Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Madness Returns

By Robert Parry
November 22, 2009

The hoopla over former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s memoir is the latest sign that the madness, which has dominated American political life for most of the last three decades, has returned – and may be on its way to a political restoration in 2010 and beyond.

Read on.


ChMoore said...

I'd rather not notice Palin, but presently if I want anything from any media outlet, it seems I have no choice.

Two things I've observed:

1. She's had a habit of turning on a number of former co-workers who had supported her in previous offices - and later, McCain's campaign staff.

2. She's devoid of any cognitive reasoning. If there are any dots anywhere, no matter how unrelated, she will connect them anyway, usually in such a way that the result spells 'so-and-so is wrong, therefore Sarah is right' - in lights.

In that sense it's like, even when she's not talking about religion, she's still a fundamentalist, in a secular way.

Henk said...

Mr. Parry seems to have some problem with lefties. More then sitting on the sideline cricising the left is the ONLY reason that health care reform has any teeth at all. Its "crazy" lefties (Maybe Mr Parry would prefer DFH to refer to the left.) who would have opened up medicare for all. A proposal the would save the nation billions.

As for the 2000 elections I'd like a little proof that we were the ones saying there wasn't a dimes bit of difference between the parties. True some on the left voted for Nader, but only in safe state were Gore was sure to win. And that was done mostly to inflate Green numbers. Had Gore listened to the Left he may have won the election.

Maybe Mr. Parry is one of those that feels to be taken serously he must kick the DFHs in the teeth now and then. Maybe just for giggles Democrats should try listening to the left once and a while. Clinton, and now Obama, listened to the much sainted middle and look what the get. In fact Mr. Parry's piece is a good arguement FOR listening to the left.

racetoinfinity said...

True, Palin and the irrational right are part of/play to the pre-rational ethnocentric mythic-membership level, which sees the world in black and white, and aligns itself to myths, so as not to have to do the "hard work" of thinking for onself, let alone endure the rigors of the rational level and growing beyond.

Parry's defense of Obama and Clinton, no matter how beseiged they were or have been by the feral right, doesn't hold water. Both have proven to be neoliberal corporatists who are tied hand and foot to their masters, the rich elite of Wall St. and mega-corps. To ignore this reality is to live in another kind of dreamland.

True we need a progressive media structure, and it's actually been growing lately; we need more, but to ignore Obama's true colors, and to keep excusing his many economic and civil rights turns of a very neoliberal (and in some cases neoconservative) nature is an exercise in futility. Do you really think he hired Geithner and Summers because they knew how to REFORM the banksters? That has proven as much an illusion as the belief that Palin can make a good intellectual leader.

knowbuddhau said...

Thanks for posting this, it's the process I'm always on about: making myths, carefully crafted cover stories, is the state of the art in managing electorates.

@racetoinfinity: myth is not synonymous with lie. A myth is a metaphor, a vessel for going from ignorance to enlightenment, or the other way around.

Even a cursory look back at the jacking of our health CARE (not coverage) debate shows us that facts don't have anywhere near the power, to move electorates, that myths do.

We got jacked to war in Iraq by the power of myths of WMDs in the hands of the "wrong" people coming to kill us in our sleep tonight, not by facts.

The neocons’ behind-the-scenes victories over those two groups -- made easier by the American Left’s abandonment of the information battlefield -- proved decisive in setting the nation’s political course for three decades. The United States veered off into Reagan’s world of fear and fantasy. [For details, see Robert Parry's Secrecy & Privilege. ]

With the neocons again pulling the strings -- at the CIA’s analytical division and with the Washington press corps -- the American people were guided to the conclusion that the neocons wanted, an invasion of Iraq.

There you have it. That's exactly what I've been calling myth-jacking.

And I can point to a section in this article that engages in a bit of myth-making, too.

In the 10 months since Obama was inaugurated on that bitterly cold day in January, he has been transformed from a beacon of hope and change into a cautionary tale, a symbol of what happens to a thoughtful man who is overly accommodating to both rivals and erstwhile allies.

By letting health-reform deadlines slip -- and especially allowing Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus to dilly-dally by negotiating with Republicans who simply wanted to string out the process -- Obama managed to look weak and indecisive, rather than bipartisan and conciliatory.

And the times when his administration has acted forthrightly, such as when it released evidence of George W. Bush’s torture policies and announced trials in New York federal court for five 9/11 defendants, the right-wing and mainstream news media have portrayed those reasonable decisions as controversial, if not unpatriotic and un-American.

Meanwhile, the American Left has reverted to its role as sideline critic, giving Obama almost no credit for his brave acts and lots of blame for his compromises. Progressives also have done little to build an infrastructure of media, think tanks and other institutions that can challenge today’s right-wing dominance in what the Right likes to call the "war of ideas."

My revered, esteemed, personally inspiring elder brother, to paraphrase Jerry Lee Lewis, you got a whole lotta inferrin' goin' on.

What makes us think Obama isn't, for example, a stalking horse for Goldman Sachs and other corporate interests? How 'bout that backroom deal with Big Phrma?

Just as the neocons captured enough of the Washington media elite and the CIA's analytical division, what covert economic ops have been and are underway?

Why did Obama retain all those Bush officials? Why keep Geithner, Summers, et al? Why keep the architects of the torture program at the top of the intelligence community?

I'm not so sure Obama is an outsider at this charade. And even MLK himself would face violent opposition if he--oh wait, that's right, he did.

Obama is neither an idiot nor an innocent. If he wanted change we can believe in, he a) wouldn't have been financed by Goldman Sachs to begin with; and b) he would've put real progressives in charge of the economy, not obvious Perkinsian economic hit men like Geithner, Summers, and the gang of thieves from Goldman damn Sachs.

knowbuddhau said...

Ah, behold the power of the self-righteous screed--mine, that is. I forgot to mention how much I agree with you, on the importance of the Left developing a focused and dedicated resistance to the myth-making of the Right.

I'm always on about the power of myth, right? What power in the universe is greater even than the power of myth?

Truth. Not mere facts, not umpteen terabytes of data analyzed by insanely fast computers; simple, unadorned truth, delivered in a narrative in the metaphorical language of myths that speak to the heart of us all.

@ChMoore: Palin is a stalking moose of the lesser Kristol's Ceasarist neocon crew. They're master myth-jackers.

Or how 'bout this: she's an armed and dangerous stalking Barbie doll for some of the same neocon crazies Parry describes in the article.

Taking Palin's words at face value is like staking out the Easter Bunny or going to the North Pole to find Santa.