"We hear about the insurgents in Iraq, but we have an insurgency right here in the United States. The radical left has been waging a terror campaign of lies and distortion against our government since George W. Bush took office in 2001."
Are you sure this is how Bill OíReilly got his start?
In case you missed it ó and you probably did ó I was a guest on a radio talk show in Baltimore last week. Host Bruce Elliot was gracious enough to have me lead off his 9 p.m. show on WBAL and kept me on the air for nearly 30 minutes. Iím told that thatís a lifetime in radio time.
This was my second appearance on a radio talk show. I was a guest on a Pittsburgh radio show last year. In both cases, the host read one of my columns online and asked me to come on the show to explore the topics further. The topic of the Pittsburgh appearance was a column on the fictional wall of separation between church and state. Those words donít appear anywhere in the U.S. Constitution. Liberal judges invented the concept to force their secular agenda on American society.
The subjects of Wednesdayís Baltimore show were columns I wrote about the Democratic Partyís attempt to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in Iraq and the ongoing smear campaign driving President Bushís poll numbers to historic lows.
Elliot was a gracious host and had excellent questions. I donít have a transcript of the show, but Iíll do my best to recreate the conversation for faithful readers. To the best of my recollection, this is how the interview went:
HOST: What do you make of George W. Bushís poll numbers, which were down for months, but have started creeping higher?
PHYRILLAS: The reason Bush had such low job approval ratings is the relentless and calculated attacks by the Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media. Itís an orchestrated smear campaign. Unfortunately, thereís a large segment of the public who believes something if they hear it often enough. As I said in one of my columns, the only approval number that matters is the number of days the president has kept this country safe from terrorist attacks.
HOST: Youíve been pretty harsh on the Democratic leadership. Do you really believe that Democrats would intentionally place this country in danger?
PHYRILLAS: First, I donít think the president should govern based on polls. Thatís what Bill Clinton did and the results were disastrous. Sept. 11 might never have happened had Bill Clinton defended this country against attacks by Islamic fanatics, but Clinton didnít want to offend the United Nations or Muslims or his far left benefactors. Attacks on this country started in 1993 with the first bombing of the World Trade Center and continued with the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000. Clinton failed to respond to any of them. Osama bin Laden was offered to the Clinton administration on a silver platter, but Clinton let him go. As a result, bin Laden figured he could attack the U.S. with impunity. He escalated those attacks, culminating with 9/11."
HOST: But you believe Democrats are harming the war effort?
PHYRILLAS: Iíve never seen such shameful behavior on the part of my fellow citizens as Iíve witnessed in Democratic Party leadership over the past five years. The hysterical left canít accept the fact that voters rejected their heroes ó Al Gore and John Kerry. We hear about the insurgents in Iraq, but we have an insurgency right here in the United States. The radical left has been waging a terror campaign of lies and distortion against our government since George W. Bush took office in 2001.
HOST: Have you heard Howard Deanís comments that we canít win the war in Iraq? What do you make of his remarks?
PHYRILLAS: Iíve come to the conclusion that there is no reason for the Democratic Party to exist any more. It serves no useful purpose. People like Howard Dean and George Soros have destroyed the party. Democrats have nothing to offer on any issues of public policy anymore. Take any issue ó Iraq, Social Security, Medicare, tax reform, energy, health care, the Patriot Act ó and show me where the Democrats have offered a viable alternative.
HOST: Iíve found that the party that wins elections is the party that has a vision of where it wants to take this country. If all you do is oppose everything the other party stands for, youíre never going to win. Do you agree?
PHYRILLAS: Why would any sane person oppose the Patriot Act if it has protected the United States from attack since 9/11? Yet, the Democrats refuse to extend it to embarrass the president politically. How much more helpful can Democrats and their ACLU allies be to Americaís enemies? Why would anyone want to be a member of a political party whose No. 1 goal is to decrease our national security?
HOST: The Democrats think opposition to the Iraq War will help them regain control of Congress in 2006. What do you say?
PHYRILLAS: Using the war for political gain has already backfired on the Democrats. The radical left that controls the party is losing support daily. If mainstream Democrats donít regain control of their party, theyíre going to lose in 2006 and lose the 2008 presidential election. The radical left has spread it sinister influence on the Democratic Party with each passing year. Look at the results. Democrats have lost 7 of the last 10 presidential elections. Democrats have lost every Congressional election since 1994. Thereís reason voters keep rejecting the Democratic Party. Voters donít trust Democrats to protect this nation from terrorists. Thatís why John Kerry lost in 2004. So what does Dr. Howard Dean prescribe for Democrats? He advocates surrender in Iraq and opposition to the Patriot Act ó two strategies that invite more attacks on the U.S.
Tony Phyrillas is a leading conservative political columnist and blogger based in Pennsylvania. He is a veteran journalist with 25 years experience as a reporter, editor and columnist for several newspapers. Phyrillas received recognition for column writing in 2010 from the Associated Press Managing Editors, in 2007 from Suburban Newspapers of America and in 2006 from the Society of Professional Journalists, Keystone Chapter. A graduate of Penn State University, Phyrillas is the city editor and political columnist for The Mercury, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning daily newspaper in Pottstown, Pa. In addition to The Mercury website (www.pottsmerc.com), his columns are featured on more than a dozen political websites and blogs. Phyrillas is a frequent guest (and occasional host) on talk radio and has been a panelist on the "Journalists Roundtable" public affairs TV program on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN). Phyrillas was named one of the '10 Leading Greek-American Bloggers in the World' in 2007 by Odyssey: The World of Greece magazine. BlogNetNews.com ranked Phyrillas the Most Influential Political Blogger in Pennsylvania for three consecutive years (2007-2010). You can follow Phyrillas on Twitter @TonyPhyrillas