Guilty


  Obama countered Hillary's claim that he was too scrawny to withstand the Republican Attack Machine by saying Hillary had been weakened by the Republican Attack Machine. As Obama supporter Senator Sheldon Whitehouse put it, Obama “has not been worked over for years by the Republican smear machine…. Hillary carries a legacy of the Republican attack machine that took her and President Clinton on for a decade, really, with billions of dollars behind them—well, hundreds of millions anyway—and so it's a different thing.”20 This makes me very angry: If the fantasy Republican Attack Machine has billions, or at least hundreds of millions of dollars, where's my check?

  Obama claimed to be a victim of Republicans, too. Blubbering on 60 Minutes about the coming Republican attacks, he said, “The Republicans are going to come after me. There's no doubt that there will be attempts on the part of the Republican Party to demonize me in the general election.”21

  Both Hillary and Obama accused each other of adopting the smear techniques of the Republicans. Hillary said Obama was using tactics “right out of Karl Rove's playbook”22—an incongruous complaint from a candidate who boasted of her ability to withstand Republican attacks. Obama's team had the same complaint with Hillary—that she was as bad as the Republicans. When superdelegate and Indiana native Joe Andrew switched his allegiance from Hillary to Obama days before the Indiana primary, Evan Bayh, senator from Indiana and Clinton delegate, commented, “I don't think he's lived in our state for eight or nine years. I don't think he can even vote in Indiana.”

  This brutal attack was too much for Andrew, who went on MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann to complain, “What you're hearing now is the exact kind of language that came out from Republicans when I was defending Bill Clinton during the impeachment of the president.”23

  This was surprising to me, because if anyone was part of any Republican Attack Machine during Clinton's impeachment, I think I was, and yet I had never heard of Joe Andrew. Indeed, Keith Olbermann pompously introduced Andrew as “the most influential politician you probably had never heard of—which is a big compliment coming from a TV show host most Americans have never heard of. Maybe when Andrew said Hillary's people were using “the exact kind of language that came out from Republicans,” he meant English.

  A search of Joe Andrew on Nexis turns up innumerable mentions of Andrew, who was the chair of the Democratic Party in 1999, reciting bland Democratic talking points, but there wasn't a lot of criticism from the Republican Attack Machine, perhaps because it can only attack objects large enough to be seen by the naked eye. Still, if Andrew says he was a victim of Republican attacks, then he must have been. So I tried searching Andrew's name near words like “lie” or “liar” or “lying” and finally got a hit: It was Andrew accusing his Republican counterpart of “lying on national television” for implying that Hillary knew what Bill was doing with Monica Lewinsky. To this, Andrew responded, “Look, if you're going to lie on national television, at least you ought to be called on it occasionally.”24

  Joe Andrew: victim of the Republican Attack Machine.

  While pretending to be bravely facing down an Attack Machine, in fact, Andrew was capitulating to an Attack Machine: the media. The mainstream media switched their allegiance from the Clintons to Obama, so Andrew did, too. Surely no one noticed the about-face more than the Clintons themselves.

  For years, the media took a sadistic pleasure in reporting that Bill Clinton, a sociopathic sex offender and bully with a narcissistic disorder, was wildly popular. The media simply asserted that Clinton was beloved across the land—despite never being able to get 50 percent of the country to vote for him, even before the country knew about Monica Lewinsky. Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg, who worked for Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign, and was paid not to lie to his client, explained to Vanity Fair magazine that Clinton was banished from Gore's 2000 presidential campaign because research showed that whenever Clinton was mentioned, Gore's numbers plummeted. Greenberg said that if polls showed Clinton would have helped, he would have “had Bill Clinton carry Al Gore around on his back.” Mind you, this was when one man could still actually carry Al Gore on his back.

  But the mainstream media wouldn't quit. No matter how preposterous it was, liberals just kept telling us that the chubby kid with the big red nose whose greatest moment on the football field involved a wind instrument was “Elvis.” According to Nexis, that appellation has been applied to Clinton approximately 1,000 times. In print, that is. There's no telling how many drunken cocktail waitresses have whispered it in Clinton's ear during late-night elevator assignations.

  As late as 2006, Clinton could expect an exchange like this with Meredith Vieira on The Today Show:

  VIEIRA: Where do you think [Osama bin Laden] is? Everybody's wondering where the heck he is. Where do you think he is?

  CLINTON: I think he's probably in— I have no intelligence,

  okay? I think he's probably—

  VIEIRA (interrupting): You have plenty of intelligence.

  CLINTON: No, I mean government intelligence.

  VIEIRA: I know, I'm kidding.25

  But then Obama emerged from the clouds, and at long last, liberals were finished with the Clintons—which was as close to actual mainstream thinking as they'D been in years. Worst of all, the media turned on Clinton using the nastiest trick of the Republican Attack Machine: They told the truth about him.

  If you've ever wondered how a Democrat would fare being treated like a Republican by the media, you'll still have to wait to see it. But at least liberals stopped aggressively lying for the Clintons. It took a decade, but journalists finally noticed that Clinton getting serviced by a White House intern whose name he couldn't recall may not have been the equivalent of the Gettysburg Address. “Bill's affair with Monica Lewinsky,” liberal columnist Jonathan Chait wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “jeopardized the whole progressive project for momentary pleasure.”26 Chait also mentioned the Clintons’ “lying and sleaze-mongering”—while still denouncing “frothing Clinton haters.”

  Having finally noticed the blindingly obvious, Chait asked, “Were the conservatives right about Bill Clinton all along?” He idiotically added, “Maybe not right to set up a perjury trap so they could impeach him, but right about the Clintons’ essential nature?” Um. It wasn't a “trap.” It was a “question.” Try sending a bimbo with a thong into the Oval Office of any Republican president and feel free to ask him any questions about it later, under oath. President Bush would have probably taken the strumpet to church with him. This is where the “essential nature” issue comes in.

  In a July 2008 Vanity Fair article about Bill Clinton by Todd Pur-dum, husband of Clinton's former press secretary Dee Dee Myers, consumers of the mainstream media would read for the first time about Clinton's “cavernous narcissism,” his “blowups at television reporters,” his cheating at golf, his “maladroit” campaigning for his wife, and his “repellent grandiosity.”27 Purdum stoutly stuck by the old lie, claiming that—until that very year!—Clinton “was among the most popular figures on the planet,” which, assuming he was referring to the planet Earth, was preposterous. Demonstrating the irresistible charm for which he was famous, Clinton responded to the article by calling Purdum “sleazy,” “dishonest,” “slimy,” and a “scumbag.”

  To avoid having to admit that the only thing that had changed about Bill Clinton was that the media were no longer lying for him, reporters began postulating a series of ludicrous explanations for why their earlier descriptions of him were so different. The most ambitious of these Rube Goldberg–type stretches of the imagination was Pur-dum's suggestion that it was perhaps “his quadruple-bypass surgery.” Purdum noted that friends say “Clinton has never been the same.” Yes, who doesn't know someone who, after open-heart surgery, suddenly became an egomaniacal, pathologically lying horndog? Clinton was exactly the same as he had always been.

  But in an exciting new development, the establishment media began to notice the Clinton at
tack machine. Maybe the mainstream media had had open-heart surgery! In the entire eight years of the Clinton administration—through the attacks on Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, Paula Jones, Linda Tripp, Ken Starr, the fired White House Travel Office employees, and the “Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy”— there are only 28 documents on Nexis with the words “Clinton attack machine.” But in the six months before Hillary dropped out of the primary campaign against Obama, Nexis records 54 mentions of the “Clinton attack machine.” The same people who loved the Clinton attack machine when it was used against Republicans cried foul when it was turned on the new fair-haired boy B. Hussein Obama. It was hard to decide what was more fun—watching liberals discover the Clinton attack machine or watching Hillary discover affirmative action.

  You can tell which candidate the Media Attack Machine has anointed the favored candidate by seeing which one gets treated like the biggest victim. Instead of asking the beloved Obama any tough questions, the media asked the Golden Boy to comment on Republicans’ attacks—imagined attacks that hadn't materialized yet. Referring to Obama's admitted past drug use, Tom Brokaw's question to Obama was “Aren't the Republicans going to come after you on that?” (Obama: “You know, they already have.”)28

  Or consider the questions asked of presidential candidates appearing on CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer during the most crucial phase of the 2008 primaries (January for the Republicans and May for the Democrats). Excluding pointless chitchat, the first question asked of all Republicans—as well as disfavored Democrat Hillary Clinton—was a tough question about the economy. The angel Obama was asked if he was prepared for the Republican assault. As Blitzer himself described the coming interview, “And is he ready for an onslaught from the Republicans? Some tough questions for Senator Obama.”

  Blitzers Question to Mitt Romney:

  Let's talk about fears of a recession in the United States. There is now [speculation] the president might want to put forward some sort of economic stimulus package to try to create some jobs and avoid a recession. If you were president right now, Governor, what would be your immediate first step that you would take?29

  Blitzers Question to Fred Thompson:

  All right. Let's talk about the economy right now. Assume you're the president, facing a recession, a lot of jobs being lost right now, especially in states like South Carolina and in Michigan. What do you do, if you're president right now?30

  Blitzers Question to Mike Huckabee:

  Let's talk about fear of recession in the United States right now. There's some talk the president will announce a short-term economic stimulus package, try to create some jobs and try to improve the economy right now because there is a lot of fear that recession could take place later in the year.

  If you were president right now, what would you do immediately to try to deal with this crisis?31

  (John McCain was apparently not interviewed by Blitzer during the Republican primaries.)

  Blitzer s Question to Hillary Clinton, who, as Obambis opponent, was treated like a Republican:

  Let's talk about some of the issues, the key issues, the economic issues, issue number one, the economy, gas prices right now. You've said in recent days you want to get tough with the major oil-exporting countries, OPEC, because of the huge cost per barrel, the resultant price of a gallon of gas.

  But when you say get tough with OPEC, what does it mean when you have members of OPEC like Ahmadinejad of Iran or Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, or Qaddafi of Libya? How do you plan on getting tough with them?32

  Blitzers Question to Obambi:

  You know they're going to paint you, the McCain camp, Republicans, as a classic tax-and-spend liberal Democrat, that you're going to raise the taxes for the American people and just spend money like there is no tomorrow when it comes to federal government programs.

  Are you ready to handle that kind of assault?33

  (Obama: “Absolutely.”)

  Follow-up question: You've been called “perhaps the greatest human being ever born.” How do you respond? Is that too strong? Or are you, in point of fact, more of a god than a human being? Can you think of ANY flaws you have? Because I sure can't.

  THE MEDIA USE THE IDEA OF A REPUBLICAN ATTACK MACHINE to bury negative information about a Democrat without actually refuting it. Whenever there's a glitch in the matrix and the public is accidentally exposed to actual facts about a Democrat, the media go to DEFCON 4 to neutralize the negative information with hysterical denunciations of Republican attacks.

  Obama supporter Steven Cohen, public administration professor at Columbia University, warned, “It's clear how the Republicans are going to attack…. They're going to try to make him out like he's some kind of Middle East left-wing crazy.”34 Obama had said he would meet without preconditions with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a mad Holocaust denier with a messianic complex trying to develop nuclear weapons. (Plus he has some other ideas that are just plain nuts.) Obama also said that, as president, he would immediately withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq. As the cherry on top, Obama had been endorsed by the Islamic terror group Hamas. Weren't those facts voters should be told?

  On The Charlie Rose Show, Joe Klein of Newsweek said, “Republicans are going to want this to be about guns and about God and about homosexuality and all the other things.”35 Why shouldn't Republicans talk about those things? Those are at least actual issues, as opposed to having to listen to liberals fret about Republican attacks in every media outlet twenty-four hours a day.

  Democrats have staged an all-out war on guns, God, and marriage. Liberal judges have banished any allusion to a higher being from the public square. They even ban the Pledge of Allegiance periodically because it mentions “God,” whoever she is. Democratic legislators have enacted restrictions and all-out bans on gun ownership. Obama himself had dismissed gun owners and people of faith, famously sneering that they “cling” to God and guns because they're “bitter.” And those sneaky Republicans were threatening to quote him!

  Judges appointed by Democrats have forced gay marriage on the nation despite Americans’ repeatedly rejecting the idea at the ballot box. Liberals treat the Boy Scouts like a hate group because they refuse to employ gay scoutmasters to take adolescent boys camping in the woods—a policy the Catholic Church wishes it had thought of years ago. In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court barely upheld the Boy Scouts’ First Amendment right to exclude gay scoutmasters—in a 5–4 ruling. That same year, Democratic congresswoman Lynn C. Woolsey introduced a House bill to revoke the Boy Scouts’ nearly century-old congressional charter36 and a Boy Scout troop was booed by the delegates at the Democratic National Convention.

  Klein's statement is the equivalent of the Japanese complaining on December 8, 1941, that the Americans “want to make this about Pearl Harbor.”

  Just a few weeks before Jeremiah Wright's greatest hits collection hit the airwaves, Obama had said, “I don't think my church is actually particularly controversial.”37 But once Americans got a taste of Wright's sermons, it turned out most people found them fairly controversial. The clips were not—as Obama's defenders initially said—taken “out of context.” What Democrats mean when they say something was “taken out of context” is that a third party heard it. That's the context: No one else was supposed to hear it. The Jeremiah Wright clips happened to have come from the Trinity United Church's own website, which was selling the videos as stand-alone gems from the Reverend Wright's oeuvre. Once it became clear that normal people were appalled by Obama's reverend damning America, denouncing “white arrogance,” and saying America deserved 9/11, Obama distanced himself from whatever voters didn't like, saying, “All of the statements that have been the subject of controversy are ones that I vehemently condemn.”38

  And yet in his autobiography, Dreams from My Father, Obama wrote admiringly of the first sermon he heard the Reverend Wright give, in which the pastor blamed “white folks’ greed” for “a world in need.” Obama said of this talk, “I felt the tears running
down my cheek.” Indeed, he was so moved by the “white folks’ greed” sermon, he joined the church immediately and even used the name of Wright's sermon, “The Audacity of Hope,” as the title of his second book.

  These were legitimate issues about the man running to be the most powerful person in the universe. But all liberals cared about was whether Republicans would run ads about Obama's crazy pastor. Thus, the New York Times earnestly reported on April 23, 2008, “Yet Mr. Obama also faces challenges ahead: According to Republican Party officials, party members in North Carolina … are considering running an advertisement against Mr. Obama that highlights his ties to controversial figures like his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. That ad could have the effect of adding a racially divisive element to that Southern state's primary.”39 The North Carolina Republican Party ad showed Obama's pastor Jeremiah Wright screaming one of his classics: “God damn America!” The ad noted that two North Carolina Democrats had endorsed Obama for president and concluded, “Too extreme for North Carolina.”

  Evidently it is not racially divisive to accuse the U.S. government of starting AIDS to kill blacks or to preach about “white man's greed” creating a “world in need.” It's only racist to quote a black man saying these things.

  Liberals were ecstatic about the ad: The Republican Attack Machine had shown its ugly true colors! America's only fifty-three-year-old woman trapped in a man's body to host his own TV show, Keith Olbermann, called the North Carolina ad a “Republican hit job,” a “Republican smear ad,” and a “virulent racist anti-Obama ad.”40 Which I guess it was, if “hit job” is defined as “giving voters relevant information about a Democrat.” The Reverend Wright matter wasn't a smear, it was a fact: Obama attended Wright's church for twenty years, listening to what the Times itself called “racist oratory.”41 If he didn't grasp the hatred in Wright's sermons, let's just hope he pays closer attention during national security briefings than he did during twenty years of the Reverend Wright's church services.

 
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