I have been reading the Daily Howler for years now. Some times I agreed with him, some times I did not, most of the time I misspelled his name. Over the years, though, I never really understood his constant outrage over the treatment Al Gore got in 2000. If you have read him for a while, as I have, you will notice it always comes up sooner or later, and I never understood it and sometimes made jokes about it in the comments section here and elsewhere.
Until now. The past few weeks, DougJ’s frequent posts about the WaPo chat rooms and other encounters with the chattering classes have been really eye-opening. His most recent post, in which Ruth Marcus creates a false equivalency to the eight year crime spree we just endured with some woman not paying a couple hundred in taxes really just sums up how twisted the conventional wisdom is in DC.
I know many of you keep saying we should just ignore the talking heads and the chattering classes, and we should just tune them out, but that is ridiculous. We can’t. They control the debate, and their silliness, their inconsequential bullshit, and their tit for tat false equivalencies are really destroying this nation. I got a phone call last night from someone, and the gist of the conversation was “Well, so much for hope and change. That didn’t take long. How about Obama’s performance officer not paying her taxes, either?” This wasn’t an uneducated, uninformed person- this is someone who follows the new, which is precisely the problem.
Don’t get me wrong- I think it is insane these three candidates were not vetted better, but what is driving me truly and utterly to the brink of madness is the notion that the sins of these people is somehow on par with the real sins of the past eight years. The “shoe on the other foot” comment from Marcus almost made me spit up. Of course I got that phone call last night, and the reason I did was because HE IS INFORMED, at least by the standards of the day. He reads the newspapers and watched the nightly news shows on the cable networks. When you are getting your information from folks like Ruth Marcus, what could possibly go wrong?
The problem is who is informing us with what. Our media is simply failing us. Why have they not asked the Republicans how tax cuts are going to provide jobs? Why are they not laughing openly when the Republicans bring up capital gains tax cuts as part of a stimulus package. Why are they not asking the Republicans to explain how infrastructure spending is not stimulus? Why are they pretending this woman’s minor tax oversight is on par with outing a CIA agent or letting tens of thousands of people soak for a week in New Orleans. Why are they gleefully reporting about Joe the Plumber giving economic advice to the House republicans while their colleagues are writing about the Republicans being unified in opposition to the stimulus and putting two and two together and realizing that the opposition to the stimulus from Republicans is based on the deep thoughts of a drug addled radio host and a guy who installs toilets?
You can call me naive all you want, and I know I have a habit of falling for BS talking points, but I guess it is finally clear to me- it really is all just a game to these people. We’re all Bob Somerby now.