Thursday, June 18, 2009
Personal Aside: Demonizing Conservatives to Help the Obama Program Pass.
Now this is really strange: liberal Democrats control the presidency and the Congress; a good case can be made that they dominate the Supreme Court. Since they own all the levers of power, why are they so pathologically driven to attack conservative Republicans?
Their conservative targets are even though the election is long passed: Former President George W. Bush, ex-veep Dick Cheney (about whom no one less than the director of the CIA, Leon Panetta, said last week that Cheney seems to be hoping for another terrorist attack to justify his views of imminent danger), Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity (Fox News commentator), Glenn Beck (Fox commentator), Newt Gingrich, Bill OReilly (Fox commentator)-- and, most of all, Gov. Sarah Palin. Again, now that things appear to be going so swimmingly for Obama, why the pathological personal attacks on conservatives?
Letterman vs. Palin.
Last week there erupted this major item: Once again, Palin. Palin is frequently target for tonight by the Obama administrations allies--left-wing entertainers: funnymen NBCs Jay Leno, CBSs David Letterman, NBCs Jay Leno and Conan OBrien and Comedy Central team Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. The point men are always Letterman, Stewart and Colbert.
Last week, as the TV viewing public knows, Letterman broadened his scope by launching a personal vendetta with fictional attacksattacking Palin for trying on clothes at Bloomingdales in hopes of looking like a trampy airline stewardess (she hadnt). Then he zeroed in on her daughter. No, not Bristol, 18, but the Palins number three child, 14-year-old Willow. The story: Last week Gov. Palin was in New York and attended a Yankees gamewith Willow. Letterman assumed it was Bristola mistake but which led him to jest falsely in his monologue that she was knocked up (the vulgar term for impregnated) in the 7th inning by divorced Yankee 3rd baseman Alex Rodriguez (who has been identified as a frequent escort of pop singer Madonna and a bevy of Las Vegas hookers).
Further, said Letterman, the Palins daughter might be an object of interest for Eliot Spitzer, the Democratic New York governor who had to resign after consorting with a prostitute for whom he paid $4,300 in cash. The remarks justifiably enraged the Palins since Letterman implied Gov. Palin is, in the vernacular, cheap (he used the word sluttish) and her underage child is a prostitute and a prospect for rape.
Letterman apologizedkind of. He said he didnt know the daughter at the game was Willow. That didnt get him out of the mess. Palin called him a 62-year-old sex pervert for verbally attacking her child. Letterman tried to make light of his half-apology: Palin didnt accept it. Eventually, Letterman caved and made a full, humiliating retraction.
Only in todays decadent society could Lettermans allegations be rewarded by higher ratings and treated as humor by his callow, ill-mannered jeering, raffish, studio audience.
Dont imagine these insults are happenstance. I know enough about the liaison between the Obama-ites and the Broadway-Hollywood-lefties like Letterman to understand that these made-up misrepresentations didnt just occur to Lettermans writers out of the blue. The pro-Obama culprits of the entertainment industry smear campaign against conservative Republicans are two Emanuels plus Axelrod.
Two Emanuels Plus Axelrod.
As I have detailed before in these pages, one member of the smear bund is Rahm Emanuel, 49, Obamas chief of staff. a Chicago-born ex-congressman and political operator whom I have known well for 20 years. He has a scathing sense of take-no-prisoners politics. His Chicago-born kid brother, Ariel aka Ari, 47, is a Hollywood agent based in Beverly Hills who represents among others Martin Scorcese, Michael Moore, Larry David and Sacha Baron Cohen and operates a clear channel pipeline of communications to show bizand lined up super-rich leftwing Hollywood-Broadway entertainment moguls to kick in big bucks for Obama as early as 2007. Chicagoan David Axelrod, 54, of course, is the biggest image-building guru in Democratic politics with a decided left-wing bent whom I have known for 30 years and debated on Chicago TV.
Once again, the key question remains: with high personal popularity ratings for the president, why do the Emanuels plus Axelrod and their show biz allies have the bitter-end obsession with conservatives to the extent that they have to demean a woman and her under-age child?
The reason: The Obama-ites believerightlythat their candidates high numbers are illusorybased only on his personal charisma but that the public doesnt buy his programs. This means that unless he gets his programs passed, the Democrats will lose double-digit seats in the Congress in 2010--and may see a very close race for the presidency in 2012. So they are moved by extreme fearfear that even Obamas personal numbers could crater if he doesnt improve the economy, the condition of the jobless and pass his tripartite program, universal health care, federalized education from k-1 through college and energy. The Emanuels plus Axelrod have decided they need villains from the Republican right to make the contretemps very personal to get the voters excited. Thus they have settled on a litany of conservatives: Limbaugh, OReilly, Hannity, Beck, Cheney and, oh yes, Sarah Palin.
Their strategy, though, in scape-goating the Right could be a big mistake. Theyve given Palin greater visibility than she can ever get being stuck up in Alaskavisibility which has enhanced her strength to overflowing with the GOP base: theyve built up bigger numbers than ever before for Limbaugh, Gingrich and Foxs new commentator Glenn Beck.
Now, what big issues are the Emanuels plus Axelrod afraid of? Theyre five. 1. Gitmo, 2.the economy, 3. joblessness and 4.universal health careand toughest of all, 5. spending.
First. on Gitmo, the issue of closing down Guantanamo, Obama hasnt made the saleand the Democratic Congress refused to appropriate the money to close-down Gitmo until and unless Obama came up with a substitute: he couldnt. Because the U. S. wont take the detainee-terrorists, no other country will. The administration shopped around to ten countries which all said no. Thus a deal was made to send four Uighurs , Chinese Muslim detainees (rather like the Basques and IRAs, violent but not anti-American) , to Bermuda and the remaining 13 to the lovely south Pacific island called the Republic of Palau (population: 20,842), a full 177 square miles of gorgeous ocean frontage, which coincidentally has just received gave $200 million in bribes, er, sorry, I meant to write foreign aid from Washington. Even so the Republic of Palau is uncertain about receiving the 13.
But the Uighers arent the worst of the problemthe 100 Yemenis held at Gitmo are; they cant be sent back to Yemen because the country is unstable and theyll go back to the battlefield. Thus it is clear that Obama is going to have to arrange a humiliating retreat, like Napoleon from Moscow, on the issue meaning that none other than Dick Cheney, who is not in the least charismatic, has won the engagement over a personally popular president.
Second, on the economy, although Obama comes across with professional smoothness on TV, the economics hes selling is horrific: Running up almost $2 trillion in annual deficits and pushing programs that will add another $9 trillion which would reach a total of $20 trillion is tough selling for anybody. Charisma runs out of gas when you envision that Obama calls for the greatest growth in government since Lyndon Johnson with the Congressional Budget Office estimating federal spending in 2019 at nearly 25% of the economywell up from the 21% in 2008 and much higher than the post-World War II average, the spending due to crest before many baby boomers retire. Public confidence that Obama can pull this one out is lagging seriously.
Third, joblessness is a crucially important political problem because to the administrations keen disappointment, jobless rates are rising despite four months of the stimulus package with the administration admitting that the economic forecasts used to sell the stimulus were over-optimistic, and is reeling from charges the effects havent been worth the price tag.
Fourth, , universal health care is at present a very-very tough sell for Obama. He just simply cant seem to hurdle over the difficulties. He says a government-run health program is required to provide choice and competition to private health insurance. But 1,300 private carriers exist and the public is getting wise to the argument that by setting up a government option, Obama is leading the country to national health care. Besides, the Congressional Budget Office (controlled by Democrats) says this plan will cost $74 billion by 2014 while private providersnearly 100 in numberwill deliver the same goods for $44 billion, about 41% lower than Obama wants.
Even an option for federalized health care would torpedo private health insurance because business will decide it will save them money to go governmentand this means something like Canadas single payer program.. And once private health insurance has been ended, itll be gone forever.
In addition, Medicare and Medicaid costs have far exceeded their original cost estimates because there are no competitors for these federalized programsa commonsense reason to doubt the costs Obama sets out for his federal option program the public option will interrupt the close relationship many people have with their own doctors Think dealing with insurance companies is frustrating? Imagine what itll be when the only carrier will be the government with no competition and thus little concern that you can change to another company. Looking at the Congress last week, even Democratic boosters I talked to think theres no chance for passage of Obamas program and that the best that can happen would be a cosmetic bill short on content.
Fifth and finally the toughest issue of all, federal spending. On the way to a Green Bay, Wis. town meeting to advocate his universal health care program, Obama was greeted by a forest of placards held by angry citizens, reading No Socialism! and Taxed Enough Yet? A Gallup survey released last week showed that while six in 10 Americans approve of Obama, fewer than half say they endorse how hes handling the deficit and holding back federal spending. Moreover, theres a decline from the previous month in the percentage of voters who approve Obamas handling of spending.
The prospect looks bleak for the Obama futureand for that reason the two Emanuels plus Axelrod have opted to invent a series of villains. Ironically, since all three are Jewish, the stratagem is not far removed from the one employed beginning in 1920 by Adolf Hitler to crystallize blame for rampant inflation, the humiliating Versailles treaty and the other ills of the Weimar republic. Hitler blamed the Jews. The two Emanuels plus Axelrod are blaming a collection of conservative Republicans, most of whom (Palin excepted) dont hold public office.
The Obama Media Axis.
More than any other president, Obama has a skilled, super-large contingent working on the media besides the Emanuels plus Axelrod who assiduously leak stories on their own.
The administration has 14 professionals working in the office of the press secretary alone and no fewer than 47 others scattered throughout the government devoting full-time to image-creation. This is more than the p. r. staffs of most Fortune 500 companies. Too, there is more warmth and agreeableness among the old regular press hounds stationed at the White House than ever existed under Bush. But theres also a downside.
The downside is that the warmth and affection for Obama largely comes from a dying branch which is described as the Old Media: The Chicago Tribune (bankrupt), The Boston Globe (bankrupt) , The Baltimore Sun (bankrupt), The New York Times (bankrupt), The Los Angeles Times (bankrupt), The Washington Post. The Washington Post lost $53. million last quarter and is supported largely by Kaplan Educational Testing.
In addition, broadcast TV networks (and the two major newsmagazines, Time and Newsweek which are unremittingly liberal) are rapidly losing audiences. CBSs Katie Couric who skewers conservatives regularly is dead last in ratings for her Evening News among the networks. As a matter of fact, the Old Media needs Obama to stabilize their weak numbers, needs him far more than he needs them. Thats why the supplicant Brian Williams, the toadying NBC-TV evening anchor, was seen to bow humbly when he left the president after the network presented its Day in the Life of President Obamaand why NBC has circulated a private memo to its news-writers forbidding negative reportage on Obama.
In contrast to the Old Media is what is known as the New Media: blogs, AM talk radio where conservative hosts have spectacular numbers, Fox cable news which is fearless in its analysis of Obamas economy and national security issues, is bursting its seams in good numbersfar ahead of its pro-Obama rivals, MSNBC, CNBC and CNN.
Needed: The Party of No.
Selection of conservative Republicans as the villains by the two Emanuels plus Axelrod has caused the GOP to ponder what to do. Initially the party called the stupid party by even some of its adherents fell for the ploy. A number of GOPers denounced Limbaughnotably the new national chairman, Michael Steele. Others have said the party should develop new issues and new faces. Still others have said, incredibly, that the GOP should veer away from anything to do with Ronald Reagan because the times are different now. One so-called leader to say this is Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana. But why the GOP should disown its most attractive president of the 20th century is imponderable. Now some liberal Republicans have since repented saying these things but they rally around the prospect that the Republican party should not be the party of No! Let me at this point file a modest objection.
Every time Republicans lose a national election, there arises the same old whinnying from moderates and liberalsmainly in the liberal press--that the GOP has to (1) be more positive, (2) appeal to the illusory mirage of blacks and liberals who might just might come flocking to the partys door if it brayed a soft, liberal line. You hear that uncertain trumpet call from a variety of sourcesmost popularly, Gen. Colin Powell. Powell voted for Obama but he says hes a Republican. He wants his party to be pro-abortion, pro-affirmative action. He decries the fact that as he says, the Republican party has become the Party of No.
To which I say: terrific! From the day George W. Bush was elected, Democrats were the party of noattacking the Supreme Court for stopping a total recount in Florida because differing election procedures in the states counties would cause violation of the 14th amendments equal protection clause and attacking Bush for the next eight straight years. And recent American political history proves, being the party of No is what has made the two-party system vital and enduring.
Examples: In 1938 the GOP was the party of no and won a total of 71 congressional seats in oppostion to the New Deal The mid-term elections of 1946 saw the Republicans make no positive suggestions at all other than removing the Dems from leadership of House and Senate substantial gains were chalked up by Republicans in 1966, two years following the LBJ landslidethe issues being crime-in-the-streets and the chaos caused by demonstrations for more civil rights progress and anti-Vietnam war strife where Republicans made no alternative suggestions except getting rid of the old Dem gang.
In essence, to paraphrase the old song: Theres no business like No Business if you tell me its so/ When you run against a turkey you know will fold/ Let him face his troubles out in the cold/ Dont swap ideas for a pack of gold/ Just keep on saying No!