Wikipedia defines psychological projection as "a defense mechanism in which one attributes one's own unacceptable or unwanted thoughts or emotions to others. Projection reduces anxiety by allowing the expression of the unwanted subconscious impulses/desires without letting the conscious mind recognize them. The theory was developed by Sigmund Freud and further refined by his daughter Anna Freud, and for this reason, it is sometimes referred to as 'Freudian Projection.'" Bill Clinton liked to rail against "the politics of personal destruction." His party's leaders regularly point fingers at the opposition claiming they're "mean." Clinton was a master of exactly what he complained about and the others are right behind.
Take a close look at that definition of "projection" up there and ask yourself whether it doesn't fit today's liberals like a hand in a well-fitted kid glove. Consider, for example, their reaction to nomination of Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin's candidacy for vice president.
Politically aware Lefties had to know from the get-go that Palin would be an awesome force descending on their plans to dominate. Their reaction has been just what one with many years' experience watching liberal leaders would expect: a thermonuclear effort at personal destruction. Destruction of the governor and, not incidentally, her family.
Leave aside the ugly little e-mails allegedly from an individual Alaskan here or there that have gone "viral" on the Internet. Among the prices we pay for having the Internet is the ease with which an authoritative name, or invented credentials, can be fraudulently attached to any message. The more titillating the better. Plus, given the number of backsides Palin has had to kick en route to her 80% approval rating, it shouldn't be hard to find a local critic eager to retaliate - whether or not hiding behind a nom de plume.
Think about the mainstream media (MSM), which appear to collectively adore Sen. Barack Obama and generally display a distinct Leftist bias (think The New York Times and MSNBC). Two subjects come to mind: "gotchas" and experience. Consider the play on Obama's gaffes versus Palin's. He's the guy who skated away from a claim of having campaigned in 57 states and wasn't through all of them yet. Imagine the continuing din if Palin seemed confused over how many states are comprised by our country. That's just for starters.
Experience? "Everyone knows" Palin isn't qualified. Too young. Governs too small a state and for too short a time. Blah, blah, blah. Fair enough, Big Boys of the MSM, but what about Obama?
Let's see. Both are close to the same age. Obama wants the Oval Office. He has a bit of legislative experience remarkable only for its radical Left positions and, as part of the traditionally corrupt crowd that controls politics and patronage in Cook County (Chicago), his claim to be a reformer is difficult to believe. (See, for example, "Soldier for Stroger" by David Freddoso here.)
Palin has an 80% approval rating in governing a real state, and she won that governorship by challenging and defeating a tainted incumbent - a good ol' boy - of her own party. Following her election, she continued to take on political and business interests (e.g., oil companies) that are traditionally connected by liberals to her own party.
What about potential disqualifications?
For 16 years, Obama and his wife worshipped with a profane, ultra-racist, America-hating preacher man named Jeremiah Wright. Obama finally "threw Wright under the bus" after a nationally televised appeal to tolerate the intolerable failed to get Obama past his Wright wrong. That made everything for the Left and the MSM right once again.
Another important Obama distinction the MSM doesn't talk about is his long friendship with Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers. Not just friendship, but they worked together in advancing Leftist causes in the Chicago area. Obama's first political campaign began with a party in the home of Ayers and his wife Bernardine Dohrn, both former fugitives from justice from their Weatherman terrorist days who avoided prison on the technicality of prosecutorial misconduct. Great pals for Obama, the former lecturer on constitutional law!
As a governor, former mayor and member of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Palin has certifiable qualifications for public executive office, but Obama's the one running for president.
Going into her debate with Obama's veep candidate, Sen. Joe Biden, Palin was thought to have been totally softened up by relentless media criticism and satire. TV news anchors Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric conducted chip-on-the-shoulder interviews with Palin, which were followed up by others in the MSM feigning horror over errors and openly speculating that McCain would call on her to step aside.
Poor Biden. Palin was anything but softened up. Biden has been in the U.S. Senate for 34 years, three-quarters of Palin's life, yet she had him on the defensive for most of the 90 minutes. The outmatched Biden gave it the old college try, twice reminding listeners that his father addressed him as "Champ" and complaining no fewer than four times about some $4 billion tax benefit for Exxon Mobil. In the end, though, one could only agree with Dick Morris and Eileen McGann: "Biden sounded like the warmed-over has-been that he is ... hypnotically boring."
An aside: While Biden was mostly innocuous, I noted this very ominous comment in addressing a moderator's question about climate change, also known as global warming. He said, "I think it is manmade. I think it's clearly manmade. And, look, this probably explains the biggest fundamental difference between John McCain and Barack Obama and Sarah Palin and Joe Biden - Gov. Palin and Joe Biden. If you don't understand what the cause is, it's virtually impossible to come up with a solution. We know what the cause is. The cause is manmade. That's the cause. That's why the polar icecap is melting."
Biden is right about the need to understand the cause. Unfortunately he quite obviously doesn't, and fixes growing out of his "understanding" will be both ineffective and economically ruinous. For too long Sen. John McCain has been wrong on this, too, but at least he has a running mate in Palin who has her head screwed on right.
The Obama campaign, its surrogates in the MSM, and leftists in the blogosphere have brilliantly displayed for all to see what "politics of personal destruction" means. In fact, we can hope that the raw partisan ugliness of media personalities like MSNBC's Keith Olbermann will create such backlash as actually to improve the quality of political discourse and reporting.
Many will remember with relish Dan Rather's demise, following discovery of fakery at CBS in Rather's reporting on President Bush's military service. I have on my office wall the original of a hilarious cartoon by the Albuquerque Journal's John Trever, titled "The CBS Defense" and depicting law enforcement personnel taking some manacled sap away from a printing press in a room festooned with drying counterfeit bills. The sap is saying, "Sure they're fake, but they're accurate!"
Olbermann makes Rather seem a paragon of objectivity and truthfulness.
The extensive cover story by Stephen Spruiell in the September 15th National Review discusses at length the threat to the very existence of NBC news on account of its subsidiary's Olbermann. Events subsequent, including reassignment of Olbermann and Chris Matthews, may indicate a return toward (distant) impartiality. In any case, reporters all over the country cannot fail to resent the smear of the Olbermann/Matthews betrayal of professionalism. We all have our biases and preferences, but most reporters - just like most of the rest of us - aspire to perform professionally. Few want to look in the mirror in the morning and recognize someone whose journalistic ethics are in the toilet with Keith Olbermann's.
Charlie Gibson, Katie Couric and Gretchen Carlson, please take note.