In 1983, Congress revised the Fairness Doctrine that had required media outlets to provide equal time for presenting all points of view. The revisions made it OK to NOT provide equal time to opposing points of view if the opinions being expressed were included in a program that was deemed as either “news” or “entertainment.”
That change in policy inspired radio and TV stations to hire sharp-tongued, charismatic personalities who would easily pander to the worst fears, prejudices and anger of the proletariat. Enter from stage right, vitriolic entertainers like Rush Limbaugh and totally ersatz news outlets like Fox Noise. The result? According to Bill Maher, people living in a bubble who limit their intake of news and information to carefully edited propaganda outlets whose sole purpose is to win viewer loyalty by always validating indignant, reactionary perspectives. Or, as astutely explained in the celebrated verbiage of Jon Stewart, people who get their news from “bullshit mountain.”
The Republican Party that was soundly defeated in the recent Presidential race, was not the Republican party many of us grew up with. It was no longer the Republican Party of kind, decent, reasonable people who were committed to keeping America a well defended nation with a fiscally responsible Federal government that promoted free enterprise and addressed the needs of vulnerable segments of the population without creating dependence.
The Republican Party that was defeated in this Presidential race was the new “tea-party” rendition of the GOP: anti-women, anti-immigrant, anti-abortion, anti-LGBT rights, anti any and all social programs that might in any way shape or form assist non-white Christians. The Republican Party of 2012 absolves themselves of all responsibility for, and obligations too, the well-being of “those people” who are, when all is said and done, not “real Americans.”
Thank you Fox Noise, Ann Coulter, Rick Sanatorium, Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann and all you other angry, dishonest, provincial, uncompromising, incendiary extremist voices who have created a dangerous fifth column in America of narcissistic nut jobs who are convinced that God intended this country to be owned and operated by and for, white, conservative Christians.
The good news as we saw in this election is that the number of Americans who subscribe to such reasoning are not significant enough to win a national election. Regrettably though, there are enough of such types out there is suburban and rural America to elect a lot of angry dim-witted zealots to state legislatures and the U.S. House Representatives.
In the days since the election, a number of thoughtful Republicans have stepped forward to say enough of the insanity! We can’t be the party that is against everyone, everything and never compromises. We need to be for all Americans and show them how conservative values and policies can benefit them.
Sounds reasonable, no? Can they do it? Time will tell.
But in the mean time, the GOP is stewing in a deep pile of sour-grapes. Romney is apparently as intellectually blind and dense as ever having now blamed his defeat on President Obama’s having bought everyone’s vote with giveaways. I for one would love to hear Mitt Romney explain his thinking on government give-aways to Republican voters in New Jersey and on Long Island who are grateful for the assistance they are receiving from FEMA and other government agencies in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
The defeated Republican Presidential candidate in 2008, John McCain and a host of other Republicans in Washington think that they have come up with a cause to rally their demoralized troops: Let’s see if we can turn the tragic events on 9/11/2012 in Benghazi, Libya into a calamity that can be blamed on Democrats in general and President Obama in particular?
In the first 24 hours after the US Consulate was burned and Ambassador Chris Stevens was murdered, people the world over assumed that the tragic events in Benghazi were related to the violent rioting in Libya and other Muslim countries in response to that anti-Mohammad schlock movie trailer appearing on YouTube. More in-depth investigation in the days that followed suggested that the anti-west rioting in Benghazi was used as a cover for a well planned terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate.
BUT! How dare UN Ambassador Susan Rice not immediately know that! How dare she appear on the Sunday talk shows without the facts that were only known days later! How dare she share the intelligence information that the administration had at its disposal at the time! Rice’s inability to know in advance what investigators would figure in the in the coming days, disqualified her according to Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham from not only her current job, but to be a potential replacement for Secretary Clinton at the State Department.
Who would listen to such clap-trap nonsense and think, “those guys have a point?” The kind of provincial, insular, brain-dead, dense people who live in a bubble and get their news from bullshit-mountain; THAT’S WHO! Are McCain and Graham and all those shoveling this garbage about Rice really that stupid or just that desperate for a cause célèbre?
Does anyone recall leaders of the Democratic Party blaming President George W. Bush and his administration for the events of 9/11/2001? Can any of the residents of the right-wing bubble or bullshit mountain viewers explain, without rhetoric or spin how it is, that for all the billions of dollars America was spending on the military, the CIA and countless other national security agencies in 2001, no one caught wind of a conspiracy that would leave 3,000 Americans dead on 9/11/2001?
There was no point in going there and pointing finger in the days after 9/11/2001. We needed to come together as a nation; give one another support and heal our individual and collective wounds. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that politicians who themselves live in and promote the conservative, tea-party, Republican bubble that is the essence of bullshit mountain, lack the humanity and common decency to not turn the event of 9/11/2012 into a political fiasco on the grand scale of Watergate. Then again, it’s certainly not news that bankrupt people are apt to do desperate and foolish things.