DURING ONE HIS MANY INTERVIEWS THIS PAST WEEK (I think during the BBC interview), President Clinton was asked about “the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy”, and he said something along the lines of “I think it was wrong of Hillary to refer to it as a conspiracy. It was a very big machine, but it was right out in the open.”
At what point do we start coming up for names for what the left is doing now? To paraphrase President Clinton, it’s not a conspiracy; it’s right out in the open: the constant hammering of President Bush by the press (who ignore their own reporting on Iraq during the Clinton years), the outbursts in the Senate by disgruntled leftwingers like Ted Kennedy, Tom Harkin, and Frank Lautenberg; Michael Moore’s film; and now this:
WASHINGTON (AP) – Cheered by supporters, Michael Moore previewed his Bush-bashing documentary, “Fahrenheit 9/11,” before a mostly Democratic audience in the nation’s capital Wednesday night.
Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe said he thought the film would play an important role in this election year.
“This movie raises a lot of the issues that Americans are talking about, that George Bush has been asleep at the switch since he’s been president,” McAuliffe said as he walked the red carpet into the premiere.
Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa implored all Americans to see the film: “It’s important for the American people to understand what has gone on before, what led us to this point, and to see it sort of in this unvarnished presentation by Michael Moore.”
Add to it Mario Cuomo’s efforts to get its rating lowered from R to PG-13 so that more kids could attend. Here you have three very prominent members of the Democratic party praising a piece of agitprop designed to trash a sitting president. Hillary could go on The Today Show in 1998 and claim a vast right wing conspiracy with a straight face, and nobody in the press questioned her.
Does Bush get to make a similar claim about the left? If so, how can he frame it, considering how much he’s loathed by the press?
I do think that ultimately, this stuff isn’t helping the left’s cause, and they’re overplaying their hand, just like the over the top Wellstone funeral-cum-political orgy of 2002. They’ve hitched themselves to something which is likely to rebound very badly in their faces; but in the meantime, I hope a rope-a-dope strategy is in place by the White House, because without signs of the president fighting back, all of this can be brutal to watch. On the other hand, the staggering amount of overheated rhetoric doesn’t sound at all like the FDR-style jaunty “happy days are here again” feeling of a party confident of victory in the fall.
It’s not 1968–yet. But it can certainly feel like it, at times.
UPDATE: John H. Hinderaker of The Power Line Blog writes, “With all of this publicity, Fahrenheit 9/11 can only be a mega-hit. I mean, the last cultural phenomenon to receive this kind of hype was Air America“. Heh.
More from Power Line on the left’s crack-up here.
ANOTHER UPDATE: John Hawkins has some questions for the Democratic politicians who consider Moore to be part of the mainstream.