--Peter Wehner, Commentary
Liberalism is down in America today because it isn’t working--slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression, a stimulus law that went “pffft,” and that “wrecking ball” itself--Obamacare. Liberal troubles mirror those of Spring 2006, when after the Hurricane Katrina debacle, with an Iraqi civil war exploding during Bush 43’s failing presidency, and fueled by a relentlessly anti-war media, pundits predicted the Republican loss of Congress come Fall.
In 2006, liberals, including Alan Wolfe in the Washington Monthly, knew Republicans were unfit to rule. In an article titled, “Why Conservatives Can’t Govern,” Wolfe wrote:
Unable to shrink government but unwilling to improve it, conservatives attempt to split the difference, expanding government for political gain, but always in ways that validate their disregard for the very thing they are expanding. The end result is not just bigger government, but more incompetent government. . . . As a way of governing, conservatism is another name for disaster.Eight years later, conservative Jim Geraghty in a National Review article titled, “Why Liberals Can’t Govern,” has turned the tables, writing:
Liberals’ belief in the inherent goodness of a far-reaching federal government drives them to avert their eyes from its wildest abuses, even when they are occurring right in front of them. Waste and mismanagement are ignored, dismissed, downplayed, and excused, because confronting them too directly would undermine the central tenet of their worldview: that the federal government is an irreplaceable tool for making the world a better place.
Members of the Obama administration judge the federal bureaucracy the way they want the electorate to judge them: by their good intentions, not their actual results.Still, the very media that tipped the scales against Bush in 2006 remain committed to helping liberals in 2014--a big difference between the challenges facing Obama in 2014 and those Bush confronted eight years ago. In the face of bad progressive government, today’s media advance the liberal cause the same way they did in 2006.
Indeed in every election since they contributed to Democrat Jimmy Carter’s defeat in 1980, the media go after Republicans; successively Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, George W. Bush, Dick Chaney, Sarah Palin, John Boehner, the “Tea Party,” Mitt Romney, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie. As Kevin D. Williamson in the conservative National Review points out, its a wall-to-wall media effort, from comedians to wonks:
there is no substantive difference between what [Jon] Stewart does and what, e.g., Ezra Klein does because for the Left the point of journalism is not to criticize politics or to analyze politics but to be a servant of politics, to “destroy” such political targets as may be found in one’s crosshairs. For the Left, the maker of comedy and the maker of graphs perform the same function. It does not matter who does the “destroying,” so long as it gets done.Mike Hashimoto, in the Dallas News, surprises by telling the back story of what happens to reporters who stray from the “destroy conservatives” Job #1. He writes that Sharyl Attkisson, who “made a career of holding both sides of official Washington to account, announced with a five-word tweet that . . . ‘I have resigned from CBS.’”
Hashimoto quotes “Politico’s” Dylan Byers:
Attkisson, who has been with CBS News for two decades, had grown frustrated with what she saw as the network’s liberal bias. . . She increasingly felt like her work was no longer supported and that it was a struggle to get her reporting on air. . .
Attkisson’s own reporting on the Obama administration. . . had led network executives to doubt the impartiality of her reporting. She is currently at work on a book — tentatively titled Stonewalled: One Reporter’s Fight for Truth in Obama’s Washington — which addresses the challenges of reporting critically on the Obama administration.Hashimoto notes that Attkisson was one of the few Washington reporters to cover the “Operation Fast and Furious” story--the Obama Justice Department’s gun-walking fiasco, for which her reporting won both Edward R. Murrow and Emmy awards. But Attkisson also won an Emmy for her investigation into shady Republican fund-raising--in the end, not enough to keep her at reliably-liberal CBS.