Bozell Column: Republicans, Torn Apart In Factions?

August 28th, 2012 11:00 PM

The Republican convention was delayed by a day on Monday. It’s not a problem: the national media’s pre-convention spin was timed perfectly, almost as if it was on automatic pilot. In Monday’s New York Times, longtime political writer Adam Nagourney regurgitated the same old, tired political spin that the Republican Party is too conservative and exclusionary on “social issues,” and that their divisive stands will hurt them with “mainstream” voters.

1976. 1980. 1984. 1988. 1992. 1996. 2000. 2004. 2008. Will they ever stop saying this?


The absurdity of this is stunning, considering that on these same “social issues,” there is almost no way President Obama can be further out on the other “extreme.” Republicans are pro-life; Obama favors abortion for any reason, even after the baby is “accidentally” born during a botched abortion. Republicans are for marriage; Obama now openly lobbies for homosexual marriage as the far-left Democratic base is wandering toward “love is love” rhetoric that will naturally and eventually embrace polyamorous “marriages” of three or four, or however many anyone wants.  

But on these issues, The New York Times also stands on that extreme, bizarrely thinking that it is both on the cutting edge of “justice” and somehow in the mainstream. These and other journalists arrogantly believe they have the right and the authority to redefine and pervert our cultural norms, achieving an extreme revolution of sexual libertinism, all the while asserting they are the “mainstream.”

Some version of Nagourney’s 2012 article has been written or mouthed before every single Republican convention since 1976: “Some leaders expressed worry that the turn to contentious social issues in the days leading up to the Republican National Convention, where the party platform is likely to embrace a tough anti-abortion stance and strict curbs on immigration, could undercut the party’s need to broaden its appeal. Many of them said they feared it was hastening a march to becoming a smaller, older, whiter and more male party.”

This was also the Times spin going into the 2010 midterms. The Tea Party was going to shrink the GOP and make it older, whiter, and more male. Facts never get in the way of a good liberal-media story line. 

Nagourney turned to the usual suspects. Former New York Gov. George Pataki “said he agreed with the Tea Party’s principle of reducing taxes and the size of the government. But he said he was concerned that antigovernment sentiments advocated by some Tea Party activists could push it out of the political mainstream.” 

Sadly, Nagourney even found conservatives that seemed to support the ancient Times spin. “The Republican Party needs to re-establish its philosophy of the big tent with principles,” said... Dan Quayle. “The philosophy you hear from time to time, which is unfortunate, is one of exclusion rather than inclusion. You have to be expanding the base, expanding the party, because compared to the Democratic Party, the Republican Party is a minority party.”

Quayle also slammed the Tea Party later in the article. “For some folks in the party these days, it’s not only the Washington establishment they’re running against. They’re opposed to anything that is perceived as being any kind of establishment, even if they are conservative. To me, that is craziness. The party has got some real challenges coming down the pike. It’s a minority party, and we’ve got to realize that it’s a game of addition, not subtraction.” CNN picked right up on that conservative “craziness” line. 

Why is Dan Quayle sounding all the old Rockefeller Republican notes? Perhaps he’s upset that his old colleague Dick Lugar was pushed out by the Tea Party. Maybe because it’s the only way the Times will ever quote him. But Quayle should know better. Nagourney is pushing the same agenda that then-NBC anchor Katie Couric was pushing on Quayle in 1992: “Do you think the Republican Party has grown, or become, too exclusionary, too intolerant, and that this kind of rhetoric is divisive and counterproductive?” (Quayle denied it then.)

Both parties have factions, but Nagourney argued that the divisions in the Republican Party were the worst in (faulty) recent memory: “But in some ways, the Republican Party today appears more factionalized -- ideologically, politically and culturally -- than Republican leaders said they could remember in recent history.”  

The Times headline was “A Party in Principle Fears Danger in Factions.” When it ran in the other Times-owned paper, The International Herald Tribune, the headline was “Republicans vow unity; reality is less tidy.” 

This is how the Times defines “reality.” Try putting the words “Democratic Party” within 25 words of  “factions” in a Nexis search. The results will stun you. Over the last two years, the Times has exclusively used these terms only in stories on foreign countries. One editorial briefly referred to “factions” among Democrats...referring to the election of 1860.