By David Glenn Cox
It is as plain as the trunk on the face of an elephant, and as obscene
as the video of a sweating, bouncing, black-shirted Rush Limbaugh; our
economy is in free fall. The roadrunner sticks his tongue out, and
“Beep beep,” watches us fall to the canyon floor below, and all that is
left is the “Splat!”
Forty-five days in and the media have
already begun calling this the “Obama Bear Market.” The Republican
talking points try helplessly to explain that Obama has caused this,
and even more extreme is the opposite view. “Do you think this market
is Obama’s doing?”
“No, of course not. The roots of this
crisis are deep; they go back even before the last administration.”
Translation, it’s all Bill Clinton’s fault and George W. Bush had
nothing to do with it. I wish I could have manufactured Republican
Crazy Eight balls. You shake them up and no matter what question you
ask, the answer is, “It’s Bill Clinton’s fault!” No need for “Ask again
later” or “Answer unclear,” its just Bill Clinton’s fault.
has happened to the Republicans is a physical and spiritual death; they
have become the Kaiser party of 1918 or the Democrats after the
American Civil War. It’s not that they don’t have any leaders, it’s
that they don’t have any followers. The emperor’s new clothes have been
discovered to be frauds, so who is going to stand up and announce, “I
use the same tailor.” It’s a tough sell, trying to convince the public
these days that all we need is more deregulation and tax cuts for the
The Republicans made loud noises against the bail out
of the big three automakers. Certain of their own correctness, after
making their public pronouncements they returned to their offices to
discover piles of hate mail. The public, by a seven to three margin,
supported the auto bail out. Ditto, the stimulus package. Still the
Republicans are arguing for fewer lifeboats on the Titanic, after it
hit the iceberg.
The rise of Limbaugh reminds me of the old
Laurel and Hardy gag where the Sargeant asks for volunteers to step
forward and everyone takes one step back. Limbaugh is the least
grounded in reality; his shtick is emotional rhetoric, hate mongering
and fear mongering. He controls the microphone; he can say the moon is
made of green cheese today and made of ice cream tomorrow. Limbaugh has
challenged the President of the United States to a debate. Obviously
the President is not going to debate the bulbous, evil Michelin man, so
of course Limbaugh will say, “See, he’s afraid of me.”
be fun, fun way past the point of hysterical, if Obama were to answer,
“Sure, I’ll debate you, if, you can beat me in a nationally televised
game of one-on-one basketball. First one to twenty-five wins!” After
all, Limbaugh made the challenge, so Obama gets his choice of weapons.
was once said that Prussia, rather than being a country with an army,
was an army with a country. That state spent forty percent of all its
resources on the military, so of course foreign policy became
automatic. The rise of the modern Republican Party follows a similar
trail. Kennedy beat Nixon with a much savvier media campaign. Goldwater
was demolished by Johnson’s nuclear countdown commercial.
Reagan administration got it, as did their corporate sponsors. Reagan’s
elimination of the “Fairness Doctrine” rivals in clarity the Third
Reich’s enabling acts. The modern Republican Party, rather than being a
party with a media operation, is a media operation with a political
party. It was Roger Ailes who put Limbaugh on the air. He was the man
in charge of the fledgling Fox News when it was hemorrhaging millions
of dollars a year. That’s all right, the payoff is on the other end.
the 2000 election to the firing of Dan Rather, the right wing media
controlled the issues. The estate tax became the death tax. John Kerry
was a combat veteran who didn’t deserve his medals; his two combat
tours in Vietnam were spent lollygaging. George W. Bush was a patriotic
hero, defending Houston and Montgomery from the Viet Cong. The facts
were out there as plain as, well, plain as the trunk on an elephant’s
face. But the media cried foul at investigating Bush’s records, yet
published the swift boater’s stories.
Stories of the later
Florida recounts were brushed aside as old news or dissected to tell
only the appropriate slant on the story. No one in the mainstream media
pointed out the obvious, that with sanctions, inspections and bombings
Saddam had no chance in hell of creating a nuclear program, or that the
shelf life of chemical weapons is measured in days or weeks, and since
we were his source of supply we knew damn well that he didn’t have any.
The media machines poured out the pabulum and dissenting voices were
Not just liberal voices or conservative voices, but
any voices not towing the Republican line. Hillary Clinton complained
of the vast right wing conspiracy and was lambasted as a crybaby and a
whiner. Was she wrong? Is Fox News fair and balanced? MSNBC has become
a punching bag for the right because of Keith Olbermann and Rachel
Maddow, yet employs Joe Scarborough for just as many hours and then
it’s conservatives all day long. CNN has either lost or sold it’s soul
to the devil. Gone are the days of Peter Arnett and the Scud Stud; CNN
is now the corporate news network of Time Warner.
They are about
as insightful and informative as a sixth grade book report. Lou Dobbs
rants with all the right questions and then draws all the wrong
conclusions, a poor man’s Father Coughlin. He rants about the stupidity
of both Republicans and Democrats, and he hates the government. Gee,
where have I heard that before? Isn’t there another rich fat man on the
air someplace who also hates the government?
But the train wreck
that was the second Bush Administration has destroyed the façade.
Still, Fox News interviews optimistic job seekers at a New York job
fair. Two, count them, two, without another word as to how many job
seekers actually showed up. See? It’s not so bad, with a few tax cuts
and some deregulation it will be just fine. Aren’t you just outraged?
Raising taxes on millionaires? Shame on them. Don’t they realize that
they’re not rich, they’re merely entrepreneurs? They create jobs, so
they deserve a free ride.
The face of the Republican Party is
wearing clown makeup. Politicians, of the republican ilk, dodge rocks
every time they try to speak. Michael Steele has tried to rebrand the
Republicans, but the name Silly Putty was already taken. They eat their
young as they jockey for position. The line is short to make the next
Republican response speech; I don’t think Bobby Jindal wants to go
again. But rest assured, the Republican noise machine is alive and well
and spewing crap everywhere. Timothy Geitner is regularly called a tax
cheat, but we hear no comment about Sarah Plain having to repay the
state for fraudulent vouchers.
Moderates are liberals and the
far right are described as moderates. Nancy Pelosi sleeps under a
hammer and sickle, and Obama will not rest until he enslaves your
children, chaining them to the plows of the state. The mainstream media
is up nights and weekends trying to find terms to describe our current
economy as anything but what it is. The “Great Recession” or the “Mini
Depression,” when what this is, is no less than the “Great Collapse.”
we are staring into the abyss as our view of the roadrunner with his
tongue stuck out drops from sight. America no longer has its huge
industrial base or the accompanying cash resources to pull us out of
this. That is the downside of a service economy. When the money goes
away how are the poor going to restart the economy by supplying
services to the poor? The media won’t tell you that, they won’t even
discuss it, just as they don’t discuss the growing poverty in America
or mention global warming in conjunction with strange weather patterns
like tornadoes in January. Yet they laugh and chuckle when a rally
against global warming gets snowed on. Environmental doom for our
grandchildren, now ain’t that funny!
The news media is hurting
in this economy, so now is the time to slay the beast. Now is the time
to go to their web sites and let them know what you think about them.
Fox revenues are down 40%; that is where the Republicans live. The
people you see on TV are actors in the ultimate Fox Reality series
called, “Man, are they gullible.” It’s been twenty years since I’ve
used Gold Bond Powder they advertise on Rush’s show, and I’ve never
tasted Snapple for the same reason. It’s time to stop putting your
money where their mouth is.
photo by jamesmyerstheentertainm
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.