To borrow from the Bill Clinton mantra per James Carville in 1992 (“It’s the economy, stupid”), America’s increasing landslide of crises foreign and domestic comes from a very simple understanding of what’s at play: It’s the ideology, stupid.
The other night, Bill O’Reilly had an interesting segment that he titled: “Were the conservative radio talk show hosts correct?” To wax Carvillian, O’Reilly’s conclusion was that, well, yes, they were kinda sorta correct because: It’s the competence, stupid.
Meanwhile, over on Rush Limbaugh’s show (and there was a quick clip of Rush in the opener to O’Reilly’s segment along with Glenn Beck and Laura Ingraham) Rush has been pounding away since before Obama’s first “immaculation” (as Rush called it) in January of 2009. Specifically, Rush said this on his January 16, 2009 show:
RUSH: I got a request here from a major American print publication. "Dear Rush: For the Obama [Immaculate] Inauguration we are asking a handful of very prominent politicians, statesmen, scholars, businessmen, commentators, and economists to write 400 words on their hope for the Obama presidency. We would love to include you. If you could send us 400 words on your hope for the Obama presidency, we need it by Monday night, that would be ideal."
Now, we're caught in this trap again. The premise is, what is your "hope." My hope, and please understand me when I say this. I disagree fervently with the people on our side of the aisle who have caved and who say, "Well, I hope he succeeds. We've got to give him a chance." Why? They didn't give Bush a chance in 2000. Before he was inaugurated the search-and-destroy mission had begun. I'm not talking about search-and-destroy, but I've been listening to Barack Obama for a year-and-a-half. I know what his politics are. I know what his plans are, as he has stated them. I don't want them to succeed.
If I wanted Obama to succeed, I'd be happy the Republicans have laid down. And I would be encouraging Republicans to lay down and support him. Look, what he's talking about is the absorption of as much of the private sector by the US government as possible, from the banking business, to the mortgage industry, the automobile business, to health care. I do not want the government in charge of all of these things. I don't want this to work.
So I'm thinking of replying to the guy, "Okay, I'll send you a response, but I don't need 400 words, I need four: I hope he fails." (interruption) What are you laughing at? See, here's the point. Everybody thinks it's outrageous to say. Look, even my staff, "Oh, you can't do that." Why not? Why is it any different, what's new, what is unfair about my saying I hope liberalism fails?
Liberalism is our problem. Liberalism is what's gotten us dangerously close to the precipice here. Why do I want more of it? I don't care what the Drive-By story is. I would be honored if the Drive-By Media headlined me all day long: "Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails." Somebody's gotta say it.
So here we are. Six-and-a-half years later and the media is filled with stories about ObamaCare failures, failure in Benghazi, failure in Iraq, failure at the Veterans Administration, failure at the IRS. The Supreme Court says the President’s recess appointments at the NLRB aren’t legitimate. And oh by the way? Out there in gun control city - aka Chicago, the city run by ex-Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel - the murder rate soars.
What this suggests is that competency per se is not the problem - ideology is the problem. More to the point, it suggests - as Rush relentlessly points out - that ideology itself is about competence. Specifically, the ideology of liberalism is the poster child for incompetence.
Examples? How big is the Internet, anyway?
Social Security is headed to bankruptcy, ditto Medicare, respectively the ideological offspring of liberal presidential icons Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson. Fannie Mae, like Social Security a creation of FDR’s New Deal, was at the root of the nation’s financial crash in 2008.
Then there’s Civil Rights, a topic in the news lately with the 50th anniversary of passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The politically incorrect question, of course, is why did America need the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in the first place? The answer that liberals always strive to ignore is that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were needed because liberals spent a century after the Civil War using every aspect of government they could find to thwart the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution. The amendments respectively ended slavery, provided equal rights and voting rights to African-Americans.
Progressives spent the next century substituting government-recognized segregation for slavery and denying equal rights and voting rights to blacks. Progressive icon Woodrow Wilson famously segregated the federal government, his segregationist/progressive Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels segregating the Navy. This wasn’t just racist - all of these leftist schemes were a disaster for the country, postponing equality for all for a century and poisoning the American culture with riots, lynchings and more. This doesn’t even begin to touch liberal foreign policy disasters such as LBJ’s Vietnam, Jimmy Carter’s Iran and his dealings with the Soviets (that led to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan). Now comes the Obama disaster in Iraq.
What every one of these things have in common is that they were part and parcel of the liberalism of their day. Constantly confusing values - taking care of seniors, health care or whatever - with expanding government. And specifically, they had or have still massive support in the liberal media. In fact, take note of the term “liberal media”. No one says the “competency media.” The term is “liberal media” for a reason. That reason being that the people who run these media institutions in question are themselves about liberalism. Writing about it, televising it, broadcasting it, blogging it - and most importantly of all protecting it.
The liberal media is not in the business of pushing “competency.” They are in the business of pushing liberalism. Their protective shielding of President Obama has nothing to do with whether he is competent or incompetent. They protect him because he’s a progressive liberal., and each and every defense proceeds from there.
Think back to the difference in media treatment of Clarence Thomas and Bill Clinton. When Thomas was facing his Senate confirmation for a seat on the Supreme Court - the media was front and center supporting Anita Hill, headlining that “women tell the truth.” When President Clinton was accused by a veritable platoon of women of everything from dropping his pants (Paula Jones), to groping in the Oval Office (Kathleen Willey) to rape (Juanita Broaddrick) - hey, it was only about sex. No big deal. The reason for this 180 in the media’s views of sexual harassment had nothing to do with any issue of competency on the part of Thomas or Clinton. It had everything to do with ideology - Thomas a conservative, Clinton a liberal.
Take a spin through the very site on which you are reading this column, NewsBusters. Here’s a story about a recent appearance of Media Research Center president Brent Bozell on Megyn Kelly’s The Kelly File. Said Bozell:
“Look, here's the reality of Barack Obama. He is the most pampered president in the history of the United States in the eyes of the media. If it weren't for those reporters who are attacking him right now, Barack Obama wouldn't be president. There's in question about that.
But Megyn, we ran a couple of numbers for you tonight. And you're going to love this. This is a man who's complaining about the media coverage of these nonsense so-called scandals. Think about this. ABC, NBC, CBS, between their morning and their evening shows since June 1st, there has been 198 hours of news programming. There have been 17 minutes and 48 seconds of that devoted to the VA, 20 minutes of that devoted to the IRS.
To put that in perspective. Each one of those scandals has taken up exactly two-tenths of one percent of news time on the networks and the man is complaining.”
Here’s another written by Ken Shepherd. The very first paragraph reads:
“The evening newscasts of all three broadcast networks tonight reported on the unanimous decision in NLRB v. Noel Canning in which the U.S. Supreme Court found that President Obama overstepped his constitutional authority in making recess appointments when the U.S. Senate was technically in session. Rather than couching the ruling as a stunning rebuke of presidential overreach by Mr. Obama, however, coverage on CBS and NBC made it sound like an intrusion on presidential prerogative.”
Then there’s this story from Sean Long about the networks spinning the 2.9 per cent shrinkage in the US economy.
"What do these stories - each seemingly about the different subjects of media coverage of the VA, the IRS, the Supreme Court decision on the NLRB appointments and the weakness in the US economy - all have in common? They aren’t about the liberal media protecting President Obama because of his competency. They are about the common thread in each episode of liberal media reporting on very different subjects - very different subjects yet in the eyes of the liberal media the same subject: protecting liberal ideology. That’s what the liberal media is all about. Protecting liberal ideology - today, yesterday, tomorrow and forever."
In fact, Bill O’Reilly himself acknowledges this. As this NewsBusters story illustrates, O’Reilly in his typical blunt style has got the liberal media problem exactly right: it is, in fact, corruption. O’Reilly concluded another broadcast segment, this one on the issue of the liberal media, saying this:
“...corruption in the media is greatly harming this nation....There's no question the major national media in America is trying to protect President Obama....They know if they bury stories like the VA debacle, the IRS, Benghazi, Putin, whatever, that a negative perception about the Obama administration might not be formed....it is a shame that in a proud republic, in a vibrant democracy, the American press is so corrupt. It is a shame.”
Bingo. Exactly right. And the reason for that corruption, I would suggest, is tied as well to the issue of President Obama’s competence - which in turn springs from the incompetence of his left-wing ideology.
In the O’Reilly discussion the other evening, radio host and Fox star Monica Crowley started to venture into the role of liberal ideology and O’Reilly stopped her, dismissing what she was saying as opinion. As opposed to certifiable facts such as failure in this or that Obama-run episode, such as the VA scandals.
There is a reason President Obama’s 2008 promise that “I’ve pledged to build a 21st century VA as President” has turned out to be hollow - and it isn’t competency. The reason is that the VA itself is a top-down, government-run bureaucracy - the core of every liberal governmental promise. The reason Obama has failed to deliver on his VA promise isn’t simply because he’s not a competent manager - which is, sadly, repeatedly shown to be true. The reason Obama has failed to deliver “a 21st century VA” is precisely because the liberal idea at the core of the VA - a state run medical system - does not work. Which is to say, the liberal ideology when applied to the idea of health care for veterans is responsible for the failure.
Bringing us back to Rush Limbaugh. Let’s look again at what Rush said that day in January of 2009, four days before Mr. Obama became President Obama.
“….I’ve been listening to Barack Obama for a year-and-a-half. I know what his politics are. I know what his plans are, as he has stated them. I don't want them to succeed.
If I wanted Obama to succeed, I'd be happy the Republicans have laid down. And I would be encouraging Republicans to lay down and support him. Look, what he's talking about is the absorption of as much of the private sector by the US government as possible, from the banking business, to the mortgage industry, the automobile business, to health care. I do not want the government in charge of all of these things.”
The reason Rush says these things - and has spent a quarter of a century devoting shows to these issues - is that he does in fact understand that “it’s the ideology, stupid.”
Competency is an issue with the Obama administration because the far-left ideology it pursues in both domestic and foreign affairs is itself a genetically incompetent ideology. There is a reason, for example, that O’Reilly’s own Fox News is better run than the VA. There is a reason Apple is better run than the IRS. The reason Fox and Apple and any private sector institution is better run than the government - the State - is because of the competitive free market. If they aren’t well run - they go out of business. (Well, they go out of business unless they really aren’t free market enterprises but crony capitalist enterprises on government-run corporate welfare!) Going out of business isn’t fun, but it’s necessary. There is no such thing as utopia.
So Mr. O’Reilly’s question the other night asking “Were the conservative radio talk show hosts correct?” was right - as far as it went. President Obama isn’t competent. But Rush Limbaugh is decidedly right that the reason for all this incompetence is that liberalism itself isn’t a competent ideology. “I hope he fails, ” said Rush of soon-to-be President Obama all the way back in January of 2009, instantly getting headlines. And sure enough, Obama is failing. Why?
As Rush also said that day: “Liberalism is our problem. Liberalism is what's gotten us dangerously close to the precipice here.”