Thursday, July 05, 2012


Thanks, Tom, Yellow Dog, and Crank, for posting while I was away.

And now I see that the right-wing think tanks really got the talking points efficiently distributed just prior to the Fourth of July.

Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, posting at RedState:
As we celebrate our nation’s birthday this week, it is important to remember and teach our children the Founding Fathers were declaring our independence, not creating a culture of dependence. (They also protested unfair taxation, but that is another story for another day.) This is an especially important lesson, given the Supreme Court's ruling last week on Obamacare....
Bill Frezza, writing for Forbes:
As for the causes of revolution, we’ve lost sight of them, too. King George III was a champion of laissez-faire compared to the modern cradle-to-grave entitlement state....

Little by little, the home of the brave and the land of the free has become a nation of rent-seeking dependents clamoring for their share of state largess. Even before the latest entitlement blowout called Obamacare, we crossed the line where more than half of Americans receive some kind of assistance from the government every month....
Megyn Kelly, on Fox News:
Well, today, as we celebrate our independence, our freedom, with fireworks, parades, family time, and barbecues, there are new questions about our dependence on the federal government. Research shows that nearly half of the U.S. population now lives in a household where at least one person gets some sort of government benefit. That's up from 30% in the early 1980s. So just how independent are we, really? And where is this trend going? ...
Jindal, of course, has deep ties to ALEC; Frezza is a "Technology and Entrepreneurship Fellow" at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which has long been funded by right-wing billionaire money; and Kelly, of course, is at Fox News, which has always been a stack of amplifiers blasting out every talking point generated by right-wing propaganda mills.

I've always been amused by the lockstep quality of the right-wing media. They look at American liberalism (or even American centrism) and see totalitarian, North Korea-style communism, with enslaved citizens compelled to chant obediently while troops do scarily precise marches -- but it seems as if our right-wingers want to do that kind of compelled chanting and marching, except on behalf of capitalism. For them, the Fourth of July isn't about remembrance or leisure -- it's a propaganda opportunity, nothing more.

Meanwhile, the "liberal media" gave us the likes of this -- a New York Times op-ed by Kurt Andersen arguing that capitalist excesses and 1960s political and personal liberation aren't contradictory aspects of the American culture but, rather, two sides of the same self-indulgence coin. It's designed to offend the left and the right alike; say what you will about it, it sure as hell ain't lefty propaganda.

That's part of the reason our side loses a lot of political battles -- the big media guns associated (rightly or wrongly) with our side aren't relentlessly on message all the time -- but it's also a sign that we're humans, not 24/7 zombified apparatchiks. We're supposed to be the collectivists, but the other guys seem to embody collectivism much more than we do.


Victor said...

Trying to explain things to Conservatives, is like trying to instruct 'Talking Ken and Barbie Dolls.'

You can talk 'til you're blue in the face, making the greatest argument in history, with charts and numbers proving the correctness of what you've explained - but, when you try to see if any of it stuck and you pull the string, the dolls still say what they were programmed to say, and nothing else.

And all of those words, charts and numbers, were wasted. Plastic ears and painted on eyes can't hear or see.
And even if they could, what would it matter? There's nothing in the doll's empty head's to process it.

In the old days, you could at least discuss things with Conservatives.
You might vehemently disagree, and probably did, but they at least listened to you and your points, because they needed to think at least a little bit to find the chink in your Liberal armor and train of thought.

Now, there's no discussion.
The minute something disagrees with what's been ingrained in their brain by the echo chambers of FOX News and talk radio, they don't have to think - they just spout oft-repeated talking points.
And ever increasing volume and rudeness is proof to them, of the correctness of their argument, and that they're winning.

We're in, as someone else wrote, "A Cold Civil War."

Unknown said...

Ronald Reagan warned us in 1965. Passage of Medicare would end American liberty and introduce tyranny and communism. And it did.

Also, every computerized system in the world failed totally on January 1, 2000.

The civilized world was wiped out.

Ten Bears said...

Good one, Joe... and on December 21 magic moonbeams are going to float down out of the sky and turn us all into Hippies. (far the more likely thousands upon thousands of monstrous spacecraft, vast slaughter-houses piloted by ravenous vaguely reptilian creatures... hungry lizards. We did, afterall, invite them to "Come, Eat!")

The Times piece is such a crock of shit I had look Andersen up to see if he had actually lived through the sixties. He did, but only just barely. Born the same year as I, our "experience" of "the sixties" was through television - neither one of us are quite old enough to have been a part of the sixties, not quite old enough to to speak definitively of it.

These people don't long for the good old days gone by, they long for the good old days gone by as represented by the movie American Graffiti. Which is, of course, just another fantasy.

Peter Janovsky said...

Andersen is one of those Bill Keller-ish phony "liberals," only too happy to echo right wing myths, in this case about the '60s. It's a grotesque caricature to label the liberation of the '60s as purely selfish and at all analogous to the greed beginning in the '80s. It leaves out the civil rights, feminist, gay rights and anti-poverty elements of the '60s and '70s.

Doesn't this idiot realize that the heart of the right wing message is demonization of the '60s, not just because of dope smoking hippies but supposed liberal "excess" that included the Great Society?

Smug idiots like Andersen are barely if at all higher on the scale of phoniness than the likes of David Brooks and Thomas Friedman.

Neo Tuxedo said...

They look at American liberalism (or even American centrism) and see totalitarian, North Korea-style communism, with enslaved citizens compelled to chant obediently while troops do scarily precise marches -- but it seems as if our right-wingers want to do that kind of compelled chanting and marching, except on behalf of capitalism.

As they remind us ad nauseam over at Sadly, No!, IT'S ALWAYS PROJECTION.

Unknown said...

Some might think the obtuse, selfish rage of the noblesse helps our side.

They make such awful spectacles of themselves and don't even realize it.

They can't help themselves.

That's just what they are.