There was a pre-Lewinsky time, before moral relativism blurred America's vision, when associating with people like Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers would have automatically excluded someone from attaining the highest office in the land. Back then, anyone with well known connections to such America-averse personalities would have been rejected by a super-majority of the electorate during primary season and almost certainly blocked by the Democratic Party before they could have gotten to within a mile of the White House. But those days -- when patriotic, true liberals like Joe Lieberman were considered typical Democratic Party politicians -- are gone. Now politicians like Lieberman are banished to the Party's periphery and leftists, not liberals, like Denis Kucinich, Bernie Sanders, Jim McDermott, John Kerry, (who served in Vietnam), Jim McGovern, Patrick Leahy, Richard Durbin, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have replaced them.
Until recently in our history, a President Barack Obama would have been an impossibility. But given the political and ideological climate that exists today in America, the ascension of a leftist like Barack Obama into presidential politics makes perfect sense. Beliefs like domestic terrorist William Ayers's and racist, anti-US preacher Jeremiah Wright's are no longer met with utter scorn or a trip to behind the woodshed, but are embraced, promoted and defended by many Americans. Think MoveOn, International ANSWER, think hordes of young neo-communists and their indoctrinating, puppet-master Marx-spouting professors. Think Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, Noam Chomsky, Ward Churchill and his acolytes. Think NYU, Columbia, The New School and Harvard. Most importantly, ponder the makeup and direction of the Democratic Party leadership. Like Barack Obama and his radical friends, it is appallingly far Left.
Ideological descendants of Marx and Rousseau now lead the Democratic Party and they have turned it into a disloyal opposition to an increasingly accommodating GOP. They have molded the Party into a force working stridently and unashamedly against a Commander in Chief during wartime. They have made it a den of treachery devoted to American defeat in Iraq. They preside over an institution advised and influenced by moneyed, non-governmental groups and individuals with unquestionably anti-US agendas who help make the Party a pseudo-intellectual sinkhole filled with perverse, tried-and-failed ideas repulsive to the majority of Americans. Those ideas are shaped into agendas which are then forced on the public by an activist leftwing judiciary and by a major media and arts consortium shot through with utter disrespect, indeed contempt, for traditional American values, religions and institutions.
The Democratic Party has devolved into a club for the illegitimately aggrieved, the self-absorbed, the self-hating and the perpetually pissed-off. It is a sanctuary where solipsistic malcontents and their disjointed causes find refuge and support. It has long ceased being an earnest gathering of broad minds where man's timeless problems are examined against the backdrop of the Constitution and solutions to them proposed based on the actual realities of the human condition. It is now the political province of the intellectually deceased, where frightened, lock-step ideologues and other small men and women concoct and promote divisive, destructive, weird and cowardly policies developed within a not-so-quaint, quasi-Marxist stricture of gender, class and race.
So what does all of that have to do with the propulsion of Barack Obama to within a whisker of the Presidency? Everything. It could not have happened without the existence of a substantial, organized, internal anti-US Left and the approval and guidance of the Democratic leadership I describe. Obama is in step with that radical element and with that leadership. His views reflect their views, and he is now a central figure in the deceptive, destructive strategy to restore the Democrats to power, a strategy that has been in play since the US Supreme Court declared Albert Gore the loser of the 2000 presidential contest. "Don't call me a liberal," says Obama. In a precise, lawyerly sort of way he is being honest - he truly isn't a liberal, but he is a leftist.
At a glance, Obama's quick rise in the world of presidential politics is puzzling. His background, including his personal and political associations, is antithetical to the historical stature of the American presidency. It could also be said that given his non-traditional upbringing, his schooling in radical politics and his seeming preference for friends and mentors who view America disdainfully, he is antithetical to the traditional American Experience itself. Obama is young and he has less than one Senate term under his belt. Neither quality is particularly presidential. Questions of patriotism dog him, as do questions about his religious and ethnic heritage. Many of the people who tutored and supported him through his personal and political journeys from the backwaters of Indonesia to the main stage of US presidential politics are contemptuous of the US. Some of them publicly express outright hatred of the country Obama now seeks to lead.
So why is so controversial a candidate even in the running to be president?
Because he reflects his Party's leftist agenda, has unique, prodigious manipulative talents and equally impressive Hollywood attributes. These are indispensable in closing out the dangerous, deliberate game the Democrats have been playing with America's security and its perceived stature in the world. It is a game that has been going on beneath our noses since the election of 2000. Its object is simple: the acquisition of power regardless of cost to the Nation. It is something the American people must be reminded of, made aware of, before they enter the voting booth in November.
A strategy of contention vs. the risk of irrelevance
The opening event setting the stage for Obama's ascension was the contentious 2000 election. When Bush was declared its winner, Democrats fumed that the election had been stolen by the Republicans. The promotion of that canard within leftwing and media circles and the personal quality of the resentment of Bush it provoked within the Democratic Party is important to mention, since a similar canard that morphed from it and became popularized -- "Bush Stole the Election," -- became the base justification for the future blizzard of untruths used to disparage the President. It also provided justification for the widespread disrespect and abuse President Bush endures to this day, disrespect that would be far more deserved if he had indeed illegally assumed power.
Less than a year after the 2000 election was finalized, September 11, 2001 arrived. In the baleful blink of a jihadist's eye, most of the issues that normally occupy the American polity in peaceful times were swept off the table. Issues that normally help Americans differentiate between the two major political parties and define those party's respective agendas -- health care, taxes, the environment, social programs and civil rights -- took a far-distant back seat to two far more pressing matters: Exacting justice for the 911 atrocities and protecting the homeland from additional attacks.
Since the American electorate historically views Republicans as being more competent and trustworthy than Democrats in matters of war and security, and since all other issues that Democrats could normally use to make political hay with had been blasted off the table by 911, the Party was facing the threat of irrelevance. There was another factor that did not bode well for the future political fortunes of the Democratic Party in the wake of the 911 attacks: George W. Bush had become an extraordinarily popular president.
Whatever patriotism was stoked within the hearts of Democratic Party leaders by that September Day of Infamy was likely tempered by an unsettling reality: If America stayed united behind George W. Bush and the Republicans during the coming military response to 911, the Democratic Party would be out of power for a long time.
As the wreckage of the Towers was being scoured for the remains of the murdered, the Democratic Party faced an extended stay in the political wilderness. It must have been an extraordinarily bitter pill to swallow, especially on the heels of its having lost the presidency by a tattered handful of contested votes. As things stood, Democrat prospects for winning it back anytime soon looked grim. Americans did not switch horses in the middle of a war -- unless they perceived a war to be headed towards defeat. This was especially true after the 911 attacks. The Democratic Party, with its conflict-averse, Vietnam-era mentality would be naturally unattractive to a war-time electorate seeking vengeance for the mass murder of its brothers and sisters. Pragmatically speaking, the only hope the Party had then, in terms of making inroads with post-911 American voters, rested on a single option: overlaying the US military response to 911 with a template -- the rhetoric, look and feel of the Vietnam debacle of years earlier, portraying those directing and supporting the war and those fighting it on the ground, as corrupt, inept and malevolent.
As the Democrats weighed their narrow, post-911 political options and saw a grim future, at least a few of them might have considered Jimmy Carter's triumph on the heels of Vietnam and Watergate, and felt a flicker of hope.
A Vietnam strategy develops
Soon after 911, as America shifted into a wartime footing, leftists in academia and in the Legal Left began testing the waters of dissent by deconstructing Bush and the Republicans and blaming American foreign policy for the 911 attacks. Several professors at major Universities openly proclaimed their wishes to see America defeated and disgraced. One of them, Professor Nicholas DeGenova of Columbia University, announced to those attending a ‘peace' conference at the school shortly after the 911 attacks that he "wished for a million Mogadishus," a reference to the loss of 18 US serviceman during a mission to capture a warlord in Somalia in 1993. DeGenova also said, "the only true heroes are those who find ways that help defeat the U.S. military," and referred to patriotism as a form of white supremacism adding that "My rejection of U.S. nationalism is an appeal to liberate our own political imaginations such that we might usher in a radically different world in which we will not remain the prisoners of U.S. global domination." Since DeGenova is an American collecting an excellent salary at a prestigious American university, it is puzzling who he meant by "we."
When the Democratic Party joined the academic Left's undermining of the Administration's military response to 911, a lethargic Republican public relations machine and inarticulate President were no match for the polish and reach of the influential leftwing media assisting the Democrats. Within months of 911 the Party and its media assistants began manufacturing anti-Bush, antiwar propaganda with impunity. Prominent leftwing intellectuals spoke openly of America's culpability in the 911 disaster even as the Towers still smoldered and the Nation wept, sowing seeds of doubt and divisiveness amongst a population that had been traumatized and then unified by the terrorist attacks. The press began chipping, then hammering away at the Administration's war policies and its domestic policies regarding security. When the debate on whether or not to invade Iraq came, there was no doubt which side of the discussion the press -- and most of the Democrats -- would be on.
Predictably, the historically anti-US, European socialist Left closed ranks with the Democrats and the academic Left. It also fell in line with the neo-communist-organized antiwar movement in America that was taking shape. With the first wave of antiwar street protests, the Democratic Party's mission to reacquire power lurched into high gear. That mission would be accomplished at the risk of weakening America's security and at the expense of her standing in the world.
Shortly after the US invaded Iraq, Party leaders and their friends in the media started kidney-punching America, pounding away at the wartime president, deriding his administrators and his policies, harping on and grossly magnifying each setback in Iraq.
On the home front, every Bush policy designed to protect America from further attacks was framed and presented by Democratic Party leaders and leftwing 527 groups as direct assaults on the US Constitution and as being destructive to the Bill of Rights. The press followed the Party's antagonistic lead, flooding the news with disproportionate coverage of subjects like Abu Ghraib, Haditha, US so-called torture and rendition; so-called domestic spying; the so-called rights of terrorists in Guantanamo; the so-called evils of the Patriot Act; the so-called lies of George W. Bush; the so-called warmongering of Dick Cheney and the so-called greed and evil of defense-related corporations like Halliburton.
The effect was to frame isolated incidents of US atrocities and other malfeasances that occur in any war as emblematic of the entire Iraq enterprise. A narrative of an administration hell-bent on imperialistic conquest, spying on Americans and shredding the Constitution concretized within most American and international newsrooms. And who can forget the endemic, Left-generated conflation of the Bush Administration with the Nazis and the invention and promotion of theories that Bush and Cheney planned and directed the attacks of 911 to advance a secret desire of turning America into a fascist state. Those theories were boosted by prominent leftists, including respected author Gore Vidal, who wrote a book promoting such a theory. The collective message of the anti-Bush noise machine was clear and diabolical: The President of the United States was a bigger threat to world peace than men like Osama Bin Laden were. Bush was more evil than Adolf Hitler.
The withering attacks on the Bush Administration took their toll. Bush was slowly becoming a pariah, even within his own political party. His approval ratings, burdened by the vicious attacks on his character and constant attacks on his war policies, sank like a stone.
By the 2004 election, the Democrats' strategy of throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Bush was poised to render results. But a lackluster campaign by a wooden candidate, John Kerry, and serious attacks on Kerry's credibility and patriotism by 250 decorated war veterans caused the Party's presidential effort to fail, but just barely.
In spite of that loss, or perhaps buoyed by the closeness of it, the Democrat assault on America's President and on America's war-time morale intensified as the 2006 congressional elections approached. Efforts to stabilize a post-Saddam Iraq were sputtering and support for Bush and Republican politicians sagged in direct proportion to every real, over-reported and media invented setback there.
It is common knowledge, supported by history, that war is fraught with uncertainties and surprises that cannot always be planned in advance for. It is the side in a conflict that best adapts and adjusts in response to those vagaries that usually wins. The slaughter of 5,000 US soldiers at Omaha beach in a single day during WWII was not trumpeted by the US media to America and to the world as evidence of imminent US defeat against the Nazis, nor did US politicians of that era cry for withdrawal from the larger battle when disasters like Omaha Beach and Corregidor happened. They did not publicize enemy successes during the vicious battles of Guadalcanal nor did they pronounce defeat whenever Americans suffered setbacks while fighting the fanatical Japanese. But throughout every phase of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts nearly every negative event, every disaster or perceived disaster, exploded across the front pages of the major US papers and was broadcast by Democrats from the halls of Congress as evidence of Bush's malevolence, stupidity or incompetence and as evidence of impending American defeat. Michael Yon, the Iraq conflict's Ernie Pyle, best sums up the result of that grinding media assault on the Iraq War and its American leaders:
"Enemy dominance of the media battle space translated quite directly into military setbacks. Terrorists from many countries swarmed into Iraq to be part of the victory they saw happening on the TV screens."
Deliberately or not, the Democratic Party and the leftwing media, with their endless criticisms of the Iraq conflict, and their endless public comparisons of that war to Vietnam, sent a direct message to the rag-tag army of ultra-violent terrorists in Iraq who were detonating car bombs in crowded marketplaces, beheading and mutilating civilians and killing American and Coalition soldiers: "Keep the violence up just a bit longer. We'll take care of wearing down America's will to win from within, just like during Vietnam."
Even violent, under-equipped sociopaths facing the most powerful military on earth know a gift horse when they see one, and react accordingly.
On the other hand, nearly every bit of positive war news was whispered in quiet sentences or totally ignored. Today, with the Iraq venture steadily closing in on success, the amount of news about Iraq has slowed to barely a drip. That is quite telling.
Under the deliberate, massive media barrage of negative news about the war and hampered by a lack of coherent strategy with which to counter it, Republican prospects for the retention of Congressional majorities in 2006 looked shaky at best. Then the Congressman Mark Foley sex scandal broke and the Republican majorities in the House and Senate were lost.
In less than five years, the Democratic Party had gone from being an increasingly irrelevant political minority to controlling both houses of Congress.
A Strategy Emboldened
Buoyed by the 2006 election success of their Vietnam-era strategy, Democrat leaders and other leftists began openly calling Iraq an ‘unjust' war, an "unwinnable" war and relying on the short memories of most Americans to hide the fact that many prominent Democrats had actually voted to authorize it. Jesse Macbeth, Jimmy Massey, Scott Beauchamp and other antiwar frauds who admitted faking tales of atrocities committed by US soldiers were praised by the press and the Democrats as heroic dissenters against the evil Bush war machine, their false tales of butchery and bloodlust spread far and wide. Widespread, positive coverage was given to antiwar, anti-American, pro-terrorist activists like Cindy Sheehan, who was sanctimoniously christened America's "Peace Mom" by leading Democrats and the leftwing media, while true American heroes, patriots like Paul R. Smith and Jason L. Dunham, both Medal of Honor winners, both killed in the act of protecting America from her enemies, received virtual media silence for their heroism and sacrifice and little public acknowledgment from Democrat politicians.
The press and the Democrats did however publicly acknowledge American soldiers when they were killed, when they spun tales of atrocities, when they groused or when they returned home and fell through the cracks. They wanted Americans to be ashamed of their soldiers, to be ashamed of the Commander-in-Chief, to be ashamed of America itself. They needed America on its knees -- disillusioned, angry at its leaders and their policies -- hopeless, sick of hearing about the war and demoralized because then, out of desperation, they would naturally look to Democratic politicians for relief.
The technique of creating discontent and "talking all things Bush down" paid big dividends for the Democrats in 2006. Devoid of credible ideas and solutions, they had nevertheless worked a strategy leading to the re-acquisition of at least some of the political power they had lost during their wilderness years after the Reagan Revolution. The 2006 election confirmed the effectiveness of their "destroy Bush" election strategy. And so the Democratic Party's attacks on Bush and the Republicans increased to a ferocious level, even as Iraq turned a corner towards security and political stability.
When to the Party's dismay the Bush troop surge took hold and the situation in Iraq began improving, the Democrats' defeatist rhetoric reached a desperate, farcical crescendo: "The war is lost," (even though objective measurements indicated that it was being won) crowed many Democrats, including prominent ones like Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, John Murtha, Edward Kennedy, John Kerry and Barack Obama. Prominent Democrat John Murtha publicly tried and convicted US Marines involved in the Haditha incident before those Marines even went to trial. "Bush lied us into war" became the catch-phrase of almost the entire Democratic Party leadership, even though before the war had commenced many of those same Democrats had access to the same information that the Bush Administration used to justify it.
Power at any cost indeed, even at the defeat and humiliation of one's own country.
Now the 2008 election is upon us. Whether it is Iraq or Afghanistan, the economy or the overblown dangers of anthropogenic global warming, the Democratic Party and its media shills continue crafting and pounding home messages telling us that our national problems, real and imagined, are caused by Bush and the Republicans, They tell us that due to Bush and his policies, our nation is an evil one, our nation is hated by the world, our nation is fractured into pieces, our nation is murdering innocents, our nation is the world's biggest polluter, our nation is a den of racism, our nation is stingy, our citizens are impoverished, our economy has been destroyed. Collectively, this endless stream of buckshot propaganda adds up to a single, powerful and demoralizing statement: America has come apart at the seams - and George W. Bush and the Republicans are to blame for it.
Though the Democrats and their media shills are responsible for creating that illusion, Bush and the Republicans are to blame for generally ignoring or responding weakly to the Left's relentless assault on America's war-time morale. Instead of using the power of the White House pulpit to broadcast a steady, convincing message on the importance of presenting a unified national front in the face of totalitarian Islam, America is instead often treated to incongruous platitudes like, "Islam is a religion of peace." Instead of a forceful, direct calling-out of the Democratic Party, the State Department and CIA on their numerous subversions of Bush policies, those subversions are usually referred to by the White House as "disagreements."
Because of the Administration's seeming refusal to conduct investigations leading to the indictment of those leaking classified security information to the press, and thereby to the enemy, the Democrat-leftwing press consortium has been given implied consent to inundate America with torrents of articles and highly publicized tell-all books from former government officials, some revealing sensitive war-time information, most of them highly critical of America's Commander-in-Chief -- all published while American soldiers and civilians were, (and are), on the ground in combat areas, directly in harm's way.
With the exception of the Vietnam War, never before in America's history have such things happened while hostilities were ongoing. And what happened during Vietnam was tame in comparison. Worst of all, due to the subversive Democrat-media barrage, and crippled by its public relations ineptness, Bush and the Republicans could never quite convince the American people of a simple reality: that they are all in the fight of their lives against an implacable, dedicated, totalitarian death cult, one seeking nothing less than America's utter destruction, and that the fight demands focus and sacrifice from all Americans. Instead of rousing, convincing, patriotic speeches, the public was usually treated to lame utterances from Bush like, "Its hard work . . . we're working hard . . . we're making progress."
The end result of the inability of Bush and his PR team to own and promote the Big Ideas necessary to have focused America on the prize of victory in Iraq and on a greater victory over the worldwide forces of totalitarian Islam, is best summed up by three, short sentences written on a whiteboard in a US Marines barracks:
America is not at war.
The Marine Corp is at war.
America is at the mall.
It is no wonder the American electorate has slipped into a foul mood -- little wonder why it seems that its heart is not in the fight against the totalitarian theocrats who threaten it. For seven years Americans have been pounded with messages that their country and its leaders are unjust, warmongering, and evil and hated by all -- it deserves whatever evil it gets.
America now has serious doubts about itself. Its citizens have been pummeled with those terrible messages for so long now, that many of them believe them to be true. They are vulnerable to the Democratic Party's sudden mantra of Hope and Change and Progress. In a nutshell, here are the mechanics of the crude, hate-based initiative the Democratic Party and its media wing have forced on America since 2001:
1) Invent, inflate, and over-report bad war news. Tie all bad news to Bush and/or Republicans. At the same time, ignore or downplay good news as it relates to Bush, the Republicans or the war(s).
2) Create the illusion of widespread, honest dissent to Bush policies by giving plenty of airtime to leftwing groups and individuals historically antagonistic toward the projection of US, and only US, power. Fail to report the true agendas of those groups -- when covering antiwar, anti-Bush protests and events, make sure to meticulously portray antiwar marches as spontaneous gatherings of mainstream, mom and pop Americans.
3) Downplay, ignore and disparage American success wherever you find it.
4) Exalt in, sympathize with and mythologize America's enemies, vilify and deconstruct its protectors.
5) Downplay America's generosity and righteousness. Recast a mission that includes saving a nation from a murdering brute and his rapist, sociopath sons as a brutal occupation in the pursuit of American Empire.
6) Fill the Nation's airwaves, from sea to shining sea, with questionable and sometimes outright false tales of Bush-related misery, butchery, fraud and waste.
7) Foment as much national anxiety and hatred of the Republican leader as money and can buy. George Soros and other moneyed leftists will fund you. Give airtime and print coverage to leftist radicals and Democrats who call Bush a war criminal. Present those radicals and their crazy plans to try President Bush and Vice President Cheney for "war crimes" as worthy of consideration.
8) Provide coverage to leftwing intellectuals and scientists making anti-Bush statements. Present them as legitimate, non-partisan experts in their fields. Publicize their specious, politicized findings, present those findings as non-partisan, accurate and objective.
9) Present major news coverage of every antiwar protest you can find, whether it draws 100 people or 10,000 people, ignore all pro-US, pro-Iraq War, pro-troop rallies completely or portray their attendees as violence-prone, fringe-lunatic jingoists.
10) Blame a hurricane's aftermath on Bush. Give news coverage to racists and Democrat crackpots who say Bush and Cheney actually caused the hurricane and blew up levees to kill African Americans. Keep that Bush-hate buzz alive at all costs.
11) Give airtime and print coverage to groups and individuals accusing George W. Bush of having engineered and directed the 911 attacks. Remember, it is not the credibility of accusations that count in shaping public opinion now, but the seriousness and sheer volume of accusations that do.
12) To sow further strife, anxiety and confusion, continue stoking the fires of racial tension and class warfare.
13) Once the onslaught of lies, moral relativisms and crazy notions have created a self-sustaining, luciferous, widespread unhappiness and confusion, dangle a fat bait of silence and tranquility -- of Hope, Change and Progress -- crowning your deceptive achievement by hooking the same fish you made hungry.
That is the immoral, destructive strategy used by the Democratic Party, even as our soldier sons and daughters have been fighting and sometimes dying to protect us, in the years since 911 to recapture power it unjustly covets as its Divine right.
Now, a master psychological fisherman, Barack Obama, dangles a bait of salvation. As a highly experienced practitioner of Saul Alinsky's radical arts, he is perfect for the job. Those who know Obama well, like Mike Kruglik, who helped train him in Alinsky's methods would agree:
"He [Obama] was a natural, the undisputed master of agitation. . . As with the panhandler, he could be aggressive and confrontational. With probing, sometimes personal questions, he would pinpoint the source of pain in their lives, tearing down their egos just enough before dangling a carrot of hope that they could make things better."
It is truly audacious of the Democrats to entice us with their slick-tongued messiah, one who appears out of nowhere and graciously offers to scrape clean and sanitize the same plate of defeat he, his party and their assistants in the media served to America for nearly eight years in the middle of a war. Soon we will see if a majority of the American electorate accepts that offer, or if it rejects it, sending the Democratic Party back to confront the same irrelevance it risked the safety and security of our nation to avoid.
Rocco DiPippo, an American Thinker contributor, spent time in Iraq as a civilian contractor. He currently lives throughout the Middle East. Email him here.