I was going to write on bipartisanship today, but the continuing Fox News meltdown takes precedence. Partisan entertainment reporting of politics is one thing (honestly, MSNBC has dropped any pretense of journalism, although they maintain a firmer grip on the facts), but actively inciting a revolution is another. Adding to the mess is the typically Fox-like absence of reality.
When will they learn? When will grassroots conservatives learn? You can’t deny numbers because they don’t look good to you…reality wins eventually. Those folks were victims of their own propaganda and Karl Rove’s final and colossal failure…Bush’s Brain is so much more meaningful a moniker in the light of The Texas Turd Blossom’s underwhelming genius. Below are two important data points for conservatives to consider as they watch the “fair and unbalanced” crowd struggle for traction.
- Hurricane Sandy did not “stop Romney’s momentum”. Pundits are now trying to say that one more week of talking about “things important to America, like the debt and deficit, and restoring our greatness…” would have made all the difference. Multiple Mitt was trailing in all of the state polls that mattered because voters had heard every version of his reality (and that was a lot, mind you), and rejected them. Also, Romney’s momentum (a very real thing after the Denver Debate) had already stopped, as the graph on the side shows (the left arrow points to the period between the September jobs report, the Vice Presidential Debate, and the second Presidential Debate, the right arrow, Hurricane Sandy’s landfall).
- Rove’s pathetic attempt to blame “voter suppression” (in line with his own Rovian Quantum Politics) is beyond ridiculous. The election mechanisms in Florida, Ohio, and Virginia are all led and vetted by Republican governors. Those three states all went for the President (and elected or reelected liberal Senators) despite active voters purges that disproportionately effected Democrats. And as for conservatives staying at home; Florida saw 200,000 more Republicans vote, Ohio saw 100,000, and Virginia 60,000. And since when are political ads voter suppression?
I thought that only The Donald would stand and reaffirm his reckless and idiotic crazy, I had no thought that most of the Fox News lineup would join with elected Republicans in a massive and frankly democracy-threatening pity party. They are all channeling their inner Pat Robertson, and it must stop. Some 225 years ago, the Founding Fathers created a nation as an indirect democracy, and did so with the knowledge that not everyone would always get along. It seems to have worked well so far, let’s not let our inner child make us bad losers.
A majority of the people have spoken, it is time to move forward.
The Rational Middle is listening…
A stream of curse words. A river of filth. The coarsening of our culture. This article is a response to an email sent by the Tea Party Nation to its members that fits, in every important point, the notion defined by the previous statements. But the Tea Party Nation is not the only perpetrator of such offenses in our society. I am guilty of them; The Rational Middle, I have often noted, is an aspiration rather than reality. Liberals, conservatives, truck drivers, and school teachers; we Americans have become proficient in the debased art of degrading language.
What I will do in this article, I hope, is to deconstruct the obscenities hurled by Melissa Brookstone in the aforementioned email. I will not call her a traitor; I will not call her a bigot. I am writing this column in the full understanding that the Tea Party Nation email is written in a tone that more than a few friends and family members, folks that I respect and love, will agree with. This article is not being written about the character of the Tea Party Nation, it is being written to refute the premise of Tea Party Nation.
American exceptionalism is a wonderful extension of manifest destiny and, earlier, the divine rights of kings. The idea is that the United States of America is the greatest nation in the world…period. I say it is wonderful, because the notion of being the best should be a powerful motivator for excellence. But I have begun wondering if this modern incarnation is more excuse, and less motivator. According to much of the public commentary coming from the general direction of the political right, there doesn’t appear to be much our nation can do any longer; we are the best, but we can’t handle our problems.
Some 150 years ago, a Republican president intoned that “the government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the Earth.” One decade into the 21st Century, conservatives have spent so much effort convincing the people they are no longer connected to their government, they seem to believe that we the people can no longer accomplish great things. Is this the truth? Do conservatives really believe America can’t accomplish tasks, simple or grand, without outsourcing them to tax-credited multi-nationals? Do conservatives believe in Ameri-Can’t?
We saw, supposedly, a budget cutting smack-down in the 2010 midterms. The talking heads and deficit hawks have said repeatedly that the heavy Democratic losses were a rejection of heavy spending, a repudiation of the Obama Administration’s “weak” job-creation, and a massive dose of humble pie. We were told that the biggest threats to our nation were government spending and government debt. The Tea Party, we were promised, had the solutions.
This song sounds strangely familiar. Without overindulging in policy debates previously covered in this space ad-nauseum, the initial legislative priorities of the Tea-publicans don’t seem to have much to do with the problems at large. In the Congress, and in state houses across the nation, these folks seem Hell-bent on addressing Roe v. Wade, gay marriage, and union-busting. Efforts at ending “reckless spending” have been exclusively (yes, exclusively) limited to cutting salaries and benefits for working Americans, attacking education, trimming indigent health care, bludgeoning Sesame Street, putting the cuffs on law enforcement, and of course, making the homes of the poor a little colder next winter.
We the people support democracy. We the people support individual rights. We the people are deeply committed to the twin concepts of liberty and freedom. We the people believe that a world carved in our image will be a better world. We the people, secure in our shared history and insulated from the bloodletting that served as the crucible of our democracy, have never had any real idea of how to bring these dreams to reality in a diverse and often dangerous world. And so we are now confronted with our inability to turn dreams into practical actions by the inconvenient political drama that is Egypt.
We should, in the spirit of our own founding documents, rally to the aid of those rising against Hosni Mubarak. He is a dictator in the most basic and pure definition. Those millions who have conducted mostly peaceful protests over the last week, represent an oppressed majority clamoring for self-representation. But we are forced to play a dangerous game of revolutionary chicken; we can’t swerve until we know which side will win. President Obama, by the accounts of the overwhelming bulk of foreign policy experts not employed by Fox News, has played the game to near perfection…so far. But this won’t be the last game that this President, or any President, will have to play. The Egypt Paradox is already warming up in a number of other countries.
One week ago today, Keith Olbermann recorded his last words as the host of Countdown. The very minute he left frame, the blogosphere and Twitter world caught fire as millions expressed shock, sadness, anger, and for the conservatives of the nation, delight. Conspiracy theories raged across the ether as corporate giant Comcast, whose merger with NBC technically started that day, was assumed to have ordered K.O.’s firing. Supporters quickly drew a line from Olbermann’s axing to Comcast and thence to the Citizen’s United ruling by the Supreme Court one year prior. Boycotts of MSNBC and NBC were planned and indeed demanded.
Liberals who have watched conservative commentators and bloggers burst into flames at the smallest hint of potential liberal scandal, have now (seemingly) adopted the same strategy. The worst possible conclusions of every event are automatically drawn, without corroborating evidence, and draconian solutions are immediately pushed as the only true liberal reaction. Liberals shocked at the reactionary and often violent rhetoric of the right, have decided to adopt a similar tone and trigger pressure in their own dealings with the worlds of politics and the media. We have seen the pattern repeated many times after; the decision to abandon the public option, the decision not to sanction Israel during the Gaza War and blockade, the decision to select the not liberal enough Elena Kagan, the decision-making before and after the Big Spill, the decision to adopt the plan that included a consumer financial agency inside the Fed, the decision to make a deal on taxes with Republicans, Tucson, and the firing of Keith Olbermann.