For two years now, we've heard Barack Obama's media allies telling us how he was a somehow Not A Politician, that he was the pragmatic soul of civility who was "uniquely qualified to nudge the country toward the color purple." (So said Newsweek.) If that myth hadn't died under tons of weight to the contrary by now, it certainly should have expired in Springfield, Illinois when he selected Joe Biden as his running mate. The Democratic hatchet men were unleashed.
Obama brought the D-word to the table: the Republicans are a "disaster." The country could not suffer through "Four more years of the same out of touch policies that created an economic disaster at home. A disastrous foreign policy abroad. Four more years of the same divisive politics that's all about tearing people down instead of lifting the country up."
But the media didn't hear these words and ask how one can both hate "divisive politics that tear people down" and tell the current president he's created a giant sinkhole of a presidency that's ruining America. There's nothing wrong with good, old-fashioned smash-mouth politics - unless you've done nothing for the last four years but build a fraudulent and sickening self-portrait as someone who would never stoop to describe another politician as a "disaster."
It's bad enough that the media want to allow the Democrats to look above the fray while they are hitting below the belt. But it's beyond irresponsible that they remain silent when Democrats purposely promote untruths. When Biden spoke, here's one of his applause lines: "We can't afford four more years of a government that does nothing while they watch the housing market collapse."
What? Biden can't remember the headlines from July 30, when President Bush signed an expensive housing-bailout bill (the media called it a "housing rescue") after Congress - i.e., Senator Biden - quickly convened on legislation? CNN crowed: "The new law, one of the most far-reaching on housing in decades, marks the centerpiece of Washington's efforts to address the nation's housing meltdown." But on CNN, there was no fact-checking on Biden's rank dishonesty.
Biden suggested he was literally Joe Lunchbox: "Ladies and gentlemen, your kitchen table is like mine, you sit there at night before you put the kids - after you put the kids to bed and you talk. You talk about what you need. You talk about how much you're worried about being able to pay the bills. Well, ladies and gentlemen, that's not a worry John McCain has to worry about. It's a pretty hard experience. He'll have to figure out which of the seven kitchen tables to sit at."
That's a nice applause line. But Biden's two sons are both lawyers, and his daughter is 27, so I doubt he's putting them to bed at night. It's doubtful that Biden, making $165,000 a year and expecting a whopping Senate retirement pension, is having a heart attack over his bills. But the media were building the Joe Lunchbox myth, not correcting it.
Then Biden's harshness really came through. He said we "can't afford four more years of non-energy policy written by and for the oil companies," and said those companies are "literally putting America's security at risk." Democrats have spent decades obstructing any attempt to drill offshore or in Alaska's barren "wildlife refuge," and Biden has the audacity to describe conservatives or Big Oil as the ones advocating a "non-energy policy"? Our dependence on foreign oil is a security risk, so oil company CEOs are guilty of endangering America?
If we'd elected Al Gore instead of George Bush in 2000, it would be the oilmen who would be getting waterboarded.
Finally, Biden added "We can't afford four more years of a foreign policy that has shredded our alliances and sacrificed our moral standing around the world." Is it anywhere near factual accuracy to describe our nation's alliance as "shredded," as if they were scandalous things Bush stuffed down his pants like Sandy Berger?
Worse yet is the idea that the war on terror has "sacrificed our moral standing around the world." Just think of the brave men and women of our armed forces who've been literally blown to bits while they were trying to rebuild Iraq. Were our troops risking their lives day by day in an inglorious conspiracy to "sacrifice our moral standing"?
Reliably, the pundits on CNN came on after the speech to describe in glowing tones that Biden was a "character witness" for Obama that would encourage the public to get beyond their troubles and see how Obama shares their values.
It doesn't matter if Democrats slander their opponents and mangle facts. The media didn't come to Springfield to scrutinize the new Democratic ticket. They came to applaud it.