Dan Gainor

It’s January and we’re watching reruns. The clueless main character and his band of misfits are struggling through another groovy episode. Barack Obama’s playing the cool lead with V.P. Joe Biden filling the role of the balding, curmudgeonly father figure. Throw in a tomboyish sidekick, a bunch of oddballs and it’s “That ’70s Show.”

It isn’t a sitcom, it’s real life. Obama might act like Ashton Kutcher’s Kelso with better clothes, but he’s really more like another ’70s character – Jimmy Carter. You remember Jimmy – the seemingly good-hearted, fish-out-of-water outsider from Plains, Ga. A public exhausted and disillusioned by Watergate narrowly gave him the presidency, and he had it made.

After squeaking by Ford, Carter came to Washington with the charm and homespun wisdom of a modern Mr. Smith. Like Obama, he was likeable. Only problem was, he was an awful president and leader. His failures cost Americans in their wallets and his party in Congress. Democrats only had a three-seat loss during the mid-term elections of 1978. But that included the GOP taking the Minnesota special election after Democratic stalwart Sen. Hubert Humphrey passed away.

Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution

In 2010, Democrats once again had a prime seat to fill. Ted Kennedy, who the media often called the “Lion of the Senate,” died and Republican Scott Brown seized the Kennedy legacy and the job. In a few weeks, a hardcore blue state turned on the Obama agenda and voted to send a no vote on health care reform to Washington.

This wasn’t just a rejection of the Obamanation. This was a rejection of the media who have hammered Obama’s view on health care reform so often that they have helped turn even Massachusetts against it. For months the media misreported the number of Americans without health care. When Obama spoke on the issue, the media backed his every move. ABC even turned over its entire network to the president for a healthcare special.

The American public didn’t buy it. Scott Brown won as the 41st vote against Obamacare. The media hated that and made sure everyone knew it. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews called a vote for Brown “deliberate, premeditated murder for health care!” While histrionic, at least he was accurate.


Dan Gainor

Dan Gainor is The Boone Pickens Free Market Fellow and director of the Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute.