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 O’Reilly (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 administration’s allies--left-wing entertainers: “funnymen” NBC’s Jay Leno, CBS’s David Letterman, NBC’s Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien 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 attacks—attacking Palin for trying on clothes at Bloomingdale’s in hopes of looking like a trampy airline stewardess (she hadn’t). Then he zeroed in on her daughter. No, not Bristol, 18, but the Palin’s number three child, 14-year-old Willow. The story: Last week Gov. Palin was in New York and attended a Yankees game—with Willow. Letterman assumed it was Bristol—a 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 Palin’s 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 apologized—kind of. He said he didn’t know the daughter at the game was Willow. That didn’t 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 didn’t accept it. Eventually, Letterman caved and made a full, humiliating retraction.

Only in today’s decadent society could Letterman’s allegations be rewarded by higher ratings and treated as humor by his callow, ill-mannered jeering, raffish, studio audience.

Don’t 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 didn’t just occur to Letterman’s 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, Obama’s 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 biz—and 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 believe—rightly—that their candidate’s high numbers are illusory—based only on his personal charisma but that the public doesn’t 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 fear—fear that even Obama’s personal numbers could crater if he doesn’t 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, O’Reilly, Hannity, Beck, Cheney and, oh yes, Sarah Palin.

Their strategy, though, in scape-goating the Right could be a big mistake. They’ve given Palin greater visibility than she can ever get being stuck up in Alaska—visibility which has enhanced her strength to overflowing with the GOP base: they’ve built up bigger numbers than ever before for Limbaugh, Gingrich and Fox’s new commentator Glenn Beck.

Now, what big issues are the Emanuels plus Axelrod afraid of? They’re five. 1. Gitmo, 2.the economy, 3. joblessness and 4.universal health care—and toughest of all, 5. spending.

First. on Gitmo, the issue of closing down Guantanamo, Obama hasn’t made the sale—and the Democratic Congress refused to appropriate the money to close-down Gitmo until and unless Obama came up with a substitute: he couldn’t. Because the U. S. won’t 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 aren’t the worst of the problem—the 100 Yemenis held at Gitmo are; they can’t be sent back to Yemen because the country is unstable and they’ll 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 he’s 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 economy—well 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 administration’s 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 haven’t been worth the price tag.

Fourth, , universal health care is at present a very-very tough sell for Obama. He just simply can’t 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 providers—nearly 100 in number—will 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 government—and this means something like Canada’s single payer program.. And once private health insurance has been ended, it’ll be gone forever.

In addition, Medicare and Medicaid costs have far exceeded their original cost estimates because there are no competitors for these federalized programs—a 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 it’ll 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 there’s no chance for passage of Obama’s 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 he’s handling the deficit and holding back federal spending. Moreover, there’s a decline from the previous month in the percentage of voters who approve Obama’s handling of spending.

The prospect looks bleak for the Obama future—and 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) don’t 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 there’s 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. CBS’s 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. That’s 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 Obama”—and 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 Obama’s economy and national security issues, is bursting its seams in good numbers—far 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 Limbaugh—notably 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 “liberals”—mainly 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 party’s door if it brayed a soft, liberal line. You hear that uncertain trumpet call from a variety of sources—most popularly, Gen. Colin Powell. Powell voted for Obama but he says he’s 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 “no”—attacking the Supreme Court for stopping a total recount in Florida because differing election procedures in the state’s counties would cause violation of the 14th amendment’s 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 landslide—the 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: “There’s no business like No Business if you tell me it’s so/ When you run against a turkey you know will fold/ Let him face his troubles out in the cold/ Don’t swap ideas for a pack of gold/ Just keep on saying “No!”

No comments:

Post a Comment