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Newsweek's Alter Tries to Prod Independents, Pleading: 'The GOP's Agenda Has to Be Stopped'

"We're so eager to promote ourselves with the smartest take on how President Obama and the Democrats got themselves in this pickle that we haven't done a good job explaining the stakes," Newsweek's Jonathan Alter despaired in a piece in the latest issue of the magazine in which he didn't even pretend to be a journalist and delivered a political activist's screed, "Why the Midterms Matter: The GOP's agenda has to be stopped."

Alter, author of the sycophantic book earlier this year, The Promise: President Obama, Year One, feared a dire fate if Republicans gain more power: "The Tea Party will transform itself from an insurgency into the driving force within the GOP" and "extremist Senators like Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn will move from being irritants on the fringe to players at the center of our politics." He concluded by scolding those who won't come out to vote for Democrats:

A right-wing Republican takeover of Congress and state capitals isn't something to accept with indifference. Midterms matter, and voters tempted to skip this election should have their heads examined.


Newsweek's bio for Alter touts that "for more than a decade, he has worked as a contributing correspondent to NBC News," and "as an editor, he helps shape the magazine's overall news coverage." And 14 pages after his left-wing, anti-conservative rant, the November 1 issue features a helpful "how to" article by Eleanor Clift: "KEEP DREAMING: The GOP hasn't won yet. What it would take for the Dems to get re-fired up and score a big midterms upset."

Alter laid out his fear-mongering case:

Let's say you're an independent voter who wants to send Obama a message on Nov. 2. Have the media told you what that would say? Here's a clue: moderate Republicans are extinct. With big wins, the Tea Party will transform itself from an insurgency into the driving force within the GOP. Gains in statehouses and legislatures will allow right-wingers to use the 2010 census to redraw district lines that will entrench them in power until 2020. Back in charge in Washington, they will likely block even centrist choices for courts. Extremist senators like Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn will move from being irritants on the fringe to players at the center of our politics.

A question for Democrats disinclined to work on congressional campaigns: do you know the GOP agenda? In brief: repeal health-care reform, so if you lose your job and your kid gets sick, you may have to sell the house; repeal financial reform, so Wall Street scammers and predatory lenders can return to doing everything they did before they wrecked the economy; maintain corporate-welfare subsidies that move jobs overseas; reduce spending by slashing education funding; and ending all clean-energy projects aimed at curbing our dependence on Mideast oil. Of course, these policies won't cut the deficit. Republicans insist on extending $700 billion in tax cuts for the wealthy...


- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.