One of the most frustrating parts of being a Democrat is that we are usually aways a party out of control, or at least not noticeably prim and proper. Like the right, we too have our vast swings on the continuum, but we are never able to harness all the horses for the pull to the finish line.
They say it is just the way we are.
As I sat watching the finance committee, discussing and then voting down the public option, and then later learning that the same committee had voted a substantial millions to the “abstinence only” program, I roared in anguish. “What the freakin’ f**k is wrong with these people?”
I mean Texas is drawing down it’s abstinence only program as a failure, something a bevy of other states could have explained to them some time ago. And the dodo’s we have in Congress are still appropriating money to fund a program they KNOW DOESN’T WORK. They’ve had hearings on it for Christ’s sake. They KNOW IT DOESN’T WORK.
Is it any wonder then, I conclude that there is something so radically wrong in Washington, that the rest of us are ready to scrap the entire mess and flush it, and start over again? And how, pray how, did the Republicans back in Clinton’s day manage to keep all their ducks in order–from the crazier than a loon extreme right, to the libertarian left, they got them all to vote their agenda and dump it on Clinton’s desk with a “dare ya to veto that!” attitude.
Yet, these DEMOCRATS sit like impotent mental defectives, pickin’ their noses and asking the Rethugs, “another concession sir? may we give you another? and while you’re at it, can we have more of your invective? It helps with our masochistic needs.”
It is frightfully frustrating, maddening and worse. I read the most telling, sober and not at all hysterical explanation of all this over at TruthOut. In a fine article, Henry Giroux takes us on the intellectual journey that has boosted the GOP into the cat bird’s seat of political theory.
In a word, they had a plan, they executed it, and they are reaping the benefits today. It has been an ingenious display of getting the average American to dance to the tune of their betters, those elites of industry and intellectual conservatism. It is shocking and one that the average liberal finds impossible to get. How can so many be taken in so badly by people who use them mercilessly and reap all, and I do mean all, the benefits.
Paul Krugman calls it the “zombie doctrine of Reaganism.” Zombie it is, as the masses, too lazy, too stupid, or for what ever other reason, continue to follow the Pied Piper off the dock and into the bay to die. But they die happy, knowing that they did their part to protect the free enterprise system, all the while killing democracy, which has gotten that tinge of “socialism” attached to it now. Again, thanks to the Corporate GOP.
A group back in the 60’s and 70’s started this whole thing, one result of which was the Heritage Foundation, the think tank designed to promote free markets and do it in language that would convince the working stiff that somehow this was in his interest.
Much of this originated in a paper called the “Powell Memo” written back in the 70’s, by the future SCOTUS member. In part it was designed to:
develop a material and ideological infrastructure with the capability to transform the American public consciousness through a conservative pedagogical commitment to reproduce the knowledge, values, ideology and social relations of the corporate state. For Powell, the war against liberalism and a substantive democracy was primarily a pedagogical and political struggle designed both to win the hearts and minds of the general public and to build a power base capable of eliminating those public spaces, spheres and institutions that nourish and sustain what Samuel Huntington would later call (in a 1975 study on the “governability of democracies” by the Trilateral Commission) an “excess of democracy.”
It’s hard to say if people like Buckley and Powell would be proud of what’s ensued. I doubt they conceived that someone would get the idea to try to co-opt and corral the crazy religious right with it’s notions of creationism and red-in-the-face violence threatening protesters at abortion clinics. But they got them, by simple promises that they “believed” that crap and cared. That they have done little to nothing for this group seems not to matter to the teabagging/birther/deather/ crowd.
But they are at it on all fronts. It matters not the subject, they are agin’ anything that Obama and liberals are for. Witness their new target–Kevin Jennings, appointed to help make our schools safe and drug free.
I first came upon this story on Facebook from the usual link to some crap site which eventually led to Glenn Beck. Even mainstream conservative Republicans find him gross and crazy as a loon. But not the extreme right. Media Matters reports that Mr. Jennings is being subjected to just the same sort of bashing done on the environmental czar.
The usual suspects have gathered, Beck, Hannity, Dobbs, Malkin, Limbaugh, as well as the Family Research Council, and they are all taking plenty of language out of context, twisting and contorting the actual facts, omitting contrary statements. They do this freely and openly, knowing that their followers neither investigate nor listen to any other sources, and so their lies gain ground.
The battle continues. And I would argue, unfairly so. Why? Because by and large, when traditional polling is done, the numbers still hold for the sane middle. It is only the lazy media who make this into a much bigger issue than it needs me. They become part of the problem, enhancing the otherwise grey offering of the extremists. And that is dangerous.