Kevin Drum at Mother Jones:
The White House, says the LA Times for the third straight day, is facing “growing fury” over L’Affaire Bergdahl. How many times have I read a headline like this over the past few years. Dozens? Hundreds?
Hard to say. But it sure seems to be the defining quality of American politics these days. We just bounce from one outrage to the next, mostly ginned up by the right, but sometimes by the left too. It’s a wonder that America hasn’t dropped dead of a collective heart attack yet.
Has it always been this way? Maybe. It’s not as if we lacked for partisan outrages in the 50s and 60s. But I’d sure like to hear from folks who have a good memory for those years. Was the procession of outrages really as nonstop as it is today? Did we at least take a break between outrages back then? Or has nothing changed except our exposure to this stuff thanks to Twitter and 24-hour cable news?
In any case, I think this is the fundamental reason that I continue to sympathize so much with President Obama, regardless of whether he’s pursuing policies I happen to like. I exchanged some emails with a friend about Obama’s seemingly tone deaf handling of the Bergdahl case, and one of the things he said is this: “My read is he is getting bored and detached after being so boxed in and hammered. He sounds like he is starting to check out. I think the staff is getting demoralized and are just not caring too much since they know it’s going to get hit one way or the other.”
Obama has always had a certain amount of contempt for the modern media and its endless Politico-style pursuit of shiny objects designed to “win the morning.” Ditto for the parochial nature of congressional politics and the insane tea-party style of no-compromise governing adopted by the modern Republican Party. Because of that, he’s often a lousy politician. He’s not willing to pander to the requirements of fake, outrage-of-the-day PR, nor does he even really want to engage in the normal sort of horse-trading that’s always been a part of politics. Aside from pure personal preference, I suppose his excuse on the latter is that there’s no point: Republicans are no longer willing to horse-trade, so why bother playing the game?
Instead, he wants to take the long view and ignore all the childish nonsense. Logic tells me that’s probably dumb, but in my heart I find it almost impossible to blame him. I keep thinking that if someone acts like an adult—or at least a little more like an adult—maybe eventually the media and the public will get a little chagrined and start ignoring the shiny objects. I know it’s not going to happen, but I still can’t bring myself to rebuke Obama for holding out hope. I think that’s why I often cut him so much slack.
The first time I read that I wasn’t sure if Drum was spoofing, trolling or serious. Then I decided that it was unintentional satire.
This article would be a great example for a political science class because it encapsulates the process known as Delegitimisation:
Delegitimisation (also spelled delegitimation) is the sociopsychological process which undermines or marginalises an entity by presenting value judgments as facts which are construed to devalue legitimacy. It is a self-justifying mechanism, with the ultimate goal of justifying harm of an outgroup. The concept applies to a wide spectrum of social contexts ranging from disputes about political entities to chronic illnesses.
A major portion of the arguments coming from the Democrats and liberals/progressives is based on three unstated premises:
1. There is no genuine policy dispute between Obama and the Republicans.
2. All smart Republicans are evil.
3. All other Republicans are stupid.
Basically, it goes like this: Every intelligent person knows that Obama is right. His policies are the best thing for the country and the world. Anyone who disagrees with Obama is either evil, stupid, or both. If you are genuinely upset about what Obama has been doing to this country the past six years you are stupid. You are part of a mob that has been manipulated and deceived by evil Republicans who know that Obama is correct but are opposing him for their own nefarious reasons.
It is therefore ipso facto res ipsa self-evident that any and all opposition to Obama is NOT legitimate. There is no debate. The science is settled. Obama doesn’t negotiate with terrorists. He won. He’s 2legit2quit.
So STFU you racist hillbillies!
Don’t waste your breath and my time arguing. If you say you are outraged at “L’Affaire Bergdahl” you are either a lying hypocrite or a sincere idiot.
What’s that? What about a few years ago when the Democrats were pissed off about Bush?
Don’t be silly. It’s different when WE do it.