Thanks to the utterly unprecedented wave of public revulsion manifesting itself as the Tea Party, our national election contains probably more newcomers to high office than have ever before been seen at one time. And boy, some of them seem to be strange! From ex-witches to Nazi re-enactors to opposers of the Civil Rights Act, the depths of middle America seems to have coughed up as unlikely and undignified a bunch of kooks as can be imagined.
Or not. In reality, the media is doing what it does best: exercising its enormous power and vast experience to tar conservative candidates with whatever brush comes to hand, regardless of the truth and regardless of the venality of their statist opponents. Let's see how this is done, with a quick review of Sarah Palin's time in the spotlight.
It seems like an eternity ago, but when John McCain anointed Sarah Palin as his runningmate, next to nobody (including ourselves) knew who she was; as we put it,
Sarah who? Until last week, nobody had ever heard of her. One look at her rather un-politician-like photo, and the mainstream media jumped in a single bound to the conclusion that she was there purely as an affirmative-action hire to try to appeal to disillusioned Hillary voters... As a weekend's panicked research reveals, however, Sarah Palin is not just a pretty face.
In reality, Sarah Palin had far more executive experience than Mr. Obama: running America's geographically largest state is not to be sneezed at. Alaska still has its frontier aspects, though, and for all that the political combat there can be as intense as anywhere else, the slickness and cynicism has not yet reached the levels found in the Northeast Corridor.
Sarah Palin was ready for higher office. She was not ready for the big leagues of mainstream media bias, as her horrific first interview with Katie Couric showed. All America was treated to a woefully unprepared cute young thing producing talking points and non sequiturs to hard-hitting, professional questions.
Only later did the truth come out: CBS had intentionally edited the interview to make her look a fool. Sarah Palin was prepared for hard-hitting questions and tough interviews; she was not ready for out-and-out journalistic fraud and didn't have the experience required to give answers that could not be edited into something they weren't.
McCain's people pulled her from any more interviews - naturally; the same thing would happen again. To say that Sarah Palin wasn't ready for prime time was true, but not in the governance sense; she just needed to learn how to think like a scheming liar and defend herself accordingly.
It took a little while, but she learned. Today, she knows to get contractual rights to the interview, to require it to be unedited, to require final approval over the cuts, and so on.
She knows how to go past the media directly to the people; she knows how to create soundbites that can't be twisted and misconstrued. In short, she has become a professional national-level media leader, something that can only be learned by doing it.
Was she stupid? Was she a kook? Was she unqualified? No; just inexperienced with doing combat with the mainstream media, where truth and honesty are subjects of laughter and not of respect.
Most normal people are not particularly paranoid; from time to time they get tired or drunk or frustrated or ill and do things that are silly, foolish, or just plain strange. Usually it doesn't matter because nobody sees or hears about it except family.
Democratic politicians are no different and it didn't matter for them either because the overpowering liberal bias of the media covers for them no matter what. Only in very recent years has the proliferation of hand-held video cameras and the Internet allowed ordinary Americans to see all the stupid stuff that liberals say and do.
Without the Internet, nobody would know that Mr. Obama thinks that there are at least 57 states, that they speak Austrian in Austria, and that most ordinary Americans are contemptibly clinging to their guns and Bibles. The Internet has brought us a limitless number of ridiculous Joe Biden gaffes to match; the Internet reminds us of the Kennedy-Dodd waitress sandwich; the Internet reveals the tax frauds of Charlie Rangel, Tim Geithner, and too many other Democrats to count. Only when all America is already talking about these crimes does the media deign to give them notice, and then on page 46 down in the corner.
What's real news? That Christine O'Donnell briefly dabbled in witchcraft back in college! Never mind that her Democratic opponent, Chris Coons, aspired in college to be a "bearded Marxist" and that his family's company will benefit directly from Mr. Obama's beloved "cap-and-trade" taxes that will bankrupt the rest of us with outlandish energy cost increases. As David Harsanyi of the Denver Post put it:
Take Delaware, where voters can pick a candidate who had a youthful flirtation with witchcraft or one who dabbled in collectivist economic theory.
Only one of these faiths has gained traction in Washington the past few years. And as far as I can tell, there is no pagan lobby.
How about Nevada's "wacky" Sharon Angle, who supposedly confused Hispanic students with Asian ones? Wouldn't that actually be an example of judging people by the content of their character and not particularly caring about the color of their skins?
Let's make the comparison fair, as Angle did by citing pungent quotes from her opponent Harry Reid:
I feel like I'm more mainstream than the fellow that said tourists stink. This war is lost. Light skinned, no Negro dialect. Can I go on and on about what I think a whack job, marginal candidate sounds like, and that's Harry Reid. And that's why we need to fire him. He is so out of touch with mainstream America.
With the possible exception of Harry Reid's near-treasonous "the war is lost" quote, you never heard any of those incidents in the mainstream media. But Angle is portrayed as the wacky one.
For many a year, the American people have loathed and despised their slick, prevaricating politicians even while re-electing them again and again. This election is different.
Angle, O'Donnell, and other conservative candidates may say the occasional odd thing or have made a mistake now and then in their life. Unlike Al Gore, they did not glide to power on Daddy's coattails. Unlike John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi, they didn't marry a wealthy sugar daddy/mommy to fund their political ambitions.
Like 99.99% of Americans, whatever success they have attained has come entirely from their own efforts - which worked some of the time, and other times not.
So what if O'Donnell has had financial and debt problems? These days, what American hasn't, other than arrogant Washington elites who need not worry about money because they can always steal more from you? So what if Sharron Angle appalled the liberal elites by advising a hypothetical pregnant teenage rape victim to make "a lemon situation into lemonade" by having and raising the child instead of brutally murdering it? Doesn't a woman have the right to choose life, and most Americans would rather she did?
Ordinary Americans understood perfectly what these conservatives meant and where they're coming from. What is more, most Americans by now realize that our current crop of rulers have absolutely no idea what it's like to be a normal American, and have nothing but contempt for those of us who are.
The new Congress will be far less slick. It will also be immeasurably more honest, vastly more realistic, and have a monumentally more thorough understanding of the limits of both government and personal power.
The real kooks? Our self-appointed masters, who are about to receive a long-overdue comeuppance.