WHY YOUR PARTY LOSES: Inanity is their way of life–and no, they really can’t stop themselves. In this morning’s New York Times early edition, what photograph sat atop page one? A photograph of John McCain shaking hands with Levi Johnson. Who on earth is Levi Johnson? Atop page one of the Washington Post, a giant photo filled the page. This was the photograph’s caption:WASHINGTON POST PHOTO CAPTION (9/4/08): As he arrives in Minnesota for the Republican National Convention, Sen. John McCain is greeted by his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and her husband, Todd, right, along with other members of both candidates’ families. To McCain’s right are the Palins’ daughter Bristol and her fiance, Levi Johnson.
No other “members of both candidates’ families” were pictured. Only Levi and Bristol.
Yes, these are the two newspapers’ early editions; they couldn’t use photographs of Palin giving her actual speech. But of all the things they could have pictured, each newspaper chose to picture the young unmarrieds. Let’s say it again: Inanity is their way of life. And no, they really can’t stop.
Press corps inanity to the side, has the media greeted Palin’s selection with sexism and elite condescension? Yes, there has been some of each–and there has been some exaggeration of same by major Republican honchos. But in all the events of the past few days, the major difference between the two parties has been made abundantly clear. It’s captured in this Politico piece by John Harris (for the record, the headline is grossly deceptive). If you want to know why your party loses, consider the highlighted passage:
HARRIS (9/4/08): As the controversy over her qualifications and McCain’s vetting process overwhelmed events here, hypocritical rhetoric was flowing at full tide on all sides of the debate.
Many conservatives, who spent a generation ridiculing the politics of victimhood and group identity, are now zealously invoking both in the Twin Cities. A common GOP talking point here is that Palin’s gender and experiences as a mother should be counted as an asset among her qualifications. At the news conference, former Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift condemned “an outrageous smear campaign” against Palin, and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina said, “The Republican Party will not stand by while Gov. Palin is subjected to sexist attacks.”
Let’s repeat what Fiorina said: “The Republican Party will not stand by while Gov. Palin is subjected to sexist attacks.” Remove the limiting term there–“sexist.” Thus adjusted, Fiorina’s statement explains our electoral politics over the past twenty years.
The Republican Party will not stand by while its candidates get attacked. The Democratic Party, and its major affiliates, have done just that. For years.
Consider again the most remarkable instance of this repulsive conduct.
In August 1999, Gennifer Flowers–a public crackpot–was invited on two different cable “news” programs to discuss, at remarkable length, the various murders the Clintons committed. (You read that correctly: their murders. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 9/26/03.) On August 2, she appeared for half an hour on Hardball; because her performance was so bizarre, she was then invited to do a full hour on Hannity & Colmes. On the latter program, Flowers extended her brief; she not only discussed the Clintons’ murders, she took the chance to let the world know that Hillary Clinton was a big giant lesbo. After giving Flowers a full hour, Fox reran a half hour of “highlights” two nights later.
At the time, Bill Clinton was president of the United States; Hillary Clinton was your nation’s first lady. But so what? As best we can tell from Nexis archives, here’s what did and didn’t happen after those two programs aired:
- The Democratic Party didn’t say a word about this astounding misconduct.
- No name-brand, liberal columnist said a word about it. (Examples: E.J. Dionne; Al Hunt; Mark Shields; Frank Rich.)
- No name-brand “liberal journal” ever mentioned what had happened.
- No “media reporter” discussed what occurred.
- In the Washington Post, Howard Kurtz mentioned Flowers’ Hardball appearance. But he didn’t report what she’d said.
Now! Go back and reread Fiorina’s statement, and consider the conduct of the past several days. If you still don’t understand why your party loses, then let’s face it–you never will.
By the way, what else transpired as these Dem/liberal elements kept their traps shut in August 1999? On Fox, a gang of male pundits went on the air and mocked the way Hillary Clinton looked back in the 1970s. (They had a photograph, and it looked very funny. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 6/6/08.) And of course, all across the political landscape, the RNC and the MSM kept inventing new, bogus tales about the vile Candidate Gore. The Democratic Party never said boo about those matters either. Neither did those liberal journals. Nor those liberal columnists.
How does your political world work? Here’s how:
Sally Quinn and Maureen Dowd played the fool about Palin–and the Republican Party fought back hard. They’ve played the fool about Big Dems for years–and the Democratic Party said nothing.
Yep! There was some sexism in the coverage of Palin–and the Republican Party fought back hard, exaggerating as it did. But then, during this same campaign, a major Democratic woman was gender-trashed from December 2006 on. Eighteen months later, Howard Dean explained why he didn’t speak up. I don’t watch that much cable, he said.
As recently as last evening, some of our fools continued to say that they feel “insulted” by Palin’s selection. If they had an ounce of sense, they’d instead feel insulted by Dean.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
One of the last honest critics of the media and politics: