Before I finish off my post correcting Brother Charlie Pierce on his misreading of history (this is called a "tease" kids) I think it's time to clamber down to the vaults and bring up something vintage.
Something from long ago.
A Sunday Morning post that, upon re-reading, should make it perfectly clear why no Liberal in their right mind should trust a god damn thing the Beltway media says about anything.
The time was January of 2010.
The issue was the Affordable Care Act, and the awesomeness of the Imaginary Political Center.
And pretty much every one of the dreadful hacks who were butt-scooting broad, brown stripes of Conventional Beltway Wisdom all over the teevee machine back then have maintained or improved their already ludicrously overcompensated employment situations.
Sunday Morning Comin’ Down
"Every profession is a conspiracy against the laity."
-- George Bernard Shaw
In which, this week, our national media vigorously discusses two topics:
"Is Obama Too Liberal?"
"Obama is too Liberal!"With emphasis randomly added by me, higgledy-piggled, and just for fun.On “Face the Nation” John McSame (Senator, Mouse Circus) announced that"...we categorically reject much of what the Democrats have passed on a party-line vote continuously."driftglass: Without bothering to mention that it only turned out to be a party-line vote because the Party of God categorically rejected every fucking thing any Democrat anywhere tried to do.Senator Durbin:"...Bob, for the record, President Obama met personally with the Republican leaders in the House and Senate before this began and engaged them and asked them, be part of it. We brought them into the committee hearings. A hundred and seventy Republican amendments were accepted as part of this process in both the Senate committees. We have kept the door open. We waited for months in the hopes of bringing across three Republican Senators who expressed an early interest. To-- so to suggest that we have closed the door to them and haven't engaged them is really not a proper statement of what's happened."Translation: Senator Maverick is a liar. And everyone knows it.Bob Schieffer: "...if the two sides could somehow pay less attention to the voices on the fringes of the left and the right..."And this is how it went.Everywhere.All. Fucking. Morning.As predictable as the sunrise, according to the American political commentariate the last twelve straight months of the Obama Administration selling out one Liberal value after another trying frantically to plight its troth to Joe Lieberman (I'll..I'll...divorce single payer! And public option! And Medicare for All! I swear! And you can totally wear my varsity jacket!) while propping up American capitalism by paying ransom to the Ferengi
...somehow means that Obama has gone mad swilling invisible Socialism Vodka.For which the only known cure is six weeks drying out in rehab at the Charles Krauthammer Center for Randite Political Chakra Re-Centrification.On “Meet the Press”, Greggers wants to know about health care.Mitch McConnell: Yadda yadda "bipartisan". Blah blah "you start with junk lawsuits." Something something "tax code."Gregory: Jobs?McConnell: Ibbledee bibbledee "job killing healthcare bill". Flammity shammity "tax cuts".Gregory: Jesus. You people really are fucking robots.McConnell: That's how we win, son. Skull fuck the middle-class into blaming poor people for getting skull fucked. Scream "Commie!" any time anyone tries to stop us.Gregory: But since everyone knows that, how do you keep getting away with it?McConnell: See that camera pointed at me, Greggers? It didn't point itself. You invited me here. People like me? We're hateful, evil little trolls. Always have been. Always will be. We sell this country out an inch at a time every time we breath. And lie? Hoo-boy, do we ever. We lie and lie and lie, and every week we come back here and people like you give people like me free access to millions of American living rooms.Gregory: It's good to be useful!McConnell: It also helps that the political base of my Party is fuck-all stupid.Gregory: And it's really that simple?McConnell: Yeah. Look, I'm about to blame the President's failures in the last year on his unwillingness to compromise. Now, everyone knows that he's spent the last year doing almost nothing but compromising away Liberal principles to douchbags like me and shoving money into banker's pockets -- not exactly Step's One and Two in the Marxist World Domination Handbook -- but I'm still gonna sit right here and lie about it. I'm gonna say these magic words:(actual quote) "The president made a decision to go hard left."and you know what you're gonna say if you don't want me to scream "Commie" at you?Gregory: What?McConnell: Absolutely nothing.PauseWhat follows in italics are actual quotesGregory: "The Supreme Court decision this week to allow corporations..."McConnell: Lickity clickity "important victory for the First Amendment."McConnell: "Look, it's about policy, not personality."McConnell: "...if he will move to the political center, I think he'll find a lot more Republican support."McConnell: "He chose to go hard left the first year."Gregory: "Leader McConnell, thank you very much."McConnell: No, thank you, human urinal cake.Later, a nearly-sober Peggy Noonan explained that trying to draw any parallels between Obama's rough first year in office and Reagan's rough first year in office fail because while Reagan was the greatest human being who ever lived and was selected by Almighty Conservative Jebus Himself to deliver His chosen "center-right" people into the hands of a corporate theocracy, while Obama is just a dirty, dirty Socialist.This was followed by a video of a less-nearly-sober Dick Armey, drooling over the teabagger Golem he created:"This is the broad center of American politics. ...it is the Democrat majority in Congress and the president that's on the liberal fringe and we are on the center. There's no doubt about it."Which sparks a little, meaningless hacking-and-frothing, into which Gregory quickly lobs the following question:"Will President Obama go down fighting?"Pause for a moment to consider just what levels of cynical, complicit Villager corruption are revealed in that question."Will President Obama go down fighting?"Yeah. Because that would look just awesome in 3D-IMAX Avatar-vision!On “This Week”, former Bush Advisor Matthew Dowd boldly advises that Obama not use his State of the Union speech to “point a finger at Republicans” but rather “embrace this”.No. Really. He really said that. On teevee. And nobody put a chair upside his head. And what's more, he'll be back next week to shovel even more silly, dishonest shit.And the week after that.And the week after that.And the week after that.Cokie Roberts: "Call on them. Call them to action... So they’ll look unpatriotic if they're not."No, see, Republicans don't have to be tricked into looking unpatriotic; Republicans are unpatriotic. But rather than reporting this fact as, say, a journalist might, Cokie instead believes we need more Clever Political Puppet Theater!Because shaming Conservatives into not behaving like monsters has worked so wonderfully well these last 30 year.Terry Moran: "Doesn’t he need to get some distance between himself and (wait for it) Congressional Democrats?"Former Bush Advisor Matthew Dowd further advises that Obama should:"get in a fight...(wait for it) (waaaait for it) with Democrats!"Wow, you mean Obama should finally chastise them for being spineless, sell-out, appeaser-monkeys?Former Bush Advisor Matthew Dowd:"He needs to say, 'I was elected to end the dysfunction in Washington, and that dysfunction belongs in both parties. I'm going to take on the Democrats on something big...'"Oh.You mean Obama should chastise them not yet being more spineless, bigger sell-outs, and even more enthusiastically appeaser-monkeyish?Then someone shouted -- swear to God -- "Triangulate!"Because, yes, we love The Triangulate! We understand The Triangulate!Sam Donaldson: Like Welfare Reform. All those deviant Mario Cuomo Liberals said it would be bad. But Clinton did it, and it worked out great!But of course, that's not exactly true is it Sam?From the Washington Post:Why Welfare Reform Has FailedBy Peter Edelman and Barbara EhrenreichSunday, December 6, 2009...When President Bill Clinton signed welfare reform into law, he didn't just end welfare as we knew it. For all practical purposes, it turned out, he brought an end to cash help of any kind for families with children in much of the country. While welfare reform was long ago declared a success in some quarters, it was deeply flawed from the beginning. The recession has shown how seriously unprepared it left us for hard times....So when the Great Recession came along, the government safety net for families with children was in tatters. The United States was no more prepared for massive unemployment than New Orleans had been prepared for its levees to fail. Some important government programs, including unemployment insurance and food stamps, have started to rise to the challenge and have even begun to lose their stigma among former members of the middle class. Unemployment insurance now covers 57 percent of those who have lost their jobs, as opposed to less than 40 percent before the recession -- although their benefits amount to less half their former wages. Reliance on food stamps has expanded even more dramatically. While the average benefit still isn't enough to meet people's basic nutritional needs, the program now serves 36 million people, double the number when Clinton left office and up by a quarter in the past year....In the rapidly expanding service economy of the 1990s, many former welfare recipients did find jobs, but most did not escape poverty, and a significant number were pushed off the rolls without finding work. Research showed that one in five former recipients ultimately became disconnected from any means of support: They no longer had welfare, but they didn't have jobs. They hadn't married or moved in with a partner or family, and they weren't getting disability benefits. And so, after a decline in the late 1990s, the number of people living in extreme poverty (with an income less than half the poverty line, or below about $9,100 for a family of three) shot up by more than a third, from 12.6 million in 2000 to 17.1 million in 2008....In some states, according to Kaaryn Gustafson of the University of Connecticut law school, "applying for welfare is a lot like being booked for a crime." There may be a mug shot, fingerprinting and lengthy interrogations as to the true paternity of one's children. Word gets around, and, even in the face of destitution, many people will not undergo such indignities.The other technique for keeping the rolls down is to staff the back door with the equivalent of a nightclub bouncer. The practice is called "sanctioning" -- kicking people off the rolls because they were late to a work assignment (no excuses accepted, whether for sick children, late buses or car trouble) or didn't show up for an appointment at the welfare office (no dispensation for failure to receive notice of an appointment or inability to understand English). In some states multiple infractions of this sort can result in lifetime disqualification.It's time to acknowledge that America's 1996 experiment with welfare reform was based on reckless assumptions about the economy, as well as a callous disregard for the realities of sustaining a family. We need a massive emergency relief package not only to fund new jobs but to repair the grievous holes in our national safety net. Fifty million people need help now -- not in three months or six months, but today...For the record, Cokie Roberts' was horrified and disgusted by the "lying, lying, lying, lying" of John Edwards' penises-vaginas-and-wedlock-based fairy tales.Roberts: "It's so awful I don't even know where to begin."I share her anger, but must LOUDLY wonder where all of her outrage scurries off to when she is sitting at that same table with Conservatives who are "lying, lying, lying, lying" about matters of life and death?I guess the people whose lives Conservative treason and lies are likely to destroy aren't the sort of people with whom Cokie might find herself get trapped in a socially embarrassing moment while standing in the pee-line at one of the Queen and Spokeswoman of the Washington Premier Socialite Village Lawn Party Country Club's (h/t Wonkette) gala luncheons.Chris Matthews: Do you think Clarence now that the administration, these smart guys around the President, he especially, misread his mandate and said they didn’t like Bush, they didn’t like Cheney, so they’re going to like a real liberal, even leftist kind of government? Did they misread it?Kathleen Parker: Well first of all, Barack Obama had one mandate, and that was to not be George W. Bush and he should have known from the Clintons that any time you tack left, you go in the hole. You know he was elected by all of these former Republicans and independents because they thought he was going to be a centrist leader and he projected that on the campaign. So you know, he’s got to come back center.And so it was, all over your Elitist Liberal Media.Of course, over in “Fox World” , while the fake tea-leaf-reading results are the same the tones tends to be considerably less nuanced.
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Seven years later and there can no longer be any question that the Left has been Right about the Right (and the Fake Center) all along.