The Republican strategy for 2012 is simple: stop anything from being done, watch the economy collapse, claim it’s the Democrats’ fault. Reap the rewards of frustration, anger and fear.
But it goes deeper than that. By successfully prohibiting classes of action and endorsing classes of action — the abstract notion of, say, “taxes” rather than the concrete notion of this budget and this tax — the abstraction of ideology (believing in an IDEA) has trumped pragmatic, comprise politics (dealing with the immediate and REAL), the entire Republican Party has painted itself into a corner with thick, toxic paint. There is not time, before the election of 2012, to let the paint dry, so they must win by selling the notion that the corner is the best possible place to be.
Fortunately, here ideology and pragmatism have arrived at a mutually reinforcing point, a harmonic convergence of sheer cynical politics that seeks to remodel, furnish and relocate entirely TO that corner. Neither Ideologue nor Pragmatist can see any value in action, and, thus, nothing is done.
The talking points are already being slavishly repeated, and one can well imagine all the “focus group” testing that has been done to carefully craft the sound-bite philosophy that had formerly been reserved exclusively for bumper stickers and buttons.
Consider how the Alter Boys of the Supreme Court handed Karl Rove a license to become rich with Citizens United. The political system has already been taken over by professional political consultants and their media production partners. Unlimited amounts of campaign cash are sluicing anonymously to Rove and his Brethren and Cistern, and if politics is anything like Hollywood, it’s amazing how much money you can siphon out of the campaign of even a savvy operation. Certainly much of the $1 billion they’re projecting the 2012 Presidential Campaign will go through media production houses — and into the coffers of local radio and television stations nationwide, who have far fewer local owners than you’d imagine.
I’ve seen enough Hollywood budgets to know how money is siphoned out of any big money-pot. And the amounts being potted this year are anonymous and utterly opaque. Which is an open invitation to wholesale looting of the literal campaign coffers, but that’s a story for 2013.
But, having solved the “what do we do to eat during the off-years, the political operatives have come up with bus tours, with constant polling with the POLL becoming the story, and all you have to do is craft your questions in a manner that will give you a good headline for your poll, like, say, SURVEY FINDS AMERICANS AGAINST AVOCADOS. Politics is now a full-time job, and thus, trolling for clients, we saw a PR firm writing a Bankers’ organization proposing a top-to-bottom campaign against the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd last month.
Over at the Tea Party “Liberty Network,” Eric Odom is sending out commercials to tide them over until the cash slushes in next year …
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The Establishment is more entrenched than ever were they when “the Establishment” was a commonly understood term. Now it’s termed the “Left Wing Media,” when, in fact, they are the same easily manipulable gaggle of cynical geese that they were when Hunter S. Thompson chronicled them in Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72.
As much as it is about the candidates and their various political processes, the book is equally a critical look at the mainstream media coverage of the campaigns and politics. Criticizing the various pundits and political ‘experts’, Thompson rails against the often incestuous relationships between politicians and those who write about them. The well-known fact of Eagleton’s electroshock therapy for depression was broken through the press as a scandal of their own making.
This position of portraying the campaigns as much as a media compilation of the stories they wished to cover instead of the presenting all the stories that occurred was widely recognized as depicting a previously unspoken truth. Frank Mankiewicz, McGovern’s campaign manager, would often say in later years that the book, despite its embellishments, therefore represented the “the least factual, most accurate account” of the election. (Wikipedia)
It’s good to know the weapon you’re wielding in rhetorical battle. Otherwise, you might have the barrel pointed exactly backwards when you pull the trigger.
They ginned up outrage at “illegals” (winking, meaning “Mexicans”) and were faced with rotting crops in the fields of Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. And a large and growing Hispanic minority, who “hear” the language behind the “immigration” kerfuffle. They ginned up anti-Muslim/anti-Other Bible-Thumping, and Mitt Romney faces a backwash of anti-Mormonism.
They were faced with the 99% movement, and instantly aligned themselves openly with the 1%, which is generally not a smooth move anywhere that people can vote.
Thus is their corner occupied, as the paint dries in — what must seem to them — geologic time.
Because, frankly, they bought two long wars (our longest) on the credit card, and spent like drunken sailors, brought on not one, but TWO banking collapses that taxpayers are paying for with their cry of “DEREGULATE!” * and now are put in the precarious position of claiming to be deficit hawks.
By Rebekah Rast — Once again the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is stepping on the toes of, well, everyone who owns, manufacturers or sells a vehicle.
The EPA’s most recent announcement is all vehicles must meet an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025—a doubling of today’s average of about 27 mpg, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The ironic part of this mandate is if you asked anyone who drives they will likely confirm that they would love to see an increase of fuel economy in their vehicle. Better fuel economy means fewer trips to the gas station and more money in your pocket, who doesn’t want that?
But, alas, the free enterprise system is once again interrupted by the edict of a rogue government agency.
The problem with this EPA decree is it jumps ahead of the free market economy…
Yup. Deregulation worked so well with banks. Think what it could do for automobiles.
Deregulate the railroads, too!
I want to talk about the use of language as a conditioning agent, and the careful selection of memes to bypass the rational brain and strike directly at the reptile brain, but Karl Rove is too big a topic to fit into one single blog posting.
A writer, published author, novelist, literary critic and political observer for a quarter of a quarter-century more than a quarter-century, Hart Williams has lived in the American West for his entire life. Having grown up in Wyoming, Kansas and New Mexico, a survivor of Texas and a veteran of Hollywood, Mr. Williams currently lives in Oregon, along with an astonishing amount of pollen. He has a lively blog His Vorpal Sword. This is cross-posted from his blog.
A writer, published author, novelist, literary critic and political observer for a quarter of a quarter-century more than a quarter-century, Hart Williams has lived in the American West for his entire life. Having grown up in Wyoming, Kansas and New Mexico, a survivor of Texas and a veteran of Hollywood, Mr. Williams currently lives in Oregon, along with an astonishing amount of pollen. He has a lively blog, His Vorpal Sword (no spaces) dot com.