Is it just me or is bashing liberals not as much fun as it used to be? Where's the challenge in it?
Did you ever sit through a movie only to be disappointed by the ending? Have you bought a new CD from a favorite singer only to wonder when he or she lost the magic? (Try staying awake listening to Cheryl Crow’s latest release, "Wildflowers.")
I picked up a copy of a new book by Mike Gallagher called "Surrounded By Idiots: Fighting Liberal Lunacy in America" figuring it would turn out to be an entertaining companion to Michael Savage's biting "Liberalism is a Mental Disorder," a best seller in 2005.
Like Savage, Gallagher is a conservative radio talk show host. (It seems these guys have a lot of time on their hands because they're cranking out books all the time.) I loved the title of Gallagher's book but by the time I finished it, the only question on my mind was, "Is that all there is?"
Bashing liberals has been done much better in recent books by Ann Coulter in "How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must"), Bernard Goldberg in "100 People Who Are Screwing Up American" and Michelle Malkin in "Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild."
Maybe conservatives have run out of liberals to ridicule. Is there any challenge left in having fun at the expense of Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Howard Dean, Al Gore or Barbara Boxer?
Kate O'Beirne, the Washington editor of National Review has a new book out called "Women Who Make the World Worse." O'Beirne makes a convincing case that militant feminism has set the women's movement back, but who does she pick on? The usual suspects: Hillary Clinton, Gloria Steinem, Barbra Streisand, Hanoi Jane Fonda, ACLU poster-girl Ruth Bader Ginsburg and New York Times’ fruit loop columnist, Maureen Dowd.
We know Al Franken is a pinhead, but do we need two books that focus on his tendency to bend the truth within a year — "Pants On Fire: How Al Franken Lies, Smears and Deceives" and "Do As I Say (Not As I Do") are Franken overload. Isn't it punishment enough for the smarmy Franken to know that his show on Dead Air America is the least-listened-to radio broadcast in the country?
Same goes for the pompous Keith Olbermann on MSNBC, whose idea of news is to make fun of Bill O'Reilly because "The O'Reilly Factor" consistently clobbers his "Countdown" show in the ratings. The 4 a.m. rebroadcast of O'Reilly's show on Fox draws more viewers than Olbermann's original 8 p.m. prime time broadcast. Maybe Olbermann should stop throwing papers up in the air and worry more about the idiotic comments coming out of his mouth. Over at CNN, they're so desperate to drag themselves out of the ratings cellar that they’ve hired the host of the reality show "The Mole" to anchor its prime time news. And these liberal bobble-heads wonder why nobody takes them seriously.
Gallagher understand the danger liberals pose: "America is mired in an unprecedented cultural and political war. The left is trying to destroy the pillars of our great country. Their targets: every value and standard, principle and ideal, concept of God, family, honor, duty, country and decency that we hold dear. As a people we need to help because our country is battling for her very soul, for patriotism, Judeo-Christian morals and strong families. Liberal lunatics have surrounded us with their agenda-driven ideology. It's time to fight back."
He offers some interesting observations in the 218 pages of his book, but it's painfully clear he doesn't have enough material to fill the book. The problem may be his wife, Denise. Gallagher spends entirely too much time in the book fawning over his liberal wife and excuses her politics because she's such a "beautiful, kind, sweet, big-heated woman."
That's swell, Mike, but how can you remain objective when you're sleeping with the enemy? You can't base your entire political philosophy on bashing the loony left and then say it's OK for your wife to be a die-hard liberal who votes the party line, worships the ground Hillary Clinton walks on and won’t allow you to discuss politics in the house because she can't handle the truth.
The worst part of the book (not counting the story of how Denise got to meet Hillary) is a chapter called "To Be or Not To Be … an Idiot," which sounds too much like a Jerry Seinfeld monologue about people you encounter in everyday life who annoy you — fast food workers who barely speak English, idiots who talk out loud in movie theaters, telemarketers who won't take no for an answer, etc. That stuff has nothing to do with liberal or conservative and it's obvious the entire chapter was thrown in to fill space.
It might be time to declare a moratorium on exposing the hypocrisy of the political left.
What's left to say? We have scientific evidence that liberals are wrong all the time. Book publishers should be a little more selective about the liberal-bashing books they choose to print in 2006 ... although I have an idea for a book I'd like to discuss with a publisher.
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