For politicians, there seem to be four famous last words: “This time, it’s different!”
Every time I meet with a political candidate who tells me he will win because the old rules are out the window, I know — with almost certainty — he will lose. And 99.9 percent of the time, he does.
But sometimes, it really is different.
And while I still don’t think the rules have changed enough to allow Republicans to escape blame, who knows? After all, the media landscape certainly has changed since the last time the government shutdown.
Consider this flashback from the New York Times:
“Back then, Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News Channel was a year from its debut, Andrew Breitbart was a lowly assistant at E! Online, and The Drudge Report was an obscure gossip and news digest sent by e-mail — to the lucky few who had e-mail.
“But today, a fervent group of conservatives — bloggers, pundits, activists and even members of Congress — is harnessing the power of the Internet, determined to tell the story of the current budget showdown on its terms.”
… The last time around, there was no Daily Caller to report things like this: The Obama administration knew about, and rejected, the request of World War II Veterans to visit the WWII memorial.
And Twitter, of course, didn’t exist. That means no pictures like this from the Weekly Standard’s John McCormack being quickly and widely distributed:
Check out the barricade at the World War One memorial—> pic.twitter.com/lJEYjY3GtR
— John McCormack (@McCormackJohn) October 2, 2013
If mockery really is a potent political weapon, then this is dynamite.
Has the world changed? Are we too tied to the old way of thinking? Bill Scher and I discussed this possibility yesterday on Bloggingheads. Check it out here: