Lying Media Bastards

November 6, 2006

The Glorious Republican Meltdown, Part 1

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It’s nice to see a little sanity creep back into the American public.

9/11 did not “change everything forever”, as so many people liked to say. It did brutally notify many Americans that they were not living in the world they thought they were living in. The mudane comfort of the daily commute, fast food, and television were blown apart, as an uninformed nation, with little understanding the world outside its borders, was attacked by strangers. Without any knowledge or context, all Americans seemed to know was that this attack had been completely unexpected, which meant that an attack like this could happen anywhere, at any time.

I don’t think this can be emphasized enough. Americans don’t know much about the rest of the world. Our schools don’t teach it to us, and our media covers the rest of the world as a series of unexplained conflicts and natural disasters. As far as most Americans were concerned, the 9/11 attacks literally came out of nowhere, a horrific, unexplained enigma.

Then President Cowboy Guy stood up. He said words of comfort, words of revenge and action. A terrified public sank back, relieved. “Thank god! He knows what to do.” And I think for many Americans, their mental well-being rested solely on that. “I’m terrified because we were attacked and could be attacked again. I don’t know who these terrorists are or why they want to hurt me. I don’t know anything about Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan or Islam or Osama bin Laden, and I wouldn’t even know where to start learning. But the president sounds confident, and if I put my faith in him, I can set aside the terror and live my life again.” Because of this, I think any criticism of the president or the war was a threat to the psychological well-being of millions. “If you’re right and the president’s incompetent, then I have to be afraid again, and I can’t handle that. Shut up shutupshutupshutup!!! Traitor! Terrorist!”

And now, enough time has passed that the fear seems to have subsided. At least, subsided enough that these Americans can think rationally again. There have been no terrorist attacks on Americans since then, and the TV news has given us a little understanding of the Middle East. “Shia. Sunni. Fallujah. Okay, I’m starting to get the hang of this.” With this evolving relief and understanding, they’re looking around after years of tense haze, years of war and corruption and creeping racing authoritarianism and saying “wait, did the newsman just say that a Congressman has been molesting teenagers?*”

Which is a good place to start, Americans regaining sanity and assessing the situation.

Their biggest concern, of course, is Iraq. The ever-utilitarian American public is saying “if we were helping the Iraqi people fix their country, I could support the occupation. But it seems like we have no plans, and things are just getting worse. Therefore, we should leave.” Bush’s attempts to convince us that we’re making great strides in Iraqi stability and democracy are foiled by even the most cursory glance at the news. He also seems unable to express anything that would convince Americans that he has a plan to fix things. And therefore…

Now that Bush’s approval ratings have been in the low 40s and under for over a year, our media finally feels ready to spring into action. They finally feel secure that he’s not going to surge back to dominance, so they don’t have to fear his wrath quite so much. In addition to that, the Mark Foley scandal gave them something to work with (nothing gives the Washington press corps a manic high quite like a sex scandal).

Suddenly, it seemed like every Republican Congressional candidate had a scandal. Corruption, bribery, racism, assault. Hell, some Republican Congressmen are actually going to prison. American distrust of politicians was starting to rear it’s ugly head, along with some disgust, and anger. Fool me 1,874 consecutive days, shame on you. Fool me 1,875, shame on me.

The poll reporting helped too. I’m pretty sure that polls showing that Americans were tired of Republicans and leaning towards Democrats made it seem as though the Democrats actually had a chance. And if other people were voting Democrat, maybe it was okay for YOU to vote Democrat. Conventional wisom originally said that the Democrats would pick up a few seats in the House of Representatives, possibly enough to control it, but that the Senate would probably stay Republican. Now the predictions are that Democrats will overwhelmingly take the House and probably take control of the Senate as well.

And then John Kerry told a dumb joke.

At this point, I temporarily lost my mind. Not that I’m some big Democrat or Kerry fan, or supporter of the troops. The fact that the news media gave this any attention, let alone 1-2 days of blanket coverage… John Kerry, who is not running for any office this year says something, and Republicans who are not running against John Kerry call press conferences to denounce him and demand that he apologize? And then make the really lame stretch that this joke of Kerry’s shows his contempt for the military, ergo all Democrats feel contempt for the military, ergo you should vote Republican so the troops can stay and get their asses blown up in Iraq? What kind of idiots run our media? This was rumor-monging, the sort of shit you’d hear on a playground in elementary school. “Billy said something to Jimmy, and now Jimmy’s mad, and Suzy thinks Billy should apologize but he won’t, and now Sheila’s all mad too, and omigod I just Brian pick his nose and eat it!” Jesus Christ. Someone needs to keelhaul these motherfuckers.

OF COURSE John Kerry doesn’t respect the troops. None of our politicians do! How else could we explain sending 150,000 of them to risk their lives for oil, empire, or political expediency (depends on the Congressman)?

But now the media are back on course. Gay, drug-abusing pastor. Saddam Hussein’s trial verdict. Trained experts debating whether or not Michael J. Fox’s Parkinsons symptoms are real or fake. Illegal immigrants are crossing the border to convert you to Islam and abort your fetuses. New movie about exploding car detective cleans up at the box office.

Still, I’ve got a bit of hope.

More tonight. Just wanted to get something up on the site before the election craziness takes over.

* yes, I know that Mark Foley did not (to our knowledge) actually molest teenagers. But I think that the details of the story were often lost on a nation who’s greatest fear is that our kids will be kidnapped and molested.

Posted by Jake on November 6, 2006 8:06 am

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