TYRRELL: Hucksterberry finis

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I believe I made a mistake when I decided not to attend the Democratic National Convention. The consequence of that decision has been that I have had to watch its highlights on national television.

There the media gaggle, with few exceptions, has plangently repeated - tediously and cheerlessly - many things I know to be untrue. The pre-eminent untruth resounding across the airways is that the Clintons are political geniuses. They are to electioneering what Ludwig van Beethoven was to the piccolo, or Slobodan Milosevic was to ethnic cleansing, to wit, consummate artists.

Since the early 1990s, I have sedulously researched the Clintons’ life and work. My finding is that they are mediocrities in all things political, save one: huckstering. Moreover, they are accomplished hucksters solely because the media are composed of credulous ignoramuses. Do you think I am being ungentlemanly? I am not alone.

This week, after but two days of watching the media’s coverage of the looming Democratic Convention, columnist Tony Blankley - a gentleman to the utmost - coined the term “the mainstream moron media.” My guess is that Mr. Blankley was perfectly serene when he typed out that line. Most probably he was wearing an immaculately starched English shirt. Possibly he was wearing a tie and almost certainly he had his pants on. But really, after two days of the media’s homogenized mush, enough is enough. “When I turned the TV on,” Mr. Blankley writes at the outset of the convention coverage, “the political cable news shows were filled with liberal pundits, liberal anchors, liberal guest historians, liberal weather gals and guys, liberal news you can use chicks, liberal political ‘strategists’ (i.e. out-of-work Democratic National Committee gofers).” Practically everything they droned on about was stupid.

Mr. Blankley was particularly critical of the blah, blah, blah that followed the Prophet Obama’s choice of Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate in their Campaign for Change. Joe is a minor Washington monument, complete with stone head. He has been a senator 36 years. He may have been a congressional page during the Grover Cleveland administration. Yet the mainstream moron media were in raptures over the Prophet’s bold choice.

Of course, I share Mr. Blankley’s derision for the Biden edition of the Media Follies, but it is their ongoing enthusiasm for the Clintons that strikes me as most derisible. Hillary just lost a presidential bid considered for months to have been “inevitable” (though I always had my doubts, as you will recall). And she lost to a political neophyte, a neighborhood organizer from Chicago. By the end of the first month of the primaries she had blown through $100 million. She was doomed by Feb. 5.

During her extended soap opera she was personally indecisive (as was predictable), presided over a chaotic and embittered staff (again, predictable), and had no control of her reckless husband (stupendously predictable), who, contrary to the mainstream moron media, has almost never been an asset for any candidate he supported. In 2004 he campaigned for 14 candidates, 12 of whom lost - but I repeat myself.

Sen. Hillary Clinton never really had much of a chance, though you will never hear this from the mainstream moron media. Her negatives were always above 40 percent. They were at 48 percent when I last reported on them. No candidate has ever won the nomination with such high negatives. Nor has a candidate won the nomination with such a string of scandals appearing on the public record.

Think of her missing Whitewater billing records, her cattle futures skullduggery, Filegate, Travelgate, claims by the last independent counsel that she was “less than truthful” under oath, the trashing of the White House as she left in January 2001, the missing White House property she had to return or make restitution on, the last-minute presidential pardons and her brothers’ role in them.

For that matter, think of the early stages of her campaign this year: repeated dirty tricks against Mr. Obama, dubious campaign contributions from shadowy Chinese sources, her husband ham-fistedly raising questions of race. Now there is all this residual animosity against the nominee who won fairly, Sen. Barack Obama. Huckster that she is, Hillary played to her supporters’ basest instincts, the women of the fevered brow (feminists), the men of the slightly rubicund neck (hicks).

My Democratic friends, you will all be better off when these shameless opportunists are in retirement.

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is the founder and editor in chief of the American Spectator, a contributing editor to the New York Sun, and an adjunct scholar at the Hudson Institute.

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