Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Strategic Forgettery Is A Real Thing

“...they turned to prayer, beseeching
that the sin which had been committed
might be wholly blotted out.”
-- 2 Maccabees. 12:42
Each morning, down on the Hate Media Ranch, as the sun peeps over the horizon, a new Conservative lie is born.

It's a good worker, this newborn lie; a strong and loyal beast, bred to toil in the wingnut fields all day and into long the evening to keep the paranoid Republican Base properly angried up and sharply focused.

Then, sometime in the night, the now-tired-but-still-loyal lie is quietly taken out behind the barn and disposed of.  Oh sure, the pigs say they sent it to a veterinarian and it'll be fine, but by now everyone knows not to ask too many questions, or wonder out loud where the pigs get all that money to buy whiskey.  It's The System, and as long as everyone quietly agrees to keep going along with the farce, The System works.

A very long time ago, those of us who don't live on Hate Media Ranch used to react to each, individual lie by asking the question, "How in the name of The Great Milenko do these goofs continue to be taken in by the same, transparent frauds?"

This was an understandable, tactical mistake.
But we don't ask that question much anymore.

Instead, some of us (well, me) have started to ask a different question:
"Given the fucking mountain of discredited lies which are now rotting out behind the Conservative barns, why in the name Baron Samedi is that not the story here?  Not just this lie or that lie, but the sheer collective tonnage of mendacity that decades of 24/7/365 Conservative lying has piled up behind it?"
And this is where I think Brothers Charles Pierce and Dave Weigel miss the boat somewhat.

Ever since ISIS/ISIL became the Hitlers du jour, apologists for, and former employees of, the late Avignon Presidency have been loud and proud in their praise for something that C-Plus Augustus said back in 2007 as regards Iraq, and they have been comparing that unfavorably to the president's response to the current crisis, in a desperate attempt to legitimize their support for, and their participation in, the large, chewy cluster of fk that C-Plus Augustus made of everything he touched. Chief among this sad collection of human political flotsam is curiously employed torture-porn enthusiast Marc Thiessen, to whom Weigel put paid yesterday, and with a nice shout-out to the blog, too. As Weigel points out, Thiessen is criticizing the current president for living up to an agreement negotiated by Thiessen's old boss. But there's more out there, too, about how badly the late Avignon Presidency fell down on the job of protecting the country.
-- and David --
 "Iraq, George W. Bush, and the Second Great Mulligan"
-- both argue persuasively that the Bush Regime Dead Enders are trying once again to abolve themselves of their own catastrophic failures by brutally amputating and rearranging as much of American history-as-it-actually-happened as they need to in order to shift the blame onto someone else.

Where I believe David and Charlie both come up short is identifying this mass deployment of revisionist fraud as the "First" or "Second" of anything,

Because it isn't.

Rather, these are just two more acts of Conservative "Strategic Forgettery" along a continuum stretching back decades.

In fact, as at least one malcontent has noted repeatedly over the last 10 years, the act of hacking the past to bits and then stitching it back together over and over again as series of cheerful murals depicting St. Ronald Reagan personally defeating Adolph Hitler, Skeletor and tooth decay before ascending bodily to Heaven is pretty much all that Conservatives do anymore.

And, as that same malcontent pointed out in post written five years ago this week, it damn well works; the Conservative prayer that their sins "might be wholly blotted out" has largely been answered,

Conservatives now firmly believe -- with good reason -- that is does not matter how often or ludicrously they reinvent their own past.  

Conservatives now firmly believe -- with good reason -- that it is now their God given right to lie as much as the want about whatever they want.

And the reason they can now just lie and lie and lie, every day and with complete confidence, is because our media -- those First Amendment-protected professionals who are supposed to act as our referees with it comes to issues of truth and lies in the public square -- no longer even bothers to notice as yesterday's exhausted Conservative lies are quietly carted off to the glue factor and a fresh batch of shiny new Conservative lies are born.


n1ck said...

Our media has abandoned its job of holding politicians to their words and investigating what they say and do.

Instead, they are just a group of courtiers passing on the official government position as journalism, so that they too can enjoy their positions and prestige.

This necessarily entails equating both sides as equally bad, otherwise they'd have to report on how bad Republicans really are, how bad their policies have hurt the country, and why they were complicit themselves over the past 40 years or so.

Which all goes back to that 2 Maccabees. 12:42 quote.

bowtiejack said...

". . . they are just a group of courtiers. . ."

Nailed it.

Fiddlin Bill said...

When St. Ronnie removed the Fairness Doctrine he removed any semblance of legal leverage over media liars. Within months, the EIB Network was spawned and gaily in metastasis. Think I'm exaggerating? Watch what happens anywhere on the Right when the reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine (or something like it) is brought up as a conversation starter. They start reaching for the nitro--or the nitro pills.

Marc McKenzie said...

Well said, Driftglass.

To repeat the now cliched meme: for many in the mainstream media, history really did begin on January 20, 2009. Occasionally there's a brief jump back to the 1990s or earlier, but the years 2001 through 2008 are just inchoate static.

Sadly, we on the progressive/liberal side should shoulder some of the blame. Imagine what we could really accomplish if we really opened up on the GOP with all the verbal firepower we could muster, instead of turning it on the one man who is trying to repair the damage done by the most incompetent administration in our lifetime....the one that was in charge from 2001 to 2008.

@n1ck: Not just the MSM, I'm afraid. Even NPR has gone down that route. It's frustrating.

marindenver said...

Well, as has been noted, it's not a chucktodd's job to correct lies being fed to it. Its only job is to nod sagely and conclude the interview.