Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

It was George W, drunk at the wheel!

The problem of a supine media is not only that they deliver lies so long as they are spoken by the President in front of the flag, it is also that there is no place to go to find the truth that is not under attack by the Radical Right. Reporting has become a balance of "opinions." This is confusing to the nonpolitical, and they would prefer to tune out the raucousness. This, and the need to win politically and soon, have distilled themselves into a recurring dream.
I am in the front passenger's seat of the car. It is dark and raining. Mom, Grandma and the two kids are in the back seat. My idiot brother-in-law is driving, and he's drunk. I'm telling him to watch out, pull over, let me drive, and he's just getting madder and going faster. I'm faced with the dilemma of whether to try to wrestle the wheel away, pull the key from the ignition, or continue a fruitless argument.

The folks in the back seat definitely know something is wrong, but they can't quite see what. I try to tell them, and point out the lurching and hitting barricades and driving in the wrong lane against traffic is not what we want. But the idiot brother-in-law screams louder about how I'm trying to destroy the family and it's my jealousy and all kinds of BS that don't even make sense to me. I look over, and it is not my brother-in-law, it is George W. Bush with his knuckles white on the wheel.

The dry drunk has control of the car. The people with the real power are the people with the purses in the back seat. He will do what they tell him, but they're scared, confused and can't see clearly out the windshield.
"Democrats can't win and Republicans can't govern," it is said. The Right has focused on winning at all cost and gotten hold of the keys without learning how to drive. But winning has to do with getting the people in the back seat to say, "Pull over George. Let John drive." Getting them to say that means we need to talk to them where they are, about the issues they can see.

This does not mean abdicating the defense of the Bill of Rights nor foreign policy issues that get indistinct in the mist of competing claims. But the same sponsors that brought you the lies of Iraq bring you the lies of Big Oil, the Medicare drug fiasco, the denial on climate change, the corruption, and inevitably the absence of security.
One trick the Rove media machine pulls out is to make outrage look like hysteria. And a little bit of excess neutralizes a lot of good when it gets twisted by the master. Look like what happened in the George W was AWOL situation. The guy got special treatment from pulling strings, didn't show up for training, and at best sat in an office reading magazines hiding from the War, but because CBS ran a piece with some forged papers, the issue is neutralized. Never mind that the roster of chicken hawks didn't serve, compared to the Democrats whose patriotism they challenged.

Who remembers the duplicity exposed in Newt Gingrich's phone call? All we remember Jim McDermott's endless defense against the leak.
The issues that resonate with the back seat are everywhere.

The first one is character.
It is becoming more and more clear that you cannot trust these guys. Enumerate the One Thousand One Lies of George W. Bush. This is even the softest spot about Iraq, the intentional public lying. The corruption, both the Abramoffs and the Enrons.

Then security. Climate change with no possibility of a missile shield, the incompetent ignoring of the WMD stockpiles in the former Soviet Union, and really, the inadequacy of secret police action in protecting us against terrorism.

Finally, the economy. The evaporation of a surplus into an enormous and growing debt, the continual bleeding of jobs, losing the social safety net. Careful, don't get hysterical again.

Speaking to the people in the back seat is a little bit of what George Lakoff was talking about in his moral politics. The perspective is completely changed when W turns out not to be the solid citizen, but the drunk behind the wheel.

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