Thursday, October 28, 2004

Drowning In The Big Swim, Rising To The Surface...

On this past Tuesday, Wolcott mused on whether the right wing is already rationalizing defeat. He based this on viewing Faux News and noticing that several times that day they had played the "liberal media bias" card. He notes that this tired trope might be in some way a pre-defense against a Bush defeat.

I'm noticing another old trope that's coming back to haunt us in the last days of this campaign. This morning, opposite a nice summation of the what the eff is wrong with the GOP by Tom Frank , NPR played commentary by one Karl Zinmeister of the American Enterprise Magazine (which appears to be a propoganda arm of the American Enterprise Institute). In it, Mr. Zinmeister offers the by now only slightly less tired trope that the current Republican Party is really the party of the "little guy". ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME?

The funniest part of this compare contrast is that since they played Frank first, you get to hear the refutation, and then the promulgation. But what's truly maddening is hearing the same tired mix match of unconnected facts and spurious logic that allows Zinmeister to draw his conclusion. And given where he's coming from, it's highly unlikely that it's just sloppy reasoning. The AEI is a think tank designed to come up with arguments in favor of "reforms" that essentially place taxpayer money in the hands of unelected money grubbers (this isn't vulgar Marxism, it's what brokerage houses say they're all about) instead of an elected body that is admittedly corrupt, but at least provides a means of recourse.

In the commentary, you hear the usual cultural charactarization of those who prefer democractic institutions to financial ones as "rich elitist liberals". This characterization is then used to make a series of policy arguments. Am I the only one who finds this less than geniune? Let us itemize the inanity.

  • Nascar Dads vote Republican because they are rugged individualists.

  • The party that passed No Child Left Behind wants choice in schools.

  • The question of social security, a question of numbers and analysis is actually a cultural question about market populists versus elitists.

  • Some Democrats make 100,000 a year. They should be ignored because...they're not poor.

  • Elitists who think that complex problems deserve analysis by people who know something about the specific problem are less reliable and less democratic than common folk. It follows that the next time I need brain surgery I should let Nascar Dads diagnose the problem and perform the surgery.

I have anecdotal evidence to suggest that the real elitists are still Republican, and they ain't Nascar Dads. Since I'm one of those "upper income elitist liberals" I feel it is only necessary to point out that my bosses, who all make literally 10 times my salary are Republicans. Not only that, take a look at the "New Establishment" article in last month's Vanity Fair. There you'll find thumbnail profiles of every major CEO in the country. Guess what? Nearly 70% of them support Bush.

Oh yeah, this friend of the workin' man, Mr. Zinmeister is a senior fellow at the AIE. Do you get senior fellowships without at least a Masters? ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME?

The reason to point out this marlakey again and again is because it's being brought up again. This is exactly the sort of stuff we heard all through the 1990's(see One Market Under God), and it's suddenly being re-hashed again, just like liberal bias. More pre-defense of a Bush loss?