More than three weeks after the election, the Left still doesn't have any new ideas, but they do have an emerging battle plan.
First, claim the president is surrounding himself with yes-men and yes-women, who will tell him only what he wants to hear and not challenge his policies. This used to be called loyalty, but is now considered by the Left as unhealthy.
What the critics mean is that the president will have people around him who will actually carry out his policies and not advance their own ideas, or leak to the press. This, by the way, is the media's main problem. They're used to disloyal and self-aggrandizing leakers and they don't like it when administration officials refuse to undermine the boss.
The second strategy is scandal. The left will use every opportunity to try to taint this president with something.
The third strategy, which is part of the first two, is invective. Here are just a few examples. Bill Moyers and Eleanor Clift have called Secretary of State-Designate Condoleezza Rice (search) a liar who ignores reality. Walter Cronkite continues to peddle the line that Karl Rove (search) was responsible for the pre-election bin Laden tape, urging Americans to vote for John Kerry if they wanted to be safe. Helen Thomas — no relation — called Dr. Rice a G-d liar and she used the F-word — fascist — to describe members of the Bush administration. CBS' "60 Minutes" commentator Andy Rooney spoke to students at Tufts University a few days ago. Rooney said those voters who relied on religion in the election are ignorant and that Christian fundamentalism is a result of "a lack of education."
Imagine if this sort of slimy rhetoric had been directed at a Democrat by a conservative Republican. You know the editorial denunciations from the usual sources would have been severe. "Mean-spirited" and "divisive" would have been some of the milder things said about such inflammatory language.
This sort of rhetoric reveals more about the speakers than it does their targets. Maybe they could create a new TV show called "Desperate Liberals.".
And that's Column One for this week.
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Cal Thomas is America's most widely syndicated op-ed columnist. He joined Fox News Channel in 1997 as a political contributor. His latest book is "What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America" is available in bookstores now. Readers may email Cal Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.