You don't have to be a psychic who forecasts future events for supermarket tabloids to accurately predict what awaits the new congressional Republican class of 2011. The writing is already on the computer screens and in the TV teleprompters.
A preview of coming attractions was trotted out during President Obama's last scheduled news conference of 2010. After spending most of the year worrying about the economy and whether the Democrats could fix it, sycophantic reporters gave new meaning to the term "lapdog."
Following the lame-duck congressional session that rammed through legislation clearly at odds with the voters' message in the November election, ABC White House correspondent Jake Tapper offered "congratulations" on the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." Tapper then sounded as if he was channeling gay-rights activists when he asked the president whether it is "intellectually consistent to say that gays and lesbians should be able to fight and die for this country, but they should not be able to marry the people they love."
That prompted an answer from the president that his views on the subject of same-sex "marriage" are "evolving." Let me go out on a limb and predict they will "evolve" to acceptance, even advocacy, just in time for his re-election campaign.
Mark Knoller of CBS Radio wanted the president to "explain the anger and even outrage many Democrats felt when the tax cut bill extended tax cuts not just for the middle class, but also for the wealthy." They weren't tax cuts, but an extension of lower tax rates. The question could have come straight from the White House press office.
CNN's Dan Lothian asked about the president's frequent use of the "car in the ditch" analogy, wondering who the president thinks will be behind the wheel when Republicans take control of the House, and "what do you think Republicans will be sipping and saying next year?"
And so it went with a liberal question about the defeated "Dream Act," and many other suck-up questions that ought to have embarrassed any self-respecting journalist.
On MSNBC, Tom Brokaw compared Obama's year-end legislative successes to Lazarus rising from the dead. As most nationally known journalists are anything but "religious," that analogy could stump Brokaw's secular media colleagues. They might even have to look it up, which would not be a bad thing for them to do.
The lapdog big media will predictably question everything the new Republican House attempts to do, characterizing it as "insensitive," pro-rich and even inhuman. They will be helped by unions, which will stage demonstrations against any program cuts or attempts to reduce the size and reach of government. Characters are already in the wings, waiting for their moment on stage. These will include the elderly, the poor, the homeless and other "victims" who make up much of the Democrat base. They will tell sob stories, and the media will dutifully cover them without fact-checking a single one, much less suggesting such people could better their lives by relying less on government and more on themselves.
As Byron York correctly noted in The Washington Examiner, Democrats will again cry "Washington is broken" after Republicans take control of the House and improve their numbers in the Senate. To them, Washington "works" only when it is passing bills authored by Democrats that cost and tax more, while expanding the size and reach of government. Washington is "broken" when Republicans say "no" to more dependence on government and yes to liberty, opportunity and personal responsibility.
The message from the November election was about ending Obamism, not expanding it. You wouldn't know that from the drooling big media, which is already trying to re-establish the liberal narrative that everything Democrats do is good and everything Republicans do is evil. The big question is: What narrative do Republicans have to counter, even replace, the Democrats' narrative? That I can't predict, except to say we'll soon know.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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