During a 2016 interview with the New York Times, Obama operative Ben Rhodes boasted: “In the absence of rational discourse, we are going to discourse the [expletive] out of this.” To win approval for the Iran nuclear deal, Rhodes “created an echo chamber” that had the mainstream media “saying things that validated what we had given them to say.”
Rhodes had simply said out loud what half of us already knew: when leftist operatives substitute a blast of jabberwocky for rational discourse, the mainstream media will echo it. The only uncertainty concerns the American people’s tolerance for a new regime that plays the same gambit and would cover its blunders with a cloud of hot air.
No one needs reminding that when Republicans opt for rational discourse on issues both foreign and domestic, leftists rely on ad hominem attacks to discredit them, but the attacks on President Trump still top any fable Mr. Rhodes might craft. In 2019, MSNBC’s Danny Deutsch spoke for a syndicate of leftists who think that Trump’s “Nazi tendencies” and his “Nuremberg rallies” offer “stunning parallels to what Hitler was doing in the early ’30s” — but Deutsch stopped just short of saying “Trump is going to slaughter 6 million Jews.”
Leftists were desperately seeking ways to distract us from the fact that 2019 was also the year the Census Bureau reported that the median household income grew an unprecedented 6.8%, while unemployment, most notably among minorities, fell to the lowest rate in half a century.
But we heard a great deal about the economy in 2020, when pandemic lockdowns reversed those gains, and Nancy Pelosi scored points calling COVID-19 “the Trump virus.” When CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked if she held Trump responsible for “thousands of deaths,” Pelosi responded, “Yes, that’s what I am saying. I think it’s clearly evident.”
Others who’ll be held responsible for “thousands to tens of thousands” of deaths are scientists who don’t echo the left’s climate-change hysteria. The most credible challenger to their “narrative of doom” is former Obama science adviser and Caltech physicist Steven Koonin. In his new book, Unsettled, Koonin notes, “it’s true that the globe is warming and that humans are exerting a warming influence upon it,” but he also notes “factors that encourage climate researchers’ monolithic portrayal of the science as settled.” For example, academics are always under “pressure to generate press and to secure funding through grants,” and it’s no secret that grantors favor scientists who will echo hysteria, while “contrarians” have “suffered public opprobrium and diminished career prospects.”
Koonin himself has been censured by certain critics who say his book includes “inaccurate and misleading claims.” Their preference for the ravings of a Swedish teenager would be laughable if Greta Thunberg’s scare tactics hadn’t stricken children worldwide with what psychologists have dubbed “eco-anxiety.”
The eco-alarmists’ not-so-hidden agenda has always aimed to advance the government’s involvement in the means of production, and if Biden’s $3.5 trillion spending package passes, the U.S. will “make Europe look like a capitalist haven by comparison,” says Johns Hopkins professor Josef Joffe. I remember what Obama operative Jonathan Gruber let slip when Obamacare passed: “The stupidity of the American people… was really critical for the thing to pass” and required “a very clever… exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter.”
Let’s hope that a Biden operative will be caught on camera boasting that a government with limited means has a slick new plan to live beyond ours.
The Wall Street Journal urges voters to “shout from the rooftops to stop this steamroller before they wake up to a government that dominates their lives in a country they don’t recognize.” I say our country became unrecognizable the day our president took a knee to the Taliban and fit the description a Turkish general once gave of America allies: “The real problem of having the Americans as your ally is you never know when they will turn around and stab themselves in the back.” It might take more than a fabulist to cover the wound Biden has inflicted on American trust.
Ben Rhodes got one thing right. The absence of rational discourse has cost the left nothing — but if their echo chamber falls silent, they stand to lose all.