Thursday, January 09, 2014

2014: The Democratic Edge

Katy Perry Twerking for Obama 2012
What I despise most about the legacy media isn’t just that they’re mindlessly liberal, though they are, but that they’re conventional and boring and unwilling to report unfashionable truths. That’s death.

--Tucker Carlson, conservative Daily Caller founder

Tucker Carlson is messing with us. He does run an unusually with-it--for the right--website, one he says had more than 9 million unique visitors in October, rivaling websites like “Slate” and Washington’s slightly-aging wonder toy, “Politico.” And while Carlson is circumspect about financials, he told one reporter, “in contrast to virtually everyone else in Washington, we aren’t a nonprofit.”

Still, hip remains the province of the left. Democrats dominate the media, and progressives expect politics, in the usual pattern, to work out better for their side, even with Obama’s current problems. Listen to old-shoe liberal Doyle McManus of the Los Angeles Times:
2014 is an election year, and Obama has always been better at campaigning than governing. The president and his allies will be trying to draw the sharpest contrasts they can — on the minimum wage, immigration, healthcare, climate change and everything else — to energize Democratic voters. So the year on Capitol Hill is likely to be dominated by high-decibel collisions, not bipartisan harmony. If tea party Republicans rise to Obama's bait as they have in the past, the GOP could suffer in the eyes of many voters. . . If he can survive Year 6 with . . . the Senate in Democratic hands and no new disasters, that will look like success.
“dominated by high-decibel collisions.” As we just suggested, that’s been the political story for an entire two decades. The Democrats, joined by media friends like McManus, don’t really care about change. Instead, they mercilessly pound away at Republican leaders for supposedly ruining any chance of progress, shifting blame away from where it belongs. Democrats are in truth the status quo party, and if nothing changes, that’s fine with them. Even if Democrats lose the Senate this year, they will still have the White House, enough to block progress.

Conservative Bill Frezza, writing in Forbes, explains how the national elite media+Democrats machine works:
Two fundamental techniques undergird progressives’ success at narrative spinning. The first is skillful framing of the debate through investing heavily in public opinion making machinery. This disarms critics while giving lawmakers cover to vote for bills they’ve neither read nor understood. Thus framed, policies are judged only by their stated intentions, never their actual results. This allows politicians to promote new pieces of legislation named for their lofty objectives, even if the thousands of pages of vague and contradictory content deliver just the opposite. The second is dodging all responsibility for failure. This is accomplished by blaming insufficient resources, the prior administration, the greedy 1 percent, sabotage by Republicans, or even the people’s obdurate failure to appreciate the progressive benefits conferred upon them. When the going gets tough, reality can be dismissed with a slogan.
A more clever insight into what’s really happening comes from Los Angeles Times’ house conservative Jonah Goldberg:
One of the most impressive achievements of liberalism is the perpetuation of the myth of liberal rebelliousness. One of my favorite things to do when speaking on college campuses is to point out to students how conformist they are. (College students are a lot like that mob in Monty Python’s Life of Brian who chant in unison, “We’re all individuals!”) I point out to the students that their professors are liberal. Their school administrators are liberal. Hollywood and the music and publishing industries are all overwhelmingly liberal. The mainstream media are liberal. “But,” I ask them, “you think you’re sticking it to the Man by agreeing with them?”
Matt Lewis, writing in Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller, has an even darker, overly Machiavellian, view of how liberal culture serves as liberal economics’ handmaiden:
liberal Hollywood helps celebrate a sort of bacchanalian existence which glamorizes consumerism and promiscuity — things which, when replicated by the poor and middle class — probably contribute more to creating long-term income disparity than any economic policy ever could. Culture is downstream from politics, and the left, it seems, profits from selling liberal economics as a means to solve problems largely created upstream by a liberal worldview.
In other words in Lewis’s view, liberal culture creates an American underclass dependent enough on liberal government hand outs to provide liberals with needed votes.

I think Goldberg has it right. We live in an amazing country dominated by a big government-big business/high tech- Hollywood/entertainment/arts-media-nonprofit/third sector-academic Democratic national elite that truly believe they are the rebellious left! Wha?

Well, the national elite’s cultural domination is not total. There is “Duck Dynasty,” (no joke) which is “the most-watched unscripted telecast in cable TV history,” and which regularly beats the pants off its broadcast network rivals combined among the key 18-49 year-old viewers. Adrienne Royer, writing in the conservative Federalist, says the surprising A&E hit reality show has
figured out how right-wing politics and Evangelical Christianity can influence pop culture without being the punch line or the bad guy. While the left has spent decades making conservatives look like idiots and Christians look like bigots, “Duck Dynasty” reminds average Americans that [their own] views are mainstream.

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