Friday, September 05, 2008

Media elites just don't get it.

this time, I'm not talking about teh Palin-bashers, though of course she is mischaracterized by David Brooks's latest column, A Glimpse of the New.

Now, Brooks is the affirmative action conservative at the New York Times, the elitist of all elite print media in the world. When he speaks, it's the same inside the beltway point of view that is wrong with this country. Sometimes he gets it right, as in when he mocked Obama's convention speech (Obama loves the future because that's where his accomplishments are.) But, in his latest piece, he demonstrates, once again, that he really doesn't get mainstream conservatives, probably because he doesn't know any.
Before the convention, some McCain aides wanted to sunder the links to the past in one bold stroke: Name Joe Lieberman as the vice presidential nominee, promise to serve only one term, vow to take a hiatus from partisanship and work by compromise to get things done. That proved to be a leap too far.

So McCain was pulled back. But he refused to stay there and pressed ahead by picking Sarah Palin. At first, this seemed like the fresh break he needed. Her career in Alaska has been nibbled on the edges, but the key fact is this: When the testing time came, she quit her government job, put her career on the line and took on the corrupt establishment of her own party.

But again, the forces of the past pulled McCain back. Parts of the press pack elevated Bristol Palin's pregnancy. A controversy over human reproduction brought back the old culture wars and the mommy wars. Battle lines formed, as in the days of Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas, and everyone took their pre-assigned roles.
First of all, Joe Lieberman was never going to be McCain's running mate - the reasons being obvious to the rest of us: He isn't a Republican or a conservative and is generally hostile to Republican and conservative principles and ideas. He doesn't fit. It would have been a transformational pick, but for the wrong reason. Naming any Democrat would have been such a pick, but it would have been untenable. It would have destroyed the Republican Party. David Brooks may not think so, but that's because he lives in the fishbowl of elite media opinion and just doesn't get it. He thinks that the "right wing" bullied McCain into picking Palin, but he's wrong. McCain was just brought back to his senses, if he seriously did consider Lieberman. But is it really so hard to believe that there wasn't a single Republican in the entire country worthy of the number two spot? To David Brooks, the answer is "no."

Most conservatives and Republicans don't live in his world and don't think like he does. We want to be a part of the party. We don't want to be ignored. We like Sarah Palin because she's a real person, not some Washington insider.

Second of all, Sarah Palin wasn't selected as the VP to unify the base. It had that effect, but she isn't some fire and brimstone social conservative as the left of center media portray her. She's just a regular person, with regular morals and beliefs, who lives those morals and beliefs. She's not a Washington phony who goes to church to get seen. She goes to worship.

There are a lot of reason for real conservatives to dislike McCain that have nothing to do with social issues, on which he's fairly conservative and not really objectionable - namely his opposition to Bush's tax cuts with class warfare rhetoric, his push for amnesty for illegals, Campaign Finance Reform (which basically just protects incumbents from upstart challengers!), his gullibility on the global warming hoax, and his rhetoric against the oil and pharmaceutical industries (which produce products we need!) and generally speaking, he also just seems more comfortable helping liberals pass legislation they want than helping conservatives pass legislation they prefer.

Lastly, the culture wars reappeared because the liberal media decided it needed to invade the privacy of Sarah Palin's family at the behest of the anti-American left wing radical blogs that were spewing false rumors about Palin and her family. We didn't start it. Let me say that again. CONSERVATIVES DIDN'T RE-IGNITE ANY CULTURE WAR! The culture war has been going on for a long time in this country, and to the extent it was brought to the fore, it was done so by the left wing media and wacko liberal blogs.

However, instead of acting like the mean ol' Republicans that we're described as by liberals, Republicans embraced Palin because she's authentic. She's one of us. We're not elites. We're the regular people. That's who real conservatives are. Regular people have problems, but we can appreciate when a mistake isn't compounded with antoher mistake. We don't live and die with this or that Senate Resolution. We just want to live our lives with freedom from an all too intrusive government controlling our money and property and generally making life too expensive to live.

Let me boil this down for David Brooks and the other members of the elite media. The reason that the GOP "brand" has taken a beating over the last few years is because the leaders in Washington, including George W. Bush and his administration, the GOP leadership in Congress, as well some GOP Governors like Arnold in California stopped acting like conservatives and started acting like liberals. They were more interested in spending the taxpayers' dollars to stay in power than to reform government and make it smaller. Big government is the problem. If they aren't part of the solution, they're part of the problem and we the people weren't going to take any more. If Republicans are going to act like Democrats, then who needs 'em.

To end, maybe the GOP needs a makeover. Maybe John McCain is the guy to do it, but that's arguable.But the makeover needs to come at the top. The grassroots of the party is conservative and hasn't changed all that much. What has changed is our leadership, or lack thereof. The leadership needs to change. The leadership needs to be more idealistic and stick to standard GOP/Conservative principles of limited government, individual liberty, strong national defense, the rule of law and traditional values. That's the winning coalition. If they do that, they'll be fine. Conservative ideas don't need to be changed. They need to be tried.