Ed Driscoll

'And the Republicans Are Losing to These Guys'

At the Corner, Jonah Goldberg sums up The Week That Was in politics:

A Democratic senator hired an unpaid intern who was an undocumented immigrant but a documented sex offender. Apparently Senator Menendez needed an immigrant to do sex offending that Americans won’t do.

Meanwhile, Representative Jim Moran is “embarrassed” by the revelation that his voter-fraud-orchestrating son smashed his girlfriend’s face into a garbage can and pleaded guilty to assault. The girlfriend appears to be doing what she can to make the story go away. But don’t worry, the phrase “war on women” may still only be used to describe people who don’t want to pay for someone else’s birth control. No word if anyone on the left will be expressing their gratitude for the Violence Against Women Act for this.

Over in Michigan, defenders of the union protestors who tore down an Americans for Prosperity tent are heading toward trutherism, suggesting that it was all a set up, the canvas-and-rope equivalent of the Reichstag fire. No word yet if anyone is claiming the Jews inside the tent got advance notice.

Oh, and after months — nay years — of rhetoric from the president and his proxies about how taxes are simply a sign of neighborliness and the dues we pay to live in this great country, we learn that Obama’s staff owe nearly a million dollars in back taxes.

And the Republicans are losing to these guys.

Actually, it’s fairer to say that the Republicans are losing to those guys’ PR agents, also known as the MSM. As Bryan Preston writes at the Tatler, “You Know What’s Weird? Despite the Election, Liberty is Having a Pretty Good Week.” But you wouldn’t know that if you were a low-information voter who received all of your news from the MSM. Which is why Glenn Reynolds has a modest proposal:

When a flier about getting away with rape was found in a college men’s bathroom, the women’s site YourTango (“Your Best Love Life”) led with the fact that the college was Paul Ryan’s alma materin a transparent effort to advance the Democrats’ War on Women claim that Republicans are somehow pro-rape. A companion article was “12 Hot Older Men Who Endorse President Obama.”

Similar p.r. abounded across the board: Sandra Fluke is a hero; Sarah Palin is a zero. Republicans are all old white men (women or minority Republicans get mocked or ignored).

This kind of thing adds up, especially among low-information voters. They may not know or care much about the specifics, but this theme, repeated over and over again, sends a message: Democrats are cool, and Republicans are uncool — and if you vote for them, you’re uncool, too.

There’s nothing new about this, of course. In her 2004 book, “Spin Sisters: How the Women of The Media Sell Unhappiness — and Liberalism — to the Women of America,” Myrna Blyth (a former Ladies Home Journal editor) explained in considerable detail the variety of “Mean Girls” feminism that the women’s media aim at their readers with every issue.

The message: There’s one way that women should think; people who don’t think that way are bad and stupid — and if you think the wrong way, women won’t like you.

For $150 million, you could buy or start a lot of women’s Web sites. And I’d hardly change a thing in the formula. The nine articles on sex, shopping and exercise could stay the same. The 10th would just be the reverse of what’s there now.

For the pro-Republican stuff, well, just visit the “Real Mitt Romney” page at snopes.com, or look up the time Mitt Romney rescued a 14-year-old kidnap victim, to see the kind of feel-good stories that could have been running. For the others, well, it would run articles on whether Bill Clinton should get a pass on his affairs, whether it’s right that the Obama White House pays women less than men, and reports on how the tax system punishes women.

This stuff writes itself, probably more easily than the Spin Sisters’ pabulum. And opening up a major beachhead in this section of the media is probably a lot cheaper than challenging major newspapers and TV networks head on.

Of course, any publication that a conservative launches/invests in/takes over will eventually be demonized by the left, Allahpundit notes, before concluding:

Your problem here, I think, isn’t that there isn’t enough conservative influence at the top of the media, it’s that there isn’t enough respect for conservatives at the bottom. And it has little to do with the GOP moving “too far right.” Liberals like to say that Reagan would be a moderate by current Republican standards but they hated Reagan to pieces 30 years ago and they’d hate him to pieces now. Romney was a moderate by any measure — even in his base-pandering phase in the primaries he refused to denounce RomneyCare — and yet they despised him as some sort of plutocratic sociopath. We could spend hours debating why the Lords of Empathy aren’t more empathetic towards their opponents, if only to the point of not suspecting nefarious motives behind every last conservative policy measure, but I don’t think it’s something that’d be solved by having Rupert Murdoch buy up a bunch of papers. It’s a cultural thing, and you’d need a lot of movement culturally — a lot — to make a dent.

But as part of a systematized effort to buy or launch a few high-profile magazines/Websites, fund watchable conservative/libertarian or simply non-left leaning movies in Hollywood, and makes some inroads into reforming education* — along with a presidential candidate who isn’t terrified of the current MSM, as McCain and Romney both ultimately proved to be in the final weeks of their campaigns, it would help.

At least such efforts would help set the stage — you still need a viable candidate who can articulate his party’s philosophy to step onto that stage, to have a chance at winning. That’s the topic of Deniel Henninger’s latest column in the Wall Street Journal:

Where is the Big Picture? Why is it not possible for John Boehner or anyone else in this party to articulate for the dumbstruck public watching these dreadful cliff negotiations what the Republican Party stands for? Who speaks for the GOP?

No end of people keep saying of the Republicans that “they” should do this or “they” should do ted hat. Who’s “they”? It is no one. With the Republicans, there’s no “they” there…

… in the absence of a compelling conservative voice, the party is defaulting to a chaos of voices. They are letting their despondent supporters in the country sink deeper than they were the night of the election. They’re going to leave a deep philosophical hole for every candidate in 2014 and any conceivable presidential candidate in 2016.

The GOP needs a person of stature and credibility to provide the public with a clear sense of the Republican purpose, no matter the negotiation’s outcome. If people start talking about that person and the presidency, so be it. A cliff is no place to look shy, timid or lost.

Which is why Michael Walsh adds:

The Romney fiasco should be the death knell of the Washington Generals approach to competing against the Democrats, and the whole lot of the Old Guard — starting with weepy John Boehner — should be tossed out and replaced with those who can distinguish between strategy and tactics and who understand that the only acceptable strategic outcome should be total victory over the modern Left and its alien, imported ideology. After all — that’s certainly the other side’s goal.

But then, you could have written the very same thing this time around in December of 2008. Nobody in the old guard acted on any of these lessons; it was only the grass roots Tea Party, with the support of new media, that actualized itself and came out to fight.

* Which, as David Gelernter explored in his recent book, America-Lite: How Imperial Academia Dismantled Our Culture (and Ushered In the Obamacrats), is made slightly easier by the growing Higher Education Bubble and parents wondering what the heck their kids are learning at Karl Marx U.