Anchoress, why aren’t you writing?

I’m getting all these emails…

“Anchoress, you depressed?”

“Anchoress, your computer on the fritz?”

“Anchoress, why aren’t you writing…”

Aside from being busy, as indicated yesterday [edited for clarity] I have felt disinclined to write. I feel like I have nothing constructive or positive to say.

I’m not writing because…well, it’s all beginning to feel a little futile, isn’t it? The daily grind of news is essentially the same. Bush is an antiquated manly sort who is also bad, evil, incompetent, hitler, a terrorist etc, etc. How will Democrats regain power (without resorting to buying votes or engaging in detectable fraud) – because nothing in the world will be right until they do? Iraq is (is not) in civil war. It’s not, really, but we want to report that it is, and so “truthiness” is the order of the day. The economy – near full employment with the strongest job market in yearsis terrible.

Nothing good will show up in the news until Bushitler is out of office and the Dems are back in. Nothing. Good news has been disallowed. If you want to find good news, you will have to look for it yourself.

Bad news, though, is so welcome it even gets made up.

Once the left is back in power, however, Iraq will miraculously become a stunning success story, the economy will be “booming“…oh, and the homeless will disappear again – poof! They’ve been at our soup kitchen at church through every president for the last 20 years, near as I can tell, but they don’t exist when the right party has the White House. When the right party has the White House, then the liberation of millions of tyrannized people, the opportunities for women who had previously been denied them…all of that will become newsworthy. It will be celebrated. Oprah will do a show. When the right party is in office, the thousands of recently released Iraqi documents and what they reveal will also suddenly become newsworthy and credible. When the right party is in power -when they have the house and senate – the 22nd amendment will be repealed, and the left will remain entrenched in the White House forevermore, thanks to the compliant press who will spike any news it doesn’t like or which doesn’t help the cause.

When the right party is in office, TNT will be on order for Mount Rushmore. We’ll need more heads, of course.

It’s just boring and tiresome, that’s all. This has been the structure for the last 5 years, and I’m tiring of it. The press is lost. They are so beholden to their hatred of one family and their irrationally exuberant love of another that they are at best only useful for VERY breaking news. Within hours of any story the Bush-bash narrative, complete with emotional manipulation will kick in, and then they become useless. At worst, they are the willing, incurious, glassy-eyed ushers of an incipient tyranny.

The public was much better served by jounalism when the profession was populated with hard-drinking, grizzled, high-school educated cynics – people who began as cub reporters and who knew how to bang out a story for better or worse and get on with it, without becoming themselves part of the story. Were some reporters biased? Sure they were, and the class wars card has always been played in the press, but reporters used to be less fastidious with themselves, less preening, less inclined to worship at the altar of the ivy-league masters of the universe, less ambitious to be anything more than writers who wrote…and therefore they usually took themselves less seriously, and the issues of the day more seriously.

Once upon a time, even if the truth was inconvenient, it got printed. Those days are over.

It’s tiresome, as I said. It is tiresome to see every theater and restaurant full, every payroll docket full, and still read that some people think the economy is in bad shape, even as housing starts gain and sales increase they finance their huge houses at 5.25%.

I can remember when the economy was bad. I can remember the Carter presidency, when people couldn’t buy houses, because mortgage rates were 17%. But today, people seem to think this economy, wherein they buy $4.00 cups of coffee and dispose income left and right, is bad.

It’s tiresome to look out and see people simply buying whatever line the mediachorus sings them. It’s not new. There have always been people who get all of their news from a soundbite and a headline, without looking further. I hate to say it, but when I was very young and immature, I’d basically get my news and my opinions from the op-ed pages and parrot them back. I seemed so very, very “smart” back then. It was easy to be smart and sophisticated when I was simply repeating the narratives of the so-called “smart and sophisticated.”

Now, I repeat back nothing…I believe almost nothing…and I’m a bumpkin.

I can link to so many stories pointing to the good news, and I can link to so many blogs analyzing good news and pointing out responses to “Bush Lied” that people – were they thinking, were they interested – would be happy to hear. But my sources would be from the “wrong” sources, just like Condi Rice is the “wrong sort” of black woman to be considered worth celebrating.

I blame President Bush for some of this, but not all of it. The press has been veering out of control for a long while – he didn’t create that reality – but he hasn’t helped by refusing to allow these folks to party at the White House, by refusing to “apologize” every time they thought he should, and by – let’s admit it – sometimes coming off as too arrogant for his own good.

I don’t think it’s actually arrogance, though, so much as keen distrust and self-defensiveness in the face of a very hostile media body.

What we see now, of course, is the endless daily assault on the president and his administration by a press that has no interest in what might really be going on – anywhere – they’ve lost interest in Iraq, in Islamofascism, in terrorism, in trade. They have only one interest: tear down this president and elect enough Democrats to impeach him next year and get a Democrat into the White House the year after that. That is ALL they are thinking about, and it is reflected in every “report” they file.

I will never forget it, because I heard it with my own ears – Ellen Ratner talking to Linda Vestor at Fox News, in the beginning of the invasion of Iraq: “We’ll just have to hope Iraq goes badly so we can get back the White House.”

At that moment, I knew that no matter how well the war might go, it would never be reported as anything but a disaster.

And so, we’ll watch the press do all it can to help the Democrats take back at least the house in ’06, perhaps the senate. The house, of course, is imperative, for impeachement. With the press on their side, carrying water for them, the Democrats know they need not have an actual message. They’ve admitted that they don’t intend to actually put out a plan or offer ideas.

Vote Democrat in ’06 – or sit out your GOP vote for your principles – at this point, it’s essentially the same thing. Get ready for it, though.

– Impeachment of the president, possibly the vice president.

– Hello International Criminal Court, here are some soldiers and administration officials for you to try and convict.

– The collapse of the “Arab Springtime”

– Increase in taxes (it’s all they know)

– Increase in internet regulations and a curtailing of free speech (“We are all going to have to rethink how we deal with this, because there are all these competing values … Without any kind of editing function or gatekeeping function, what does it mean to have the right to defend your reputation?” Mrs. Clinton said.)

– Celebrate the United Nations (Hello, SecGen Clinton!)

Withdrawal of our troops from Iraq, whether it’s smart or not

– Increase in terrorism on our shores (America is the “weak horse” again, Osama, baby!)

– Hello Kyoto? Bush’s alternative never got any press.

– Don’t expect to see any blacks in leadership positions. The “black friendly” party couldn’t manage this while they were in power, and once they’re back in power, we’ll be treated to lots of rhetoric, but you will not see the rise of the black Democrat office holder in any sort of leadership position. You’ve got Barack Obama, what more do you want? Everyone will kiss Oprah, and they’ll let Maya Angelou tell a poem, though.

We are – sadly – not really getting the leadership we deserve. It’s partly our fault, but not completely. It will only be all our fault when we stop fighting back.

Speaking only for myself, though…I’m feeling pretty weary. So, I’m ranting. It’s better than being bored.

UPDATE: Apparently while I was ranting the president was jawboning the press, for what it’s worth.

Bush is a lot tougher than I could be in the face of so much hate:
President Clinton endured some hate – and some unfairness, it’s true – but he at least had the consolation of knowing that good news occuring on his watch was allowed to be passed, unfiltered, into the national consciousness. His good news was not ignored or distorted or spun into “bad” news. That does make a difference. And there is some reason to believe that had Clinton taken the same actions – over the course of the last 4 years – that his successor has taken, the narratives surrounding those actions would be quite different. That makes a difference, too. I believe it makes the difference between most folks being able to live under a seige of bitterness and constant recrimination, or crumbling under it.

President Bush does not even have that small consolation, though, of any good news being talked up and even celebrated. Everything is bad, everything is a lie, everything is evil, and everything is his fault. Always. Everywhere. And somehow…he does not crumble.

Perhaps that – more than anything else – is why Bush is hated with such an unhinged derangement: he will not collapse. He will not lie down. He will not surrender to the press and the critics, or change the person he is, or simply go away.

UPDATE II: I didn’t see the presser but Hugh says it was a corker. Ian has video. And Laura Lee has a terrific metaphor that cheered me up! :-) More on the desires of the MSM to see us fail in Iraq by Hugh. Meanwhile, Glenn Reynolds has some advice for the print media.

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About Elizabeth Scalia