"Broken" Government: When Liberals Lose

Brent Bozell

2/24/2010 12:01:00 AM - Brent Bozell

When Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana announced last week he wasn't running for re-election, he didn't state what may have seemed obvious. He couldn't say he wanted to avoid the embarrassment of losing, or that he worried he'd never achieve national office if that happened. Instead, he launched into a lecture about what was wrong with everyone else. The government is "dysfunctional" with "brain-dead partisanship."

It's "Groundhog Day." This scenario repeats itself every time the Democrats take control.

Bayh's bleats hardened quickly into the media's conventional wisdom. Why can't the politicians hold hands in a "Kumbaya" circle and get "something" done? Translation: When Obama and a Democrat-dominated Congress can't nationalize the health care system and force everyone to drive a Prius, suddenly government is "dysfunctional." When gridlock is holding up the liberals' agenda, Washington should know "the people" sent them to pass massive ultraliberal bills.

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These media mathematicians clearly have thrown their polling calculators out the window. When Newsweek recently asked independents if they supported the Democrat health proposals, 26 percent were in favor, and 62 percent were opposed. But the "wisdom" in town says Democrats must pass these health bills or get crushed in November. Now who can't seem to acknowledge, to borrow from Stephen Colbert, that "reality has a conservative bias"?

Reality tells you many Democrats are political toast, thanks to ObamaCare. Hence, bye-bye, Bayh. But our journalists put on their choir robes and continue to sing the sad song in unison: Why do we have a "Broken Government"? CNN actually launched an entire series of reports with that title.

Suffice it to say this is not the kind of media mantra we heard during President Bush's second term. Back then, this was the sound of CNN: commentator Jack Cafferty lamenting the alleged lack of partisanship in 2007: "They've already said they won't impeach President Bush. They've already said they won't cut funding for the war. ... It's time for the Democrats to walk the walk, and there are some early signs they might be coming down with leg cramps." He asked viewers: "How much faith do you have that the Democrats can stop the war and rein in President Bush?"

We're now mired in Year Two of Barack Obama's quagmire of "health reform," and no one on the left wants withdrawal. What they want is a socialist surge. Compare that to 2005, and the Bush administration's attempt to reform Social Security. It died ... about three months after the inauguration. CBS anchor Bob Schieffer repeatedly asked on April 26, 2005: "Is it already dead?"

In a way, you can understand his impatience. He and his colleagues had been trying to kill it from the moment of political conception.

Everything President Bush did was painted as a stunt. After the 2005 State of the Union, when there was an emotional hug between an Iraqi voter and the mother of a Marine killed in Iraq, MSNBC's Chris Matthews just had to politicize it by seeing it as a Social Security ploy: "Do you think President Bush used this to push his numbers on Social Security reform, just to get his general appeal up a bit?"

In March 2005, Matthews joked with Al Sharpton that Bush was piling up a mountain of debt we would owe China and Japan: "Why don't they just start paying people in their Social Security checks with yen, because we're getting money from them to pay the older folks their regular check?" Sharpton said he was going to start using that partisan line.

When Hurricane Katrina unfolded with deadly force, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift found a silver lining: "If there's an upside to Katrina, it's that the Republican agenda of tax cuts, Social Security privatization and slashing government programs is over."

Today, Clift is raining fire on Republicans for "harming" the country in the short term for their own partisan gain in the fall. Liberals don't have brains expansive enough to imagine that conservatives might think the greater good of the country -- politically, financially, morally -- rests in fighting the nationalization of our health care system, as well as the first steps toward government-funded abortions.

Instead, our media parrot the DNC talking points about a "Party of No" who aren't offering "solutions" of their own. This argument ignores (a) the idea of Nancy Pelosi passing a Republican alternative is too ridiculous to consider, and (b) a "no" vote could be a constructive vote on the people's behalf.

These reporters and anchors never hit Pelosi or Reid for having no plan for victory in Iraq. They never dismissed them as the "Party of No" for opposing Social Security reform. But when liberalism is on the national menu, the snobby waiters of our "news" media don't really want to take the people's order. They want to force-feed the American people what they "need."