by Eileen | 10:00 pm, February 4, 2013 | Comments Off
Last week, inspired by a chain e-mail (hey, the muse speaks in many voices), I set out to learn just how much crime and real scandal dwells within the 113th Congress. With, naturally, the caveat that it would have to be something dirty by Congressional standards. By human standards, they all deserve forced labor.
I have been working on that. Obviously, I started with Colorado, which has four Republicans, four Democrats, and Michael Bennett, who’s just happy to be here.
75% of Colorado’s GOP delegation deserves some mention in the context of losing reputation points on stupid things. Scott Tipton finds the twin concepts of ‘Don’t spend the taxpayers’ money to hire your kids’ and ‘Don’t spend the taxpayers’ money on your campaign’ exceedingly difficult. Mike Coffman came dangerously close to endorsing Birtherism. And Doug Lamborn referred to the black President as a “tar baby”. Well done, gentlemen. Well done.
In two cases, a guy spoke candidly in the wrong forum and displayed a questionable outlook. In the third, a freshman missed the ‘How to launder your nepotism’ workshop that I imagine is both mandatory and free for all incoming Congressmen. Lots of people secretly subscribe to opinions they wouldn’t want broadcast. Lots of people use phrases when they haven’t considered how it will be received or how the recipient might react. To be clear, I don’t think Doug Lamborn is a racist; I think he put his foot in his mouth and made it clear he hadn’t adequately thought of how a particular word has connotations beyond what he intended to say. Nor do I think Coffman is a Birther, just a guy who brought up the topic for no valid reason and then failed to make it crystal clear he doesn’t believe it.
(FTR, Lamborn said, “Now, I don’t even want to have to be associated with him. It’s like touching a tar baby and you get it, you’re stuck, and you’re a part of the problem now and you can’t get away.” To explain how the President’s corruption and hypocrisy leaves a stench on all who come near, it would have been decidedly less distracting to reference POTUS as ‘spoilt fish’ or ‘the Metro in July’, or ‘a cat lady trying to cover it up with cheap perfume’. All of which communicate contempt without raising the race card.)
And, as for Tipton, lots of people succumb to the temptation to exploit positions of power and trust to take care of friends and family. Which does not make it alright. I only hope to drive home that Congressmen indulging in nepotism is the rule. Tipton did it gracelessly. The media was right to call him out on it. If only they were committed to rooting out nepotism across the board.
A cursory examination of Colorado’s Democratic delegation doesn’t turn up ill-advised insults, poorly thought out answers, or a fundamental ability to make corruption work. ColoradoPols would take that as an ipso facto conclusion that all Democrats are pure as a virgin and twice as nice. We are not ColoradoPols.
The corruption of politicians and their disconnect from their own voter base as they move up the ranks is not a partisan matter. They’re all corrupt. Some of them are better at it. And some of them have a fawning media on their side.
The mainstream media hates us. They don’t disagree with our positions but respect us anyway. They don’t have a slight preference for the left. They aren’t functioning as a bias-free watchdog who reviews everyone with equal severity. They really and truly hate us. The shine a spotlight on the slightest right-wing gaffe and give their guys a pass where we don’t even get a fighting chance. Long has this been true. Yet the Republican M.O. is to piteously and repetitiously announce that media bias exists as if it’s news. We have yet to get to the point where we consider that’s how it is, accept that we occupy the lesser position on an uneven battlefield, and come up with strategy and tactics based on that.
This was the case I made at the PPC Board’s working brunch on Sunday. Over a plate of bacon-tots, which are the official foodstuff of PPC and are awesome (because they are delicious and because their processed and cholesterol-laden existence pisses off Michelle, Mrs. Spoilt-Fish), the managing editor countered that this could be taken to the conclusion that we should just accept our lousy position and give in. I threatened to cut off his coffee, but the points merits real consideration.
But our current pointless and unedifying cycle of whining that most media outlets are against us and then doing nothing with that knowledge is the real resignation. We act like a ten year old fighting with his brother, waiting for Mommy to break it up and make our brother be nice. There is no one and no power to remedy media bias other than us.
We aren’t going to convert enough of the players in the major media outlets to our side to make that a viable strategy. Even the dumbest righty knows better than to invite government oversight; in the name of ‘fairness’, that gambit would shut down the few mechanisms where the right does exceed.
In fits and starts, we’ve had the right idea. Fox ties up enough leftists in hyperventilating screeds that make it a worthy endeavor for that reason alone. Also, Shepherd Smith is just fun. Breitbart’s efforts freaked out just the sort of people the right should be upsetting if we want to get back on top. If you read the existing right-minded sites, both political and cultural, we honestly do have the better writers. It’s not as if we haven’t got a few tenuous footholds.
We handily won the first round in the new media wars. We figured out the value in blogging, data-analytics, and talk radio before the left did. And then we walked away and let them have it all. Millennia from now, archaeologists will puzzle over why the GOP abandoned cutting edge technology for no discernible reason and then refused to return to things they knew worked.
We aren’t going to change the mindset of the existing media. But we can build our own. Incidentally, this is how Kuhn holds a scientific revolution works. The old guard doesn’t convert. They just become irrelevant and die out. We can also start fighting back and lot more. If you’re defending, you’re losing. We can attack much more than we do. Demand proof, demand to see the data set, verify quotes, factcheck everything. The ultimate goal should be to put it into the head of the accountability journalists and similar vile species that anything they print will be taken to pieces and any inaccuracy or lie will be bounced around a hostile echo chamber.
We could start seriously covering non-political news and softly infusing our ethos throughout. It would be like Salon/Slate/HuffPo/Vanity Fair/The Daily Beast/Rolling Stone/47 bazillion undifferentiated others…but it would stand out because it wouldn’t be saying the same damn thing as 47 bazillion other ‘funky and irreverent’ cultural news sites.
That’s just scratching the surface of what we could do. It does all come down to money, finally. Even writers need to eat. Some say there’s a soft romantic hazy gracefulness to the struggling scribe in his drafty garret. That’s not quite it. Successful and comfortable people think it’s romantic if they have a friend who is a struggling writer in a drafty garret. No one actually wants that life.
If we want the number of analysts, commentators, journalists, and others who generate original content to make a real advance against the biased media, we going to need to do better than the current set-up, where almost no one get paid to write and those who do overwhelmingly don’t make enough to stick around.
Writing is one of those skills that everyone praises, everyone agrees is rare and worth paying for, everyone says is vital…and, at least politically, no one pays for. Maybe it’s that a job that consists of staring at paper and staring into space and staring at a screen strikes other people as made up. Maybe, as I like to tell myself, they’re all jealous that they can’t write.
However, as I sit here seeking a conclusion, someone in the background is watching House Hunters International. A woman who writes scripts for Xena: Warrior Princess is buying a three floor apartment in the 6th arrondissement. As a second home. I’ve changed my mind. Disregard it all. I’ll write garbage for basic cable and do better than I ever could by championing liberty.
Praise for PPC From Our Lefty "Fan"
- "Zany-ass bombast-entertainment...Hackneyed weirdo communist pseudo-nostalgia" --Alan Franklin, ProgressNow
- PPC Training for Activists
UPDATE: Something apparently got messed up with the PayPal buttons during this past weekend’s database glitch – fixed now. Yes, it’s that time again — PPC will be conducting training classes for center-right activists on Saturday, April 20 and Saturday, April 27, at Independence Institute in Denver. The tentative class schedule is as follows: Saturday, [...]
- Holder’s First Letter to Paul Precipitates the Best Filibuster Ever
- The Lamest Twitter Argument Ever Offered?
- Return of the PPC Re-Education Camps – You Know You Want to Be There
- Supreme Courts Blesses Warrantless Surveillance of Citizens in a Kafkaesque Farce
- GOP Elite and the Ruling Class
- Do We Now Get to Call Joe Salazar a “Rapist”?