The Dede Media

The New York Times editorial page is a perfect weather vane for the way the liberal media’s hot air is blowing. In an October 26 editorial called “Torching the Big Tent,” they lamented: “The feeble pulse of moderation in the Republican Party is in danger of flat-lining in the Nov. 3 Congressional election in upstate New York.”

The feeble “moderate” the Times was backing for Congress was Dede Scozzafava – pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, pro-union power, pro-tax hike. The Times found these positions to be proof of “refreshing tinges of centrism.” The Times lectured the conservative movement to embrace this candidacy, since “creative ideas and candidates, not right-wing zeal, are the obvious way to get back in the game of democracy.”

Any New Yorker foolish enough to follow the political advice of The New York Times deserves what he gets.

What if the Times portrayed this battle for the 23rd District of New York the opposite way? What if the surging campaign of conservative Doug Hoffman was portrayed as “Revenge of the Irate Moderates?” Liberals would rub their eyes in utter disbelief. But just three years ago, the Times editorial page was using those exact words to describe the hard-left forces behind Ned Lamont, who upset moderate Democrat Sen. Joe Lieberman in the primary, only to lose to him in the general election.

The idea that Ned Lamont was a leftist was downright ludicrous to the Times. Lieberman “tried to depict Mr. Lamont and his backers as wild-eyed radicals who want to punish the senator for working with Republicans and to force the Democratic Party into a disastrous turn toward extremism. It’s hard to imagine Connecticut, which likes to be called the Land of Steady Habits, as an encampment of left-wing isolationists, and it’s hard to imagine Mr. Lamont, who worked happily with the Republicans in Greenwich politics, leading that kind of revolution.”

Ned Lamont was Cindy Sheehan in drag, whose only “steady habit” was lashing out at Bush. But the press corps as a whole couldn’t have been water-boarded into acknowledging in their copy that Lamont was even a “liberal.” Instead, he was consistently described as merely an “anti-war” idealist.

A non-ideological national media would acknowledge that both Democrats and Republicans over the last several decades have shunned centrism and embraced a bolder ideological approach. A nonpartisan press corps would report that self-identified conservatives outnumber self-identified liberals in a landslide. But our liberal media are transparently partisan. Instead we get two very differing and self-serving portraits. The Republicans are in a “civil war,” on a “disastrous turn toward extremism.” For Democrats, their embrace of hard-core leftists is an “opportunity” and revenge of the “moderates” upset by “deeply unmoderate” conservatives.

Conservatives have heard enough of this siren song over the years to ignore it. The same cannot be said for the Republican Party, with its Helen Keller approach to the obvious. In presidential elections, every time Republicans nominate the kind of moderation-embracing D.C. dealmaker the media would select for them – think Bob Dole or John McCain – they’ve been trounced.

Yet they continue heeding the advice of The New York Times by endorsing the likes of Scozzafava. How thoroughly embarrassing it was for them when Scozzafava petulantly left the race and endorsed the Democrat in this district. She was even less than a Republican In Name Only.

The biggest head-scratcher in this game was Newt Gingrich, who embraced this Democrat-in-GOP-clothing as the “best” the Republicans could do. Is this the way Newt built a majority in1994, by identifying a “revolution” of Arlen Specter wannabes across America? No. Through his lectures and cassette tapes, Gingrich built a cadre of conservative candidates who could stand behind the idea of rolling back an overweening federal government. He didn’t lead a slithering surge of centrists eager to go to Washington and stick their fingers in the wind to protect their own careers.

There can be a robust debate over the advisability of a supporting moderate, even liberal Republicans over liberal Democrats in blue-state districts. What is settled, however, is that conservatives will no longer blindly embrace “moderates” like Scozzafava when there’s an open seat in a staunchly Republican district.

Every Republican should know that there are two divisive forces in the Republican Party that always threaten to break it apart and ruin its chances. The first is the insincere consultants in the “news” media that try to rule it from the outside. The second is the consultants in the party that listen to them.

Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage

  • consecrata

    Michael Steele and Newt Gingrich not only betrayed conservative Republicans but they betrayed the Catholic Church…Newt said that the Republican party had to embrace people like Dede in order to be acceptable…when you embrace a person, you embrace that persons public stands…so, in effect, Newt and Steele wants the Reppubs. to embrace abortion, same sex marriage, etc…they should back away from the public spotlight and take some time for prayer and reflection…to see where their priorities lie: with themselves/their careers/their political parties or with the Catholic Church. Do they oppose abortion and same sex marriage when it advances their parties/careers but embrace it when it might enable them to win? Newt is trying to explain his reasons for embracing Dede and her political positions and Steele is bragging about his team’s win…Newt and Steele are losers right now…and I don’t think they will ever have the trust and respect of those who hold their pro life, pro marriage stands no matter what the cost…