photograph clearly showing Ms. Bachmann cowering behind a bush, peering at the rally. Now, why she wouldn't just observe from a distance, or even enter the periphery is beyond me. One of the defenses of this situation comes from Mitch
tittering about a a series of out-of-context photos of Michelle Bachmann
Ahhhh. Nevermind the definitive evidence she was there, and observing, and lurking. Let's just spin away into a tangent regarding context with out even attempting to justify the behavior. So what do I do. Hmmmm, How would the Right react if, let's say, A notable Lefty Senator was lurking in the same spot, and the rally was on some pro Rightie issue. Cameras clicking, bloggers blogging. The Noise machine would be spitting out ad hominems till they ran out (no, I don't think they would ever actually run out, like 'facts' they just make 'em up as they go along) It would be a free for all. But since it is their 'gal', the behavior is acceptable and those Lefties are just pickin' nits.

So then a few days later, we have the Scandia Scandal. Mitch does a nice job of paraphrasing the two versions:
So, depending on who you believe, either:

* A group of Bachmann's dissidents asked a series of respectful questions, purely in the interest of dialogue. Then, after the speech, a group of them followed Bachmann into a rest room, purely to ask her a question. There was a misunderstanding, Bachmann ran out of the bathroom hysterically claiming to have been threatened/detained/accosted. It was much ado about nothing.
* A mob of howling partisans disrupted the speech. Then, when Bachmann visited the rest room after the event, a group of her hecklers followed her, tried to prevent her from leaving, etc, etc.
Pick your version, but I tend to think she was running to hide in, not needing to use, the bathroom. I agree that it was poor form to follow her into the restroom, but I wish I could have been there when she came shrieking out, only to be followed by a 'petite' lady and a taller elderly one. Keep in mind she was in constituent country and was there for a town hall meeting. If she wasn't going to stand up to her detractors, why show up to begin with. But enough of that, on with the Empathy test. I can just hear the howls of cowardice if the EXACT SAME THING happened to a Lefty senator. "How dare that person 'hide' in the bathroom to avoid constituent concerns." and "How dare they cut off the meeting early when they start hearing what they don't want to hear." or even "What business does this person have of representing anyone if they aren't willing to at least address the concerns of those they speak for at the legislature."

All you folks can squabble all you want about the details and the intricacies of what actually happened in either case. But NO ONE can come close to convincing me that Ms. Bachmann's behavior would be tolerated by the NARNiacs if the party affiliation of the individual was reversed. It's not about the truth with them, or the facts, or even the honest debate of issues. It is about Spin Control, message control, and ego control. Oh yeah, and the Big 'W'. They want to win, cause everyone wants to be a winner, and in their case, it is at any cost!.


UPDATE: Here's an article in Wednesday's STRIB.

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