Tuesday, December 06, 2022

The McGOPLT

For more than half a century the Republican strategy for gaining power boiled down a very simple strategy of keeping the "hot" side of the Republican party -- its racist, paranoid, rage-drunk, Limbaugh-loving base -- at a deniable distance from it's "cool" side -- the party leadership, donors and elite Conservative publications and spokespersons.  

The role of Hate Radio (and, later, Fox News) was to keep the base at a steady, rising and very profitable boil that the party could harvest every two years at the polls, and role of Republican party leadership, donors and elite Conservative publications and spokespersons and, most importantly, the complicit Beltway media was to pretend that this wasn't happening.

And insist that anyone who said otherwise was delusional. 

When that lie became impossible to maintain, they moved on to dismissing the roiling insanity of the base as some relatively harmless, irrelevant fringe thing that everyone could safely ignore.

And insist that anyone who said otherwise was a crackpot alarmist.

When that lie became impossible to maintain, they moved on to blaming the Extremes on Both Sides as a way to deflect attention away from the growing list of Republican atrocities. 

And insist that anyone who said otherwise was an Extreme Lefty partisan who could safely be dismissed.

And now that that lie is becoming untenable -- now that the entire Republican party is either the "hot" racist, paranoid, rage-drunk, Carlson-loving base or beholden/terrified of that base -- Republican party leadership, donors and elite Conservative publications and spokespersons and the complicit Beltway media are flailing around looking for a way out.  

But of course, it's too late for that.  Far too late.  They have already made their pact with the devil.  The already paid the Dane-geld, so they'll never get rid of the Dane.

Because the Republican base is what it is.  It is exactly what Republican party leadership, donors and elite Conservative publications and spokespersons spent decades engineering it to be.  What the complicit Beltway media  always swore it never was.  An army of reprogrammable meatbags who no longer respond to facts or reason, bu have been conditioned by decades of repetition to respond to simple operator keywords like "Birth Certificate" and "Vince Foster" and "Pizzagate" and "Hillary's Emails" and "Hunter's Laptop".

And there is no "other" Republican party waiting in the wings.  No foundation on which the party leadership, donors and elite Conservative publications and spokespersons can build anything new.  There is just the monster they made, and which is now no longer even lightly tethered to the pretense that Republicans care about balanced budgets or limited government.  

Of course the easiest way out is also the honest way out.  It's same path that every major religion teaches and that most people teach their children in one form or another: contrition, confession, repentance and atonement.  I did it, I'm heartily sorry for it, I will never do it again and I will do whatever I can do to help repair what I helped to destroy.  

Of all the media critters out there who helped nearly destroy democracy in America, Stuart Stevens comes the closest to walking this honorable path.

But of course pulling on even one thread of the decades-long  existential catastrophe which GOP party leadership, donors and elite Conservative publications and spokespersons and the complicit mainstream media have created risks unraveling the whole thing.  Cable news organizations would be in ruins.  Careers turned to ash overnight.  Major newspapers would have to run bulldog editions every day for the next ten years correcting and apologizing for all the toxic swill they had pumped out in the name of "balance".  The most infamous hacks would have to change their names, dye their hair and leave the country.  

And we all know none of that will ever happen.  Hell, you couldn't drag an admission out of Joe Scarborough that he was Donald Trump's friend, ally and hype-man with 100 feet of galvanized steel mechanical cable and 20 stout men.  

And you know the Beltway Iron Rule of David Brooks.

So, since the perpetrators of the crisis are institutionally incapable of reform, and since the Republican base will go right on being reprogrammable meatbags until they shuffle off this mortal coil, what remains?

Well, controlling the cameras and microphones and where they are pointed, and controlling the op-ed pages and who gets to write them, that's real power.  And while that power does not extend to deprogramming the GOP base or getting dirty money out of politics (which none of these people want to do anyway), it does extend to influencing the public's perception of what's gone wrong and who is to blame for it in a way that absolves the mainstream media of any responsibility.  

By simply refusing to speak of the long, wide, clearly-marked road down which GOP has traveled that led us to this moment -- and media's deep complicity -- and by alibing everyone in their media Club, by insisting that history began in 2016, by relentingly "Both Sidesing" the ruin the GOP has brought down upon us, and by leading endless snipe hunts in search of Reasonable Republicans and Sensible Centrists, the mainstream media continues to do what it has always done best:  reinforce the Potemkin facade of "journalism" behind which they all hide and protect the Big Lie of Both Sides Do It on which their entire industry depends.

And unless something changes drastically, they're going to go right on doing it, and getting away with it.


I Am The Liberal Media

1 comment:

Denny said...

So, what is the GOP's future? Do they morph into reasonableness? (nope). Do they deteriorate to a rump faction as they struggle to survive? (maybe, for a while). In the end, will a "new" party be created to house this generation's definition of a "conservative", which would simply put a white lab coat on a rotting ideology? (likely). Locke, Hume, and Smith are gagging in their graves.

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