Friday, December 6, 2002
MEDIA BIAS: The first step in dealing with any problem in life is to admit there is a problem. Until liberals admit they have been coasting on the backs of a left-leaning national press for years, they have little hope of figuring out how to deal with the battle of ideas that occurs everyday via TV, radio, cable, print and the internet. E.J. Dionne's column in the Washington Post is a perfect example of just how much in denial liberals are today.

Incredibly, like the drunk who insists he doesn't have a drinking problem, Dionne professes that the "conventional wisdom" that there is a left-leaning media bias is, "roughly, 180 degrees off." He then goes on to suggest that this idea of a left-leaning press is all the creation of "a large network of conservative institutions" that spawns this myth to the America public via talk radio and cable TV.

Well, this BS may sell to Bob Schieffer, Judy Woodruff, Howell Raines, and all the other media elite liberals and those who think like them. But for the other 85% of the country that is to the ideological right of these folks who dominate the national press, those people, the bulk of the country, see right through this nonsense.

Dionne decries Rush Limbaugh's invitation for "lengthy and respectful interviews on CNN's "Reliable Sources" and Tim Russert's show on CNBC." As if Limbaugh on once or twice a year is crime, but Paul Begala and James Carville on CNN everynight is just fine. The evidence of a left-leaning national media bias is so overwhelming I'm not going to waste time proving it. If people are convinced 2+2=5 there is only so much you can do.

As someone who is usually 180 degrees opposed to what liberals believe I hope the left in this country continues to remain in a time warp and in utter denial to the changes that have occurred the past ten years in how the public gets its information.

Sitting around and waiting for the next depression so that you can enact more New Deal and Great Society programs is not a real positive vision for America. And until liberals wake up and realize the gravy train days of having CBS, NBC, ABC and CNN do their heavy lifting are gone, and gone for good, they will not confront the question of what they need to do, TO COMPETE, in the battleground of ideas, for the hearts and minds of the America people. John M. 9:49 am

Thursday, December 5, 2002
A new Mason-Dixon poll shows the race extremely close with Landrieu ahead 47%-45%, but the poll also shows a big bump for Terrell from Bush visit's on Tuesday. The poll results which were taken after Bush's appearance in the state show Terrell ahead 49%-46%. Click here for our analysis of the race. John M. 10:39 am

Wednesday, December 4, 2002
"When people are feeling insecure, they'd rather have someone who is strong and wrong rather than somebody who is weak and right." It's a catchy line by the former President, and he is exactly right. For in times of crisis people DO want leadership, and they will gravitate to the party or leader that offers a strong vision for the future. The problem with Clinton's analysis is while it is true people will prefer "strong and wrong" to "weak and right" in times of crisis, they will ALWAYS prefer "strong and right" to "weak and wrong."

That is the heart of the Democrat's problem, that Clinton and the rest of their leaders want to whitewash. After the peacenik/McGovern fringe of the Democratic Party took control in the late '60's and early 70's the Democratic Party was "weak and wrong" on the number one security issue to the nation, the war against communism and the USSR. Except for Jimmy Carter's post-Watergate, razor thin victory in 1976 the Democrats didn't come close in the presidential elections of '72, '80, '84 and '88.

The collapse of communism during the first President Bush's term removed that issue and gave the Democrats an ability to compete on the presidential level. No Cold War, Ross Perot and a mild recession gave us Bill Clinton in 1992. September 11, 2001 has returned the country to a Cold War type of footing when it comes to national security and foreign policy. And quite simply, the public has no tolerance for the Democratic Party's touchy feely "why can't we all get along" approach to our national security. The pathological need on the left to not be "unilateralist," the need to seek approval from Kofi Annan and the French and the Swedes and whoever else - isn't going to fly after 3,000 Americans were murdered on 9/11.

So it's a cute little spin by Clinton that the problem isn't the Democrats policy, but only how forcefully it is articulated. He is correct in suggesting that being weak is a liability, but the real problem for the Democrats is that when it comes to our national security the majority of elected Democrats are just plain wrong. John M. 10:02 am

Tuesday, December 3, 2002
RACE AND POLITICS: Charlie Cook's most recent column focuses on the Democrats need to re-energize black voters. While there is no question that the African-American vote is critical to the Democrats chances in many statewide elections, I think Cook and many political pundits may be taking the wrong message from the 2002 elections by focusing on the African-American vote. The problem the Democrats are beginning to experience, especially in the south, isn't with getting out the African-American vote, but rather their ability to compete for white votes.

I spoke about this several weeks ago after the NY Times ran an article about how "the Democratic Party apparently lost thousands of moderate white voters who supported Bill Clinton and helped elect Southern Democratic governors in 1998 and 2000." The reality is the Democrats have effectively maxed out their African-American votes. Gore beat Bush 90% - 8% among black voters, the most lopsided performance in history, and the cost of trying to increase that vote to 92% or 95% becomes prohibitive and self-defeating for the Democrats. They have no where to go but down (long-term) when it comes to the African-American vote.

But the real change in election 2002 wasn't that blacks didn't turnout for Democrats, the early evidence seems to indicate that they did turnout in large numbers for a mid-term election, though the lack of credible VNS exit poll data makes it hard to precisely measure voter turnout. The real difference in 2002, was the turnout in the white community, especially in the South.. As I speculated several weeks ago the Democrats may be paying a price for their deliberate tactics of racial polarization in the last several elections. (Republicans burning down black churches, the NAACP James Byrd ad, the lies about a coordinated GOP effort to prevent blacks from voting in Florida, etc....)

With Bill Clinton gone and a very popular wartime President as the face of the Republican Party the Democrats play book that worked well in the late '90's may not be as effective. The real problem for the Democrats isn't with their base in the African-American community that still appears to be turning out in large numbers and voting 85% -90 % plus for the Democrats, but rather with non-black voters, especially whites, who increasingly seem to be leaving the Democratic Party, again, especially in the South. And that could be a real problem for the Democrats, at least for a while, in a country that is 75% white. John M. 11:53 am

Monday, December 2, 2002
WORLD AIDS DAY: A couple of quick observations about yesterday's World AIDS Day. In addition to Bill Clinton's op-ed in the New York Times , we had Senators Dick Durbin of Illinois and Joe Biden of Delaware taking to the editorial pages to address the issue of AIDS.

I may be wrong, but in the two and a half years we've been scouring online editorial pages I can't remember another instance where we've had a former President and two sitting Senators pen op-eds on an issue and have them published on the same day. It's more than a little telling that of all of the possible "days" over the last two years to choose to comment on (including Veteran's Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Independence Day and the aftermath and anniversary of September 11) that "World AIDS Day" elicits the biggest single-day reaction from prominent Democrats in the editorial pages.

This isn't to say that AIDS isn't an issue of vital concern, it is. But as these articles make clear, the issue of HIV/AIDS represents another classic example of where liberals think money equals compassion. To Durbin in particular, President Bush's commitment to the issue is only measurable in terms of dollars, irrespective of the effectiveness or practical application of the United States' financial contribution. Anything less than massive increases in spending at the international level - despite the fact that the single most effective thing America could do to help address the AIDS crisis is spend money on developing a vaccine here at home - is seen as unacceptable.

The UN wants $10 billion a year to fund their AIDS program. Even five times that amount isn't going to dramatically change the the cultural and logistical barriers that exist in many AIDS-ridden countries preventing effective education and prevention of the disease. But with half that amount ($5 billion) spent annually in the United States we could probably develop a cure within the next decade. - TB 6:37 am

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