Bozell Column: Here Comes The Mud
How long ago it seems now that Barack Obama was inaugurated, and the Great Uniter championed “hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics.…[T]he time has come to set aside childish things.”
It seems the president spoke prematurely.
With his approval ratings sinking, and Democratic prospects tanking, Obama began the fall campaign in Milwaukee with a petulant tone about his adversaries: "They talk about me like a dog. That's not in my prepared remarks, but it's true." Precisely which Republican was suggesting the president was a household pet? Who cares? He knew he wouldn’t be challenged. Perhaps he was tired and a little dyslexic, and was thinking about the media: “They talk about me like a god.”
The Great Uniter realizes – finally – that the nation has tired of his attacks on George Bush, so a new White House strategy has emerged. The next day, Obama was in Ohio, and attacked the potential next Speaker of the House, John Boehner, eight times in his remarks. He even claimed that since Boehner opposed an $800 billion “stimulus,” he was against firemen saving lives. “Mr. Boehner dismissed these jobs we saved – teaching our kids, patrolling our streets, rushing into burning buildings – as ‘government jobs,’ jobs I guess he thought just weren’t worth saving.” This can be dismissed as the usual worn-out liberal hyperbole – vote for “stimulus” or you oppose policemen and firemen and teachers – but when it comes from the alleged Great Uniter? No worries: the media are repeaters, not reporters.
What’s really alarming is how eagerly the “news” networks take Obama's liberal cues and start savaging the Republicans with even greater ferocity.
Rep. Boehner appeared on CBS's “Face the Nation” on September 12, and host Bob Schieffer started whacking him over the head about being a smoker, and being in cahoots with the tobacco industry. “I'm not objective about this. I'm a cancer survivor. I used to be a heavy smoker. Do you still smoke?” Boehner said yes.
Schieffer then announced that Boehner had taken $340,000 from the tobacco industry. “How do you square that with the fact that cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths in this country; 435,000 people -- their deaths are linked to cancer. That’s one in five. How do you justify that in your own mind?” When Boehner calmly said Americans have a right to smoke, or overeat, Schieffer scoffed: “Well, I mean, they have a right to shoot themselves if they choose to.”
This is not the way servile Schieffer greeted Obama in several Obama interviews on “Face the Nation.” He's never pressed Obama in a puritanical tone as to why our Chain-Smoker- in-Chief hasn’t kicked the habit. Instead, in their last face-to-face a year ago, Schieffer was feeling Obama's pain about “the sort of meanness that has settled over our political dialogue” and how “President Carter is now saying that he thinks it's racial. Nancy Pelosi says it could be dangerous. What do you think it's all about?”
Democrats in these last few weeks before Election Day know that the public remains enraged over ObamaCare and thinks the “stimulus” was an enormous boondoggle. So they’re slinging personal mud at an astonishing rate. In Nevada, wildly unpopular Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has a new ad with a state trooper charging that Republican Sharron Angle favors Nevada being “a safe haven for domestic abusers.” They say this because they know there is no accountability.
Instead, several anchors were attacking Newt Gingrich for insisting that Obama’s anti-American, that he’s channeling his Kenyan father’s opposition to American imperialism. CNN’s Anderson Cooper could have used a sedative as he began his piece thusly: “Newt Gingrich ignites an uproar, saying President Obama is essentially a Kenyan con man who tricked Americans into voting for him and his secret radical agenda. So, are GOP politicians rushing to condemn his remarks tonight? And is anything out of bounds these days?”
Well, yes. Apparently, saying Sharron Angle favors wife-abusers is “in bounds” with Cooper and his liberal colleagues, as is everything else a Democrat says.
In 1994, I said the Republicans were in for a vicious fall campaign, not just from their Democratic opponents, but from a very hostile media. Just as it seems that 2010 could turn out to be a bigger Republican tidal wave than 1994, it’s quite possible that the viciousness of the Obama-loving media will be even greater this year than it was against Gingrich & Co. Call it their very own Contract on Conservatives.