What a difference a week makes. Short days ago, the liberal media were doing the Snoopy dance of joy in advance of what they were sure would be the beginning of the end of the dim-witted cowboy/scheming frat-boy that is George W. Bush.
They felt they were on the brink of weakening, if not toppling, the Bush administration altogether. They began the week in anticipation of the imminent death of the 2,000th American soldier in Iraq, then segued into gloating over the Harriet Miers withdrawal and, finally, to salivating over the results of the CIA leak investigation. The Washington Post summed up the glee nicely via a story on the Miers affair:
The withdrawal stunned Washington on a day when the capital was awaiting potential bad news for the administration on another front -- the possible indictments of senior White House aides in the CIA leak case. Earlier in the week, the U.S. military death toll in Iraq hit 2,000 while consumer confidence in the economy took another plunge, reflecting Bush's mounting political woes.
From the hallways at the Old Gray Lady to network newsrooms across the land, liberals were sure that they had the president and his supporters on the run. But when things didn't turn out quite like they imagined, the left still reported them as if they had.
Last Tuesday, Iraqi election officials certified that their constitution was approved by a nearly four-to-one margin. This vote was a crushing blow to terrorists and those who support them. So how was this news reported?
Some, like Reuters accentuated the negative, as in the headline "Sunni leaders reject Iraq charter." Others persisted in familiar claims of voter fraud. Most, however, either gave the story short shrift or chose to overshadow it with reports of the 2,000 American soldiers killed in Iraq; as if their sacrifice was not vindicated by the historic election.
On Thursday, the Miers withdrawal thrilled conservatives everywhere, allowing all the wayward right-wing pundits to retract their claws while denying liberals their wish for a divided Republican Party. This temporary in-house skirmish, while embarrassing for the president, nonetheless proved beneficial to the movement.
While some begrudgingly recognized what was a banner day for a relieved GOP, most of the media also decided that it was mainly a "striking defeat" for the president who was "bowing to intensifying attacks from right-leaning activists." As I said, beneficial.
Friday brought the unkindest cut of all to those hoping to bury Karl Rove. Their white knight, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, revealed that he had not indicted King Karl. So, after 22 months of wishing, all they got for Fitzmas was Scooter Libby's resignation and five indictments for lying about a leak they failed to hang on anyone. No, Dr. Dean, there is no Santa Claus.
Worse yet was the public's reaction to the "next Watergate." According to Monday's Gallup poll: "Despite much speculation that Libby's indictment will deepen public skepticism of Bush and spell the political unraveling of his administration, the initial reaction of Americans appears to downplay the matter's significance."
Also on Friday came news that the U.S. economy grew by 3.8% in the third quarter despite hurricanes Katrina and Rita. And on Monday we learned that consumer spending was up a solid 0.5% and that incomes grew by 1.7% in September, with gas prices plunging along due to oil prices dropping to under $60 a barrel. What was that the Washington Post said about consumer confidence in the economy taking a plunge?
This week began with President Bush's own Fitzmas present for liberals. His name is Samuel Alito and he has been nominated to replace swinging Sandra O'Connor on the Supreme Court. Having failed miserably on nearly all counts to land a single body blow to Bush, they are now forced back into their usual defensive stance: Alito is a radical extremist, against women's rights and probably eats his own children.
But their main charge will be, as usual, that he is "out of the mainstream." In liberal media-speak, this means he is exactly the kind of judge who represents what the majority of Americans who elected the president want and will likely get. Once again, bad news for the left is good news for America. And, once again, Bush makes lemonade out of liberal sour grapes.