Conservatives are used to being the media’s whipped dogs, but the bias coming out of mainstream political writing these days is off the charts. It’s begun to infect not just the newspapers, but the climate in Washington as well. This week, the Washington Post ran a story about the new Republican Congress, leading off with Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell’s insistence that Americans shouldn’t be scared of a GOP majority.
“I don’t want the American people to think that if they add a Republican president to a Republican Congress, that’s going to be a scary outcome,” McConnell said before Christmas. “I want the American people to be comfortable with the fact that the Republican House and Senate is a responsible, right-of-center, governing majority.”
But the question that many Americans are left with is: “Why would it be scary?” But WaPo feels no need to answer that question, because, c’mon, conservatives are naturally scary, right? They’re off their rockers! Thank goodness this new, responsible GOP is going to stop listening to those wingnuts!
They don’t go that far, but it’s clearly written between the lines. “Now in charge at both ends of the Capitol, Republicans aim to avoid the worst excesses of the past four years and make sure the public isn’t fearful of the GOP’s course,” writes Paul Kane, WaPo’s congressional reporter. And his words are echoed in McConnell’s: “I’ve asked my members to restrain themselves.”
A Timid Approach
It’s amazing. Republicans who were jumping for joy after the midterm elections, their fists clenched around the many conservative promises they made to the country, are now heading for the hills. Oh no, they say now, we can’t challenge the president on any of his major agenda items. We have to work together and pass small bits of legislation in order to set the stage for 2016. Come on.
What happens in 2016? We elect someone like Jeb Bush to lead the country? Okay, fine. It’s certainly a step in the right direction. But is it really what the American people want? The Republican Party is supposed to stand for something. When people grumble about both parties being identical, they’re thinking about politicians like Bush. With his support of Common Core, his support for liberal immigration policies, and his aversion to conflict, he’s little more than a moderate Democrat himself.
Kane writes that “restraint has been hard to come by…particularly because a small army of conservative groups has made it a mission to push Republicans to the most strident stands.”
And it’s in that paragraph that Kane exposes what’s really going on. When an Elizabeth Warren gets up to slam her own party for the glory of almighty liberalism, she’s hailed as a grassroots hero. When a Ted Cruz does the same thing, he’s labeled as a whackjob pushing his party to “strident stands.”
Conservatism has become a dirty word in American politics, and Republicans are even more afraid of it than Democrats. That’s a damn shame, because it’s the only thing that stands a chance of rescuing this country from its sickening slide toward social and economic oblivion.