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If you can’t win the debate, shoot the messenger


I know it’s a garbled title, but you get the point, I’m sure. Here we have the Democrats, drooling over an upcoming election that seemed tailor-made for them, and their poll numbers just keep on dropping. As far as anyone can tell today, the presidential election is up for grabs, despite the unpopularity of the incumbent, despite the fecklessness of the Congressional Republicans, despite the New York Times, most of the big names on the networks, etc. etc.

So what’s wrong? Well, the Democrats are wrong. They have lost the ability to understand the world, merely chanting their old, failed solutions to new problems they did not foresee. Unable to propose credible policies, they focus their frustrated energies on the individuals who best expose their hollowness: Rush, Sean, Mark, and the other broadcasters. I have no doubt they will expand their assault to writers as well.

The attack–most recently from the office of Rep. Waxman–is intended to eliminate their opponents from the political battlefield. I cannot believe it will succeed, because the Democrats’ weapons are the blunt instruments of “the politics of personal destruction,” which is to say scandal, gossip, and rumor. They want to discredit their critics, since they cannot refute them. The phony charges against Rush are the latest evidence of this strategy, and Waxman’s apparent intention to have his staffers pour over thousands of hours of broadcasts, hoping to find some ambiguity or some slip of the tongue on which to erect a political gallows, points to their future plans.

There is nothing new in this. It’s as old as free societies (just ask George Washington or Tom Jefferson, both of whom were vilified by their opponents). We have two tasks: first, to expose the strategy for what it is, and second to concentrate our energies on defining both the threats we face–growing graver by the day–and the best means to counter them.

We are indeed at war, after all.


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