The Cretin Constituency
Perversely attacking the virtues rather than the vulnerabilities of an opponent is considered to be a Karl Rove speciality. So if Karl was backing Jughead against Einstein, the latter would be mocked as a moron.
This rancid ruse worked wonderfully in depicting war hero John Kerry as a quivering clone of the cowardly lion. It’s being rolled out again to torpedo the appointment of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.
The good judge topped her class at Princeton and Yale Law. No high court designee in the last century has served as much time on the bench. And no one has ever accused her of prejudice in her decisions or deportment. So naturally the Rovistas have indicted her for stupidity, inexperience and racism.
The success of this strategy is based on the existence of a cretin constituency in America. This consists of millions of people eager to entertain nonsense and stupid enough to take it seriously. It’s an audience that craves simple and malevolent accounts of events that can be easily blamed on pre-selected scapegoats.
The emphasis here is on ‘easily blamed.’ Given the paucity of thought in this cohort, they don't spew elaborate critiques or conspiracy theories about their targets. Single word pejoratives are about all they can manage. These are endlessly barked with all the logic and zeal of a dog chasing its tail. “Socialist.” “Communist.” “Terrorist.” “French.” Blah blah blah. Not one in a hundred in these choirs of calumny could give you anything approaching a dictionary definition of the words they’re shrieking.
So why then don’t they match their mouthings to their mentalities and simply insult people whose politics they don’t like with banal billingsgate like “jerks,” “a-holes,” or the ever popular “your mother!”
Because it’s about politics and they want to sound smart. If you call someone a socialist, it implies that you know what the word means. In other words, the right wing is intellectually pretentious. Not enough, of course, to crack a book, but at least enough to try to divert from the evidence of flatlining brain waves.
The world is a complex place full of simple people. We Americans are no dumber than most. What makes us unique is that we have reserved a large slice of our political discourse for free use by these head bangers, lip bubblers and noddies.
Whenever I happen to ingest the yahoospeak of Cheney, Limbaugh, Gingrich, Hannity, etc., what turns me off is not their lies or cruelty but their inanity. Just inhale the inimitable imbecility of the oft repeated assertion by GOP chairman Michael Steele that the government has never created a single job. Imagine hearing that while delivering the U.S. Mail, squatting in a bunker in Iraq, or chasing a nubile page around your congressional office?
Not only are we are bombarded by such dog do, but there’s no one apart from Bill Maher, John Stewart, Steven Colbert and a precious few others to mock the shit it is. Nothing demeans the deservedly dying news media as much as the license and sponsorship it has reserved for the lowest of the low and the basest of the base.
Of course, there's method behind this mindlessness. The dumb and docile are easy to bamboozle. We would have probably long since had a decent health scheme if the word "Canada" didn't connote communism among the clueless.
Excuse me now, I have to go back to watching an in-depth Judy Woodruff interview with Jughead on The News Hour.