Posted by JumpyPants
When I went to sleep last night dreaming of Max Baucus and Blanche Lincoln cast in a production of Sartre's No Exit that would run non-stop for the rest of their natural (sic) lives, I had no idea I would wake up to read something written by David Brooks that I would find myself agreeing with.
But such a thing has come to pass.
Brooks' op-ed this morning , while written with his familiar mix of smarm and smarm (with a little extra smarm), pulls back the curtain on the prevailing meme that gasbags in front of microphones have any actual impact on elections. And he uses a Wizard of Oz metaphor to do it, albeit with the awful title "The Wizard of Beck" (which of course made me wonder why David Brooks was writing about music).
After using history to show that Rush, Glenn, Sean et al pick losers, Brooks winds up with this bit of well-reasoned rhetoric:
Just months after the election and the humiliation, everyone is again convinced that Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity and the rest possess real power. And the saddest thing is that even Republican politicians come to believe it. They mistake media for reality. They pre-emptively surrender to armies that don’t exist.They pay more attention to Rush’s imaginary millions than to the real voters down the street. The Republican Party is unpopular because it’s more interested in pleasing Rush’s ghosts than actual people. The party is leaderless right now because nobody has the guts to step outside the rigid parameters enforced by the radio jocks and create a new party identity. The party is losing because it has adopted a radio entertainer’s niche-building strategy, while abandoning the politician’s coalition-building strategy.
Of course Brooks is trying to rally the surviving Goldwater/Reagan Republicans to take their party away from these carnival barkers and the fearful GOP ops who give said barkers props. But I think we on the left need to keep pulling back the curtain on these bullshit artistes; don't just disagree with them, point out how the majority of their own supposed party disagrees with them.