The Liberal Press:
A Mission Statement
Despite the fact that most US newspapers are owned by conservative interests (The Gannett Company, Hearst Corporation, Rupert Murdoch and his companies), I keep hearing about the “Liberal Press” and how they don’t give conservatives their due. This is not a new phenomenon. When I was in school thirty years ago, the Liberal Press was blamed for making President Ford look clumsy, and H.W. Bush seem Machiavellian. Later, those same Democratic Demons would make George W. Bush’s stream of malapropisms and misstatements seem unintelligent, or somehow unPresidential, perhaps by reporting them.
The purpose of this column is to give a face to The Liberal Press, so that when the whining starts, at least flummoxed conservatives can point to something that actually does exist. For the rest of us, the real question is not whether I exist, but why have I not allowed the GOP to put up a valid candidate for the presidency for so many years? Indeed, who would want to be President after the ruinous Bush years left our economy devastated, and millions of homeowners underwater, financially and literally, in New Orleans? Gasoline was up to $4.00 a gallon at the end of his term, and it was going to take years of dedicated scrimping to pull the economy back out into traffic. The fact is McCain/Palin was a cardboard ticket, never meant to win. The GOP knew well enough to let the Democrats do the sweeping up after more tax cuts for for the rich, and expensive, ill-considered wars (which practically eliminated the term “conflict of interest” from our political lexicon).
Just as Slick Willy did after H.W. Bush’s tenure, Barack Obama has turned around the economy, and eased the nation’s unemployment crisis. So why, when things are looking rosier, are Republicans once again opting out of the race for the White House? Seriously, the very best candidates they can bring forth are Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Trump? Even they admit that Trump is poisoning their well. Are they trying to hasten the Second Coming with excessive sin? What do they know that we don’t?
I have been talking with quite a few Conservatives recently. Indeed, many are eager to express themselves. Most of them seem to parrot what they hear on Fox news or Rush, almost as if hoping a more compassionate, or perhaps more considered retort. Their universal hatred of Obama interests me greatly, and I have heard several different critiques:
Rural Republicans still squawk that Obama is going to take their guns away. Though that would probably be for the best, it’s a paranoid fantasy. More thoughtful slights point at Obama’s ‘foreign policy failures,’ particularly ending the debilitating trade embargoes on Iran and Cuba. Obama has offered the olive branch to quite a few enemies, and it has earned him a Nobel Peace Prize. On this topic, the Conservatives are unanimous. I will quote a few responses to my mentioning the Nobel Prize: “He only won that because he’s Black.” (The racist angle) “He was just in the right place at the right time.” (You forgot ‘and did the right thing while he was there’) And the cryptic “They decide those things by committee, you know.” (As if deciding undemocratically would have given the prize more gravity?)
Conservatives have a lot to be upset about. Their party hasn’t put up a really charismatic, intelligent, well-spoken candidate since Nixon. But they can’t blame the rifts in their fractured base on the current administration, nor can they mend them with racist potshots at a President who will likely go down in history as one of the best ever, probably decided by committee.