Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Dr. Phil Moment

(As a preface lemme say this-Dr. Phil is a douchebag. He has no business counseling living people. But his whole "get real" schtick is useful in political analysis)

So I have this idea, and it's only a wee bit flushed out at the moment. If you all wanna help me with the flushing, yippy. It started as a random thought while in the kitchen making Awesome Fried Rice. Why won't the administration come straight out against the right wing loonies? In Dr. Phil speak- what does it gain Democrats (capital D, TM) to have these violent folks screaming for blood?

I'm thinking about Machiavelli and the reputation of princes. A prince must be seen to have certain qualities (humane for example) while not actually having these qualities because they make for a bad leader (can't go around actually being just, fair, merciful and generous because what would your corporate sponsors think).

So how might one go about being seen as just or fair or liberal without actually being any of these things?

Well you might start by refusing to label right wing terrorists as terrorists. You might make yourself seem fair by giving fellow Americans the benefit of the doubt that they don't want to start a massive race war, even though they keep saying they do.

And from this small act of non-confrontation you get a shit ton of rewards.

1) The appearance of benevolence, especially after you've just thrown half the population under a bus
2) You get to corner the political market on rational discourse, because even if what you are saying isn't really beneficial to the majority of the people, at least you don't sound like the screaming bloody teabaggers
3) You get to paint the dissenters from your own party with the same crazy brush that you paint the opposition with. Either they shut up, or they get thrown into the pot with their worst enemies.
4) You can pretend bipartisianship (let's be real folks, we are governed by an Omniparty with a far right and a semi-far right corporatist bent) by making deals with the screaming crazies. Then they look more crazy when they complain, corporate sponsors are happy cause they still get what they want, and it "looks" like we have a 2 party government.

So I am not really surprised that Obama isn't calling domestic terrorism for what it is. It's not in his best interest to do so. For very little effort and risk on his part, the Teabaggers serve a useful purpose to the administration. However, for the rest of us, the teabaggers are pretty dangerous. Oklahoma City bombing didn't blow up the politicians, just clerks and secretaries and a bunch of kids in a daycare.

(FTR- I actually lean towards the Machiavelli wrote the Prince as satire camp. In his own life, he was an intensely ethical person. I think he wrote a blue print for us common folks to know what fresh new hell our government is inflicting on us)

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