These are strange days in the presidential election cycle. Like Europe between the German invasion of Poland in September 1939 and the Fall of France the following May, we appear to be in a Sitzkrieg, in which neither side seems to want to engage, except obliquely. After a reasonably successful convention, the Romney camp is quiet, its promised blizzard of ads yet to materialize, as if it’s been stunned into silence by the furious media-fueled campaign of disinformation that followed the Democrats’ disgraceful conclave in Charlotte.
Yesterday, I heard a Democratic pollster (I think it was Doug Schoen) tell Geraldo Rivera on his radio show that Obama is now the “likely” winner of the November election, with his chances of victory at around 60–65 percent. Such is the received wisdom of the Left-wing media, which happily discounted the successes of the GOP shindig in Tampa (not enough specifics!) and ignored the God-booing and genital-celebrating of the Democrats to declare, in effect, the revivification of the Clinton presidency and its new embodiment in the person of Barack Hussein Obama — an unworthy vessel to be sure, but the best they have at the moment until the Hillary Restoration in 2016.
Like the ineffable Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Baghdad Bob of the DNC, who has mastered the dark art of looking you straight in the eye and lying right to your face, the media has simply declared the verdict they wanted to reach all along. Unfortunately, every moment that Romney doesn’t vigorously push back against it, and them, is another moment lost along the road to November.
For the truth is, the conservative media effort is pathetic: uncoordinated, scattershot, internally contradictory and grotesquely underfunded. Whereas the Democrats have not only the mainstream media — beginning with its official mouthpiece, the New York Times, as well as the broadcast networks and two of the three cable networks — but also the George Soros-fueled resources of the “non-profit” Media Matters for America disinformation operation, whose stated mission it is to take down Fox News and to combat conservatism in general.
Republicans seem not to be able to understand that campaigns are fought on many fronts and many levels, not all of them immediately visible to their crack cadre of campaign consultants — for whom there is apparently no penalty whatsoever for consistent failure. They whine about their treatment in the MSM but mount absolutely no coherent defense against it, on the theory that it would somehow be unfair or rude to do so. Or simply not worth the money.
And yet it would be so easy: With Legacy Media having gleefully abandoned their profession’s former code of objectivity, the American journalistic landscape now more closely resembles that of Europe, with openly political and partisan newspapers happily rooting for their candidates and wantonly destroying the opposition. Two should be able to play at that game. But only one does.#more#
The GOP heavy hitters continue to eschew the media’s psywar battle for hearts and minds, and instead continue to play the mug’s game of wooing “moderates” and targeting ad buys in swing states. The future dystopia envisioned by Joe McGinniss back in 1969 with The Selling of the President is now fully here, and the result is a 50–50 country slowly and thus far inexorably shifting leftward because the Left is constantly on the attack for new territory while the deep pockets on the Right bury their heads in the sand and hope the recrudescent socialist tiger eats them last.
“What’s the return on my investment?” they cry.
Ask Gibson Guitars and the Gallup Organization, both of whom have been targeted by Eric Holder’s justice department for the crime of . . . what, exactly? The Kochs can look forward to similar treatment at the hands of the president’s henchmen should he be reelected this fall. After all, as he himself admitted to a KGB errand boy in March, he’ll have more “flexibility” come the new year, and dealing with his domestic “enemies” will certainly be high on his to-do list, right after the victory parties, the Inaugural balls and a few celebratory rounds of golf in Hawaii.
Meanwhile, Soros understands that by giving MMFA a small piece of his vast fortune he can reap a handsome return on his investment in the only field of endeavor that truly interests him at this point in his life: the political.
Which is why David Axelrod, the Jake Lingle of his day, has become the face of the Obama campaign. Axelrod’s a terrible public spokesman — shifty, breathtakingly evasive and unlovely — but the former Chicago Tribune reporter is out there to keep his buddies in the media (and they are legion) on message. And what better way to do it than to be dog-whistling at the poodles and lapdogs every day? Axelrod’s usefulness to Obama has nothing to do with his advice on, say, national-security issues and everything to do with his patented JournOList rolodex.
It’s a kind of genius of inverted Reaganism, really — going straight over the heads of the American people to speak directly to the media, a 24/7 propaganda operation dedicated to maintaining the illusion of the president’s intellectual brilliance, Protestant work ethic, and his deep and abiding patriotism.
And thus the Sitzkrieg – a “phony war” as far as the traditional campaigns are concerned, but a genuine Blitzkrieg in the media and across cyberspace, where the Big Berthas are already prepping the battlespace so that when the time comes to take Paris, its occupants will already be too demoralized to offer any meaningful resistance and will instead welcome the cessation of hostilities the way the French welcomed the Germans back to their favorite restaurant tables, as if they’d never left.
That’s the Democrats’ strategy, anyway — what’s Mitt’s? Remind us once more that the president’s a nice guy but that he’s just in over his head and golly how about that bad economy and, you know, there are some things about Obamacare I like? Somewhere the ghost of Steve Schmidt is smiling.