The Corner

Astroturfing or Just Group Think?

I get a lot of email from self-described liberals, independents and conservatives these days who all seem to think alike. To wit: they all use very similar language about how conservatives are dishonorably talking about things that just happen to be inconvenient to the Obama campaign, that we’re inviting violence against Obama, that I/we/the Corner should be ashamed of this, that, or the other thing.

For instance, during the first days after the Sarah Palin pick, when the Obama campaign was shaken, I was amazed by how many emails from self-identified “longtime fans” and others who’ve been “reading me for years” who told me how much they hoped I would tell the truth about the consumate evilness of Sarah Palin. The language was similar, the tactics identical: Butter me up, tell me that I alone have the integrity to tell the hard truths. Now it’s not that I don’t think some liberals can be fans of mine. Nor is it that I think everyone of these people is sitting in some huge room full of computers in David Axelrod’s basement. But, there’s simply something fraudulent in the tone, tenor and number of emails I get along these lines. I don’t know if Obamaphiles get tips about how to email conservatives or if there’s an astroturfing operation at work or if this is simply an example of talking points and tactics working themselves out virally. But it just feels too coordinated for me to take entirely seriously.

I have no idea how to deal with it because I have no doubt some of these people are sincere. But I am sure some aren’t as well. So basically my approach is to note the email and move on.

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