Wednesday, May 30, 2018

If You Can't Dazzle Them With Dexterity, Baffle Them With ...

I have noticed an interesting phenomenon ever since we elected an anthropomorphic STD to the White House. Every day there is a new revelation about the level of corruption in this administration, or gross incompetence, or possible collusion with Russia during the election. And every day, each of these revelations is followed by an army of right-wing commentators at all levels -- from national figures such as Laura Ingraham and Jeanine Pirro, all the way down to some guy in New Jersey who insists on calling everybody he disagrees with a "hack" and a "libtard" -- scrambling to justify trump's actions, or explain why it's not what it seems, or to demand that Hillary be investigated for something.

To paraphrase William Shakespeare, "they doth protest too much, methinks." Or, to put it another way, "If you see smoke, there's a pretty good chance there's fire." I have seen, countless times, a right-winger be confronted with actual facts concerning something trump said or did, only to have it thrown back ... with the added flaming pile of dog poo that is usually stuffed in a "Hillary deleted emails" bag.

The odd thing is that there are relatively few examples of the right trying to elevate trump. Almost all of the effort I see is geared toward bringing progressives down. It's almost as if the subtext is "Yeah, we know our guy's a total piece of crap, but your people are no better." Contrast this with the previous administration, when a) progressives didn't feel an overwhelming urge to justify President Obama's actions, trusting that the results would speak for themselves, and 2) on the rare occasions when they did chime in, it was to either acknowledge something really great or (far more frequently) to call him to task for something with which the commenter did not agree.

What this tells me is that conservatives know they have no leg to stand on, and are trying to compensate for -- or divert attention away from -- this fact. Let's look at some metrics:

All of these have one feature in common: the Republican Party is acting in opposition to the will of the very people they claim to represent ... and when confronted with this, instead of possibly adjusting their stance, the tactic is to scream louder that "people don't get it, and here's why," followed by an endless stream of "alternative facts." These run the gamut from cherry-picked coverage (citing Fox News' friendly coverage of the president and his gang) to outright pure fabrication (a story from YourNewsWire that claimed that Obama was selling the children of illegal immigrants into slavery).

The unfortunate thing is that the right seems to have suspended all critical thinking, so the Fox News biased, but basically factual, coverage of an event carries exactly the same weight as the bogus story about child slavery ... and the GOP is encouraging this behavior. Why?

It's easy, really. Something that donald trump knew from the beginning, and that the rest of the GOP is learning at is knee, is that if you inundate the media with enough bullshit, eventually it gets to the point where the opposition just can't keep up. Debunking everything coming from the right becomes an exercise in futility, simply because of the volume of garbage. It's like trying to clean up all of New Orleans with a Swiffer and a bottle of Windex in the midst of Hurricane Katrina ... it just can't be done.

Fortunately, I have a solution.

Any time you see a media outlet spewing right-wing nonsense, simply announce publicly that you will no longer support companies that advertise there. You see Fox News reporting rubbish, followed by a Home Depot commercial? Go to Lowe's (or better yet, go to your local hardware store and support local business), and tag it online. Followed a link on Facebook to Breitbart (although why anyone in their right mind would do that in the first place is a mystery to me ... but I digress), and there's an ad for Chevrolet? Buy a Ford, and post online that you specifically avoided Chevrolet because their advertising supports BS.

Right about now there are going to be a bunch of righties getting their nineteenth century bloomers in a bunch over this, claiming that it's just another liberal conspiracy. There are a couple of problems with this accusation: 1) This approach can -- and should -- be used against sites that promote a left-wing agenda as devoid of facts as the right, and b) the words "liberal conspiracy" are on a par with words like "cheap sushi." Yes, such a thing may exist, but you can betcher ass it's going to end badly for everyone involved.

The point of all this is to use the free market (which Republicans love) against them, and to drive the purveyors of bullshit from the public square. Hold them to a higher standard. Demand accountability.

I gotta lie down.

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