Sunday, June 19, 2011
The Continuing Obsession with Republicans
You've got to hand it to the Republican Party Powers That Be: they have fielded such a troupe of energetic clowns and mountebanks that almost the whole Democratic/Progressive political class is utterly mesmerized.
dKos has been All Rs All the Time for weeks now, and it looks like the diversion from anything "Democrat" over there might be permanent. As you scour the so-called Lefty blogosphere you will find constant discussion of Republicans, Rightists, and their Fellow Travelers, almost nothing about their ostensible political opposition -- except note taken of the fact that the Dems have caved once again, and the White House is making nice with the Rs -- though the Rs continue to hurl epithets and curses no matter.
As the motto says, "All publicity is Good Publicity," so even when the Rs are being mocked and denounced in the so-called "Lefty" blogosphere, the fact is they are the constant -- permanent? -- center of attention, and as long as that's the case, there is no real opposition to them. They Rule, completely.
It reminds me of what happened with the recent AARP flap. Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal published a front page article implying that AARP had "changed its position" and would now "accept cuts" to Social Security benefits. All hell broke loose on the so-called "left." Now there are plenty of reasons to be less than enthusiastic about AARP, but this story was just phony from the word go. It was -- you might almost imagine -- a deliberate provocation by Murdoch and his tools at the WSJ to see what could be stirred up. The so-called "left" went into hyperdrive denouncing AARP and all it stood for, which must have pleased Murdoch no end, as he had been busy stirring up the same sort of denunciations of AARP from the Right for years. The only problem was that the story was... not true. You can argue with AARP's positions on a lot of things, but they haven't changed their position on Social Security, and the implication that they had was false, deliberately false in my view.
But the story became the center of an absolute firestorm on the "left" for days. Just so, almost any one of the R presidential candidates can set off days of howling denunciations or distracted criticism on the "left." Practically any R office holder can do the same (Scott Walker, anyone? Rick Scott? The Devil Himself, John Kasich?) Or how about Newt?
The Problem here is that all this obsessing on the Rs leaves essentially no room for anything else, like coming up with something better and strategies to get there. What it means is what I posted over at Digby's Place: "Murdoch pwned the left. Again."
What passes for the "left" is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party and its media tools -- because the so-called "left" can focus on nothing at all except what the Rs are doing and what the corporatist media says is important.
UPDATE: Apparently others have noticed the total spectrum dominance of the Republicans at dKos among other supposedly "lefty" sites on the Intertubes, and behold, dKos comes up with a break in Constant Republican Promotion on the Front Page to actually suggest there might be an alternative.
Their "Think Big" front page series finally starts (on the Internet, everything always "starts," nothing ever finishes, though) to consider the idea that there might could be an alternative to the Rightist Future of Decline and Despair that's been pounded into us for decades.
Think Big: Labor Law
Think Big: Small Business Administration
Think Big: Higher Education
Think Big: Pick Your Fights
Caveat: none of these Big Thinks are all that Huge when you get down to it. In fact, they are more like Internet-favored "Baby Steps". They "go back" to the way thing either used to be or are supposed to be, reflecting a very strong Restoration ethic that you'll find among so-called progressives just as much as you'll find it among the most reactionary Rightists. Everyone, it seems, yearns to return to a Better Time.