Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Less Than a Blessed Week
You can't entirely give up on PBS and NPR. I know some of the folks at our local NPR affiliate, WUNC. They're really great people, they do a dedicated job with terrific professionalism, and before there was a home computer in my life, I used to wake up every morning to their voices, informing me in advance of the things that mattered in the upcoming day. These days I have a classical station on the radio alarm. It goes off and I'm up and cutting it off in less than a minute. Then I make coffee, and feed the Houdahenians (who are up to three packets of Whiskahs now, and big as panthers when they decide to jump off a perch onto my chest). If I'm lucky at that point I'll get some puter time, reading the events of the day via good bloggers, doing a bit of writing, whatever. When it starts to get light I'll look out the kitchen door and usually find Momma looking up at me. Pops, the old reprobate, is also hanging around these days, and will steal Momma's food if I don't give him some dry bits to keep him interested in what's in front of his nose. I can't believe we now have, more or less depending on how you term the two wild ones, 5 cats. Lordy. We'd done fine with just one, our little Yoey. Life has changed. Last night Libby said it was my childhood dream to keep them all. I don't remember that dream.
Nonetheless, the pernicious and on going task David Brooks has set himself--to make the increasing vile and grotesque politics generated by the Republican Party palatable to the general public by explaining that the Democrats are the cause, and do "it" too--is greatly abetted by Brooks' presence on the Jim Lehrer News Hour, and I refuse to abet it further by sending PBS any more money. And now the same is going to be true for NPR. Mara Liasson, who now works for Fox, did the trick yesterday afternoon on the way home from work. She offered up a seemingly centrist analysis of the campaign so far. According to her, the decisive moment was the Denver debate. That would be the first one, the one Mr. Obama "lost." According to Ms Liasson, who delivered her verdict in the tones of a scholar, and was joined on the segment by the forever amiable Doris Kerns Goodwin, who predictably invoked FDR (although I had my money on a Kennedy ref), Mr. Obama was brought to earth by that first debate, which proved that he had taken Mr. Romney lightly and, even more shockingly, did not really like politics all that much. Was of "two minds" was I think the phrase.
The goal of all these "centrists" is to find "reasons" sufficient to justify a vote for Romney amongst the mysterious undecided voters who apparently lurk in the shadows of the electorate and end up deciding every election, or at least the ones not stolen by frauds, repressions, and the Supreme Court. So it comes down again to arguments by Mr. Brooks and now Ms Liasson, which essentially conclude that "really" there's not all that much to be concerned about with Mr. Romney, if you're just bored with Mr. Obama and want a "change."
Charlie Pierce does not go so quietly into that dark night. As usual, he's absolutely right:
This is the choice. Authoritarian bullshit, v. somebody who does have a reasonable perception of reality. If the authoritarians really get a good foothold, I expect their complete contempt for democracy will eventually wend itself into political action even more than it is already--see, e.g., the internal sonogram government rape laws, and the assorted voter suppression i.d. laws. Mr. Romney represents the forces of repressive authority. That is what a vote for him amounts to. And here's how authoritarian thinking works, just as example:
They will come for you next, my friend. Unless, of course, the next big storm doesn't arrive first.
[photo from http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/10/pictures/121030-hms-bounty-sinks-science-nation-sandy-weather/ ]