Political Rant

Once in awhile I have to have a political rant. I am thinking about how hopeful we were when we elected Obama, and how it turned into one of those tug of war games. One side tries to drag you in their direction and the other side tries to drag you there. Because so many Republicans voted for Obama I thought there might be some unification of the country so that we can get some really important things done.

As I have watched the news since the election, I realize that what is news is not anything to do with unification, but with building opposition. I was just watching Chris Matthews on Hardball, and I found myself tuning out from the content, and just getting a feel for what was happening there.

He had Joan Walsh from Salon and then he had some smiley faced old pol doing the "Let me show you something interesting I can do with words; just watch the pea and see which shell it ends up under." And underneath it all is a fear that Obama is going to indoctrinate the nation's children with a lot of liberal ideas. Who is this from? It is from people who are trying to indoctrinate the nation's youth with a lot of authoritarian ideas. The major characteristic of an authoritarian idea is that it by nature rules, for if it does not rule, it ceases to be authoritarian. So the stakes are much higher for an authoritarian than for a liberal, who by nature tries to think in familial terms, which means the concentration is on taking care of the family, and by extension, all the women and children in the group, and empowering them.

Authoritarianism is more concerned with who's on top, because he will be top dog and everything will belong to him, including the women and children.

These are the right and the left, and they "represent" the American people. But of course they don't really represent very many people. Or they wouldn't if they weren't on television, delivering a message for Raphael.

There are so many intelligent, reasonable, moderate people with really nuanced understanding of complex issues, who are missing from the news because it has become some kind of rule that every issue has to be addressed by somebody whose focus is on building opposition to whatever the President is doing. The purpose is to weaken him politically for the next elections. It isn't a counter proposal or a real examination of another side of the issue, it's just an attack designed to weaken.

I'm not thrilled with everything that has happened with Obama because I think he really hoped that the Republicans would be bipartisan in very important matters such as the collapsed economy and global warming and health care reform. After all, the important thing is confronting the problem as a nation, not confronting each other in a rope pull to see which team ends up in the mud. Hoping was okay for awhile, but when not one of them voted with him for the stimulus package it was time for him to smell the coffee and not continue to piss away any more of his time and energy, like Jimmy Swaggert out saving the souls of whores.

There being two extremes from which a central position will emerge may be a good theory in a criminal court but it does not work in trying to govern a nation. There is also a central position from which extremes can be created. I recall in Bandler and Grinder's books on Neurolinguistic Programming, a description of a priest who was supposedly ridding people of demons. That's what he thought he was doing. What he was actually doing was creating multiple personalities, right there on the spot, through a particularly insidious form of hypnosis. You suggest that there is another personality there and the person obediently produces one for the authority figure.

The idea of two sides representing two aspects of the population does something similar. The President begins to weaken because he has become preoccupied with a constant state of trial, as was formalized with Clinton, in which he is constantly prosecuted for even imagined crimes. Thus far he is a terrorist, an illegal alien and the reincarnation of Hitler, as well as a socialist and racist. Certainly the idea that if he talks to school children he'll try to turn them into little commies is an imagined crime. If he did any of the things he's accused of he wouldn't be able to stand for election again. That's why he's accused of them. If you throw enough shit at the wall some of it might stick. But the people throwing it cannot govern. They can't do anything except tear down the government. That's what the people they work for want them to do.

By the way, Joan Walsh never got to say anything. When she would try the guy would talk over the top of her and drown her out. Matthews let him do it. Part of the training of the guys they get from the agencies is that they deliver talking points, but another thing they're taught to do is be "forceful" and to burn up the clock so as to not give the other side time to get any points. It's a game to them.

I'm waiting for Matthews to take control of his show, and get himself a button which turns on or off the other microphones if he is going to have a slightly sophisticated version of the Jerry Springer Show every day. If he is going to have people booked in to shill talking points, these are not going to be very interesting people, and like uninteresting people everywhere, they will go on and on. Any time you want to hear them you just turn the mic back on. You won't miss anything.

And with a way to deaden the microphone one person could talk without the droning interference of the other person, who is just doing what the bosses instructed him to do. And anybody who can't make a point and then shut the fuck up should never come back again. There are polite people in the world.

There are all kinds of people with all kinds of jobs and responsibilities and experiences, but the cable news always picks somebody whose job is to shill talking points in return for political support and puts them in as representative of the opposition. Of course they are. They are building opposition to everything that the President is trying to accomplish, no matter what it is. They are not seeking a position, they have one. Their position is destroying an opponent, and that means anyone who is in power and who is not them.

The people forming the opposition on cable news are professional hatchet men and women. Their job is to undermine and disempower. For eight years we got a good, close up look at what these people do when they actually get into power. They do exactly what they did before they got into power. They attack the opposition. They even attack imagined opposition. In this they are single minded, because they are authoritarian, and thus defenders of top authority. They speak in terms of the Unitary Executive, but that's just another expression for the top dog rules, which was the system we fought a revolution to get out from under in 1776.

The Democrats are not single minded about anything. The ones who depend on corporate funding for the next election see a way to get some power by making a deal and what they hell, they weren't all that committed to anything anyway. And they really do feel like they are with a better class of people when they are courted by the extremely rich. It's an honor to be shot in the face by someone really wealthy and powerful. And the Israelis really are much nicer to visit than the trash living in the prison camps. And Blue Dog doesn't sound so bad. It's sort of New Orleans chic.

Neither party can govern. The right can't govern because what they want is just to dismantle the government and split up the proceeds. The Democrats can't govern because they don't want anything badly enough to unify around it. They talk a good game but there's always the shadow side, which is like the Republicans: that will to power. A few of them realize that being unified is powerful for the many, but if you want a date with Precious, put up a toll booth at the border.

So here we are watching the people who are good at tearing things down, given a forum to tear them down, and everybody else just sort of gets exhausted. And after awhile there's a perverse feeling that the attack dogs should just have stayed in power until they presided over the ruins of a once great civilization ... but we tried that, didn't we? Eight months ago we started trying to rebuild, and instead of lending a hand, the people who tore things apart are still tearing things apart. And they always have a seat at the table as the loyal opposition, as if they are presenting some different good ideas for consideration, instead of just trying to rile up a lynch mob.

That's depressing as hell.

Posted: Fri - September 4, 2009 at 08:00 PM