The Dangers of Overselling

Already the teabaggers (and the media who worship them) are declaring tomorrow’s elections to be a stinging defeat for Democrats, all but certain to hobble Obama’s nine-month (or, according to the strange calendar of the media, who can’t wait that long, one year…) presidency.  How many facts must one ignore, and how much Fox must one watch, to come up with such a retarded and overconfident prediction?  First of all, in NY 23, the Republican is the one who dropped out, pointedly endorsing the Democrat over the clueless wingnut carpetbagger, creating a competitive race in a district that has been represented, uninterruptedly, by Republicans since 1852.  Only in the noxious, fetid air of the green room could such a vanishingly inconsequential race be proudly touted as a game-changer, but it is.  In the NJ governor’s race, unpopular Gov. Jon Corzine has eaten away Christie’s double-digit lead to create a real cliffhanger; if NJ voters only come to their senses enough to anoint the corrupt Christie in a squeaker, what, exactly, does that have to do with the price of tea in China?  Nothing.  And, if the colorless Creigh Deeds goes down to entirely predictable defeat in Virginia, given the millions Republicans have spent there, does this constitute some sort of wave?  Of course not.

But things look different on television, where wealthy narcissists who take a perverse pride in never caring what becomes of their viewers still do believe in the supply-side fairy, and facts and perspective must always take a back seat to the interests of the oligarchy they’re so embarrassingly eager to join.  Thus, we have bullying dunderheads like Sean Hannity exhorting his viewers to “stop health care,” clueless whores like David Gregory suddenly hyperventilating over the newfound deficits, and the editors of the Washington Post scoldingly explaining that wars are necessary and health care is not, against all evidence produced by sane, fiscally sound countries all over the world.

For so long, as media consolidation and cutbacks have reduced the profession of journalism to a shrinking and insular coterie of preening, overpaid, and understandably insecure nincompoops, the right has flourished by lying about its agenda, confident that their balderdash will be treated with the appropriate reverence needed to get them through another election.  The rise of George W. Bush would have been simply unthinkable without this dynamic in place.  The most outlandish claims, purportedly bolstering the most insane policies, invariably were met with nodding acquiescence, if not outright cheerleading, in the “liberal” media ever since Reagan, but  today it’s gotten to a point where even the most disengaged voter can see that something’s amiss, when the grave-dancers show up before the patient is even feeling ill.

You see, lying, once believed, leads inexorably to more outlandish lying, with much less consideration of the costs of being called out, and the propagators of the lies become as invested in them as the liars themselves.  As the Credibility Gap becomes a yawning chasm, the truth, when unexpectedly uttered, goes over like a fart in church, and furious fainting and pearl-clutching sweeps the green rooms and the “salons” of the WaPoo.  The very idea that both of the ruinously costly and interminable wars in which we’re currently entrenched are as lost as they are immoral, which is plain as day, is the truth which must never speak its name.  The shocking income inequality and corruption of our political system that makes us look like a third-world dictatorship is only relevant to the extent that we ought to perhaps take some pointers from said dictatorships about the nagging problem of keeping the rabble in check.  And of course the collapse of our economy is entirely attributable to the crumbs heedlessly dispersed among grabby minorities and a few smelly hippies all obsessed with trees and fishes standing in the way of progress.  The only people who believe such contemptible bullshit are either A) the hogs slopping at the trough in the board rooms and green rooms and B) the shrinking numbers of cretins they’ve dedicated their lives to duping.  Looking for vindication, or a passably convincing simulacrum of it in three off-year elections is so craven and dumb that it could only pass the smell test in the American media.

The GOP fully acknowledges and even embraces the fact that it has lost young people, minorities, educated people, gays, the entertainment industry, and academia, but since it hasn’t yet lost “Meet the Press,” it still figures it has a fighting chance.  Good luck with that.  Yes, they can certainly count on the undying devotion of the forced birth movement, homophobes, racists, the extremely wealthy, and people who believe that the only good critter is a dead critter, but elaborately staging triumphal victory marches over a few (yet undecided) elections seems bit of a stretch.  Despite relentless efforts over the years, a lot of Americans remain stubbornly wedded to critical thinking, despite what they see on TV and in the wispy and sensational vestiges of their daily newspaper.  Setting Bill Kristol to the side for a moment (rather than the eternity he deserves), not too many people see failed and resoundingly repudiated politicians such as, say, Sarah Palin or Rick Santorum as oracles.

The right may just pull out three victories tomorrow, but to count such anomalies as a harbinger of the future is the sort of thing one could only believe when wearing pancake, but believe they must…  They’ve staked their considerable fortunes on it.  And even if they lose, count on the media to find a way that such an outcome means something other than what a normal person would think it means, so they were, you guessed it, right all along.


  1. nailheadtom says:

    My, my, my! Haven’t we worked ourselves into a little tizzie today? And it’s all because of that fascist media that keeps elevating the credibility of the warmongers and corporate thieves in order that they can successfully dupe the products of the great American educational system. Not surprisingly, your viewpoint isn’t shared by 100% of the population:

    “not too many people see failed and repudiated politicians such as, say, Sarah Palin or Rick Santorum as oracles”

    Yeah, Caribou Barbie is so repudiated she made the Amazon best seller list as soon as folks found out that she MIGHT be writing a book. Keyboards all over America short out in sparks as her fans drool over her Facebook entries. Al Gore should be so failed and repudiated. No one sees her as an oracle. To many she’s a common sense alternative to the coastal socialists that monopolize the political conversation with their post-Marxist class-envy utopian planning. Her hyper-publicized family issues remind people that she inhabits the same world they do, rather than Cape Cod compounds and Georgetown walk-ups. And she’s an attractive human being, unlike pasty, shrieking Hillary or Bo-tox consumed Pinocchia Pelosi.

    Kick back, take a big swig of Evan Walker with a dash of Campari. Everything will be OK, since the socialists are taking over the world.

  2. cocktailhag says:

    For the thousandth time, fervor does not equal majority. Appealing to the nuttiest and dumbest does purchase (literally, most often) a following, but it embarrasses the normal. Palin’s ghostwritten “book,” like all other righty books that preceded it, was goosed by wealthy cynics who buy in bulk and hand out for free. (It was already in the remainder bin at Amazon last week for nine bucks…. the almighty market has spoken) Like Santorum, she’s proven herself incapable of such minutia as holding a job, and can only “succeed” by rolling out of the clown car in another costume, just as clueless as last time.
    FYI… Alaska is “coastal,” even near Russia, as Palin pointed out, and NY 23 is dangerously near both the Atlantic and commie Canada. So if you’re casting about for another specious generalization, please delve deeper.
    And why a politician’s looks mesmerize your type so can only be attributed to either sexual frustration or a sad assumption that others are as shallow and clueless as you are… why not just go ahead and endorse the Prejean ticket in 2012 and be done with it?
    As a “Utopian,” I don’t assess politicians with the same criteria I would for a porn star, much less a mate. Brains and character do count. I don’t know why that’s so difficult to understand.

    • dirigo says:

      Let’s cut to the chase, Tom, and assume that Sarah got the nomination next time round.

      Would you vote for her?

      Tell the truth now.

      • cocktailhag says:

        Of course he would. It’s not about competence, it’s only about the battle.

        • dirigo says:

          Donna Quixote: Hear me now, oh, the bleak and unbearable world

          Thou art base and debauched as can be

          And a knight with her banner all bravely unfurled

          Now hurls down her gauntlet to thee!

          I am I, Donna Quixote, the unemployed former Alaska governor from Wasilla,

          Destroyer of evil am I

          I will march to the sound of the trumpets of glory

          forever to conquer or die

  3. Casual Observer says:

    For my part, I fear that Owens will win in upper NY, and we’ll have yet another blue dog pissing on the back benches. or sniffing some other blue dog’s butt. or whatever they do back there.

    • cocktailhag says:

      I second that fear, and it annoys me so much. Wasn’t it Truman who said, “Given a choice between a Democrat who votes like a Republican, and a Republican, they’ll pick the Republican every time?” As long as we’re saddled with Fox News Democrats like Lieberman et al, voters can only see two politicians who will never benefit them in any way; what’s the difference? If all Democrats were like Bernie Sanders, and all Republicans were like Ron Paul, we could have an intelligent debate; as it is, we get, well, what we currently get.

  4. nailheadtom says:

    “And why a politician’s looks mesmerize your type so can only be attributed to either sexual frustration or a sad assumption that others are as shallow and clueless as you are.”


    Tell me about how O’Bama would have been selected by Axelrod and Plouffe as their candidate if he had looked like Sonny Liston or Mike Tyson.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Ooh, I knew you’d pop up with that, given that some righty closet case was just whining about how cute Plouffe was, and how unfair everything was because of it. If nothing else, you do stay abreast of the latest whines, however lame. Republicans are ugly on the inside, where it counts.

  5. rmp says:

    Jim White has a Seminal post similar to this. Great minds and all that.

    Wherein We Discuss Blue Dogs, Dad Armadillos and Dede Scozzafava,/b>

  6. I’m glad to see someone else who likes Sonny with a chance as much as I do, Nico is my favorite character on the show. Thanks for this post, I enjoyed reading it!