The above sounds like it could be Rush Limbaugh’s theme song and Franken’s book to the right exemplifies the gut level liberal reaction.
What if liberals just ignored radio’s number one talk personality instead of reacting to his demagoguery? So what if he gets 20 million listeners a week (his estimate – the actual number is guesswork). That is still a small segment of the country as a whole. What makes him such a big name is that the liberal media accentuates his significance by reacting to, and in turn publicizing, much that he says.
That’s the gist of Steve Almond’s essay in this past Sunday’s NY Times Magazine: Liberals are Ruining America. I Know Because I Am One. It helps illuminate our our mad house media/political environment and is well worth reading (along with a conservative reaction at the bottom of this post). If the above link expires, just Google: Steve Almond NY Times.
Thanks to Mr. Almond providing this guest post (I hope he doesn’t mind), I have some space to add a couple of others things.
POUNCING ON SOMETHING STUPID
Yesterday the Romney camp was delighted to feign outrage and dismay at President Obama’s verbal goof in saying “the private sector is doing fine.” What “fine” meant in context was that the private sector is creating jobs while the public sector is losing them. Obama was asking for more support for the public sector, not happy about the private sector doing “fine.”
In other words, Obama made a verbal goof which out of context and played over and over again already in attack ads, makes him look like a complete idiot. Of course, that’s the whole point of our present politics. Roger Ailes, before heading up the Fox network, was a political operative who explained the whole game this way: The point is to make a caricature of the other candidate, so the voters can’t stand the thought of putting that person in office.
That’s our politics at work. Over the weekend I happened upon a piece in the NY Times on Steve Schmidt, the political adviser initially responsible for putting Sarah Palin on the Republican ticket in 2008, something he deeply regrets. Also, he doubts that he would ever want to be a part of another campaign: “I’m not sure I want to spend the rest of my career waiting to pounce like a cat the moment the other side says something stupid. Aha! I think there are really serious problems in this country and I think politics in a lot of ways is failing the country.”
So there we have it. Months and months more of pouncing to look forward to and almost nothing in the way of addressing our serious problems. Those are the rules of the game and unless we can figure out ways to change them, we will remain inmates in this sinking insane asylum.
THE WISCONSIN RECALL – SECOND THOUGHTS
The more I think about it, the better I think the Democrats did in the Wisconsin recall election. At least, I don’t think it gives the Republicans an advantage in the general one coming up. Given:
- the money advantage of the Republicans (though not the 7-to-1 of liberal spin, more like 3-to-1)
- and predilection of a majority of voters that the recall should be applied only to malfeasance in office (60%, plus 10% against all recalls)
- and the relatively close contest of roughly 53% to 46%
…….It wasn’t a big defeat given the cross currents which muddied the question of liberal vs. conservative values. And, as someone pointed out on a talk show over the weekend, voter inclinations against the recall were heavily stoked up months before by the Walker camp spending millions to define what a recall election should be about – malfeasance – and not political grievances (malfeasance has been charged, but not proven as yet).
This fall people’s minds will not be cluttered with a legal issue and 18% of those who voted for Walker indicated they would vote for Obama rather than Romney for president. Perhaps additional thought will prompt another turn of mind, but right now the Wisconsin recall doesn’t appear to offer much illumination as to what’s coming up in November.
- Steve Almond Throws Up Passive-Aggressive White Flag In Ideology Wars (theamericanconservative.com)