If you are a columnist you know you have hit a home run when your column gets read on air by multiple radio talk show hosts. Such is certainly the case with this morning’s Daniel Henninger column in the WSJ. I have personally heard it read by Hewitt and Prager this morning, and I am betting if they read it so did a lot of others. In the column, Henninger takes to task players on the Left, Right and supposed Center for their politicization of once sacredly apolitical governmental institutions, like our intelligence and law enforcement apparatus. Here’s just a few select snippets:
They knew the drill. In 2011 the Obama White House leaked details of SEAL Team Six’s assassination of Osama bin Laden within hours of the operation. They politicized the SEALs and commoditized leaking, just as they now have politicized and undermined public confidence in U.S. intelligence agencies.
But rather than develop countermeasures against the Putin subversion effort, our politics wallows in the Trump vs. Democrats smackdown.
The “investigation” Mr. Comey identified at the Nunes-Schiff hearing essentially consists of cops walking the beat and knocking on doors for clues. The 17 agencies set loose in January by the Obama administration are an unfocused perpetual-motion machine. This uncapped Beltway hydrant likely will do little about the real Putin propaganda threat, but it will gush raw, unverified anecdotes to animate media melodramas about the current presidency and private U.S. citizens.
Henninger paints a very ugly picture of our government and our media. But more importantly he paints a really ugly picture of us, the American people. Why? Because we accept, even buy into, this stuff. For sure the media does what it does because we lap it up like a thirsty dog at a desert oasis – that sells ads and they make money. The politicians feed it to the media because the media provides them with the means to manipulate the public towards their desired end – which starts with keeping their jobs or getting a better one and ends at “transforming America.” When you get to the bottom of it all, even if you want to blame education, the internet, the liberal media, whatever, it is the way it is because it is what we, the American people demand. The free market works even in this situation. We follow “the drama” of the degradation of our intelligence apparatus like it was The Crown or Downton Abbey.
But this is real life, here and now, with incredibly enormous stakes, not fiction nor fictionalized history. How did we, the American people, come to a point where we view things like this with such triviality? Continue Reading