Monday, July 11, 2011

Fortress America

Republicans often accuse Democrats of the politics of personal destruction. This is obviously ridiculous

If Democrats actually had any grasp at all of destroying a public persona, Newt Gingrich would be living in obscurity. He'd still be paying off his Tiffany's debts by skimming tax exempt contributions into partisan accounts, which he has always done with wild abandon. He'd be slushing up other, more palatable reactionaries, but no one would listen to him on TV about any organization he fronted.

Being out of the limelight would doubtless vex a man with such outsize appetites and ego, but he made his bed. More than once. And Democrats can barely even make him lie in it!

George Allen should be an embarrassment even to his fellow Republicans. Except that they are beyond embarrassment. Macaca moment? His would be a macaca  life. Instead, he's leading the pack to return to the Senate as Jim Webb retires. He couldn't even destroy himself.

David Vitter! Vitter didn't get caught with a dead girl or a live boy, but somehow the Democrats have been unable to make him vanish into the world of wingnut welfare. With his Harvard education, he should be fabricating bullshit Heritage Foundation studies that show how only conservatives deserve redemption from requiring hookers to go by the name Wendy when they were doing things his actual wife Wendy no doubt would not do. Instead, re-elected to the Senate on family values and no doubt trying to be more discreet.

If Democrats actually practiced the politics of personal destruction, they would at least be following these morons around getting their peccadilloes on digital video. Vitter's a two-time loser. How likely is it that he'll be able to give up the call girls? Allen actually needs his racism in southern Virginia. Gingrich? Another two-time loser whose third wife is well past Newt's historic limit of fidelity.

These are Republicans who deserve to be outed. They're rank hypocrites or bigots. They'd be bringing their personal destruction on themselves, with only a nudge or two from us. Larry Craig's bullshit wide stance - that's some stretchy tighty-whiteys - doesn't concern me much. Even Paul Ryan's plutocratic taste in lobbyist-purchased wine is a dust devil among hurricanes.

Meanwhile, conservatives are constantly busy trumping up scandals against Democrats and our institutions.  The #bornfreecrew was searching Anthony Weiner's life on the web for solicitation of underage sex. When they didn't find that, they settled for a photo of the shape of his semi-erect penis, clothed in underwear. Weiner didn't show his junk and didn't get laid, but the conservatives - who do actually practice the politics of personal destruction - laundered their hit through Andrew Breitbart and hounded Weiner into resigning.

Laundered? The very idea that Breitbart could clean anything is absurd. He's a known liar and propagandist, yet even that has not destroyed his credibility with big media. They still provide faux balance and write stories that sanitize his defenses as if they were plausible. They still give him a platform to defend his dishonesty with more dishonesty.

It was one of Mr. Breitbart's Web sites, BigGovernment, that highlighted the heavily edited video clip of Shirley Sherrod, a black official at the Department of Agriculture, apparently saying that she had been biased against a white farmer she was supposed to help. Ms. Sherrod's full speech actually demonstrated the opposite, but do not expect Mr. Breitbart to be embarrassed.

He says there is an election-year strategy under way to ''falsely malign opponents of the Democratic party as racist'' and that he will continue to fight it.
An operative who falsely maligned a Democrat by airing a deceptively edited video clip to make a racist point still gets to call Democrats racists on the thinnest pretext. Without the reporter noting even in objective-speak that Breitbart is full of bullshit. Without editorial smirking. Without consequence. In fact, Times reporter Brian Stelter gives much more space to conservative sources than to liberal ones. He even outsources his objective analysis to David Frum:
David Frum, a former fellow at the American Enterprise Institute who now edits, said some conservatives argue that the ends justify the means in cases of faulty journalism.

''Many conservatives have worked themselves into such fear that Barack Obama is not only wasting our money but actually trying to overthrow the Constitution that those fears can justify almost anything,'' he said in an interview on Friday.
Frum is well known to play it straight down the middle since he wrote speeches for Duhbya and then was a fellow for the American Enterprise Institute.

Well, someone had to say that. After all, Stelter had just quoted two other conservatives with their slightly negative takes on the scandal of falsehoods. Of course, both Shep Smith of Fox (the best journalist there, and that is damning with faint praise) and Glenn Lowry of NRO (one of the black loonies that wingnuts look to for reassurance that they can't possibly be racist since they like a few good ole black fellows) try to paint Breitbart's dishonesty as part of a larger problem.

It's almost as if the Times is afraid of the wingnut propaganda machine's ability to sustain permanent campaigns to damage their opponents.

Sure enough, if the Atlantic fucking Ocean buffers them, the New York Times will report on Rupert Murdoch's propaganda empire. They'll investigate the climate of fear and retribution of Fox-across-the-Pond:
“ ‘Fat, Jealous’ Clare Brands Page 3 Porn” was The Sun’s headline in response. Its editor, Rebekah Wade (now Rebekah Brooks and the chief executive of News International, Mr. Murdoch’s British subsidiary), sent a busload of semi-dressed models to jeer at Ms. Short at her house in Birmingham. The paper stuck a photograph of Ms. Short’s head over the body of a topless woman and found a number of people to declare that, in fact, they thoroughly enjoyed the sexy photographs. “Even Clare has boobs, but obviously she’s not proud of them like we are of ours,” it quoted a 22-year-old named Nicola McLean as saying.
So the Brits are coarser than we are. Or at least they print coarser stuff. We leave it to hate radio and web propaganda that pretends to scoop journalists.

When Fox comes up over here, our journalists are about as brave as British politicians over there. In other words, not at all. Remember when the White House attacked Fox as not a news outfit? Our chickenshit media rushed to defend the indefensible. I think they did out of fear. A reporter never knows when he'll need to whore out to sustain his lifestyle, and the web looks a lot more like small time street hustling compared to sucking up to Roger Ailes, however distasteful that no doubt is.

Something Breitbart said to defend his character assassination of Shirley Sherrod is a confession:
It's warfare out there.
He's the one making war. Until we on the left cotton onto that fact, we'll continue to be hounded from office. We'll continue to cave in the face of the wingnut noise machine. We won't win many elections.

They're fighting with stilettos with poisoned blades and attack sinister. We're being reasonable and taking adult positions. We've been thinking it can't get worse for three fucking decades. Yet each crop of radical conservatives is worse than the one before it. Because there are no punishments for their craziness.

The Republicans already give us blame for Chicago rules. "They put one of ours in the hospital; we put one of theirs in the morgue." It's long past time for us to start destroying some of our enemies.

Because this is a war for the soul of America. And we're losing to a bunch of plutocrat haters whose policies are very unpopular. It's time we showed up on the real battlefield and fucked a few of them up. Oh, they'll still draw their wingnut welfare from some Koch brothers foundation, but they'd at least have to keep their respective Callistas past their expiration dates. And eventually even billionaires will get tired of servicing a thousand oily egotistical needy assholes.

I don't have high hopes. If thirty years of decline haven't convinced our tepid Washington Democrats that there are no referees, that self-help is the only way to go, I'm not sure they're capable of waking up to the conservative party commissars now.

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