We Ignore Them At Our Own Peril

What Eric Boehlert said. Times a thousand.

If the left ignores Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, D.C. reporters will spend their time reading legislative small print? Well, either that or an unchecked Limbaugh and Fox News will effectively destroy Democratic politicians and their initiatives with an endless barrages of lies and smears.

I’m thinking it’s the latter. And that’s only because history is on my side.

Ask John Kerry how initially ignoring the right-wing media’s meticulously planned-out Swift Boat Veterans for Truth smear campaign worked for him and Democrats in 2004. Ask the same question to former ACORN leaders who saw Congress move to defund the group based on the dishonest attacks waged by the right-wing media. Or ask National Public Radio’s former CEO, Vivian Schiller, who was forced to resign in the wake of a bogus right-wing smear campaign.

Ask any of those victims if they think the best way to combat the reckless nature of the far-right press is to pay its practitioners no mind.

The truth is, the far-right media in this country is waging a war.

It might feel futile and pointless at times, but it’s serious business and constant vigilance works. I will continue to talk about Rush Limbaugh until he and his co-conspirators are retired and using Medicare to get their Oxycontin (Viagra isn’t covered — sorry Rush).

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  • GrafZeppelin127

    As I mentioned in another thread, half of this country is living in an improv act. And they’re winning. Their fiction is much more interesting, and much more emotionally gratifying, than our reality.

    The fictional universe in which Fox and Limbaugh’s audiences live is fully-formed and, from their perspective, completely real. It can’t be dismantled now. What is delusional nonsense to us is self-evident truth to them. They know that 2 + 2 = 5. Their fiction, and their active resistance to recognizing our reality, is like a drug; it sustains and nourishes them, provides emotional satisfaction, makes them feel like heroes. They cannot be removed from the bubble or persuaded to leave or even look outside it. It is the only world they know, and the only world they care to know; it gives them everything they need. They cannot be educated about our world. Our world doesn’t exist to them. It is too late to save them.

    The best we can hope for is that those in the bubble stay in the bubble, and that no one else is drawn into it and takes up residence there. That’s the only thing that our vigilance can accomplish. And even then, it’s only temporary.

    • http://phydeauxpseaks.blogspot.com Bob Rutledge

      That entire comment is made of awesomesauce, but this sentence…

      Their fiction, and their active resistance to recognizing our reality, is like a drug; it sustains and nourishes them, provides emotional satisfaction, makes them feel like heroes.

      is worthy of an award for its succinct perfection (not to mention proper punctuation).

      Hopefully we can make the bubble impermeable, and watch it shrink as the inhabitants slowly die off of a combination of old age and intense hate of The Other.

    • Lazarus Durden

      *stands and applauds. Tosses a digital rose towardGrafZeppelini127* Bravo!

    • MrDHalen

      Agree! Agree! And, Agree!!!

      They’re a cult, and I don’t know how this can end nicely for us all.

    • trgahan

      I would add that they sow the very seeds of their own destruction. They still need to immerse themselves in their world view with 24 hour news and radio for it to work. They elect people who only need to promise things like constitution amendments that do nothing but codify their worldview. Such isolation and detachment only leads to marginalization as society simple moves on.
      President Obama’s election is a perfect example. We went from what may Faux News viewers saw as “final victory” in the post 9/11 Bush presidency to a black guy with a funny, Muslim sounding name. Their isolated world view had no construct to accept such an electoral loss, hence the meme of illegitimacy (Birthers), punishment of the disloyal (austerity) and demand that it never happen again (voter ID laws).

      • GrafZeppelin127

        I think it was the staggering and grotesque failure of the George W. Bush presidency that drove them off a cliff; the Obama election was just seasoning for the insanity stew. Perhaps without realizing it, some of these folks worshipped that man for years as the Best President Ever™, the Most Magnificent Leader in All History™, the Third Greatest Human Being Ever to Walk the Earth (Behind Jesus and Ronald Reagan, Not Necessarily in That Order)™. When the reality ultimately did not match what they wanted so desperately to believe, and that fact became inescapable, they simply created their own reality in order to escape the truth that they could not handle.

      • bphoon

        …they sow the very seeds of their own destruction.

        I agree. History also shows us that a movement that is so grounded in a fantasy world of its own creation is doomed to implode at some point. It’s simply unsustainable. Nazism is an example; Communism, as practiced by the USSR, is another. Jim Jones’s People’s Temple. The Moonies. Heaven’s Gate. Chinese Communists have had to make fundamental changes to their economic and social models to account for the undeniable realities of the world and remain viable.

        My take on the Tea Party, for example (anyone heard of one of their rallies lately?), is that the bulk of its membership were un- or under-informed lackeys who weren’t previously politically engaged. As such, political activism isn’t their natural condition. For sure, some individuals found an interest and talent for activism and have stuck around. But the great majority have gone back to their homes, farms, jobs, whatever, resumed listening to Limbaugh or Hannity and living their usual 9 to 5. The Tea Party was a flash in the pan that will probably hang around for a few more years to be a pain in our ass, but nothing more. As a potent political force, its days are numbered.

        Many of their chosen politicians,voted into office in 2010 as a reflex of the 2009 Tea Party sensation, have had to try to govern for two years now. From our perspective, of course, it’s been a complete disaster. The question is, have enough average American middle-of-the-roaders seen clearly enough through the GOP smoke screen to agree with us? Are enough of them fed up and ready to place the blame where it belongs? We’ll find out in November but when Norm Ornstien is calling bullshit on GOP obstructionist tactics, that should tell you something.

        In the meantime, all we can do is continue telling the truth as we see it and calling bullshit bullshit when we see it. I consider the GOP to be kind of like my coonhound. Coonhounds, by their nature, can be contrary and are certainly very stubborn. The trick to getting them to do what you want is to be more stubborn then they are. Our job is to be more stubborn than the right wing noise machine is.

    • villemar

      I have thought of those who marinate in this alternate reality as being hooked on an addictive drug. But what is so odd and confusing to me is why someone would choose this kind of opiate. In other words, I understand why people get addicted to drugs, because they make you feel pleasure from a massive barrage of dopamine or whatever. It makes you feel good. Using the drug analogy, how can people get off on and become addicted to a steady fix of negative emotional stimuli: hate and venom and bile and rage? I can’t think of anything comperable in the natural or pharmaceutical world.

      • GrafZeppelin127

        Remarkably enough, hate and venom and bile and rage feel really, really good. Especially when there is something specific to direct them against, something the psyche perceives as loathsome and threatening; these are very base, very instinctual emotions, from what Freud would call the id.

        I agree that it really must suck to walk around all day feeling so much hate, venom, bile and rage; for me, that would be a terrible way to live. But for them, feeling all that hate, venom, bile and rage and then turning on the radio or TV and hearing the same hate, venom, bile and rage from the host, perceived as some sort of authority figure for no other reason that (s)he is on the radio or the TV, and the guest, perceived as even more of an authority figure because the host thought him/her important enough to have on the show, validates that hate, venom, bile and rage, makes it seem not only normal but correct.

        In the end, the hate, venom, bile and rage make the person feel nothing if not heroic. Right-wing politics is all about making its adherents feel like the heroes in an epic, binary struggle between the forces of Good™ and Evil™. In order to feel heroic, one must first feel victimized; one cannot be a hero without having to overcome forces more powerful than oneself. Hence the wild paranoid fantasies and conspiracy theories, the caricaturing of Democratic politicians and constituencies as impossibly powerful and inscrutably evil comic-book villains, deserving of all that hate, venom, bile and rage because of all the evil things they’ve done and are secretly desiring/planning to do.

        I think what I’m trying to say, in a lot more words than were probably necessary, is that hate, venom, bile and rage have the same effect as drugs; they “make you feel pleasure from a massive barrage of” adrenaline and endorphins. On the surface it might seem sadomasochistic, but when you consider the hero angle it becomes easy to understand.

  • Lazarus Durden

    Sock it to ‘em Bob!

  • Victor_the_Crab

    We need more than just you Bob to point how how sociopathic the right wing noise machine is in it’s destruction of America. A lot more who are not afraid of any reprocutions that might come their way from speaking out.

  • Miranda

    Thank you!

    and let’s not think for a minute that the “right wing” noise machine is limited to Fox, or the psychopaths on talk radio. Reading what is supposed to be straight reporting for most newspapers and watching the “reporting” and “analysis” on CNN, questions on the Sunday shows, or the news sections of AOL, Yahoo, etc….and it is no different from Fox. They all pick up the talking points and use passive-aggressive tactics to incorporate those talking points into every article involving politics.