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Mistakes and failures can be positive happenstance, but only if one chooses to learn from them. But before you learn, you must reassess to find out what went wrong.
The Lords of Loud mouthpieces of the White House and GOP were instrumental in helping the GOP score Bush another term in 2004. Probably even more so than not-Governor Blackwell. But even with their soft-ball interviews and private White House meeting with the President, along with an almost entirely right wing media day just prior to the election, the GOP's talk radio arm failed miserably in turning in another victory for their masters.
Of course, Sean Hannity will be the first one to interrupt you that he did not concur with every decision the President and GOP made over the past two years. Then again, a broken clock is wrong 8,638 times a day (23 hours, 59 minutes and 58 seconds). Sean's best pitch was basically that the Republican Party did a piss poor job shirking their responsibility to Americans, so...reelect them.
But what was the difference between winning 2004 and losing 2006?
Was it Bill O'Reilly spending more time creating secular progressive bogeyman to sell Bill O'Reilly books and Factor gear?
Was it Laura Ingram's suggestion to clog the Democratic voting phone lines?
How about Limbaugh's flailing about like a wounded duck?
All those certainly turned off a few who might have pulled a GOP lever or two, but I think the purest example of failure came from Hannity's tired anti-Democratic litany getting even tired'r.
And it's not because Hannity's fans stopped listening to him. I believe that actually started listening more intensively.
Sean wanted them to believe that Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco values would inflict Satan's genes into our children.
But Pelosi's San Francisco values didn't let credit card companies write the bankruptcy bill or pharmaceutical corporations write the drug bill or energy companies develop energy policy.
Sean holds up Hollywood as limousine liberals whose lack of virtue are infesting the minds of our kids. But Hollywood didn't place our kids in the middle of a deadly Iraqi quagmire.
Sean replays Howard Dean's "scream" as an symbol of a sick party. But Dean didn't scream us into unaffordable healthcare for the truly sick.
Sean paints and repaints an unhinged Hillary Clinton, but Hillary didn't unhinge FEMA by hiring Michael Brown.
Sean demonizes George Soros as the money man behind Air America but Soros or Air America did not get paid off by Jack Abramoff.
Sean blames John Kerry's inability to deliver a joke about Bush as a slam of our troops. But Kerry didn't make Republicans cut Veteran's benefits.
Sean's list, repeated ad infinitum, was an attempt to brainwash his listeners. Instead, it made them painfully aware that Sean didn't seem to connect the actual failures, many of them deadly, to those responsible.
Nothing turns off a working brain more than being insulted with obvious bullshit. For some brains it might take more time than others for the smell to register, but it seemed to click for enough to make Sean's water-carrying efforts a real detriment to the GOP this past election.
Plainly, the Right wasn't as stupid as Hannity or O'Reilly or Limbaugh thought they were. Not this time.
But the Lords of Loud still haven't learned their lesson.
Sean's newest litany attacks the Democratic control of Congress that has about two months before it has any control, as a failure.
It may pacify the few fans who don't yet realize that Sean only feeds their post-election wounds for the benefit of his humongous financial return. But, as long as he and the rest of the Right's noise machine don't realize their tired tactics are getting very tired, the hole in their logic will be large drive a 2008 Democratic victory truck through.
Steve Young is author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful."