The Endless Whine

I fired up the iMac this morning looking for overnight events in the Middle East, maybe some speculation about the Fed’s decision on “quantitative easing” later today, maybe a poll or two. I found some of that, but an overwhelming percentage of material I saw on my usual aggregators was a powerful wave of whining by conservatives about the vicious treatment of poor Mitt Romney by the vicious, hateful, Obama-loving media that’s clearly trying to steal the election once again despite the obvious desire of the American people for new leadership.

A quick sample from John Podhoretz:

It’s fine to criticize Romney’s views; that’s how a debate of substance takes place. It’s also fine to question the timing of his statement (though that’s a question of strategy and tactics, not substance).

This was something different. This was an effort — not entirely conscious — to make it illegitimate for Romney to criticize the president’s foreign policy at a moment when foreign policy has suddenly taken center stage.

But that’s exactly when such a debate should take place — because it’s when the public will actually pay attention.

That is not what The Most High want — a debate. What they want is for Obama to be re-elected. And they’ll use the tools at their disposal to achieve their aim.

And another from Phillip Klein:

When Romney gave a press conference Wednesday, the questions focused on whether it was appropriate for him to criticize Obama at the time he did. Romney’s responses didn’t really matter, because reporters had already decided their narrative. Obama did not take any questions in his own press conference moments later.

In 2004, John Kerry routinely attacked President Bush’s handling of Iraq when things weren’t going well in the country. And the media dutifully reported on Bush’s foreign policy blunders in Iraq. But now, instead of scrutinizing Obama’s handling of a foreign policy crisis, the media has decided that the real story in Egypt and Libya is a Mitt Romney gaffe.

Rarely have I heard so very, very many–a whole mob of them in fact–lonely voices crying in the wilderness against the awful, repressive power of the “liberal media.”

I’ve never completely understood the persecution complex of American conservative gabbers. They are, after all, aligned with the wealthiest and most powerful people in the world. They have their own large and very well-funded “shadow media” and public relations complex, even as the hated MSM constantly seeks to buy off criticism by conspicuously hiring conservative “voices.” They totally dominate one entire medium, radio, and dominate all media in many parts of the country. I get the distinct impression that conservative media types have a lot easier time supporting themselves than folks on the left.

But to hear them, they are perpetually shunned and persecuted for their brave and selfless advocacy of the status quo and the status quo ante. And their candidate, poor Mitt Romney, who not only has command of the self-same conservative media empire discussed above, but reportedly has in his campaign’s or its immediate allies’ possession more money than they know what to do with, is about to be sacrificed to “the media’s” devious plans for world domination.

I don’t hang around Green Rooms any more chit-chatting with gabbers left or right, so I don’t know whether in quiet, off-record moments, any of these folks guzzling gallons of Whine today are quietly admitting that it’s a damn shame Mitt and his people didn’t shut up for a few more hours until events in the Middle East sorted themselves out a bit. Maybe they will soon just shrug the whole thing off and move on instead of all this self-pitying talk about not being able to make their views known when they are making them known with deadening repetition. One can only hope so.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.