Tuesday, September 8, 2009

On the school-speech nonsense

Reading and listening to the childish taunting that passes these days for political discourse from the right, it's easy to get discouraged. Sometimes it really seems to me that the country is no longer governable, locked in a twisted mass version of the Stockholm Syndrome as our corporate abusers direct our thoughts away from freedom and civility.

Every thinking person knew that the President's back-to-school speech would be a benign pep talk, but the scream machine turned it into a national food fight over nothing. In a sensible world this would have shredded the credibility of every one of the screamers and sent them back to their caves in shame. Instead they stand up and scream louder, feeling vindicated that the benign speech they saw proves that there was a conspiracy. It's embarrassing to share a nationality with these nitwits.

But take heart: in the real world, as opposed to the media funhouse, most people are mature adults, capable of basic reasoning. Most Republicans are too, I'll venture, and the kooks embarrass them as well. It's really not as bad at it seems.

This graph from the end of June gathers a basket of public-opinion polls on support for "the public option," showing consistently high favorables. Those numbers are holding, whatever the media narrative you've been hearing. It was the same with the school-speech issue. A tiny, loud minority grabs the media attention and organizes phone calls to school authorities, who react, validating the kooks, who get more powerful and make more calls. Would that us commie liberals had undertaken as effective a campaign before the Shrub marched our boys and girls off to illegal war in Iraq.

The darksiders are focused, cagey, well-heeled and implacable. Their propaganda doesn't have to be subtle. They can count on the 11% of Americans who are pretty much certifiable anyway to carry their message as if it's the grass roots. They own and operate the corporate media, including little operations like the Courier. They've got you surrounded.

The thing is, they can only win if you give up, slide back into your Barcalounger, pop another cold one and continue channel-surfing. They know they haven't got the arguments, they don't care about that. They just want to wear you down so you quit caring.

So don't. Turn off the TV, laugh when you hear the amazingly absurd things their sock puppets say, and keep moving forward. We're getting there, and the gnat-brained screamers really don't matter that much.

Three events mark Sept. 11 anniversary

The comments say it all. The teabaggers will try to hijack the anniversary to push their conspiracy fantasies. And the Courier is right there to help. Notice that the other two event announcements include nothing like this. The teabagger press release probably included a lot of nonsense that the others didn't, but Paula should have known to leave it out and the editor should have redlined it.