A few days ago, a friend of mine was remarking on the incredible all-consuming hatred the Left has for George W. Bush. In this case, he was referring to HR 1591, the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Health and Iraq Accountability Act, passed by the House in March, 2007. This bill was supported by 94% of Democrat and 1% of Republican members.
In a section of the bill devoted to “Strategic redeployment of U.S. combat troops by 2008,” it is made quite clear that following redeployment, U.S. troops remaining in Iraq may only be used for diplomatic protection, counterterrorism operations, and training of Iraqi Security Forces.
One would be hard pressed to come up with a better description of the CURRENT mission of our troops in “Bush’s War,” and more than that, many authorities have indicated that the present level of troops is too low to support these activities, in any event.
So, my friend asks, what gives?
To obtain the answer, you have to appreciate that the origin of the hatred goes beyond the Iraq War, and beyond Bush, as well. The hatred goes beyond individual personalities, and derives from no less than the loss of cultural hegemony.
Bear in mind that the Left has maintained control of the elite media for at least 100 years, even if various anomalies may have appeared along the way. Before talk radio, Fox News, and the Internet, the Left’s dominance was virtually complete. Indeed, a significant take-home lesson of the Dan Rather forged letter scandal is that at least in this case, lies and deception were found out. We can only speculate in sadness about how often mendacity occurred without detection when the Information Mandarin Class was in complete control.
To cite but one example, Seymour Hersh—no friend of the Right—documents (in The Dark Side of Camelot) ridiculously biased positive coverage of JFK, a man Hersh describes as “…much more corrupt than other post-war presidents, by a major factor. Much more manipulative, though Nixon was a close second.”
A famous anecdote describes the reaction of the late stunningly overrated film critic Pauline Kael to Richard Nixon’s landslide victory over George McGovern in 1972. She “couldn’t believe Nixon had won,” since no one she knew had voted for him.
The epilogue to this anecdote is also telling. Kael’s defenders are quick to point out that there is no record of Kael making such a remark. They go on to explain that the story may have originated in a December 28, 1972 article on a lecture she gave at the Modern Language Association, in which the New York Times quoted her as saying, “I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don’t know. They’re outside my ken. But sometimes when I’m in a theater I can feel them.”
Consider that this documented quote of Kael’s is used as a defense against accusations of her liberal insularity. If you see a similarity between this and the House Democrats’ redeployment plans, go to the head of the class.
When supposed intellectual Adlai Stevenson lost the presidential election twice to Dwight Eisenhower, the Left could explain it away by Ike’s status as a war hero. But, when Bush narrowly defeated Al Gore and then John Kerry, they went nuts.
Attributing far too much erudition to the eminently phony (and none too bright) Gore and Kerry, they could not accept that a “cowboy” could win, especially in the wake of the Left’s considerable loss in cultural hegemony that started in the 1990s. Apparently not noticing that Bush was anything but a conservative, they were more turned off by his religious faith, his adoption of Texan mannerisms, and his pro-life stance.
It matters little that he is indistinguishable from the Left on such matters as immigration and the insane growth in government. He was simply the guy who came down the pike as they were sinking on the Titanic—to mix a metaphor or two.
It didn’t help either that his first electoral victory was not matched by the popular vote results, nor did it ease the pain when analysis showed that if Bush had actually concentrated on the White male voters, he would have achieved a decisive victory in 2000. Or, to put it another way, further Democratic dominance would occur only on the backs of minorities—a class that the elite Left love to champion, so long as little human contact is required.
Finally, their very advocacy of abortion is eliminating their most ardent proponents, and their shrill Green positions simultaneously against fossil fuels and nuclear power are collapsing under their own self-delusion.
What better scapegoat than the smug and overconfident George W. Bush?