Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Like minded = televangelism?

Frank Thomas is always an amusing read. I read the Wall Street Journal everyday (as well as other media outlets) and I read his weekly column regularly. The guy is such a partisan hack! But hey, you have to give the Journal credit for allowing a far left voice on its pages. Otherwise people who only read the Journal would not understand the thought process that has led us to upside down world.

I was glad to see that Mr. Thomas finally went to a Tea Party. He has been whining and ridiculing the Tea Party movement since it's inception.

From Televangelism to the Tea Parties - WSJ

Every week the column is a hurl of insults and name calling, the likes of which if attempted from the other side of the Tilting Yard it would be called hate speech.
But it's fair to ask just how much that sort of politics matters to conservatives anymore. After all, the right-wing populist ground swell that has dominated the scene for the past few months doesn't seem to be driven by the logic of legislative effectiveness.
I love this line. Legislative effectiveness. What a beautifully put, politically correct, term for 'bend over, this might hurt' he has coined! And really, I wonder if back when the Republicans were considering the so called 'Nuclear Option' in considering the side step of filibusters for judicial appointments, if he would have considered that 'legislative effectiveness'.
What it craves are exaggerated moral showdowns and superhuman ideological feats. And in its mind the health-care bill was magnified from a feeble compromise into a baby-slaughtering, communist power grab.
Well, he is onto something here. The Republicans do believe that an exaggerated moral showdown can work, mostly because they were stupid enough to fall for it when the democrats howled over the 'nuclear option'. I screamed at the TV at that time "Hell yeah! do it! They would do it to you if they had the chance!", and now they have. I do hope that someday the Republicans or the Tea Party or whoever the anti-democrat, anti-socialist, anti-communist opposition is, I hope they learn to adopt Mr. Thomas' concept of iron fisted 'legislative effectiveness'.

and then asked the crowd to choose between sunshiny "freedom" or "the gloomy shadows of some European cynical society."
"Cynical," you see, is what the snake-flag set imagines that it is not. Cynicism is something that other people do, particularly people who live on a smarty-pants continent where they read aristocratic authors, eat snob food, and enjoy access to health care from cradle to grave. 

Another beautiful line. Suddenly the right to healthcare and every other someone else pays for it entitlement is a reality, and the concept of sunshiny 'freedom' is an ideal that belongs with unicorns and fuzzy bunnies.

Glomming on to the cynical thing is a huge stretch. I think that most Tea Party like minded people would say that they are cynical. They are cynical about the lie that this health care bill will reduce the deficit. They are cynical about the lie that this health care bill will reduce their premiums.
Cynics are people who have convinced themselves of the highbrow idea that unregulated self-interest does not always deliver optimal results.
Again, I don't get why Mr. Thomas clings to this cynic thing. Is he trying to expose the blatant shallowness of some speaker who is trying to do some kind of 'hope and change' voodoo on a crowd? Unlike the blind faith partisans of hope and change, I do not believe anyone in the the crowd was screaming 'yeah! down with the cynics!'. They were cynically thinking 'how do you add 30 million new patients, no new doctors, and expect costs to go down?".
I do not fully understand the mechanics by which the great events of recent years—namely, the self-destruction of Wall Street and the presidency of Barack Obama—triggered a mania for Revolutionary War costumes and the high-flown cadences of Jeffersonian English. But that is nevertheless what has happened. Not only do the protesters wave the flags of that era, but they know the quotes as well, shouting out favorite passages from the works of the Founders as they came up in the various speeches, giving the whole thing the air of a TV game show.
um, yeah. You must be right. Trying to shine a light on the ideas and the principles that made this country great is a terrible idea, especially when you are speeding towards socialism! And don't worry Mr. Thomas, if the Texas School book committee gets it's way then it won't be long before no one remembers any Jeffersonian quotes. Which is their goal of course.
These are TV citizens, regurgitating TV history lessons, and engaged in a TV crusade. They seem to care little for the give and take of the legislative process. What seems to make sense to them is the logic of entertainment, the ever-escalating outrage of reality TV.
Wow. How profound. A mass of people being influenced by television. What an evil genius idea! I think Mr. Thomas' ridicule would have been more cutting if he asked the conservatives "what took them so long to figure that out?". Mainstream media has been selling his partisan ideas since Cronkite jumped the shark. Now he's just pissed that the other side has caught on.

Get the other guy to take the high road has been a long standing and effective tactic for the left. I hope the right has figured that out.

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