Which dominates: the urge to marvel or the urge to laugh?
That's a tough question when you look at the Democratic liberals wailing one minute about President Obama's dramatic reversals on issues such as Guantanamo and gun legislation and then, without even pausing for a breath, explaining away Obama's behavior in mirth-provoking ways that remove any suggestion they're unhappy with him.
"He's concentrating on the big issues, like the economy," alibied one Democratic lawmaker. Another chimed in, "He picks his fights very carefully."
Wait a minute! If the last election really were the St. George of the left slaying the dragon of the right, why would President Obama have to divert his attention and political capital to close Guantanamo and keep loaded firearms out of national parks? Aren't both of those issues in the 2-plus-2 section of the liberal math book?
While Tom Ridge, Colin Powell, Rush Limbaugh, and others offer their heartfelt advice on how to engineer a Republican comeback, let me quietly offer a Buddhist suggestion: "Don't do anything; just sit there!"
Nothing comes across weaker and more phony than Republicans' "reaching out to minorities" when the Democrats have just trounced them with the first black president.
If I were advising dogs, I'd say, "Stay!" When advising Republicans, I'd say, "Just sit there!" I mean, you know, continue to build the party, but no more stupid lunges.
Do you remember how Gen. Claus Von Stauffenberg and his anti-Hitler conspirators thought they had assassinated der Fuehrer and taken control of Germany — for a little while? Do you remember a few years ago when the democratic opposition in Venezuela thought it had overthrown Hugo Chavez and freed Venezuela from the Cuba roadmap — for a little while?
Well, in similar fashion, the liberals thought they had reversed America's DNA from right to left. By and large, they over-interpreted Obama's victory as the American people' regurgitating George W. Bush and his rightist henchmen and ideology and turning on the landing lights for the liberating hordes of the left.
The drama was well cast. Rahm Emanuel would make sure nothing slid backward. Arlen Spector in his spectacular defection was the human bangalore torpedo finishing off whatever ersatz morale the conservatives could possibly summon forth. As columnist Charles Krauthammer emerged as the most effective anti-Obama columnist, Joe Klein of Time magazine pulled the trigger on him in a breathtaking ad-hominem attack, actually blaming his wheelchair confinement and his consequent inability to get around much as the reason his columns are so "dangerously bellicose, arrogant and wrong."
Let's understand something important about America. America is a conservative country. You are now entering a freely admitted "Spin Zone," one long overdue after all the liberal spinmeisters have been throwing these very same juggler balls in the opposite direction.
In 1968 conservative Richard Nixon beat liberal Hubert Humphrey. (I wish they'd give us more liberals like Hubert Humphrey.) The 1972 election gave rise to one of the best political book titles of all time; Kristi Witker's book about that Nixon-McGovern campaign entitled "How to Lose Everything in Politics Except Massachusetts."
Because that's exactly what Sen. George McGovern did. (At the Congress of Racial Equality's Martin Luther King Birthday Banquet in January, I had a chance to ask McGovern, "You were a bomber pilot in World War II. Why did you never mention that and, instead, let them paint you as a liberal wimp?" "Well," McGovern replied with a smile, "I didn't think it was right to brag about a war record during a political campaign." I wish we had more liberals like him, too!)
Okay, Jimmy Carter edged out Gerald Ford in 1976, but is there a liberal pundit fatuous enough to deny that was the result of the Watergate scandal, and not a national shift from conservative to liberal?
Ronald Reagan ended that argument convincingly in 1980 and more so in 1984. His vice president, George H. W. Bush, handily beat Mike Dukakis in 1988 and lost to admittedly liberal Bill Clinton in 1992 because (and here, for the first and only time during this flight, you might want to check your seatbelt) Bush broke his no-new-taxes pledge and his 91 percent approval rating in 1991 after Desert Storm got him a little bit complacent.
After two terms of a most charming and talented Bill Clinton the conservative character of the nation reasserted itself and led to the defeat of Al Gore at the hands of George W. Bush, who won re-election against liberal John Kerry even though the Iraq war was going far from well by Election Day of 2004.
Omitted so far are specific mentions of 1996, Clinton's run for his second term, and 2008.
Both of those "conservative defeats" were because the Republicans nominated candidates the electorate considered old and dull and over with. Bob Dole and John McCain lost. A nation no longer responsive to military heroism elected non-military-serving younger charmers. Both elections were an affirmation of youth and charm, not a repudiation of conservatism.
Why does this allegedly liberal Congress not smilingly hand President Obama money to get out of Guantanamo and put the kibosh on guns in national parks? Why don't they do it quickly and decisively and before breakfast?
Because somebody was wise enough in the 1700s to have one entire house of Congress re-elected and the other one re-jiggled by one-third every two years. U.S. legislators are like disc jockeys. They play the tunes with the most requests. And the most requests from Americans regarding Guantanamo and permission to own and carry firearms are those that cause Democratic legislators to cast conservative votes.
After the "not-even-close" election of liberal President Barack Obama, has anybody explained why not one single popular new liberal voice has arisen on talk radio or TV? Or why media conservatives are getting stronger?
Please, Republicans, don't leap to ape the Democrats. Instead, go to the foot of your bed and read your hospital chart. You'll see people such as Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., whose district went for Obama but who won re-election 2-to-1 as a Republican.
The notion that America has overthrown the conservative "occupation" and regained its liberal righteousness reminds one of the story of the young Jewish man who made a fortune and bought himself a huge yacht and had a uniform designed for himself with a lot of braid on the shoulders and cap and proudly went to his mother and said, "Look, Mom. I'm a captain!"
The mother thought deeply for a several moments before replying in a Yiddish accent, "Marvin. By you, you're a captain. By me, you're a captain. But tell me, Marvin. By a captain are you a captain?"
So, by the liberals, we're a liberal country. And by the liberal mainstream media, we're a liberal country.
But, tell me. By the American people, are we a liberal country? Evidence, please!
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