Salon has published an article based on a theme similar to one I've sounded. In previous posts, I have advised readers to blame the Tea party if Romney loses the election. Salon writer Jonathan Bernstein tells us to blame the Fox/Rush information loop
. Same difference:
The truth is that Romney is constantly constrained by what conservatives want him to do and by what they believe. Furthermore, what they want is generally unpopular, and what they believe is far too often simply cut off from the reality that the rest of the nation lives in.
So Romney cannot have a coherent foreign policy because what his voters want to hear is that Barack Obama sympathizes with terrorists. Most Americans, meanwhile, think of Obama as the guy who took out bin Laden. Romney cannot have a sensible tax policy because conservatives insist that he promote large, self-funding tax cuts for the rich. Most of the nation, however, supports raising taxes on the rich, and reality insists that cutting taxes also reduces revenues.
Would a Republican candidate with more conservative "street cred" have done better? No, because...
...there are two problems with that theory.
One is that it’s likely that any winning candidate, after spending years fighting for the Republican nomination, would be so far inside the conservative closed-information feedback loop that he or she would be doing the same things. It’s not because the candidate pressure from the right but rather because he or she has lost perspective on what anyone outside of that loop believes. And the second is: We’ve seen no evidence that Tea Partiers are willing to trust anyone.
I'll go further. I think the Republican "feedback loop" explains why Mitt Romney, king of the flip-floppers, has finally flipped over to the side of ultra-conservatism. He probably will not flip back. He is, God help us, sincere.
This is why Fox News exists
: Not just to speak to the gun-totin', resentment-filled hoi polloi
, but also to brainwash guys like Mitt Romney -- although in his
case (as Gene McCarthy once said of a much better Romney), a light rinse would have been sufficient. Don't make the mistake of presuming that our ruling class is smart. The one percenters are just as susceptible to propaganda as are other people.
We usually think of propaganda as something proceeding from
the plutocracy, but the misinformation flow also goes in the other direction. Indeed, that was the Milton Friedmanite program for Global Ideological Conquest. Take the message to the people? Yes
, said Uncle Miltie, we must do that -- but more importantly, we must take the message to those who have a lot of money.
If our aristos had not been hammered with decades of incessant, seductive, Randroid propaganda, Mitt Romney would now be a more reasonable fellow. He'd be, in short, George Romney. And he'd be about ten points ahead of Barack Obama.
Perhaps we've reached a turning point. The right-wing outrage machine can't get its memes to circulate outside of the Fox/Brietbart ghetto. (Yes, the previous sentence mixed metaphors; I don't care.) Most Americans aren't talking about the much-ballyhooed "redistributionist" video, because most Americans have finally learned to tune out Fox-brand hooey.
The right has gotten scary. And the scariest thing about right-wingers is that most of them do not know how scary they seem. Some of them do understand that their scariness has become self-defeating, but even they just can't stop. Personally, I wanted to sit this election out -- I still don't like Obama -- but fear of the alternative brought me back.
Look and see: Rush Limbaugh claims that feminism causes small penises
. Conservatives are distributing millions of DVDs
claiming that Obama's real
father was an American communist -- a theory that irritates the die-hard birthers. Obama is being hanged in effigy
-- as a chair. Todd Akin thinks Mitt Romney is dragging him
down. New Mexico's Republican Governor wants to see proof of "forcible rape"
before rape victims can apply for childcare assistance. Mormons are seeking to excommunicate
a Mormon writer who has dared to criticize Romney.
And Fox News is trying to gin up a controversy condemning Obama for not denouncing Piss Christ
, an inane 1987 provocation by a fraudist named Andres Serrano. Yes. That
again. As if Serrano's pseudoart for pseudothinkers had any bearing on our actual problems.
Update: This typically insane conserve-anoia site
tries to convince readers that Obama has spent $155 million promoting Piss Christ. In fact, Obama has nothing whatsoever to do with that stupid photo, which was created during the Reagan presidency and which is now being shown at a museum in Brooklyn. You really should read the afore-linked article to see the kind of insane anti-reasoning that passes for argument in right-wing circles. These creeps make the people who call into George Noory's radio show seem like intellectuals.
Frankly, I think people have had
it with that kind of crap.
After the 1984 Democratic National Convention, Ronald Reagan (unfairly) said: "They've gone so far to the left, they've left America." Today, those within Fox World have gone so far to the right, they've gone right out of their minds. The people trapped inside that box cannot be heard by those outside. If Mitt Romney loses, he will do so because he lost the ability to leave Fox World.