Sunday, January 11, 2009

Center Right America

The Republican line about America being a center right country has an irritating element of truth. If you poll Americans about specific behavior, you find that they are, in fact, pretty liberal; it is when politics are brought into the questions that the center right theme emerges. Few Americans propose that anyone other than god punish queers, but the politics of gay marriage result in that punishment. If you ask about fighting in Iraq Americans don't like it, but throw in the politics of national security and suddenly Republicans are credible. Reagan let terrorist get away unpunished for blowing up Marines, founding the current extremist Islamic movements and yet the politics make him credible. Americans know they are getting the short end of the economic stick and yet the politics of it let Republicans get away with supply side economics. Republicans claim to be the party of small government and yet the imposition of government power on the citizens has occurred on their watch and what they've proven about government is that they are incapable of governing.

The modern Republican Party has its roots in Reaganism, a limited but charasmatic spokesperson built a propaganda machine. The media, rather than attempting to understand the policies, parroted them. This parrot behavior lasted 30 years and only increased with the George I dispensation to Murdoch, which for his US empire he owes. Americans get their news from corporations with their corporate interests at heart, not America's. An entire political policy founded on not a single verifiable fact is held to be common wisdom.

There is not a single piece of evidence that supply side economics results in its stated ends and a wealth of factual information that says it only enriches the rich. There is not a single bit of evidence that socialized medicine would be worse for America than the current situation and yet it is accepted wisdom that it would be the death of medical quality in this country. The evidence to go to war in Iraq was ginned up in the face of actual evidence and the media fell all over itself to sell it and did so. The neo-con agenda falls to pieces in the face of historical precedence and yet for years it was accepted wisdom and its proponents still get extensive space to deny their abject failure. Every booster of the policies that led to the current situation in this country has their job or even promotions and the ones who criticized and called BS are hard to find. Kristol got a job with the NYT on the Op-Ed page as though he'd ever been right about something. It isn't a case of partisanship, I don't care much about that, it is about the complete and utter bullshit printed as though its writer has credence beyond its reality. On the othe hand, try to find Scott Ritter who accurately called all the outcomes of the BS intelligence.

There are some realities that just don't get any play while their opposites are considered the norm. Those dirty hippies were a chaotic bunch and downright disrespectful of authority and disruptive and the end harm of their era is what? In reality the harm was in the push backs, the War on Drugs, the drive to conformity, the disparagment of protest, the vilification of a political orientation. This is not a country impaired by drug use, it is not an anti-materialistic society, it is not a nation of communes and pacifists, and long hair amongst males is still rare. And yet, left politics is disparaged - in politics, in the media, and society at large. It is something to be defended from or denied by those seeking office. It is an attack word and owned by the public. When has the right's agenda been exposed to simple fact checking much less the derision of hippies and yet the harm caused by them is evident throughout the legal and economic system.

The very best favor granted the right is the demonization of George II. It personalizes a policy failure, it creates the illusion that it is not the fault of the agenda but rather that of the implementor. It supposes that America is so fragile that 7 years of the unbound Bush could wreck it and that is not the case. The world's largest economy does not crash and burn as the result of an ignorant inarticulate fake cowboy Presidency. The damage can certainly be accelerated by his Presidency coupled with a similar Legislative branch, but it can't be simply done by them. The rise of the Reaganist agenda to prominence as so unquestioned that even Bill Clinton got along with it can do the damage. An ignorant ass Ohio wannbe plumber can say socialism about targeted tax rates and it becomes a rallying cry for a party and taken seriously enough by a campign that it must be defended against. A tax rate that is 8 years old and one half that of the 1960s is taken seriously as socialism. A tax rate that was accepted as the result of being the prime beneficiaries of an entire system laid on people who were paupers by today's standards is exteme leftism. Most of the media correctly reported the tax plan but placed it in no historical context in the process of reporting the controversy and for its trouble was labeled as left enabling. Understand that the smear is reported - big news - and the plan accurately reported, but the smear itself, the big news, is placed in no context - it is allowed to stand as though it has some basis and is simply a political issue to be decided. It is Reaganism accepted.

The architects of our current debacles first got access to real power under Reagan, though many began their careers under RM Nixon. When their party was out they either cycled through private industries at inflated positions or went to employment assurance units like The Heritage Foundation or Cato Institute where they could spend their time coming up with disasters like the Iraq War or investment banking being rolled out from under regulation. Despite an almost universal failure to come up with successful policies these outfits are treated as respected think tanks rather than the right wing shill factories they are. The American public is treated to the spectacle of complete failures opining as though they'd done something other than sell a bill of goods.

This cycle of taking Reaganism as the revealed truth is not done, not nearly. The Republicans in Congress and media are already harking back to St Ronnie as the line not followed by the dastardly GWB. The media desperate for villians now craps on their former fair haired boy and allows people who behaved exactly as they accuse the villian of behaving to do so without question. Be under no illusions, the nonsense of the Republican Reaganites suits the agenda of big business and the media and will not be obviously contradicted. It will not be fact checked or if it is it will be buried far from the noisy news story related to it. When someone whose interests are served tells you something it is a good idea to actually think about who is served.

You might wonder what interest I'm serving. I'm running for no office, I have no friends who are who could benefit me, this blog makes exactly no money, and nobody is going to ask me to work in government. I run a construction business of sorts and I will benefit if my fellows do well. I am a Democratic Party functionary and that pays nothing and costs me both time and money. I think you're pretty safe not worrying about how I'll profit by my advocacy. Fairy tales can be pushed back against, you have the ammunition and lately a couple friends in national media.


joycemocha said...

Yeah--and meanwhile the Goryonion announced today that they have four--count 'em, four--conservative writers to replace David Reinhard.

I give it six months before the paper expires. Obviously they're following the same playbook as the Republican party.

Micgar said...

Gee whiz! I love all your posts! This one is no exception! I follow you about the damage that Reaganism wrought on our country. People forget just how bad it was during his two god-awful terms! He was the architect of what we are (or have been seeing for the last 8 years-or more with Clinton's Demo-lite thing!)I am reading a great book about the business of big business and all its glory, called The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein.Wow! What a book that is! Unregulated, free markets as the Reagan Rep's prescribe, will never ever provide for families, citizens of our country(or other countries for that matter!) it only provides benefits for the super rich, and the owners of the businesses.
Scott Ritter's analysis is sorely lacking today! And yes, it is ironic that Kristol gets a job being the slime ball he is, while someone like Ritter-a Marine no less, gets none! Shameful!