Right-wing talk radio has it all wrong. There is no liberal conspiracy. None. Zip. Zilch.

Truth be told, we live in a one-party state, the Republicans run the show, and the Democratic Party is just the more reactionary wing of the GOP.

Doubt me? It’s as simple as this: The GOP defines any and all debates. They establish the rules.

The Democrats, including our tone-deaf president, then play by those rules even if doing so cripples their effectiveness and makes them look weak. The only thing the Dems can do is react to the actions of the right-wing machine.

After all, it was the Right that coined the term Pro-Life. The Left’s response: Pro-Choice. Compare the two. One is powerful and poignant, something to rally around. The other is an afterthought. It’s nearly meaningless. It is an embarrassment.

And it was the Right which said that we as a nation need to “Support Our Troops” when it quickly became apparent that the Iraq occupation had turned into a long, hard slog and the Left began to finally and openly criticize the war.

The Dems only recourse: to continue to support the troops by putting them in harm’s way, year after year after year.

Even today, President Obama carries on the Right’s war against a ghost, a spectral bogeyman who exists in myth and legend, all in the name of finishing a job that the Bush administration had started.

That elements within the GOP have now begun turning against our two ongoing missions in the Middle East speaks volumes about the Democratic Party’s inability to define itself by its own terms.

And then there is the Left’s — Obama specifically — ongoing trouble with the right-wing media. Rush, Hannity, Beck, O’Reilly, Levin, and others define the political reality we all live in more than anyone else. When it comes to the debate over healthcare, global warming, the Gulf oil spill response, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, race relations, they hold Robert’s Rules of Order in their hands, and they rewrite it constantly to serve their needs.

Sadly, President Obama has proven himself to be inept at taking those rules back. His presidency has been marked by one instance after another in which he attempted to play by the rules created by the right-wing media. And each time, he fails.

There was Jeremiah Wright, which admittedly happened before Obama was elected.

And the ACORN scandal, which was based on a sophomoric hoax.

And the resignation of Van Jones.

And Obama’s statements about Henry Gates’ arrest, followed by a concessionary beer summit.

And claims about the creation of so-called death panels.

Joe Wilson.

All you have to do is turn on Fox News or listen to Hannity for a few days to see what Obama’s next misstep will be, as he attempts to address — quite badly — the charges the Right hurls against him.

The thing is this: Obama is scared shitless of doing anything that may anger Fox fans, Dittoheads, Tea Partiers, and Hockey Moms.

At any and all times, the president has to show that he, and he alone, is above partisan pettiness, that he respects the opinions of the right, that he desperately wants to play by the rules that they have created.

And nothing points this out more than the knee-jerk firing of Shirley Sherrod and the president’s lame-ass finger-pointing.

The media? Really. That’s who is to blame here? Did I hear you Right, Barack? You’re blaming the entire frikkin’ media for this mess? Not your administration for overreacting? Not Andrew Breitbart for knowingly lying about the footage? Not Fox News, Hannity, and others for immediately following Breitbart’s lead?

Why is the president unable to say what needs to be said: One, the Right fabricated this controversy, and, two, his administration, was duped, just like they always are.

But that is not what happened, and I seriously doubt anything of that sort ever will. To quote Dr. Peter Venkman: It’s true. This man has no dick.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had it with Obama’s inability to take on the right-wing media and his unwillingness to define himself and his party by its own terms. He is playing someone else’s game, and he is losing badly.

Hopefully, that will change, and Obama will see that the time for playing games is over. It’s time to get serious.