Friday, October 02, 2009

History Repeats Itself

I've been more than a little disgusted with our political discourse for a very long time, so on a whim last night, I decided to check my archives and see what we were talking about in the past four years. I discovered even though it feels worse now, not much has changed.

Almost exactly four years ago, on his radio show, Bill Bennett said, “I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime you could -- if that were your sole purpose -- you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down.” And nothing happened to him.

Bob Cesca recalled how different the reaction was to Howard Stern when he made an offhand remark about "Blumpkins." Not clear if we ever found out what a blumpkin is, but Stern was heavily fined. As Cesca said, "Since our government fines broadcasters like Stern, then in fairness, they should fine the Bennetts, Savages, and Limbaughs because according to just about any definition of morality, the obscenities of racism, sexism, and genocide far outweigh the obscenity found in the human blumpkin." Still hasn't happened. The hate jockeys continue to spew their fetid rhetoric without remorse or penalty.

It was also four years ago that we first found out Dick Cheney was directly involved in outing Plame, when NYT reported on his FBI interview. It was only this week that the courts finally ordered transcripts of that interview be released. I expect it take another four years for the appeals to run their course.

Three years ago, we were talking about Mark Foley sexting young Congressional pages. Brit Hume was the first major figure in the "liberal media" to draw a false equivalence between Foley and Bill Clinton. Denny Hastert was still in charge of the House back then and Boehner was only second lieutenant. Of course you remember how that all shook out.

Two years ago, Ann Coulter was the darling of the talk show circuit and told America we would be better off if women weren't allowed to vote. This week, it was National Review's John Derbyshire who was saying the same exact thing. Somehow it still sells books. It was also only two years ago, that we first heard the term alternative interrogaton technique when Bush announced Fredo Gonzales had the DOJ legal rulings that gave him authority to decide whether or not waterboarding is torture. Lord knows that discussion has only gone downhill from there.

And it was only a year ago that the Straight Talk Express crashed and the McCain/media love affair ended. While the media and McCain may have kissed and made up since, the GOP's general meltdown into blithering irrelevancy is ongoing with their messaging hasn't changed except to become loonier.

On the bright side, "the left" has a stronger voice than it did four years ago. For instance Josh at Talking Points Memo tells us that their readership increased by 54% in the last three months, we have more effect on the mainstream narrative, there's now at least a few legacy media people willing to call out the GOP's disinfo and the word lie is no longer forbidden in political discourse. So there's that.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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