In 2004, Vanity Fair gushed about single mother Angelina Jolie, “Splashed all over the tabloids as the temptress who came between Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, Angelina Jolie sounds more like a stressed-out single parent than a screen siren.”136 People magazine quoted single mother Jolie saying, responsibly, “that she engages in ‘adult relationships’ with ‘men who were already very close friends of mine,’ lasting a few hours and promising no commitment. ‘I can feel like a woman,’ said Jolie, 28, ‘but it's not a relationship that interferes with my family.’ She stresses it's not casual. ‘I've never had a one-night stand in my life— these are people I know very well.’ ”137 How Angelina Jolie manages to lure men into brief, no-strings-attached sexual encounters is anybody's guess.
Meg Ryan was described in People as “raunchy in a new film— but keeps life as a single mom low-key.” The magazine reported that she was dating another single parent, little-known actor William Keane—who shared custody of a daughter with an ex-girlfriend.138
After a single mother from the ghetto, Fantasia Monique Barrino, became the 2004 American Idol winner, she released her debut album, including the song “Baby Mama.” For unknown reasons, some narrow-minded people thought the song celebrated single motherhood—solely because it includes lines like “nowadays it's like a badge of honor to be a baby mama” and “B-A-B-Y M-A-M-A. This goes out to all my baby mamas!” So everything will work out fine in the end for single mothers, provided they become American Idol winners.
A child has no control over whether his parents are married, but society can create incentives that will dramatically increase the odds of children having married parents. So why all the reverence for “single mothers” but not for married men and women raising their kids in the traditional way? Parents who had shotgun marriages, or who relinquished illegitimate children to adoptive parents, or who stuck it out through tough times for the sake of their children—these are the ones who should be venerated, not somebody's “baby mama.”
RAGE AGAINST OUR MACHINE
After global warming, the Republican Attack Machine is the imaginary phenomenon that scares liberals the most. The mainstream media are always bristling with warnings about Republican smear campaigns, with reporters fretting about “what the Republicans are going to do.” During a one-year period from June 2007 to June 2008, there were more than 700 documents on Nexis referring to the “Republican Attack Machine.” For that same period, Nexis produces only 16 documents using either the phrase “Democratic Attack Machine” or “Democrat Attack Machine.”
What liberals mean when they complain about “attacks” is simply that it is unfair to point out the things the Democrats believe. Republicans telling the truth about them is dirty pool. There they go, calling our name again! Naturally, the Republicans’ damnable habit of talking candidly about the Democrats is enraging to people who are constantly working on perfecting their fake-American costumes. They believe it is unsporting for Republicans not to blindly accept their lofty rhetoric about “hope” and “change.”
The rare appearance of the phrase “Democratic Attack Machine” in the media mostly comes from conservative columnists pointing out: Hey, there's a Democratic Attack Machine too! That is absurd. There is only one attack machine and that is the mainstream media. The media don't recognize what they're doing as attacks because their beliefs are axiomatic, the default position, what all “knowledgeable and fair-minded people”1 believe.
Both the Republican and Democratic Parties are penny-ante compared with the liberal media behemoth, which has been utterly unmoved by the smashing success of fair and balanced Fox News Channel. Mass mailings and “robo-calls” by political parties are like mosquitoes buzzing around the King Kong of the mass media as it stomps on cars and buses and terrifies Japanese extras. The only difference between the attack machines of the political parties is that the media will pick up and repeat the attacks produced by the Democrats but will vilify any attacks launched by Republicans.
Indeed, the media and the Democratic Party synchronize their work so closely, it's often impossible to tell them apart. Who's to say where a Clinton flack ends and This Week with George Stephanopoulos begins? But as Bill and Hillary Clinton found out during the 2008 Democratic primaries, it's the media that call the shots for the Left in America, not the Democrats. Without the mainstream media 100 percent behind the Clintons, suddenly Bill wasn't so sexy and Hillary wasn't so smart.
Liberals have nothing but admiration for criminal defense lawyers who lie remorselessly on behalf of child murderers, self-righteously informing us that this is “part of the process.” Without these “Twinkie defense” champions, liberals tell us, our adversarial system of justice would collapse. They boast “someone's got to do it,” as if they were Marines going into battle. (For any liberals reading, a U.S. Marine is … oh, never mind. It would take too long to explain.) But an adversarial system in politics drives liberals to distraction. It's one thing to vigorously defend a child molester, another thing entirely to vigorously defend a Republican. Giving two sides of the story in a child kidnapping case is part of the process; giving two sides of the story in a political race is a dirty trick of the Republican Attack Machine.
IN LIBERALS’ IMAGINARY WORLD, LONE BLOGGER MICHAEL Brodkorb is more powerful than the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and the entire liberal blogosphere. As a hobby, Brodkorb started a blog called “Minnesota Democrats Exposed.” In short order, he was uncovering stories the mainstream media somehow missed. In 2008, Brodkorb discovered that Democratic Senate candidate Al Franken owed about $70,000 in back taxes and had a $25,000 judgment against his corporation in New York for unpaid workers’ compensation insurance. Franken's spokesman responded to these allegations by denouncing Brodkorb as “the right-wing noise machine.”
In an Associated Press article about Brodkorb's repeatedly breaking news that the mainstream media had failed to uncover, the AP delusion-ally asserted that Brodkorb “has no real counterweight on the left.”2 No real counterweight? How about the Associated Press? The AP managed to file a decent report on Brodkorb. Why couldn't it report on Franken— not a conservative blogger, but a candidate for the U.S. Senate?
The Democratic base, not being particularly bright to begin with, has been infected with an almost paralyzing fear of Republicans. After Barack Obama sealed the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, Bill Kownacki fired off an indignant letter to The Oregonian, huffing, “I don't know how they'll do it, but somehow Republicans are going to attack Barack Obama both for [supposedly] being a Muslim and for attending a Christian church with an outspoken pastor for 20 years. The real challenge: Can they do it in the same sentence?”3 Republicans were being attacked for things they hadn't done, but they're the ones with an “attack machine.”
Throughout the Thirty-Years’-War Democratic primary campaign, circa 2007–2008, all Democratic arguments were pitched in terms of the nonexistent, but still very frightening, Republican Attack Machine. Democrats accused one another of adopting Republican smear tactics, they bleated about being victims of imaginary Republican attacks, and, most impressively, they raised the specter of the Republican Attack Machine as a stalking horse to launch attacks on one another. Really, I have no problem with Obama being a Muslim—but wait until Republicans get ahold of it! It was a twofer for liberals: Attack your opponent and smear Republicans at the same time. Republicans could only watch in perplexity, thinking, Wait a minute! We didn't say anything!
This isn't normal politicking—unless you are a catty twelve-year-old girl. The Republicans held primaries in 2008, too, but they attacked one another's policies, records, and character. They didn't say, Wait until the Democrats hear about this! Indeed, judging by the candidate they chose, the Republicans appeared to be unaware of the existence of an opposing party. Even the smarmiest of Republican candidates never resorted to such a backhanded slime. When Mike Huckabee wanted to
The innovation of Democrats was to say, while putting the knife in a fellow Democrat, Isn't it better to hear it from me than from the right-wing hate machine? Hey, don't blame me—I'm just giving you the printable version of what Republicans are going to say. In a column on Reverend Jeremiah Wright—with long excerpts from his sermons—Clinton flack Lanny Davis wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “One thing is for sure: If Mr. Obama doesn't show a willingness to try to answer all the questions now, John McCain and the Republican attack machine will not waste a minute pressuring him to do so if he is the Democratic Party's choice in the fall.”
Ah, the notorious Republican Attack Machine!
Jamie Rubin, assistant secretary of screwing up national security— oops, I mean “of state”—under Clinton, warned that “the Republicans are going to fight very, very hard and they're going to start looking to Senator Obama's record on a number of issues that really haven't gotten much attention so far.”4 In other words, Republicans were going to campaign.
Former Clinton White House assistant deputy fellatio apologist Ann Lewis defended Hillary's attacks on Obama by warning that “in the fall election the Republicans are going to come after us with everything they've got.”5 As usual, Lewis was about a mile and a half off the mark. If only McCain had come at Obama with everything he had! Or even with everything I had. Hillary supporter Lisa Caputo explained that Hillary was talking about Obama's racist loon pastor, Jeremiah Wright, because “these are the kind of attacks that the Republicans are going to throw at Senator Obama.”6 Well, thanks for the heads-up!
Was the issue why Obama had sat through a deranged segregationist reverend's sermons for twenty years? No, of course not, you stupid racist. “The issue is,” as Clinton hatchet man Harold Ickes said of Obama's Rev. Wright problem, “what Republicans [will do] … I think they're going to give him a very tough time.”7 It's not a question of what Sirhan Sirhan did. That's beside the point. It's what Sirhan Sirhan's critics are going to do with it that concerns us.
Warning of what Republicans would do with the Reverend Wright, an unnamed Clinton ally told the New York Times, “The Republicans made John Kerry look like a coward in 2004,” and quoting Wright “wouldn't even look like ‘Swift-boating.’ ”8 For something called the “Republican Attack Machine,” it sure seems to get used by a lot of Democrats. These are the lionhearted warriors who plan to lead us through the terror war? (I only raise the point of their collective, pants-wetting cowardice now because, if I don't, you can bet al Qaeda will!)
Clinton's New Hampshire campaign cochairman William Shaheen injected the idea that Obama had been a drug dealer into the race by raising What-the-Republicans-Will-Do: “The Republicans are not going to give up without a fight … and one of the things they're certainly going to jump on is his drug use.” Shaheen continued, “It'll be, ‘When was the last time? Did you ever give drugs to anyone? Did you sell them to anyone?’ ” Of course, Shaheen himself had no problem with Obama's being a major stoner, but there were “so many openings for Republican dirty tricks.” America still awaits the first Republican to criticize Obama for his admitted drug use. Maybe their attack machine is in the shop or something.
In point of fact, the historical record shows that attacks on a politician for his marijuana use will come from the mainstream media—not the apocryphal Republican Attack Machine. In 1987, writing about the prior drug use of Reagan Supreme Court nominee Douglas Ginsburg, New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis said, “How could a President who talks about the need for law and order pick as a Supreme Court nominee someone who illegally used marijuana when he was a law professor?”9 Yes, and how much more embarrassing would it be if it were the president himself who had smoked weed? Apparently, not so much if the pothead is a Democrat.
Anthony “Reefer Madness” Lewis continued, “There is no way of escaping the fact that having on the Supreme Court someone who had violated the drug laws as an adult would be embarrassing or worse.” Or worse! Granted, Lewis knows from “embarrassing or worse,” judging from his columns. He also hooted at Reagan's claim that Ginsburg's pot-smoking was a youthful indiscretion.
What is the cut-off point for “youthful indiscretions”? Ginsburg was thirty-three when he smoked pot. Bill Clinton was thirty-two when Juanita Broaddrick says he raped her. Michelle Obama was forty-four when she said America is a “downright mean” country.10 And B. Hussein Obama was twenty-six to forty-six years old during the twenty years he was an enthusiastic member of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright's congregation.
The Times was forced to editorialize repeatedly about Ginsburg's “marijuana matter,” in order to get the balance just right between self-righteous indignation about Ginsburg on one hand and condescending contempt for antipot Puritans on the other. For a few awkward moments it almost seemed as if the Times was opposed to the use of illegal drugs. In a single bipolar editorial, the Times complained that “public pieties haven't kept up with the change of attitude” toward pot, while also huffily announcing that Ginsburg's case was “not just a marijuana disclosure but one that involved a conservative President who talks militantly against drugs and for law and order.”11 No, that wasn't a typo: The Times thinks it's possible to be “militantly” against crime.
Not only was the only marijuana scandal in U.S. history a creation of the media against a Republican, but the media made absolutely clear, ab initio, that they would not hold Democrats to the same standard they hold Republicans to. As if anticipating Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and Obama, an op-ed in the Washington Post concluded, “A Democratic president could successfully name a former marijuana smoker to the court—indeed, a Democratic president could be a former marijuana smoker. But not a Republican president.”12 And to think some people say the media have a double standard! Sure enough, just five years later, the only protests about Clinton's admitted marijuana use were over his claim not to have inhaled.13
So Obama had nothing to fear about his admitted drug use, least of all from Republicans. The media wanted to screw him, but only in the sense that they literally wanted to have sex with him.
It wasn't just Clinton flacks neurotically fretting about the Republican Attack Machine. No one in the establishment media had the slightest interest in the facts about Obama that might be an issue for the voters. Obama's being ranked the most liberal member of the Senate, his attack on Americans who “cling” to God and guns, his spiritual mentor being a deranged racist, his associations with felons and domestic terrorists— none of these facts bothered the media any more than they bothered the Clinton campagin. Again, the only question was whether it might occur to the Republicans to mention any of it in the general election.
On MSNBC, Dan Abrams warned, “If Obama becomes the Democratic nominee, Republicans are going to attack him as too liberal.”14 (Even that bold, out-of-nowhere prediction wasn't enough to save Abrams his anchor job.) On CNN, Jeffrey Toobin raised the fact that Obama “was one of the most liberal members of the Illinois state senate” and “if Hillary Clinton doesn't say it, you can bet the Republicans are going to say it in the fall.”15 What else were they supposed to talk about? His big ears?
In an article titled “Insults Hit a New Low,” the Times of London reported that McCain, “unprompted,” had mentioned Obama's association with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers. “It was a clear sign,” the article continued, “of how Republicans are going to attack the Illinois senator if he becomes the nominee.”16 Yes, indeed. The Republicans were prepared to stoop to out-and-out truth-telling! The Washington Post quoted a Clinton supporter saying, “The general election is not going to be like these primaries. The Republicans are going to really attack.”17
Writing about a Democra
LIBERALS’ HYSTERICAL OBSESSION WITH THE “REPUBLICAN Attack Machine” turns Democratic primaries into a contest of: “Who's the Biggest Pussy?” Although I would have voted for “All of Them,” inasmuch as none of the Democrats could face questions from Fox News's Brit Hume, the winner turned out to be Obama. Hillary claimed to be a victim of the Republicans, while Obama claimed to be a victim of Republicans, Hillary, and racists.
To make her case that she was the best candidate, Hillary said she was the biggest victim of Republicans. She got a round of applause during the South Carolina Democratic Debate, in January 2008, by saying, “If it is indeed the classic Republican campaign, I've been there. I've done that. They've been after me for sixteen years, and much to their dismay I am still here.” Brave Hillary!