With the battle to frame the meaning of the election ongoing, the media have started to weigh in with a vote for the center. Time, which referred to the ’94 Republican takeover of Congress as a “GOP Stampede,” calls the center the “new place to be,” while Newsweek’s cover bizarrely claims the election validates the “centrist” politics of George H.W. Bush.

(h/t: Think Progress)


Media Matters:

The Nov. 21, 1994, edition of Time magazine — published following that year’s congressional elections, in which Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives and the Senate — featured the headline “GOP Stampede: A Special Report” on the cover, and featured a graphic of an elephant trampling a donkey.

The Nov. 20 edition of Time — published following the 2006 congressional elections, in which Democrats gained control of the House and the Senate — features the headline “Special Report: The Midterms,” and features as the cover story “Why the center is the new place to be,” by columnist Joe Klein, with a graphic of a Venn diagram.

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Think Progress:

Newsweek is the latest major media outlet to repeat the falsehood that the 2006 election was an endorsement of conservatism. The latest Newsweek cover story notes:

The American people, as politicians like to say, spoke last week — and spoke in no uncertain terms. The 2006 vote does not suggest an eagerness for a sharp left turn. It seems, rather, to be a plea for a shift from the hard right of the neoconservatives to the center represented by the old man in Houston [former President George H. W. Bush].

The “centrist” ideas “represented” by former President Bush are actually progressive ideas put forward over a year ago. Media reports indicate that the James Baker-led Iraq study group will call for (1) a phased drawdown of U.S. troops from Iraq and (2) a diplomatic initiative to engage Iraq’s regional neighbors to help calm ethnic tensions. The Center for American Progress advanced these very steps over a year ago in its Strategic Redeployment plan.

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