Ed Driscoll

Winning The GWOT, Losing The Media Battlefield

Andrew Breitbart boldly goes where few residents of the Hollywood area dare to go:

I have a dark secret to tell before the election so that it’s on the record. It’s something that is difficult to say to certain friends, peers, family and, lately, many fellow conservatives.

I still like George W. Bush. A lot.

For starters, I am convinced he is a fundamentally decent man, even though I have read otherwise at the Huffington Post.

President Bush is far smarter, more articulate and less ideological than his plentiful detractors scream, and, ultimately, he will be judged by history – not by vengeful Democrats, hate-filled Hollywood, corrupt foreign governments, an imploding mainstream media or fleeting approval ratings.

George W. Bush is history’s president, a man for whom the long-term success or failure of democracy in Iraq will determine his place in history. He may end up a victim of his own tough choices, but the cheerleading for his demise when Iraq’s outcome is yet determined has hurt America and possibly set up the next president for the same appalling partisan response.

The fact that the United States has not been attacked since Sept. 11, 2001, far exceeds the most wishful expert predictions of the time. Perhaps facing another al Qaeda-led barrage would have reinforced our need for national unity, caused us to recognize the gravity of the Islamist threat and fortified Mr. Bush’s standing at home and abroad.

Yet, thankfully, that never happened. And Mr. Bush has been punished for this obvious success.

More here:

While President Bush has been marshaling a multinational force to take on modernity’s enemies in foreign lands, the American left has decided to go to war against not only Republicans but also moderate Democrats.

Bush hatred was a fait accompli.

Back in November 2000, when Al Gore contested Florida and the demonizing of George Bush began full-bore (“President Select,” “Bush Chimp,” “the illegitimate president”), I told Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund, “You watch, the Democratic Party will never grant Bush his humanity, and they will never let up.”

And they never did.

The Democratic Party chose to send a clear message that the impeachment of President Clinton incurred by the newly minted Republican-led Congress and the upstart new media – talk radio and the Internet – would be countered by unprecedented partisan fury.

The media will shape “the truth” that Democrats were always behind the initial Afghanistan effort or were poised to grudgingly accept the president whom they previously mocked as “illegitimate.”

But those brave liberals who stood by the president were mostly a small minority, and all of them have since been excommunicated for their apostasy.

The biggest failure of the Bush administration has been their inability to clearly communicate a message to rise above the media din, and to court the media in a good will that’s clearly not reciprocated.

As Victor Davis Hanson wrote last week, “Sometime in 2008, journalism as we knew it died, and advocacy media took its place.” He’s right, of course, but the media’s transformation didn’t happen overnight, and according to some media critics in 2004, there was an effort by the Bush Administration in its first term to attempt to counteract it. If so, it was far, far too fleeting.

The next Republican president, whether he’s sworn in this January or in the next decade, will have to understand that new media reality, or face exactly the same demonization that Andrew describes above that every Republican president since 1968 has faced, no matter how he actually governs.

(Via John Nolte.)