Friday, May 02, 2008

The Liberal Media Is At Again!

In case you haven't seen it, here is the cover of current issue of Newsweek-

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If you can't read it, the cover shows a piece of lettuce (arugula, specifically) one side, a beer on the other side, and the headline-- "Obama's Bubba Gap"-- in between. Yes, that's what this election comes down to... lettuce vs. beer.

To be fair, the actual story inside the magazine is much fairer to Obama than the cover would indicate, though only in comparison. But how many people actually read these articles? Not too many, I bet. Now how many people will see this cover on a newsstand and make judgments from that alone? A lot.

This Newsweek cover story is the culmination of the narrative that's been building for a month now in the campaign, and is in turn a rerun of the narrative that our friends in the liberal media have perpetuated for many elections now... namely that the Democratic front-runner is an elitist pussy who hates America and apple pie. Funny how that always happens. Ignore that Obama's two opponents in this race make him look like a damn pauper and have been pandering to the America people left and right at the most base and insulting levels. Sen. Obama bought lettuce at Whole Foods once and doesn't think we can bomb all our problems away, so it's clear that he is a big loser who should not be President. Maybe he needs to buy a cowboy hat and start clearing some brush, and then the White House will be handed to him on a silver platter.

It's funny that this magazine came out the same week that I picked up Glenn Greenwald's new book, 'Great American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myths of Republican Politics'. In the preface, Greenwald sums up this cut-and-paste narrative better than most-
"For the past three decades, American politics has been driven by a bizarre anomaly. Polls continuously show that on almost every issue, Americans vastly prefer the policies of the Democratic Party to those of the Republican Party. Yet during that time, the Republicans have won the majority of elections... The most important factor, by far, is that the Republican Party employs the same set of personality smears and mythical, psychological, and cultural images to win elections...

...Time and time again, Americans vote Republican due to their perceptions that right-wing leaders exude such admirable personality traits as courage, convinction, strength, wholesome family morality, identification with the 'regular guy', an affection for the military, fiscal restraint, and a belief in the supremacy of the individual over the government. Ronald Reagan, the wholesome 'Everyman' rancher, and George W. Bush, the swaggering, conquering cowboy, rode to victory on the basis of the cartoon imagery and marketing themes that defined them.

Liberals and Democrats generally are relentlessly depicted as the opposite. Liberals are weak, irresolute, anti-military, elitist, effete, amoral, sexually deviant, profligate, and antagonistic to the values of 'Real Americans'...

...But these GOP marketing packages are complete fabrications. They bear no relationship to reality...

...Discussions of political candidates in the establishment press are driven primarily by these personality caricatures. These vapid depictions completely drown out any examination of substantive issues, the candidates' positions, or even the truth of their claims."

To quote 'Battlestar Galactica', all of this has happened before. All of this will happen again.

In an article for The Atlantic last December, Andrew Sullivan explained his support for Obama by acknowledging his disagreements with the Senator on some things, but stated that "our divisions and recent history have combined to make the American polity and constitutional order increasingly vulnerable" and that Obama was the "candidate [who] could transcend them." A pretty large onus to put on one man. And that same poisoned debate Sullivan lamented is now working overtime to prevent that from happening. Ultimately, it's up to us-- not Obama-- to decide this November whether we want to (finally) move past all this crap or not.

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