"’Vast’ — I love that word. I love being part of a ‘vast’ group that objects to fascism." Rush Limbaugh, September 28, 2009
I am a proud card-carrying, member of the “vast right-wing conspiracy.” The phrase is back with a vengeance. Whenever Democrats start losing the battle of ideas, it has to be because of a conspiracy. It can’t be because the ideas are old, worn and without substance. In the 24/7, talk radio, blogosphere media world, old and worn is just old and worn, which is why conservative talk radio is commercially viable and liberal talk radio isn’t.
Even the ombudsman of The New York Times had to admit they were off their mark in completely missing the Van Jones and ACORN stories. Public Editor Clark Hoyt almost hit the nail on the head when he said, “Some stories, lacking facts, never catch fire. But others do (like the Van Jones and ACORN stories), and a newspaper like The Times needs to be alert to them or wind up looking clueless or, worse, partisan itself."
News flash for Mr. Hoyt: the New York Times has been partisan since Fiorello LaGuardia was mayor. All this wringing of hands over the harsh language used against President Obama…where were they when President Bush was taken to the woodshed every day for 8 years. Are we implying that President Obama should be treated differently than President Bush? For that matter, President Clinton was taken to task for most of his presidency. I see the pattern: bashing Republicans, good; bashing Democrats, bad.
Bill Clinton had to get back into the fray this weekend. For the 5th Annual Clinton Global Initiative and Frat Party, Clinton sat down with the woefully inadequate replacement for Tim Russert on NBC’s Meet the Press, David Gregory. Since nobody cares about the Clinton Initiative, only about the Frat Party, Gregory had to go back in time and make a comparison about the Democrats’ health care policy going down the drain ala 1993 under the Clinton administration.
Gregory asked coyly, “Your wife famously talked about the vast right wing conspiracy targeting you. As you look at this opposition on the right to President Obama, is it still there?”
President Clinton answered, sans wagging finger, “Oh, you bet. Sure it is. It’s not as strong as it was, because America’s changed demographically, but it’s as virulent as it was. I mean, they’re saying things about him — you know, it’s like when they accused me of murder and all that stuff they did. He — but it’s not really good for the Republicans and the country, what’s going on now. I mean, they may be hurting President Obama. They can take his numbers down; they can run his opposition up. But fundamentally, he and his team have a positive agenda for America. Their agenda seems to be wanting him to fail, and that’s not a prescription for a good America. We actually need a credible debate about what’s the right balance between continuing to expand the economy through stimulus and beginning to move back to fiscal balance. We need a credible debate about what’s the best way to get to universal coverage.”
Hold on, Hoss, what’s your definition of a credible debate? Sen. Max Baucus telling Sen. Jon Kyl he’s delaying the committee on the Obamacare bill because Kyl wanted to argue an important point? Or maybe it’s ignoring hundreds of thousands of Americans spending their own dime to come to Washington to demonstrate against the administration? Or, finally, it could be that Republicans have introduced 30+ pieces of compromise legislation on health care reform and the President continues to say, “They offer no alternatives?” Your side doesn’t want debate, they want capitulation.
Later in the interview, President Clinton showed his hand. When Gregory asked if he was concerned about a repeat of the 1994 Republican Revolution, he said, “…there’s no way they can make it that bad.” When you say there is no way that means you know there is a way that Republicans can win back the House. There are maps circulating in the offices of strategists making the big bucks that show how Republicans can win back the House, and I’ll bet some of those offices belong to Democrats. They are worried, and all they can do is blame the “vast right-wing conspiracy.”
By calling it “vast,” they’ve admitted that the opposition is great and it’s bigger than they could have imagined. The Lefties have made the same mistakes that Republicans made. We thought the country had become conservative in 1994 as Rush likes to point out, and we stopped teaching the message.
The Lefties think that the country is liberal because they elected Barack Obama and increased the majorities in the House and Senate. The fact is, you have to keep teaching your base to sell the message, and you can’t be complacent. The minute you think you can’t lose…you are vulnerable.
So keep on preaching, Mr. Clinton. Keep saying Democrats can’t lose this majority. My biggest concern is this: if Republicans win back the majority, have they learned the lessons of defeat? But that’s a question for another day. Signing off from the headquarters of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy….