Vantage point

Friday, September 18, 2009

Bill O'Reilly on Public Option - Shocking Statement! NOT!

The leftie blogosphere is getting all tingly high-fiving everyone about Bill O'reilly supporting the public option. Bil O'reilly is actually not a hardcore fiscal conservative??? This news is the most unexpectedly earth-shattering shocking revelation to hit the airwaves since Adam Lambert publicly came out of the closet. :)

The leftie bloggers are so fixated over hating O'reilly on a daily basis, that they have never really heard what he says calmly. So here's the thing. Bill O'reilly is first and foremost the Culture Warrior - essentially a hardcore social conservative. That and only that, is the part of the conservative-right ideology that he feels strongly about. He has never really been a fiscal conservative or a small government guy, at least not on a comparably passionate level.

Sure, he makes the right noises, talks about the deficit, spending, so on and so forth. But you can see his heart is not really in it. He is just doing what is good for his team. But every so often, he has said stuff that shows that fiscally, he is at best slightly-right-of-center. Remember when gas crossed 4 dollars a gallon? He routinely hammered the oil companies for their greed using words that could have easily been uttered by Keith Olbermann. When the financial sector started teetering, he broke rank with fellow-conservative commentators to lay part of the blame at Bush's door, for not "regulating" the market strongly enough (although his showdown with Barney Frank made everyone forget it). And he has always paid moderate lip service to the value of regulations, something that Hannity, Limbaugh, Beck, Cavuto etc. will never do. So to me, his statement, which by the way, is not exactly a resounding endorsement of the public option, does not come as a surprise. It actually fits the pattern. He has always been like that when it comes to fiscal matters.

Secondly, have people noticed that O'reilly is sounding a lot more "fair and balanced" since Obama took office? During the Bush years, there was some outrageous statement of his that made rounds of youtube every week. But lately, he has been very mellow. The afore-linked leftie blogs don't go after him as much. Heck, even his appearances in Olbermann's "Worst Persons in the World" list have dropped dramatically. And these facts have only a little to do with Glenn Beck's rise as the right's Loonie-in-Chief.

The reason is simple. When your team is playing defense, everyone has to focus single-minded on defending. But when your team is playing offense, some players can sort of relax and take it easy as the designated attackers go forth. When Bush was President, O'reilly loyally defended him. And Bush gave him a lot to be defensive about. But now that Obama is President and the right has shifted into offensive mode, O'reilly knows that there is no sense in frothing at the mouth. He can be polite and even mildly gracious to the President even as he disagrees with him, and come off looking a lot like a fair and balanced guy. In fact, he might even score an interview in the Oval Office very soon.

And so, suddenly, we find ourselves in a strange world where O'reilly does indeed sound like one of the most reasonable voices on air, even as Beck-Limbaugh-Hannity (always) look batshit crazy attacking the President on everything, and Matthews-Olbermann-Schultz (often) look moronic defending the President's deficit-tripling policies.

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