8. L. PAUL BREMER, former U.S. civilian protector in Baghdad: My Year in Iraq: The Struggle to Build a Future of Hope (January 2006)

  Bremer claims that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ignored his requests for more U.S. troops. A mistake, but historically perhaps not as big a mistake as Bremer's decision to formally dissolve the Iraqi army and exclude the Iraqis from being involved in governing their own country.

  9. DAVID KUO, former deputy assistant director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives: Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction (October 2006)

  Another book by another minor player, claiming to know the heart and soul of George Bush. Kuo's book tour featured photos of him sitting with George W. Bush on Air Force One, but Jim Towey, Kuo's former boss at the White House, explained that he had given his seat to Kuo that one time as a favor to Kuo before he left his job.42

  The main point of Kuo's book was to tell Christians to get out of politics. (It's a wonder he didn't work out at the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.) Kuo derisively called Bush the “pastor in chief and “George W. Jesus,” and complained that at the Bush White House “Christians are viewed as simply only another constituency group. They are the most important constituency group in the Republican Party right now, but that's it.”43 The most important constituency in the Republican Party? Sounds good to me! Why do we have to get out of politics? Why don't liberals get out of politics?

  10. GEORGE “SLAM DUNK” TENET, former CIA director: At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA (April 2007)

  Tenet's book weirdly confirms that the CIA had boatloads of intelligence indicating that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and might well have nuclear weapons, but complains that Bush was too eager to go to war with Iraq.

  According to Tenet, the intelligence showed that:

  The head of al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was operating a chemical and poison lab in northern Iraq from May 2002 to 2003.

  Al Qaeda planned a cyanide terrorist attack against the New York City subway system for the fall of 2003, but Ayman al-Zawahiri called it off because he wanted “something better.”

  “Baghdad has chemical and biological weapons,” the CIA had concluded by the fall of 2002.

  It was a “slam dunk” that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, as Tenet assured the president in December 2002.44

  Oh, and also—Osama bin Laden was implying that he had what he needed to build a nuclear bomb back in August 2001. So based exclusively on the intelligence Tenet revealed in his book, the only question is not why Bush wanted to attack Iraq but rather why Tenet did not.

  11. LAWRENCE B. LINDSEY, former economic adviser to Bush: What a President Should Know … But Most Learn Too Late (January 2008)

  Lindsey complained that the Bush administration wildly underestimated the cost of the Iraq War (the rebuilding of which went on longer than anyone—including Lindsey—expected), saying that Bush's giving “only a best-case scenario without preparing the public for some worse eventuality was the wrong strategy to follow.” We're still waiting for the book from an insider to the Lyndon B. Johnson administration noting that Johnson underestimated the cost of the War on Poverty by a kazil-lion dollars. What's our “exit strategy” for getting out of that quagmire?

  12. DAVID IGLESIAS, former U.S. attorney: In Justice: Inside the Scandal That Rocked the Bush Administration (May 2008)

  If it weren't for Joe Wilson's book, this would be the most moronic book mentioned here. Former U.S. attorney Iglesias wrote an entire book about the nonexistent “scandal” of the Bush administration firing some of its own employees, including Iglesias. With his book, Iglesias joined a long list of prosecutors going after Republicans: CBS, NBC, ABC Nightly News, 60 Minutes, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Nightline, CNN, NPR, the New York Times … Unfortunately for Iglesias, even the media couldn't keep pretending to care about this synthetic scandal long enough for him to write a book about it, and the book bombed. It should have been titled Useful Idiot.

  13. SCOTT MCCLELLAN, former White House press secretary: What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception (May 2008)

  In this book, McClellan's last gasp at making a living, the special-ed butterball called Bush a shallow thinker who has a “lack of inquis-itiveness,” engages in “self-deception,” and “convinces himself to believe what suits his needs at the moment.” Just as John Dean gave liberals what they wanted to hear about Nixon and Hiss, McClellan gave them what they wanted on Bush and cocaine.

  Once again making Bill O'reilly look like Mother Teresa, Keith Olbermann hailed McClellan's book, saying, “I think this is a primary document of American history. I'm very impressed with it and I think at some point, people will be teaching history classes based on it.” I think Olbermann might be right. American colleges now employ approximately 84 percent of the former leadership of the domestic terrorist group the Weather Underground, assign books that argue that Jews are responsible for slavery (The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews—Wellesley College), and offer courses on transgenderism, mailorder brides, whiteness, and adultery and one course at the University of Michigan that is titled “How to Be Gay.” Could McClellan's book be far behind?

  Perhaps it's not such a mystery why the Bush administration was so “secretive,” as it was called one billion times in the New York Times: Any Republican administration is chock-full of potential backstabbers, all of whom know that, at any time, if they turn on Republicans, they might start getting invited to cocktail parties. Name the Democrats who flipped and then saw their incomes skyrocket, their press turn adoring, or their movie roles increase. To the contrary, liberals who merely stop being liberal become pariahs.

  Republicans flip to cash in, with book deal after book deal. Whether or not the books ever sell, lickspittles turning on a Republican president will be embraced by the establishment media, if only briefly, like the prodigal son coming home. As far as the media are concerned, Republicans are either teacher's pet or prey.

  Faced with a lifetime of pummeling, frightened conservatives take the easy path to win the media's admiration: They peddle lies about fellow Republicans. And when the denounced Republicans respond to the lies, the airwaves erupt with dire warnings about the Republican Attack Machine.




  Projection being liberals’ number-one human trait, they insist that Republicans are judgmental hypocrites victimizing liberals. Who's victimizing whom?

  Immediately after John McCain picked Sarah Palin as his running mate in August 2008, the entire press corps was air-dropped into Alaska to dig up dirt on the governor and her family. Within a week Palin had been accused of faking her last pregnancy, cheating on her husband, firing the town librarian for her refusal to ban books, belonging to an extremist religion (“Christianity”), not knowing that the founding fathers didn't write the Pledge of Allegiance, and lying about opposing the bridge to nowhere—all false and all repeated to one degree or another in mass-media outlets. Palin's family was accused of a variety of iniquities: her Iraq-bound son was said to have been a juvenile delinquent, her husband charged with strong-arming the Alaska public safety commissioner, and her sister portrayed as a bitter divorcee. And, of course, Palin's eighteen-year-old daughter was cheerfully depicted as a trollop for being pregnant and unmarried—naturally, on the grounds that Republicans would say that about a Democrat in the same circumstance.

  At about the same time, both the brother and son of Barack Obama's running mate, Joe Biden, were accused by a former business partner of defrauding him out of millions of dollars. Two lawsuits were filed against them in June 2008. That was mentioned on page A-9 of the Washington Post in August.1 By Election Day, the New York Times still had not reported the lawsuit.

  Yet when Republican congresswoman Mary Fallin of Oklahoma raised the mainstream media's morbid interest in gossip
about the Palin family, MSNBC's Chris Matthews—a former Democratic operative— asked in that laid-back way of his, “Don't both parties hire opposition research people all the time? Of course they do. What's wrong with opposition research? … Are you saying that your campaign committee has never done opposition research? Are you saying the Republican Congressional Campaign—the national Republican Campaign Committee has never hired opposition research people? Is that what you're saying?”2

  One big difference is that Republican opposition research doesn't end up in the mainstream media—unless it is to be denounced as an “attack.” It also doesn't concern unsubstantiated allegations from ex-spouses’ divorce files released from sealed court records. Republican “opposition research” mostly consists of trying to publicize relevant information the press refuses to report, inasmuch as the entire American press corps works tirelessly to unearth the scandals of Republicans, while aggressively suppressing Democratic scandals. The only way scandalous information about a Democrat will ever see the light of day is if some enterprising Republican operative digs it up—which is why the press is forever fretting about “negative campaigning.” The media believe they should be the arbiters of what counts as a scandal.

  Without Republicans pushing it, for example, when were the mainstream media planning on telling us that Obama's pastor of twenty years was a racist anti-American lunatic who preached that the U.S. government invented AIDS to kill black people? When would they have told us that John Kerry lied about his service in Vietnam, that Al Gore called for abolishing the internal combustion engine in his best-selling book Earth in the Balance, or that Governor Clinton was a serial adulterer? When were they going to tell us about Gwen Ifill's book? Consider that those are just the stories that Republicans managed to push past the media embargo. What don't we know? Will they ever report that Palin's speech at the Republican National Convention was disrupted by a major Obama fundraiser?

  IN 2008, WHEN REPUBLICANS QUOTED MICHELLE OBAMA's CLASsic feel-good bromide “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I'm really proud of my country,” Barack Obama leapt to his finally proud wife's defense. “If [the Republicans] think that they're going to try to make Michelle an issue in this campaign,” he said, “they should be careful, because that I find unacceptable, the notion that you start attacking my wife or my family.”3

  In full-dress sanctimony, Obama acted as if an ad quoting a remark his wife made in a campaign speech was a personal attack on his family. “People have tried to make [Michelle] a target,” he said, announcing that he “would never consider making Cindy McCain a campaign issue, and if I saw people doing that, I would speak out against it.”4

  It was all very well for B. Hussein Obama to decry “attacks” on his wife and swear off attacks on his opponent's family members, but those were just empty words, much like his speeches. He could count on the Liberal Attack Machine to abuse his opponents and their families for him without his ever having to get his hands dirty. For liberals to call for an end to “negative attacks” is like a rapist coming out for gun control.

  CNN's Anderson Cooper responded to the Republican Party of Tennessee's Internet ad showing Michelle delivering her “proud” remark by saying the ad “ridicules her remarks by asking ordinary people why they are proud of their country.” First of all, if you can ridicule a Democrat simply by asking everyday Americans why they are proud of their country, I think that may say more about the Democrats than about the ad. Second, Cooper also disgustedly said the ad was “attacking Michelle Obama by mocking her.”5 Actually, the word is not “mocking”—it's “quoting.” The ad attacked Michelle by quoting her. “Mocking” will describe what I'm about to say about Bob Corker.

  Showing the raw manliness that makes one wonder how Republicans ever win any elections, Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee denounced the ad as “negative personal campaigning.”6

  We should have let Harold Ford beat that guy. It is neither “negative” nor “personal” to quote a presidential candidate's wife in full, in context, from a speech she gave in the course of campaigning for her husband in front of a large audience, a speech she knew was being recorded, during which she made remarks that a reasonable person would describe as unpatriotic. In fact, it's urgent in the case of the Democrats, 18 million of whom apparently believe that being first lady is a major qualification to be president. Again, by way of example: A “negative personal” attack would be me describing Senator Bob Corker as a swishy, mealymouthed, gutless, sitting-down-while-urinating, spineless girly-girl who only denounced the ad because he was having really bad menstrual cramps.

  Corker's chief of staff, Todd Womack, told the Tennessean that “Republicans will be in much better shape if we spend our time focused on issues like reducing federal spending, lowering the cost of health care and creating a coherent energy policy.”7 And the Republicans would be in terrific shape if they could get some men as spokesmen. If quoting what a candidate's wife says while campaigning for him is out of bounds, there's not much Republicans can say. How about “the issues” everyone is always champing at the bit to discuss? Let's take the ones Corker's chief of staff suggested as bang-up topics for the Republicans:

  Reducing federal spending—

  Republicans: FOR

  Democrats: FOR

  Lowering the cost of health care—

  Republicans: FOR

  Democrats: FOR

  Creating a coherent energy policy—

  Republicans: FOR

  Democrats: FOR

  When Sarah Palin's daughter came under attack soon after Palin was chosen as McCain's vice presidential choice, Obama again magnanimously announced, “I think people's families are off-limits and people's children are especially off-limits.”8 Of course, his media surrogates continued the attacks on Palin's family full bore.

  Moreover, if Obama didn't approve of attacks on his opponents’ families, that would have been a first for him. The only reason he was in a position to run for president in the first place was that the Media Attack Machine ripped open the sealed court divorce records of his two principal opponents in his Senate race from Illinois—first in the primary and then in the general election. Why did no one know that during the 2008 presidential campaign? The fact that Obama won his Senate seat by rifling through the divorce records of his opponents is surely at least as important as the fact that Palin's teenaged daughter got pregnant out of wedlock.

  One month before the 2004 Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate, Obama was down in the polls, about to lose to Blair Hull, a multimillionaire securities trader. But then the Chicago Tribune dropped the fact that Hull's second ex-wife, Brenda Sexton, had sought an order of protection against him during their 1998 divorce proceedings—referring to records that were under seal. With the media flogging the story, demands that Hull unseal his divorce records for the media's enjoyment soon reached a fever pitch. “It's not a ‘personal matter,’ ” the Tribune's Eric Zorn wrote, “when questions about the circumstances behind a request for an order of protection hang over the head of a man who is at or near the top of the polls in the race for his party's nomination for the U.S. Senate.” (On the other hand, it apparently is still a personal matter when a U.S. president has sex with an intern in the Oval Office and then commits several felonies to cover it up.)

  There were strong suggestions that the Obama campaign had tipped off the Chicago Tribune to his opponents’ divorce files, especially because Obama's campaign manager, David Axelrod, had worked at the Tribune for five years, including as its lead political reporter. The New York Times reported that “the Tribune reporter who wrote the original piece later acknowledged in print that the Obama camp had ‘worked aggressively behind the scenes’ to push the story.” Some had suggested, the Times intriguingly wrote, that Axelrod had “an even more significant role—that he leaked the initial story.”9 It's an interesting philosophical question, but the problem is, it's virtually impossible to distinguish between the media and the Obama cam
paign—or the campaign of any liberal Democrat.

  The media hubbub about Hull's sealed divorce records was so great that Hull and his ex-wife Sexton eventually relented and allowed their sealed divorce records to be unsealed—eighteen days before the primary. By then, both Hull and Sexton had admitted to every embarrassing detail in the divorce records, including a physical altercation during their divorce. Sexton had declined to press charges and the police dropped the matter, having determined that it was a matter of “mutual combat.” Both parties said it was a private matter and had nothing to do with Hull's campaign, which Sexton supported.

  But the press coverage was relentless. The Chicago chapter of the National Organization for Women denounced Hull. His first ex-wife, his daughters, and Sexton's nanny held a press conference to say Hull had never been violent. Less than two weeks before the primary, Hull was forced to spend four minutes of a debate again detailing the abuse allegation in his divorce files, explaining that Sexton “kicked me in the leg and I hit her shin to try to get her to not continue to kick me.”10

  After having held a substantial lead just a month before the primary, Hull's campaign collapsed with the nonstop chatter about his divorce. Obama sailed to the front of the pack and won the primary. Hull finished third with 10 percent of the vote.

  Luckily for Obama, his opponent in the general election had also been divorced! Jack Ryan, Obama's Republican challenger for the Senate, was a dazzling candidate. In addition to actually having the stunning good looks that the media unaccountably ascribe to Obama, Ryan had a résumé that was so impressive it was almost comical. He grew up in a large Catholic family, went to Dartmouth, Harvard Law School, and Harvard Business School, made hundreds of millions of dollars as a partner at Goldman Sachs, and then, in his early forties, left investment banking to teach at an inner-city Catholic school on the South Side of Chicago. Many thought he was a shoo-in even in liberal Illinois: Recall that Ryan and Obama were running for a seat that was being vacated by a Republican, Peter Fitzgerald.

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