In old Westerns, the good guys would often find themselves beset by enemies and nearly out of ammunition. Just when all seemed lost, a bugle would sound and the cavalry would ride to the rescue.
Liberals think their situation is much the same. Those evil tea partiers have them surrounded with just six weeks left until the election. Democrats and the media are hoping life imitates art. If not, the entire leftward tilt of the nation could be in jeopardy. So they called for the cavalry – everyone from former presidents to talking heads to churchgoers.
At the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Phoenix Awards Dinner Obama said he needed “soldiers” for the fight ahead. “I need everybody here to go back to your neighborhoods, to go back to your workplaces, to go to churches and go to the barbershops and go to the beauty shops, and tell them we’ve got more work to do,” Obama told the crowd. The New York Times said Team Obama was “considering a range of ideas, including national advertisements, to cast the Republican Party as all but taken over by Tea Party extremists,” but the White House called that “totally wrong.” Not that anyone believed them.
Obama’s real soldiers have responded as expected. The media, always eager to combat conservatives of any stripe, descended on Obama’s enemies like a regiment at full gallop. They attacked each with gusto. Even Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz noted “the slightly mocking tone” journalists were using for tea party candidates.
Supposedly neutral journalists reserved the worst attacks for the newest conservative darling – Delaware’s Christine O’Donnell. From stories on masturbation and witchcraft, the news media have made a mockery of that race alone. CNN’s John Avlon called her the “new queen of the wingnuts.” But why stop in tiny Delaware?
CBS curmudgeon and one-time newsman Bob Schieffer predicted the tea partiers would lose just like Barry Goldwater-led conservatives did in 1964 because they were “far to the right of most of the people in his party, and they lost in a landslide.” ABC’s new biased host of “This Week,” Christiane Amanpour, asked if the Tea Party was “a fad,” and Daily Beast political writer and journalism professor Peter Beinart saw tea party doom just a few years later than Schieffer. “The Tea Party is now the Republican Party. I mean I think what we're seeing in the Republican Party is something akin to what happened to the Democratic Party between 1968 and 1972 in which the forces of George McGovern took over the Democratic Party, overthrew the Democratic Party establishment and moved it substantially to the left.” That’s not analysis, it’s wishful thinking.