Tuesday, February 14

On the political tip, again.

Last week I pointed out how my sister actually does this political-discourse bit a whole lot better than I ever have. Turns out she's just the tip of the iceberg (surprise, surprise). Here's a sampling of some of the best political stuff I've read in the blogosphere in the past week or so:

· Glenn Greenwald wrote a terrific essay about the political ideology of Bush supporters -- more specifically, whether they hew to any political ideology at all, in terms of the liberal-conservative spectrum at least, or simply view everything on a completely separate "pro-Bush/anti-Bush" spectrum. Not surprisingly, this kicked up a whole lot of righteously indignant dust on the part of pro-Bush bloggers . . . most of whom only ended up further proving Greenwald's point. You can read his follow-up post, a response to those critics, here.

I think this has relevance for not just the current political situation but the '06 and '08 elections, because I, for one, have been really curious to see how the GOP will fare in 2008 when they no longer have the supposedly mighty authority figure of W to rally voters around. Will they, as Atrios predicts, simply transfer their "authoritatian cult" onto whoever is the next GOP anointee? Or will the whole thing just fizzle out and give Democrats a much-needed boost? I'm interested to hear what everyone has to say about this, but particularly you Republicans out there.

· Paul Waldman wrote an interesting piece for Washington Monthly punching even more holes into the myth of the "liberal media," specifically as it pertains to the Sunday-morning political gab shows, who have shown a marked preference for conservative guests since long before Bush even got elected. I've long wondered how these programs can claim that an avowedly conservative commentator like Charles Krauthammer or Fred Barnes is somehow "balanced out" by an objective reporter (i.e. in non-columnist) from a news outlet such as the Washington Post or NPR. The standard conservative rejoinder to that, of course, is that "NPR isn't nothin' but a bunch of liberals anyway," but I have yet to hear anyone provide a speck of proof to that effect.

· At the blog Hullabaloo, Digby delivers a stirring response to the "Joementum Democrats" who seem to think that the best way for Democrats to regain power in Washington is to never criticize or dissent with the Bush administration, but rather to just paddle along in their wake and a-wish and a-hope that the American voting public appreciates their deference and obedience enough to vote for them. Right, because that worked great in 2002. Digby also pulls up a quote from Rush Limbaugh that sort of puts the Dick Cheney hunting-accident story in an interesting light, particularly considering the lengths some right-wingers have gone to to minimize the accident and/or act like anyone who even brings it up is a horrible, horrible person. If Rush Limbaugh can go around continuing to slander Hillary Clinton by claiming that she shot Vince Foster, then I'm not going to feel too much pity for Cheney for, you know, actually shooting someone.

· Just in case anyone was curious, George W. Bush, still not popular.

2 comments:

Steve said...

The whole cult of personality thing isn't new or isolated to the Republicans. There are probably 40% of the public on each side that will blindly follow or blindly hate whoever is the current President or candidate. The middle 20% are generally the ones who look a bit closer and ultimately decide who wins elections. What will give the Democrats a much needed boost is a candidate with better ideas. You can't win on "I'm not Bush". Kerry proved that. All the talk of the Democrats regaining control of the House and Senate based on the "Culture of Corruption that is the Republican Party" is bullshit (although personally, I'd like to see the Democrats take back the House". The Republicans took the Congress based on the Contract with America. Whether you liked it or not, it was a set of different ideas that gave the public something to decide. The Democrats need to pull together their own contract or whatever and sell the American people on it being a better way. Unfortunately for anyone tending toward left or right-center, the fringes are the people who select are presidential candidates.

On the Sunday morning shows being stacked with conservatives, you're probably correct. Although I wouldn't worry about it too much since nobody watches that crap anyway. The liberals are probably just smarter and not wasting their time.

Ryan said...

As a Republican I think you bring up an interesting question regarding the future of the party. I think if McCain is our Pres candidate he may end up being like Bush in terms of power over the party. It all depends how he gets on with the evangelical crowd. I don't necessarily think it matters how central the candidate is to the party's direction if the Democratic Party continues to operate WITHOUT a direction though.