ELEPHANTS IN THE ROOM
What Andrew Sullivan says is glaringly obvious to those of us who've been paying a lot of attention -- but it's still a taboo subject in the mainstream press:
What we've observed these past two years is a political party that knows nothing but scorched earth tactics, cannot begin to see any merits in the other party's arguments, refuses to compromise one inch on anything, and has sought from the very beginning to do nothing but destroy the Obama presidency. I see no other coherent message or strategy since 2008.... There is not a scintilla of responsibility for their past; not a sliver of good will for a duly elected president....
I know it is the opposition's role to oppose. But the sheer scale and absolutism of the opposition ... is remarkable.
... They simply cannot bear that another party might actually have a role to play in government.
... These people are not conservatives in this core civilized sense; they are partisan vandals.
In my last post, I talked about how a dominant media narrative about Democrats (namely, that it's a horrible mistake for them ever to be progressive) gets into the heads of Democrats and into the public's consciousness, and helps make a weak party even weaker. Conversely, there's an MSM take on Republicans that strengthens the GOP: namely, that no matter what the party does, it's a legitimate party interested in governance. It's one of our major political institutions -- it can't ever be talked about as if it's gone off the rails, as if it's thuggish and deliberately acting in opposition to the national interest. Major political parties just don't do that with malice aforethought.
Think about laundry detergents -- all those well-established brands made for years by well-established companies. Now imagine that there was a change of formula that meant one of them -- Tide or All or Wisk or Cheer or Gain or Fresh Start or whatever -- was suddenly made with illegally massive doses of carcinogens. Imagine that this wasn't a secret -- it was openly available information -- but it was never reported, simply because, well, Procter & Gamble and Sun Products and Unilever and the rest are fine, upstanding, well-established companies, so it's just unthinkable that one of them would be selling dangerous products in the supermarket, blatantly and unashamedly.
That's where we are with the GOP. The MSM simply can't adjust its image of this venerable party. This venerable party can't have become a radical cult.
This isn't the only fixed, encrusted, unchangeable narrative about the right that poisoning our political life. Similarly, the MSM can't imagine that Rupert Murdoch, who attends all the right social functions and seems to run his business like any aggressive but otherwise conventional media baron, could have turned his "news" channel into a 24-hour propaganda operation whose superstar is a paranoid Alex Jones on ideological steroids.
Since our mainstream journalists can't seem to grasp what's in front of their faces, the public doesn't get it, even yet. Andrew Sullivan's harangue is valuable, but there need to be harangues of this kind on CNN and CBS and the front page of The New York Times, regularly, until the public truly understands.