Fishbowl5 With FNC’s Monica Crowley

FNC recently celebrated the publication of conservative commentator Monica Crowley’s new book What the (Bleep) Just Happened?: The Happy Warrior’s Guide to the Great American Comeback at a party in New York City last week.

CEO Roger Ailes introduced Crowley at an event, calling her “brilliant” and “a star.” He said “she is Fox News.” Crowley joked that the original title of her book was “Fifty Shades of Obama,” saying “Given the massive sales of [50 Shades of Grey] maybe I should’ve stuck with that title.”

We checked in with Crowley about her book and her relationship with FNC liberal sparring partner (and brother-in-law) Alan Colmes.

1. You and Alan Colmes face off on FNC’s The O’Reilly Factor on a regular basis. Is your rapport the same off camera? Alan and I are polar opposites politically, but we’re great friends. He’s sweet and kind, funny and thoughtful. His only downside is his leftist ideology, but I’m working on him. He’s a real challenge to my powers of persuasion, but I won’t rest until he’s Tea Party.

2. Aside from Colmes, who’s your favorite liberal to have a friendly (or not) debate with? I respect and am friendly with every person with whom I debate. That makes flattening their arguments so much more fun and gratifying.

3. What’s the opposite of a “happy warrior”? Can you name someone’s who’s a happy warrior and someone who’s the opposite? In the book, I list the 10 keys to the Happy Warrior. The first is that we recognize that we are, in fact, in a war: we’re in an ideological war against leftism and an economic war against the forces of redistributionism. But the Happy Warrior recognizes that America can be saved, and that she is worth saving. Above all, the Happy Warrior is, in fact, happy, and takes on the mission to restore the nation with joy and optimism. The opposite of the Happy Warrior is what President Nixon‘s team once called the “nattering nabobs of negativity.” These are the folks who are either actively advancing American decline or resigned to it. President Obama channeled a lot of American optimism with his ambiguous but upbeat message of “hope and change” in 2008, but because his record is so horrendous, he is now almost totally negative and can only run a scorched earth campaign. He is the opposite of the Happy Warrior. President Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were consummate Happy Warriors. Today, I’d put Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisc.), Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) in that category, among others. Gov. Mitt Romney has a bit of the Happy Warrior in him; he’s getting better at embodying that positive embrace of conservatism. If he were to totally embody the Happy Warrior spirit while continuing to advocate pro-growth economic policies, he’d have this race sown up.

4. How’d you come up with the title What the (bleep) just happened? What’s the word you’d most often associate with the “(bleep)” part? One day last summer, I was having dinner with a good friend. I told her that I wanted to write a new book but was unsure as to what its focus should be. We then started talking about how epically weird the last few years under Obama have been. Every day, we were getting hit with a new piece of insane leftist social engineering or some new policy to take down American power or prestige abroad—a rapid-fire assault I call “Barack-a-mole.” Our enemies were getting olive branches, our allies were getting dissed, and millions of Americans were being moved into government dependency at home. “What the (bleep) just happened?” I sighed. She looked at me and said, “That’s your title.” And so it came to be. Of course, I used a more colorful word, but I thought I’d let each reader supply his or her own favorite profanity.

5. Free for all: What’s something you’d like to say?
Two things: First, I’m a long-suffering New York Jets fan, and I hope Tim Tebow doesn’t break my heart out there.

Second, the nation is at the proverbial fork in the road. One path will lead us to crushing statism. The other path will lead us back to what made us great from the start: individual freedom and economic liberty. It’s not too late to get the nation back on track. The choice is still before us, but time is running out. Let’s not make “What the (bleep) just happened?” a permanent question.

Photo credit: Patrick McMullan