Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Centrism vs. Radicalism

David Brooks is at it again, pissing me off to start my day. According to Brooks:

"the netroots candidates are losing"
"Clinton has established this lead by repudiating the netroots theory of politics."
"the netroots are losing the policy battles."

Glenn Greenwald has the perfect analysis which I'd like to add something to if I can.

This argument is moldier than the block of swiss my grandmother keeps in her freezer. I would call it rhetorical jujitsu, but that's giving it far too much credit. Let's call it political reverse psychology. Brooks plays the Concern Troll, supposedly advising all those radical, nutjob bloggers that they really need to stop being so rude, because they're hurting their chances to win elections. They should soften their stance and come to the "center". The evidence of this is supposedly Hilary Clinton's lead. But the concerned advice he's dishing is just a trap.

Ultimately, the Right has lurched so radically far out on the wing that when the pundits and demagogues are herding and frightening people back into the "middle" politically, they are really landing firmly in the CENTER-RIGHT, not in the old center. They expanded the limits of rightwing politics while dividing the country, thus keeping the middle or center from naturally evening out at the true halfway point.

Imagine it's a football game with the regular guy voter sitting in the stands watching the game. While Joe Sixpack is consuming beers and copious amounts of nitrates and sugars, he's being distracted by the cheerleaders (Paris), halftime show (American Idol), obnoxious announcers (O'Reilly/Rush/Hannity) and O.J. running the ball to the other end zone. Meanwhile, one of the teams is gradually moving their defensive goalposts five yards back at a time. So when Joe Nascar begins to sober up from his Budweisers, he doesn't realize that one end zone is now 20-30 yards deeper than the other. All the while the announcers ignore or cover up the fact that the field has changed.

In the end this is yet another example of the rightwing using it's old media marketing and propaganda machine to rebrand the definitions of terms associated with liberals (as the word "liberal" itself has been rebranded by conservatives as practically a slur). Take the word "radical" - here is the Websters definition as applied to politics:

"of, relating to, or constituting a political group associated with views, practices, and policies of extreme change"

Is that the first image that comes to mind, or is it the street-fighting, unwashed, unshaven, stoned hippies turning main street into bedlam? While the latter was once true there are two problems with it. Firstly, those Sixties Radicals are (lamentably) GONE. Yet the rightwing keeps on digging up the bones of those hippies and skullfucking them to scare the pants off of the ignorant and close-minded, despite their having melted away decades ago. Secondly, it's a favorite technique in which the rightwing negatively labels and brands the opposition so that they themselves cannot be accused of being the actual radicals (see my previous post on the term "fascist").

Thankfully, "Tightey Whitey" Brooks has been so consistently and spectacularly wrong about so many hugely important subjects that it's quite reassuring. You really have to wonder about these pundits who have gotten it so consistently wrong each and every time over the past half-decade. Don't you think once in a while, some of these NostraDumbAsses would get it right just out of sheer luck? You could make a mint betting against these guys' predictions and my money's on the Netroots.


Anonymous said...

did you win?

Lefty said...

Every time. Even against the spread.