After several years of covering for President Obama, the media finally acknowledged – after he had successfully defeated Mitt Romney in 2012 – that maybe his “hope and change” hadn’t been the breakthrough much of the country was looking for. Though they still treated Obama with the kind of kid gloves only reserved for Democrats, the messiah fervor died away. In its place was a tarnished, ordinary man whose skin color was destined to be the most remarkable thing about his presidency.
But then something happened. This year, the media decided there was still a chance to turn Obama’s reputation around. In an effort that’s almost too synchronized to be anything but planned, we started hearing those old “hope and change” tunes again. Oh my goodness, look what he’s done with Cuba! Oh my, look at how forceful he is with ISIS! Gracious me, he did such a service for millions of downtrodden undocumented immigrants! While sensible viewers lamented Obama’s biggest 2014 moves as unwise, incompetent, and illegal, the media was ready to once again hoist the president onto the throne of transcendence.
Some of it has been Obama himself. This was the year the president decided he was going to carve himself out a legacy whether anyone liked it or not. For six years, he’s avoided making race a central aspect of his presidency. Like the teacher whose kid is in the class, he’s gone out of his way to make himself appear neutral on black issues. Since the Ferguson kerfuffle, however, he’s abandoned that strategy. With no more elections to win, Obama has unshackled himself from political restraints. Over the next two years, we’ll see what he had in mind all along.
His cheerleaders in the media couldn’t be more thrilled. With every move he makes, they report it with the same breathless intensity with which they covered his original campaign. They’ve set up detractors like Senator Ted Cruz as wild, immature loonies. They’ve once again begun to beat the racism drum, declaring anyone who happens to criticize the president as a symptom of America’s real problem.
Out In Force
Earlier this year, liberal columnist Paul Krugman wrote a nearly book-length essay for Rolling Stone in support of Obama. Giving his cohorts in the media their talking points, Krugman said, “Despite bitter opposition, despite having come close to self-inflicted disaster, Obama has emerged as one of the most consequential and, yes, successful presidents in American history.” Rolling Stone suffered from rightful backlash following their UVA rape story, but the fact that they printed such a ridiculous op-ed should have been enough proof that this was a magazine worth ignoring.
Conservatives rejoiced when the 2014 midterm elections gave Republicans huge victories in both the Senate and various state governorships. But the next two years will be troubled ones. Republicans in Congress have already proven they don’t have a lot of heart in the fight. Meanwhile, Obama is desperate to make a historical impact. The media, naturally, has already decided which side of the battle they will come down on.
Whenever a true conservative makes enough noise to be noticed, the media rallies to shut them down. We’ve seen it time and again. Whether it’s Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum, Donald Trump, Glenn Beck, Michelle Bachmann, or Ted Cruz, conservative thought is demonized and mocked by the so-called unbiased news establishment. In doing so, they’ve moved Obama to the “center” and establishment Republicans like John Boehner to the “right.” And in that environment, Obama has everything he needs to secure his place in history.