Sunday, July 31, 2011

Digby nailing the larger cultural-political issues in the wake of the right wing kabuki dance

As the debt-ceiling kabuki dance comes to an end, and with the Republican-libertarian ethos, if one can call such cruelty an ethos, reaching a new crescendo, with even greater musical heights to come, Digby offers several thoughts that I am most in tune with.

Please read this post and this post. And this post, too...

I was talking on Friday evening after our synagogue services with a young liberal fellow, who was ecstatic about how the Republicans were supposedly fighting each other over the plan put forward by John Boehner, the putative House Speaker. "Obama's winning because the Republicans are fighting among themselves," he smiled and said. I said, and I paraphrase liberally, "You need to stop watching television for news. The plans being floated are plans where the Republicans win on all counts. Obama's done the work for them, and they are going to agree to one of those plans--and Obama is destroying the last of the New Deal along the way."

He was making a face of confusion, and may even have said, "Huh?" So, I repeated it, with an emphasis that this was a kabuki dance with Obama behind the scenes leading the dance, all to make the Simpson-Bowles proposal last year look like the far reach of "liberal," which it decidedly is not. I said, "You need to get out of the political gossip perspective, and look at the policy and policies. Outside of the who's up, who's down which is short term, Obama is putting himself in a position of being attacked in 2012 in a way that dilutes any message of what makes Democrats different from Republicans."

I could tell, he still didn't get it. I said to myself, It's hopeless when a very smart, liberal minded guy is caught in the grip of Chris Matthews' worldview. There is simply not enough Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Bill Maher to go around--but one thing is clear: We really need to stop watching cable political talk shows, including MSNBC. I watch snippets or read a partial transcript from time to time, courtesy of bloggers. I do so only to stay abreast of the nonsense and gossip-talk to be able to engage people, but that's it.

All we do when we watch those shows with any intensity and closeness is develop the same illusions that "insiders" often have, which is an inability to see a trend, or understand a march of folly. And for the viewer, the illusion becomes delusional because the viewer is not at a swank cocktail party with these foolish leaders and insiders. The viewer is not well-off economically for the most part, nor does the viewer have the connections to protect the well-being of the viewer's children. The viewer is on the outside looking in, an outside increasingly cold and where the viewer's clothes are increasingly frayed and thinned.

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