As we launch our Conservative Renaissance, we are blessed. By the Democrats and their media masterminds. By doing what comes naturally (and compulsively) they refuel our engines and goad our pit crews and drivers to greater speeds. The 527 Media won't let the libs pretend to be moderates, and the environment created by their internal conflicts will be one in which the Conservative Coalition can regain itself. We should thank them. For starters, thank you, New York Times.
Former Clinton White House chief of staff Leon Panetta wrote some commonplace pablum on Sunday, declaiming the Democrats need to govern, and for the White House and Congress to earn each other's trust. And, as one of the Fabulous Baker Boys, Panetta tut-tutted the horrible circumstances in Iraq and -- achieving a written lip-quiver -- hoped the Baker-Hamilton soon-to-be-proclaimed new strategy would allow us to get out of Iraq without leaving too big a disaster behind. (The "too bad a disaster" criterion is measured by how much can be blamed on Dubya, Dick and Don.) That's plenty bad enough. And if the FBBs -- as it seems they will -- recommend a phased withdrawal from Iraq and negotiating with Iran and Syria, they'll be papering over strategic defeat. But that story is for another day. The rest of story -- forgive me, Mr. Harvey -- is what accompanied the Panetta column.
The NYT editors can't help themselves, even though Panetta's column is entitled "Govern, Don't Gloat." Two days after the 231st birthday of the Marine Corps, a day after Veterans' Day, they couldn't resist attaching this Paul Weston cartoon to the Panetta column. It's a parody of the flag-raising on Iwo Jima. Yup, a parody of the most compelling and inspiring combat photo of all time, honoring some of our bravest warriors. It shows Democrats, not Marines, raising the Democratic Party's version of the American flag (their donkey replacing the field of white stars on blue), crowning the achievement of their successful assault on the evil imperialistic forces that had held Capitol Hill. Think about it, conservatives. Our Marines will, and we -- like they -- will take it to heart. This is a metaphor for the mess in which the Dems find themselves.
The 527 Media -- those political activists such as the NYT who pose as newsmen while producing campaign ads for liberals -- think they should get the credit for winning the election, and they're mostly right. They want -- in return -- high drama on your wide screens and front pages, serious-looking Democrats chairing Congressional investigative hearings to rival Watergate, shaming Dubya, Dick and Don before the public. Oh, but Don isn't going to be around for the show.
The Big Dog's resignation comes so suddenly after the election that some questions arise. Unserious questions raised by Republican whiners (permit me this one redundancy) ask about the timing of the announcement. More importantly, was he asked to leave, or did Mr. Rumsfeld look ahead and not like what he saw? Did he say to the president something along the lines of, "Look, boss, if the Republicans hold Congress I'll stay another year or so. But if they lose, I'm outta here. If I'm not going to be able to get anything done because I have to spend all my time taking abuse from these Congressional putzes so they can strut for the media, why should I stay?" (A darker possibility is that, after a few published hints about the Fabulous Baker Boys' recommendations, Dubya asked Don if he'd go along, and got a negative. So the prez got someone who would.) But the combinations and divisions among the press and the Dems will create enormous opportunities for us to re-form around our core principles.
One of our basic principles was lost somewhere around 1968. We conservatives believe in freedom of the press. But with that freedom comes responsibility. Since Vietnam's height, we've become used to liberal bias in the media. Now, in effect, there's media bias among the liberals. The libs don't have any ideas (at least none that Mr. Bush hasn't already adopted as his own, such as amnesty for illegals) so the media have become the brain of the Democrats. And what the media want the media will get. It'll be up to us to expose who is manipulating whom, and to fight against their legislative shenanigans.
Pelosi's Animal House will oblige the media. Instead of the fresh young faces of Otter, Boone, Bluto and Hoover, we have the same old lib faces. Rat -- Henry Waxman -- has already said he's looking forward to letting the good times roll (for the TV cameras) because his committee has jurisdiction over the whole government. Jurisdiction has never been a worry for Vulture, John Dingell, whose anti-defense approach to life terrorized the Pentagon in the late '80s and early '90s and will again as soon as he regains the chair at Energy and Commerce. As someone who has testified in one of Vulture's subcommittees under subpoena, I can tell you they make it as personal and nasty as they can, and are masters of manufacturing media moments. And anyone who thinks Nancy can control Wanker -- soon-to-be Judiciary Committee chairman John Conyers -- they have a nasty surprise coming on the NSA terrorist surveillance program and probably hearings on whether impeachment of the president is in order. Even with Rat, Vulture, and Wanker on the loose, the party's just beginning. When the press wants serious damage, and film clips for 2008 campaign commercials, they'll turn to the Senate.
In Senate hearings -- beginning with the Gates confirmation hearings -- Senate Dems will face the Democrats' dilemma head-on. They want to pretend to be moderates, but they have to pay off the special interest group that got them elected. And that special interest -- the 527 Media -- will demand they pursue the lib agenda with enough vehemence to satisfy the ABC-CBS-NBC-NYT-WaPo Axis of Weasels. And so the Senate Dems will. And Republicans looking to 2008 will help them.
Every time we see a conservative judge rejected by Leaky Leahy's Judiciary Committee, we should remember that the liberals demand control of the judiciary because it delivers for them that which they can't win at the ballot box. Every time we see Carl Levin convene another hearing on Iraq, castigate Abu Ghraib, and imply that Guantanamo Bay is the same, we have to remember that conservatives want to win the war and liberals only want to retreat, to give terrorist prisoners the same rights and protections U.S. citizens have in criminal proceedings. Every time Babsy Boxer holds a hearing to demand ratification of the UN's Global Warming Treaty, we have to fight the UN-oriented globaloney. And every time another leak appears in the New York Times, shouldn't we demand investigation of Jay Rockefeller and Alcee Hastings?
And every time we see these escapades, we have to remember our conservative principles. When John McCain, Graham, Hagel and their ilk join in these antics, we have to remember they aren't a part of our coalition: they aren't conservatives. When the Dems ask the IRS to investigate church groups for political activities, we should be ready to point out the hypocrisy in their attacking churches while ignoring unions that engage in politics instead of working for their members. When the Dems attack conservative talk radio, trying to revive the "fairness doctrine," when they try to impose restrictions on conservative bloggers and on college groups that promote conservatives on campus, we should all -- neos, paleos, cultural conservatives, and Endgame Cons -- rejoice and unite in the fight against them. It's up to us folks. And we are more than equal to the challenge.
TAS contributing editor Jed Babbin is the author of Inside the Asylum: Why the UN and Old Europe Are Worse Than You Think (Regnery, 2004) and, with Edward Timperlake, Showdown: Why China Wants War With the United States (Regnery, 2006).