H/T – jaxy89 on Twitter
H/T – jaxy89 on Twitter
With Sarah Palin all over the news this week, we encounter yet again the power of the media, even in the twilight of their influence to shape popular opinion. Despite her record of accomplishment as Governor of Alaska, including her regular bucking of the Republican establishment and cooperation with Democratic leaders and legislators, most Americans remain unaware of her executive abilities and bipartisan policy-making. All too many see her as an ideologue unfit to lead.
Yet, Palin is not the only politician who receives coverage that leaves out considerable aspects of her biography and professional record. When they find a liberal they want to lionize, they ignore facts about his life which conflict with the image they wish to create of him. In a recent cover story, Newsweek billed one such liberal as “The Thinking Man’s Thinking Man,” yet neglected the emotional manner in which Al Gore attempts to discredit those who have not reached a conclusion different from his own.
He doesn’t argue with those critics, doesn’t consider the facts they introduce and arguments they have made to challenge his conclusions (as would a thinking man). Instead, he tells us “the debate in the scientific community is over.” Hardly. The debate is far from over. There is no consensus backing his theories.
Not just that, he “refuses to debate those who say global warming is not a crisis.” Wouldn’t a thinking man welcome the chance to debate his ideas?
Newsweek may want to portray Al Gore as a “thinking man,” but the very way he has conducted his crusade for climate control legislation suggests not a thinker, but a zealot, one for whom promoting the cause is more important than addressing its critics. And I mean, isn’t that what thinking men do, address their critics.
Wasn’t the quintessential thinking man famous for dialogues, not his diatribes monologues?
Had President Obama not claimed the Democrats’ “stimulus” would keep unemployment at or below 8%, he would not “own” the jobless rate so early in his term. But, now it’s his problem in more ways than one. ABC’s Rick Klein contends: “The administration asked for this — dare we say, literally asked for this — with promises of actual job totals and new accountability and oversight mechanisms, all with Sheriff Joe Biden at the helm.” (H/t to Jennifer Rubin for Klein quote.)
Not only does the president need address the unemployment rate which has increased despite the enactment of his policies, but he must also live up to his promises of accountability and transparency. The government website created to show just where federal “stimulus” money was flowing and how many jobs it had created, showed that money going to Congressional districts which didn’t exist. And exaggerated the number of jobs created.
Even when we eliminate the exaggeration and find out how many jobs were really created (or saved) by the “stimulus,” we need ask what happens when those funds dry up. If we believe the Democrats that we wouldn’t have seen such job creation in the absence of such spending, then unemployment today would be ever higher in its absence. Recall that Lawrence Summers, Director of the President’s National Economic Council, said any fiscal stimulus would be “timely, targeted and temporary“. If it’s temporary, then the funds dry up and there’ll pay no more funds to pay for the jobs (recently saved or created).
No wonder Ed Morrissey claims that all the stimulus did was to kick the can down the road, delaying a real decision on creating permanent jobs:
Most of the jobs in their calculus are bureaucratic jobs at the state level that won’t get funded next year by Washington. States will still have to make tough decisions on employment levels that should have been made decades ago. All Porkulus did was delay that needed decision by throwing money at the states, who used it not to improve efficiency but to paper over budget gaps that will recur next year as well.
With our national debt increased, the problems persist.
And now, the President warns that if we “keep on adding to the debt,” that could lead to a double-dip recession. His very policies will thus make that second recession particularly severe. He has increased the debt to provide funds for only temporary job creation. When those temporary funds run out, unemployment will increase, deepening the downturn.
Sarah Palin may seek out the limelight, as some of her critics contend, but unlike most in this town (Hollywood) who see such attention, this much (and usually falsely) maligned Republican woman gets it. AP tasks 11 Reporters to “fact check” her book. The DNC churns out press releases at a rapid clip. He books remains at #1 on numerous bestseller lists, far ahead of the latest tome of a man who gets fawning attention from the MSM (in contrast to the patronizing, negative coverage she receives).
And now that woman is helping an Obama supporter cash in on her popularity, giving Oprah her biggest audience in two years:
Oprah Winfrey’s interview with former vp candidate Sarah Palin scored the talk show host her highest rating in two years.
Monday’s episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” drew a 8.7 household rating and 13 share — the best since Winfrey had the entire Osmond family on the show in 2007.
That means Palin also topped Winfrey’s heavily viewed interviews with Whitney Houston at the start of the season.
Hey, aren’t the Osmonds Mormons? Doesn’t the MSM treat Mormons like they do Palin, maligned them with great glee?
Hmmm. . . . . Seems that sometimes when the media try to strike people down, they only make their adversaries far more popular than they had ever foreseen.
It’s amusing to watch Democrats and associated leftists get worked up into a lather at there mere mention of Sarah Palin’s name. We’ve got critics bringing her up in the comment sections of posts which don’t even mention that charismatic and accomplished woman.
And Democratic National Committee (DNC) operatives have gone into overdrive to lambaste the woman who did more to reform her state in her first two years as Governor than Obama did to reform his in twelve years serving in its state senate or as the state’s U.S. Senator. Guess attacking Sarah Palin is a lot easier than defending Obama’s policies.
DNC Press Secretary Hari Sevugan practically foams at the mouth when discussing the former Republican governor with a record of bipartisan achievement:
This book tour has only reinforced the tabloid aspects of her profile, wasted a platform to add substance, driven deeper the schisms in the Republican party and sucked the oxygen out of the room for anyone else to emerge.
Um, Hari, if your allies in the MSM weren’t so hellbent on reinforcing those tabloid aspects, then we might better see the substance she can add to that platform. But, when’s the last time you — or any of you allies in the DNC or in the MSM — actually addressed what she accomplished in Alaska (in a more than perfunctory manner)?
You guys are painting a picture black, then faulting it for lacking color.
Don’t you have better things to do you with your time than attack a former Republican Governor while reducing her record to tabloid gossip? Given the obsession you show with this woman’s private life, you do help show that yours is not the party of ideas, but instead the one which practices the politics of personal destruction.
And a source of endless amusement to conservatives. Kind of like watching a spoiled child throw a temper tantrum. You guys do look ridiculous.
UPDATE: Considering Hari’s memo, Ann Althouse observes, “The question is whether it makes them look worse and whether local reporters lap up what they’ve been spoonfed.”
I’ve bought the book, it is in the mail, and I watched Sarah on Oprah.
More later… I just figured we could use the bump in traffic with a Palin-related headline.
Crass, I know. But funny, huh?
When accepting her Oscar for Places in the Heart in 1985, Sally Field famously said to her Hollywood audience
I haven’t had an orthodox career. And I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn’t feel it, but this time I feel it and I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me.
Seem the President has taken a cue from Miss Field. He believes polls confirm confirmation America’s standing in the world has improved since his advent. But, as Dan Riehl notes the Democrat puts “a lot more stock in world polls than he does domestic ones.” Just as Sally wanted to have the respect of the makers and shakers in Hollywood, Obama wants us to be liked by world leaders.
It might be nice if he could translate that affection into action. Michael Barone finds that while Obama bowed to “the emperor of Japan last week, the world refuses to bow back“:
The mullahs of Iran have consented to something in the nature of negotiations, but their agreement in principle to allow the enrichment of nuclear fuel in France has, like many agreements in principle, turned out to be no agreement. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the mullahs have proved no more moveable by Obama’s emollient and respectful tones than by George W. Bush’s Texas twang.
Nor have we made any discernible progress on settling issues between Israel and the Palestinians, the first priority of Obama’s national security adviser. Obama’s insistence on a stop to natural growth of Israeli settlements — no new spare rooms for Grandma or the new baby — seems now to have been abandoned. Israelis are distrustful of the U.S., and the West Bank Palestinian leader is threatening to quit.
Obama’s unilateral concession to the Russians — abandonment of missile defense plans in Poland and the Czech Republic — has evoked statements from Russian President Dmitri Medvedev that sanctions against Iran may someday be necessary. But it’s beginning to look as if Medvedev is Lucy, sanctions are the football and Obama is Charlie Brown.
And just like Sally Field, Charlie Brown wanted to be liked too.
The above is only a partial listing of the president’s failure to achieve concrete results for the feelings he has. (Just read the whole thing.) Well, like Miss Field, Obama does have a prize. She has an Oscar statuette, he’ll soon have a Nobel medal.
Being liked may help you get jobs in Hollywood, but it doesn’t achieve results on the world stage.
The biggest lost opportunity of the Obama Administration came in his first hours, nay, its first minutes. The then-new President could have departed from the text of his inaugural address to chide those who had booed his predecessor. He could say that while they may not agree with Bush’s policies, they should honor the office and the Republican’s service as he would hope Bush’s supporters would honor the office now that one of their partisan adversaries had taken the helm.
He could echo comments he had made a few days previously when the Democrat called the Republican “a good man who loves his family and loves his country,” a man who “made the best decisions that he could at times under some very difficult circumstances.” A simple statement like that would have done much to heal the political wounds from recent partisan battles.
And while the president wasn’t then magnanimous in his first minutes in office, he would show considerable class nine months later when he took liberal Louisianans to task for booing their Republican Governor. He now has another chance to shine by denouncing violent attempt to intimidate dissent.
And here, it’s also a kind of a gimme. He need criticize leftists like the one below who assault tea party protestors:
(Via Ed Driscoll who has more.)
And while Obama’s at it, he could denounce the union thugs who beat Kenneth Gladney in St. Louis during this summer’s round of protests.
In the campaign, the president claimed he was a post-partisan leader who could bring people together. As President, he can do just that, by daring to criticize some of his political allies, angry partisans who have intimidated their political adversaries while those adversaries exercise their first amendment rights.
If Matthew Continetti were a liberal journalist writing about a charismatic (or even a colorless) Democratic governor who had suffered the same treatment from the media that Sarah Palin did, his book The Persecution of Sarah Palin: How the Elite Media Tried to Bring Down a Rising Star would make him the toast of the smart set, with this book warmly reviewed in any number of newspapers while he would be featured on talk shows where he would be lionized.
And a conversation he recounted with Gene Therriault would cause editors in newsrooms along the New York to Washington corridor and in Los Angeles to dispatch to investigate a claim that former Alaska state senator made. For, they would surely want to show just how the Republican National Committee sought to grind business to a halt in that governor’s state in order to destroy the popular Democratic chief executive.
But, Sarah Palin is a Republican not a Democrat. And while the media may find it newsworthy when Republicans engage in the politics of personal destruction, when Democrats do the same thing, well, it’s a necessary good, er, um, evil. While Palin had worked with legislators on both sides of the political aisle in her first two years as chief executive of the Last Frontier, after she had become a political celebrity in the 2008 campaign, things changed in Juneau.
According to Therriault, after last fall’s election,
The call went out from the national Democratic Party to take her down. Some of the Democrats who worked with her previously took their marching orders.
As a result, Continetti writes, “Gridlock ensued. Bipartisan comity was no more. Anybody who had the opportunity to score political points against Palin took a shot.”
Now, maybe what Therriault says is not entirely accurate, but, well, if he were a Democrat talking about the Republican party, don’t you think some in the media would investigate? [Read more…]