. It's no
wonder liberals hate Rush
Limbaugh so much. Today in the WSJ
performed a feat his enemies on the left cannot seem to do: state the basic
principles and positions that unify his party in a few short
Unlike our liberal friends, who are
constantly looking for new words to conceal their true beliefs and are
in a perpetual state of reinvention, we conservatives are unapologetic
about our ideals. We are confident in our principles and energetic
about openly advancing them. We believe in individual liberty, limited
government, capitalism, the rule of law, faith, a color-blind society
and national security. We support school choice, enterprise zones, tax
cuts, welfare reform, faith-based initiatives, political speech,
homeowner rights and the war on terrorism.
What Limbaugh doesn't say is that liberals could
articulate their own views
almost as clearly if they weren't so at odds with the pesky national
consensus that determines election outcomes. They could say: "We
believe in group entitlements, expanding government, government-managed
socialist economies, a judiciary empowered to act as an elitest
super-legislature, rigid public secularism, government redistribution
of assets, opportunities, and rights based on race and sex, and
subordination of the national interest to the rulings of international
bodies. We support government schooling under the absolute control of
teacher unions, urban-centric government make-work programs, tax
increases and increasing progressivity of tax rates, dynamic expansion
of welfare into the middle class (a la France and Germany), exclusion
of all religious institutions from public life, government controls on
political speech we dislike, subordination of property rights to
government-based social engineering initiatives, and a swift end to all
military and unilateral aspects of the war on terror."
But they will not say such things out loud because they know a slender
majority of Americans are too stupid
to understand the superior wisdom
of their ideology. Therefore, they are limited in their public
communications to only two forms of expression: 1) demonization of
Republicans generally and conservatives specifically; and 2)
misrepresentation, up to and including active sabotage, of the motives,
policies, actions, and outcomes of the Bush administration. The degree
of emotional fury and vitriol which underpins such communications is a
product of the fact that they must remain silent about their own real
objectives. This must be immensely frustrating, especially for people
who possess an almost fanatic conviction about their intellectual and
moral superiority over the rest of us. Small surprise that when
challenged, they cannot swallow the bile and obscenities that spring to
their otherwise sealed lips.
The enforced silence has had another highly destructive effect. Liberal
beliefs which cannot be debated aloud have become ossified on the
closet shelf where they are hidden. Because they have not been subject
to criticism and refinement through public discourse they are no longer
thought about even by the liberals who harbor them. It has been so long
since they owned the majority control they feel to be their birthright
that they have lost the ability to envision the real consequences of
the policies they still believe they believe in. Actual ideas have
slipped out of their grasp. What they are left with is an exponentially
increasing emotional investment in the simple fact of their opposition
to the party in power. The two forms of communication identified above
have, in fact, become the compleat substitute for thinking.
Limbaugh closes his piece with the following adroit
The American left is stuck
trying to repeat the history of its presumed glory years. They hope
people will see Iraq as Vietnam, the entirety of the Bush
administration as Watergate and Hurricane Katrina as the Great
Depression. Beyond looking to the past for their salvation, the problem
is that they continue to deceive even themselves. None of their
comparisons are true.
The key words here are "hope people will see." This is a
communications objective, more precisely a propaganda objective. It is
achieved not by thinking but by saying the same things again and again and
again, regardless of facts or matters of national interest. It depends
on, and therefore explains, the crucial role played by the legacy media
in transforming every story into a comic book fantasy of conservative
fecklessness, corruption, and failure. That's why conservatives find it
so easy to know in advance how the New York Times, the major television
networks, and the liberal pundits will respond to any event. The utter
dreariness and inevitability of their abusive pessimism is the ipso
facto proof that no thought is occurring. It just couldn't be that dull
if any creativity or intelligence were involved in the equation.
When I read Limbaugh's essay, I immediately flashed on a television
image from the weekend, a late Saturday afternoon
"fill-up-some-airtime" interview segment on Fox News. One of the
countless FNC anchorfoxes was lobbing softball questions at a pair of
female guests, one of whom was Eleanor Clift. When asked if the
increasingly likely Iraqi confirmation of the Constitution would be
received positively by the American people, Clift set her mouth in that
hard, extra-wide line which makes her look as if she laughed once years
ago, and just like the old old joke, the strain cracked her face in
two. As she droned out her dead predictable response -- "of course
not," or many words to that effect -- I couldn't take my eyes off that
mouth. It reminded me of -- what? Then it came to me.
On South Park, the heads of Canadians are always shown in two pieces.
When they talk, the upper half dances disconnectedly over the lower
half. Their heads have no insides, there is no content to their
utterances but high-speed jibber-jabber, and the black dots of their
eyes are continuous blanks. Clift may refer to current events and
topical names and places but the message is a monotonously continuous
This is the only idea that Democrats and their allies in the mass media
are capable of thinking, and it reduces all their responses to a
one-note unanimity that is far simpler than the genuine thinkers of the
right can usually comprehend. If your only tool is a hammer, every
problem looks like a nail. Wherever they look, Democrats see a Bush-headed nail begging for a blow from their hate hammer.
Wherever they look, conservatives see a bewildering profusion of
contradictory Democrat positions they must struggle mightily to decode.
There are several excellent examples in today's opinion pieces of
conservatives trying to apply reason to liberal positions and responses
that are, in fact, devoid of thought, so much so that the conservative
analysis is destined to seem wrong to the liberals involved because
their recent instincts don't rise to the level of analysis.
At TechCentralStation, Steven Schwartz
takes aim at the Iraq question:
(H)ow long will the Western media get
the post-9/11 story wrong before they understand that they, the MSM,
are a major part of the problem?
For many months, the MSM and their assorted political allies have
indoctrinated the world in despicable lies:
That the Wahhabi terror in Iraq,
financed by and recruited among radical Saudis, was an "insurgency" or
"resistance" caused by the actions of President Bush.
That the Sunni Arabs in Iraq backed the alleged insurgency, were
uniformly opposed to the constitutional process, and would prevent its
That anti-Shia blandishments by Saudi and other Sunni rulers would seal
Sunni opposition to the new reality in Iraq.
In recent weeks heightened discussion
in Washington, and in centers of Islamic debate I visited, such as
Jakarta, focused on these claims. Muslims knew the Sunnis would prefer
to take advantage of their new right to vote, and would favor a
constitutional order in Iraq rather than continued violence. The
meddling of the Saudis was considered gross and embarrassing. Muslim
leaders I met were more interested in the future of the "Shia-con"
phenomenon, i.e. of Iraqi Shias aligned with the U.S.
(M)oderate Sunni Muslims who tried to tell Western media and government
the facts about the probable outcome in the Iraqi constitutional
election were ignored. Instead, numerous MSM reporters applied the
practice they have pursued since the Sandinista era in Nicaragua: they
found radicals and marginal, anonymous grumblers, and presented their
clichés as the voice of all Iraqi Sunnis.
Egregious, incorrigible examples of the Stalinist dialectic in the MSM
continue even after the Iraq vote. The London Guardian, on Sunday,
October 16, published a "news salad," tossed and retossed with vinegar
and oil: a sequence of paragraphs seeking to perpetuate the Sunni issue
as the sole topic of interest in Iraq. It tried to portray the Sunni
vote for the constitution as contributing to further violence in Iraq.
The argument, as convoluted as a tantric Yoga exercise, went like this:
Sunnis voted, but against the constitution (actually, only some of them
voted that way); although they voted in a process to accept the
constitution they will not accept it; supposedly, all Sunnis are
aggrieved about the share-out of petroleum revenues… blah, blah, blah
Mr. Schwartz is understandably baffled by the indefensible nature of such
reporting. He asks:
To put it more bluntly, how long will
the devotion to disinformation of the MSM continue? Will MSM
"journalists" ever be called to account for their consistent
The answer is, "No. They won't be called to account." No one of liberal
mind in the MSM is thinking about it at all. Mr. Schwartz's whole
analysis is wasted if it is aimed at liberals. Iraq is Vietnam. Now and
t at Townhall.com takes on the question of the MSM's Katrina
Remember all those politicians and
reporters warning folks to avoid at all costs the deadly mixture of
chemicals, gasoline, human and animal waste and decaying bodies
floating through New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina?
Guess what? Katrina left town Aug. 30, but it was not until Oct. 13
that The Washington Post got around to reporting that the “toxic soup”
never showed up...
Remember New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagins’ uncritically reported prediction
that 10,000 people were dead? Not even close. Remember the snipers
supposedly firing at rescue helicopters trying to save people from
rooftops and hospitals? Didn’t happen. Remember the little babies being
raped. No. The well-armed gangs pillaging block after block while
dueling with hopelessly out-gunned cops? More myth...
Here’s something else that’s frightening: In the first few weeks after
Katrina, we witnessed an orgy of self-congratulation among mainstream
media journalists who allegedly discovered in the storm’s aftermath a
new courage to challenge President Bush and the White House for being
so slow to respond to the desperate plight of the mostly Black, mostly
poor victims of New Orleans.
Where are the wise professors from the hallowed schools of journalism
at places like Columbia University and the University of Missouri
intoning about the decline of standards and honesty that allowed so
much rumor and outright falsehood to be reported as fact in the midst
of the greatest natural disaster in American history?...
No, I’m not holding my breath waiting for those things to happen
Mr. Tapscott thinks the problem is a lack of intellectual diversity:
At Columbia, the ratio of registered
Democrats among the faculty to registered Republicans is 15-1. At
Southern Cal, the ratio is 13-1. At Berkeley, it’s 10-1.
Even in the conservative South at the University of North Carolina in
Chapel Hill the ratio of Democrats to Republicans is 5-1...
What this imbalance means is aspiring journalists rarely hear a
vigorous presentation of well-thought-out conflicting perspectives in
the classroom or the campus newsroom. No wonder survey after survey has
found over-whelming majorities of journalists vote Democrat and support
liberal positions on major issues.
The only problem is that journalists would
get to hear opposing views if they cared at all about facts or truth.
It's not that their intellects are never challenged. It's that they're
just not working anymore.
thinks he detects a sort of conspiracy with regard to
reporting on the war on terror. He lists numerous examples of recent
attacks by Islamic terrorists that are attributed by press
organizations around the world to unnamed "insurgents," "militants,"
and "rebels." Then he starts analyzing the situation:
Islamic "militants" are the new
Voldemort, the enemy whose name it's best never to utter. In fairness
to the New York Times, they did use the I-word in paragraph seven. And
Agence France Presse got around to mentioning Islam in paragraph 22.
And NPR's "All Things Considered" had one of those bland interviews
between one of its unperturbable anchorettes and some Russian
geopolitical academic type in which they chitchatted through every
conceivable aspect of the situation and finally got around to kinda
sorta revealing the identity of the perpetrators in the very last word
of the geopolitical expert's very last sentence.
When the NPR report started, I was driving on the vast open plains of
I-91 in Vermont and reckoned, just to make things interesting, I'll add
another five miles to the speed for every minute that goes by without
mentioning Islam. But I couldn't get the needle to go above 130, and
the vibrations caused the passenger-side wing-mirror to drop off. And
then, right at the end, having conducted a perfect interview that
managed to go into great depth about everything except who these guys
were and what they were fighting over, the Russian academic dude had to
go and spoil it all by saying somethin' stupid like "republics which
are mostly . . . Muslim." He mumbled the last word, but nevertheless
the NPR gal leapt in to thank him and move smoothly on to some poll
showing that the Dems are going to sweep the 2006 midterms because Bush
has the worst numbers since numbers were invented.
Steyn is brilliant, of course. Too brilliant. He sees deeply into the
I underestimated multiculturalism.
After 9/11, I assumed the internal contradictions of the rainbow
coalition would be made plain: that a cult of "tolerance" would in the
end founder against a demographic so cheerfully upfront in their
intolerance. Instead, Islamic "militants" have become the highest
repository of multicultural pieties. So you're nice about gays and
Native Americans? Big deal. Anyone can be tolerant of the tolerant, but
tolerance of intolerance gives an even more intense frisson of pleasure
to the multiculti- masochists. And so Islamists who murder non-Muslims
in pursuit of explicitly Islamic goals are airbrushed into vague,
generic "rebel forces." You can't tell the players without a scorecard,
and that's just the way the Western media intend to keep it. If you
wake up one morning and switch on the TV to see the Empire State
Building crumbling to dust, don't be surprised if the announcer goes,
"Insurging rebel militant forces today attacked key targets in New
York. In other news, the president's annual Ramadan banquet saw
celebrities dancing into the small hours to Mullah Omar And His
I'm aware the very concept of "the enemy" is alien to the non-judgment
multicultural mind: There are no enemies, just friends whose grievances
we haven't yet accommodated. But the media's sensitivity police
apparently want this to be the first war we lose without even knowing
who it is we've lost to.
Sadly, he sees too
isn't about multiculturalism, clever and funny as Steyn's formulation
is. It's about "Bush-sucks-Bush-sucks-Bush-sucks-Bush-sucks..." Emotionally the enlightened journalists of the world see themselves as insurgents, militants, and rebels in the great anti-Bush jihad, and it is therefore impossible for them NOT to feel some sympathy for their half-brothers in arms. In this instance, Islam is entirely beside the point. Too simple? Sorry, but no.
Think about the not thinking angle. It may help you in future
conversations with liberals even if you never read a word of Ann
. And it offers a solution to the one problem that
has baffled intelligent observers for years: If Bush is as much an
idiot as the libs say he is, then how come he keeps beating the pants
off them politically?
Because, as should be clear by now, they aren't thinking at all. That
makes them pretty easy to beat, even if you're the dumbass so many
Republicans have suddenly decided Bush is. Should that give the Miers
Marauders pause as well? Of course not. Not thinking is its own reward.