You have to hand it to President Obama and his cabal of re-election strategists; they are masters of illusion. Their newly released Web video and its accompanying campaign slogan, "Forward," are science fiction-level fantastical.
We're all familiar with Obama's penchant for deflecting responsibility and blaming his policy failures on George W. Bush, but after more than three years in office for Obama, it has gone from childish mischief to juvenile delinquency. This is a question for Guinness: Has any other president run for re-election against the record of his retired predecessor?
A brief but telling episode from As The MSM Mask Slips . . .
On her MSNBC show this afternoon, chatting with chum and fellow Obama fan Tom Daschle about the anniversary of the killing of OBL, Andrea Mitchell said: "What do you think of the Republican criticism that we are politicizing it, that the White House, I should say, is politicizing it"? View the video after the jump.
In his "The Fix" blog yesterday, Washington Post political reporter Chris Cillizza uncritically furthered a faulty Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) that argues that President Obama has actually received more negative news coverage this political season than the Republican presidential primary contenders. This morning, Post print edition editors excerpted Cillizza's item on page A4, the "Campaign 2012" news page.
While Cillizza noted in his blog post that there are "mitigating factors" in the survey data -- that langauge was cut from the print edition excerpt -- he confidently asserted that "for all the chatter about Obama’s preferential treatment by the media, the data tells a very different story. And the data doesn’t lie." But as my colleague Rich Noyes explained on Monday, the data examined by the study are fundamentally flawed and hence worthless to arrive at a conclusion about the media's judgments of the candidates (emphases mine):
For many, the term "sheriff" conjures up images of the Old West. A few may consider a sheriff to have some form of outdated and obsolete political office. But for me and countless other patriots across our nation, a sheriff is the epitome of good and necessary county law enforcement.
As documented on the Durham County, N.C., website, the position of sheriff originated in England more than 1,000 years ago, known then as a shire-reeve, who was "the steward of the King's estates, guardian of the peace, judge and jury of the Shire County (county court) and was the local agent of the King in military affairs. The King also appointed him as the Chief Police Magistrate."
In the 2008 campaign, "[t]he media were awestruck, embarrassingly so," over Barack Obama and failed to vet him thoroughly, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell noted on last night's edition of Hannity. "In the primaries in 2008, we counted 29 different times when the networks either called him a rising star, an emerging star, a rock star, or a superstar. Twenty-nine different times," but they never, of course, affixed such a label to his GOP opponent John McCain.
Shortly after that, Hannity played a montage of liberal journalists gushing over President Obama -- treating him like awestruck groupies -- since he's taken office. "This is embarrassing, this is journalism today," Bozell, the founder of the Media Research Center observed. [MP3 audio here; watch the full segment below the page break]
President Obama's ham-handed, laissez faire handling of his signature legislative achievement, ObamaCare, "cost Obama a lot of credibility as a leader," argued retiring one-term Sen. James Webb (D-Va.). Webb.
"If you were going to do something of this magnitude, you have to do it with some clarity, with a clear set of objectives from the White House," reporter Karen Tumulty quoted Webb, noting he made his comments Wednesday at "a breakfast organized by Bloomberg News." Webb held out ObamaCare as a key reason why the president may ultimately be unable to keep Virginia in the Democratic win column in the 2012 presidential race. But alas, Tumulty's reporting was consigned to six paragraphs and printed on page A4 in the Election 2012 digest.
The Telegraph (UK) notes that President Obama made an "uncharacteristic" gaffe the other day by calling the Falklands Islands -- known as the Malvinas in Argentina -- the "Maldives." And it did so by pointing out ... that George W. Bush was more prone to such blunders, "Barack Obama made an uncharacteristic error, more akin to those of his predecessor George W. Bush, by referring to the Falkland Islands as the Maldives."
While President George W. Bush certainly made his fair share of gaffes, one can certainly wonder if the former chief exec was indeed more apt to make such errors, or whether it was the media -- in this case the foreign press -- that highlighted them more often than it does those of our current president.
Any doubt that Mitt Romney would win the Republican presidential nomination vanished when Rick Santorum left the race. It also marked the end of Romney's time as the defining figure in the overall contest for the White House.
The GOP nomination process was seen by many as a competition between Romney and an entertaining cast of I'm Not Mitt Romney challengers. Questions were raised about Romney's perceived weaknesses and whether he could win over the hearts and votes of conservatives. But now President Obama moves to center stage and becomes the defining figure of the general election campaign. Now it's about Obama, not Romney, as the election becomes primarily a referendum on his first term in office.
In a fast-changing world, a common mistake is to keep fighting the last war.
For example, why would Republicans support sending more troops to Afghanistan, when that war was long over, or helping topple Moammar Gadhafi, who had become an ally in the war on terrorism? Some Republicans seem to support all military deployments just out of habit.
A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that 2/3rds of Americans want at least a part of the ObamaCare overhaul tossed by the Supreme Court when it decides HHS v. Florida in June. Thirty-eight percent of respondents in the poll want the entire law thrown out while 29 percent say just a part of it being thrown out would suffice.
Yet rather than lead with these numbers in their story today, Washington Post reporters Robert Barnes and Scott Clement chose a question from the April 5-8 poll that shows 50 percent of Americans think the Court "will rule on the health-care reform case mainly on the basis... of their partisan political views."
"Gas prices are soaring again in 2012, yet the auto industry is booming, and drivers, while annoyed, are mostly taking rising fuel costs in stride. What’s changed?" Time magazine's Brad Tuttle asked in an April 10 TIME Moneyland blog post. Tuttle offered numerous explanations but failed to consider the media's coverage as one explanation for why Americans seem to not be seething angry about high gas prices.
As our colleague Julia Seymour of the Media Research Center's Business & Media Institute noted earlier this month (emphasis mine):
Can anyone think of an innocuous reason that President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder oppose state voter ID laws?
Obama and Holder appear to view almost everything through the prism of race or, at the very least, use race as an excuse to justify otherwise very dubious policies, from immigration enforcement to voter intimidation actions to strong-arming banks to make loans via allegations of racism.
The fact that CNN's senior legal analyst squared off against a conservative legal scholar should be telling for the network's liberal bias. On Thursday night's Anderson Cooper 360, CNN's Jeffrey Toobin was confronted by Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice over his defense of President Obama's comments on a pending Supreme Court case.
"Jeff, do you know another President of the United States during a case that was argued and pending that made a statement about how the outcome of the case can be and talking about unelected judges?" Sekulow grilled Toobin. "And calling someone that would strike the law as unconstitutional 'judicial activist'?" [Video below the break. Audio here.]
The reason tea partiers carried signs saying "Read the Constitution!" was that we were hoping people would read the Constitution.
Alas, we still have Rick Santorum saying Obamacare is the same as what he calls "Romneycare"; the otherwise brilliant Mickey Kaus sniffing that if states can mandate insurance purchases, then we're "not talking about some basic individual liberty to not purchase stuff" (no, just the nation's founding document, which protects "basic individual liberties" by putting constraints on Congress); and the former law professor, Barack Obama, alleging that a "good example" of judicial activism would be the Supreme Court (in his words, "a group of people") overturning "a duly constituted and passed law."
Liberal pundits, journalists, and yes, the president of the United States seem to be in a full-blown panic about the prospects of ObamaCare going down in flames when the Supreme Court rules on HHS v. Florida in two months. Doing so would be the sort of judicial activism that conservatives decry, President Obama complained ludicrously earlier this week.
But have no fear, liberals, for law professor and Daily Beast/Newsweek contributor David R. Dow -- who previously wrote a book defending judicial activism -- has your solution. The Yale-educated lawyer suggests that President Obama's congressional defenders could try something last attempted in 1805: the politically-motivated impeachment of a U.S. Supreme Court justice. Here's how Dow opened his April 3 Daily Beast post:
In his excellent daily Web news summary, "The Transom," Ben Domenech says that President Obama's speech at the Portland Museum of Art on Saturday "is likely to be Obama's campaign speech from here on out." He's probably correct, so let's take a look, with an eye to whether it's likely to work.
Obama's template is nothing new. He first repeats his claim as to the catastrophic conditions he inherited from President Bush. "It's hard to remember sometimes how perilous things were when I was sworn in."
Though I have concern that every American citizen has affordable health care, too, I have grave concerns about the opinion that the federal government holds the true solution.
History shows that whenever government oversees personal welfare (such as with Medicare, Medicaid, welfare and Social Security), the program is inept, broken, intrusive, impersonalized, oppressive or often bankrupt.
"President Obama used conservative arguments against judicial activism to urge justices to uphold the law," a teaser headline on the bottom of today's Washington Post front page notes, directing readers to page A4 for the story by staffer David Nakamura.
Nakamura dutifully opened his story noting that Obama said in a Rose Garden press conference yesterday that if the Court overturns ObamaCare in the HHS v. Florida case, that it would "amount to an 'unprecedented, extraordinary step' of judicial activism." Yet nowhere in the 18-paragraph story did Nakamura lay out exactly how Obama's argument was conservative in nature nor did he cite a single conservative constitutional or legal expert to agree with Obama.
On today's edition of MSNBC's Now with Alex Wagner, ObamaCare apologist and Rahm Emanuel sibling Zeke Emanuel insisted that the lack of a "severability clause" in the health care overhaul legislation was simply an "oversight, not an intention." Neither host Alex Wagner nor any panelist interjected to correct the record.
In fact, severability was not inserted into the ObamaCare legislation as part of a legislative strategy by the Democrats who shepherded it through Congress. Boston Globe's Noah Bierman explained as much in the March 29 paper (emphases mine):
With the two-year anniversary of the law's signing and this week's marathon set of hearings before the Supreme Court about ObamaCare, it's a good time to examine just another area where the media have failed to report on a little-reported liberty-infringing aspect of the health care overhaul.
No, I'm not talking about not the individual mandate. I'm talking about a provision that forbids the formation of new physician-owned hospitals (POHs) and severely restricts the expansion of existing ones.
CNN's own legal analyst described Wednesday morning's Supreme Court hearing on ObamaCare as a "trainwreck" for the Obama administration and added "it may also be a plane wreck" – but prime-time hosts Anderson Cooper and Piers Morgan made only one brief mention between them of the bill's rough morning in court, during Wednesday night's prime-time coverage.
In fact, during Tuesday and Wednesday night's newscasts, Morgan and Cooper made only two brief mentions of the hearings -- while the rest of CNN's afternoon coverage on those days heavily discussed the Court's hearings on ObamaCare.
Did CNN's Jeffrey Toobin just hint at his liberal bias? Toobin told Politico "I'm not exactly famous for my hatred of the Obama administration," and added that "If you're [sic] read my books, you know – I don't have a primetime spot on Fox News."
CNN's senior legal analyst had made headlines for his dire analysis of ObamaCare's chances in the Supreme Court on Tuesday. He was explaining to Politico's Dylan Byers that his criticism of the Obama administration's defense of the bill was probably all the more noteworthy because he himself is not a big critic of Obama.
Apparently, Soledad O'Brien's idea of a balanced discussion is three-to-one Democratic majority. Three out of the four guests she hosted on Wednesday's Starting Point to discuss the ObamaCare hearings were Democrats, and the CNN host did not press them to defend the health care bill's constitutionality.
Her questions simply focused on the state of the legislation and the implications of the Supreme Court decision, teeing up the Democrats to defend the bill and downplay the chance that the individual mandate will be overturned.
Addressing a rally of conservatives at the March 27 Americans for Prosperity-sponsored "Hands Off My Health Care" rally in Washington, D.C., NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell opened his remarks by recounting a wise saying of his grandfather's.
"I tell you this, my grandfather taught his family that in life there were three things that were important: Your God, your family, and your country. I have a message for Mr. Obama: You're not God. You're not my mother. And leave my country alone!" the Media Research Center founder pronounced to cheers from the crowd.
You can watch the full 5-minute-long speech in the video embedded below the page break:
For the second day in a row, CNN appealed to emotion and aired the story of an innocent chid that made the case for ObamaCare. On Tuesday morning they featured a heartrending account of an epileptic three year-old girl who will soon reach her lifetime benefit limits on health insurance – if the Supreme Court strikes down ObamaCare.
CNN correspondent Elizabeth Cohen made the Court's decision as personal as possible, even though the Court is simply determining the constitutionality of the bill. "These nine Supreme Court justices will forever affect the life of 3-year-old Violet McManus," she gravely began. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
If there has ever been a case that could vindicate the Supreme Court as a guardian of liberty or incriminate it as freedom's thief, it is the court's present consideration of the Affordable Care Act.
At the founding of the republic, the Anti-Federalist opponents of the Constitution warned that to grant the power to declare laws unconstitutional to an unelected and life-tenured Supreme Court could subvert the democratic republic and threaten our liberties.
It was as predictable as the sun rising in the east, but today the Washington Post defended as constitutional ObamaCare's individual mandate. The mandate is defended by the administration as being legitimate under the Constitution's commerce clause, a defense the Post editorial board agreed with while conceding that the arguments against the mandate are "serious."
To justify the individual mandate via the commerce clause would fundamentally obliterate any limit on the federal power to regulate, but that doesn't seem to bother the Post in light of the government's "compelling goals of universal coverage and lower costs." But believe it or not, in the past the Post has hailed Court cases that drew limits on the commerce clause, even and especially when the political goals of the legislation invalidated was laudable. Indeed, after the 1995 case U.S. v. Lopez, which struck down a federal penalty on carrying guns near public schools, the Post cautioned Congress that "in the future, [it] will have to demonstrate some modesty in assessing the elasticity of federal power."
Taking the Constitution's limits on federal power seriously is just, well, backwards to liberal journalists. Take Ari Melber of The Nation. Sitting on the panel on the March 26 edition of Now with Alex Wagner, the MSNBC contributor dismissed as "retrograde" the notion that the ObamaCare individual mandate -- the provision forcing Americans to buy private health insurance or else pay a fine to the federal government -- violates the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
Melber, a former John Kerry presidential campaign staffer, made the remark in the midst of comments wherein he suggested the Obama administration could see a stunning victory before the high court, despite the conservative nature of the tribunal:
"It took the networks nine months before one of them made a mention of" the time that MSNBC anchor and left-wing radio host Ed Schultz slammed conservative radio talker Laura Ingraham as a "slut," and it was just "one story" compared to "46 [stories] in ten days" on the Limbaugh/Fluke controversy, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell noted on the March 23 Hannity.
The Media Research Center founder and president appeared as a guest on the "Language of the Left" special to unveil some numbers that the MRC had crunched contrasting the liberal media's obsession with Limbaugh with their silence on left-wing media personalities like Schultz and HBO's Bill Maher, who called former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin a c**t. The liberal comedian donated $1 million to an Obama Super PAC, and yet the media have been silent on the matter, failing to press the president on whether his Super PAC should give the money back. Watch the full Hannity segment in the video embed below.
"It's been two years" since ObamaCare was muscled through Congress and signed into law, and "more people than ever before" are opposed to it, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell noted on Saturday.
The Media Research Center founder was one of the speakers at the March 24 Tea Party-sponsored "Road to Repeal" rally. Today and the next two days, the U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments on questions pertaining to ObamaCare's constitutionality. You can watch Bozell's brief speech in the video embedded below the page break: