Fred Thompson and Plain Speaking
By Ray Robison
Fred Thompson is a small town guy who made it from the agricultural communes of south-central Tennessee to Capitol Hill and our TV sets. And while we admire the accomplishments of this distinguished lawyer, Senator and actor, we admire the man even more for seeming to remain grounded to his roots.
Faced with a media establishment that has heightened its opposition to presenting news that makes Republicans look good, Fred Thompson has that rare and invaluable quality of speaking directly to ordinary Americans, saying what needs to be said.
He has ties to Hollywood but is not of Hollywood, which adds legitimacy to his insider knowledge of our media based culture. He is giving voice to that which vexes many of us, that liberal politicians and media elitists increase the risk to this country by downplaying the tyrannical and terrorist enemy in order to win political power. Pointing this out is a talent that has long failed President Bush.
Can anybody imagine President Bush saying what Fred Thompson did a few days ago?
“I listen to the Democratic congressional leaders and I hear them talking about how many (House and Senate) seats they’re going to pick up because of this war…. I listened to one of their presidential candidates talk about that this is a phony war, the war on terror. This is what passes for policy today in the Democratic Party.”
Can anybody imagine President Bush telling Michael Moore so publicly that the political system he admires in Cuba is nothing but a brutal tyranny? Thompson talked about Castro’s abysmal treatment of Cuban journalists, a direct shot at the hypocrisy of the “video-journalist” Moore. The fact that Moore had no memorable response says it all; Thompson scored a direct hit and everybody knew it.
Many of us who loathe Michael Moore cheered silently. Thompson has slyly asserted himself as the easy going but tough guy of the right who also happens to be media savvy, more John Wayne than Reagan. And oddly enough in American politics, it all strikes many of us as genuine.
We never hear this type of trench fighting from the Bush administration anymore, unless it is to imply its’ own supporters are haters for wanting to stop an egregiously flawed immigration bill. The same can be said for McCain who used to straight talk us, but for some time has talked only straight to the liberal media talking points in a vain attempt to curry favor. As Fred might say, anyone with two brain cells to rub together would know that the media was going to use and abuse McCain as soon as it got what it wanted from him, an anti-Republican stance.
We want a President who will play take on, or better yet make irrelevant the liberal media and its’ anti-American leanings. Defeat it, rather than to win it over, an impossible task for any Republican.
Many of us have not sat idly while major American news misrepresents everything from our war efforts to a make-believe plot to out a “covert” CIA agent. Again and again this administration has failed to support those who support it by defending itself. Instead it gives up and accommodates its opponents.
In the war of ideas, this White House long ago cut and run. Why didn’t Powell, a former team member, identify Armitage as the leaker and stop the entire Plame non-scandal before it got started? Didn’t President Bush have the same information? Why did they let this lie go unchallenged day after day?
What many of us see in Thompson is a man who will stand by his principles, someone we hope won’t pull the rug out from under his supporters’ feet to support Ted Kennedy. We see in Thompson a man who understands that public perception matters even as he knows that reality matters more. He understands that the Islamic extremist enemy knows how to use our own values against us. He knows the bulk of American media is all too happy to provide a conduit for that propaganda if it supports the success of liberals over conservatives.
Some believe that Thompson’s conservative credentials are damaged by his support of McCain-Feingold. Maybe so, but in this era of Jack Abramoff, tighter control on political money is not an entirely discredited notion. In truth, both Thompson and McCain acknowledged the dangers for corruption before the scandals that cost the GOP so much ion the past election.
George is coy about a statement Thompson made that is clearly a reference to suicide bombers like the 9/11 attackers which is part of a broader statement about illegal immigration. While Will just can’t quite figure it out (so he warns you not to try this at home) it is really not a complicated position. Keeping out all illegal immigrants will reduce the chances of terrorists operating in this country.
Some critics say Thomson, who hasn’t even declared yet, is devoid of ideas. Winning in Iraq is a good idea that doesn’t need to be proposed, but does need constant reinforcement with the American public. Maybe we need a President who will flood the media with subject matter experts directly involved in the war effort (God forbid we are still suffering such losses by the next Presidency) instead of giving the most biased liberal reporters special access to the military’s secret programs.
Do we really need a big idea for immigration or do we need to just enforce the laws we have? Many of the economic policies of the President have had spectacular success and just need some one to protect them against a socialist onslaught.
Fred Thompson doesn’t need big ideas; he only has to have the courage to reap the ones that President Bush planted in rugged, arid, cold ground and which he failed to protect from a biased media culture.
Ray Robison is a former army officer, a former member of the ISG, and co-author of the new ebook Both In One Trench: Saddam’s support to the Global Islamic Jihad Movement and International Terrorism