For example, at today's press gaggle hosted by Dana Perino, we see plainly why W has been painting the Dems with one broad brush stroke. This is a notoriously Rovian ploy to control the debate using dualistic arguments where one side is "right" - invariably their side - and one side is "wrong" - always the Dems. The affect is that the voters get an overly simplified view of the issues handed to them directly from the presidential propaganda catapult.
Really, when folks vote against certain programs sponsored by the Whitehouse, it may be for more reasons than those stipulated by W. In fact, some one could legitimately be opposed to the Patriot Act because it erodes our Constitution to such a degree that it degrades our freedom and liberty. To suggest that the Dems voted against the Patriot Act because they don’t want to track down and stop the terrorists is simply wrong, and a heinous act of political character assassination. It works well in the media because once it is articulated, it can never be retracted.
Have a look:
Q When the President talks about the Terrorist Surveillance Program and he says that the people who voted against that are saying they don't want to listen in on terrorist phone calls -- is that fair? A lot of people say we want to listen on terrorist phone calls, we just don't like the way you set up this program and the judicial oversight.
MS. PERINO: Yes, I think it is fair. What the President is saying, as he continues to draw clear distinctions between Republicans and Democrats in their approach to fighting the war on terror, is that they voted against it. They voted against the TSP. And I don't think it's fair that anyone be allowed to have it both ways. The President has been saying that the Democrats talk very tough on terror, but they don't follow through. And actions speak louder than words. And Americans don't send their congressmen to D.C. to talk tough; they send them there to take positions on issues and to vote. And I think what the President is saying is that when it came down to the vote, 177 -- 160 was the military commission bill, but 177 is the TSP bill -- when it came down to take that vote, they voted against it.
And professionals in the intelligence community have said this is a program that has saved lives and helped to detect and prevent terrorist attacks. They've gone up to the Hill, talked about the program at length and provided as much information as possible. They say that they need this program in addition to the other tools that we have, such as the FISA court, and that if they didn't have it they wouldn't be able to do their jobs as effectively as they have been.
So I think it's absolutely appropriate for the President to be able to remind people that someone can talk tough on terror, but when it comes down to actually taking the votes, they have said that they wouldn't have voted -- they don't support it, they wouldn't have voted for it. Now, I don't know what sort of changes that they would have proposed. And the President has said he doesn't question the patriotism; he questions the philosophical difference. And he is trying to lay that out clearly for voters as they make choices in November.