At WashPo, the narrative is more important than the facts…
Earlier today a friend forwarded me, via e-mail, the text of an opinion piece that was ostensibly about the “new reality” on the right. It began well enough.
Following the recent tea party Tet Offensive — tactically disastrous but symbolically important — the Republican establishment has commenced counterinsurgency operations. Sens. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee — both facing primary challenges from the right — are responding more forcefully to their populist opponents. The National Republican Senatorial Committee has cut ties with a Republican advertising firm employed by tea party challengers. “We’re not going to do business,” says a spokesman, “with people who profit off of attacking Republicans. Purity for profit is a disease that threatens the Republican Party.”
Okay. We’ve noted the civil war in the GOP here at S&R and find the subject interesting. The writer continued.
This vivid turn of phrase — “purity for profit” — captures the main reason Republican leaders are edging away from a strategy of accommodation. The Obama era has unleashed a great deal of genuine populist and libertarian energy. But a good portion of it is being channeled into business and fundraising models that depend on stoking resentment against the GOP itself (at least as currently constituted).
Kinda giggling at this point, because the country club right cobbled together a monster out of every ignorant, corrupt and cynical constituency it could find, and now the monster has turned on its masters. So far, so good.
But then, at the top of the third graf, there was this:
The result is a paradox. Over the past few decades, Republican members of Congress have become more reliably conservative (as their Democratic colleagues, to a lesser extent, have become more liberal).
Aaaaannnnd, we’re done. Stopped reading right there. This kind of shamelessly counter-factual nonsense, which slots nicely into your standard FOX News talking points, is so at odds with the truth of the matter that anyone who spouts it should be…well, as Hunter Thompson once put it, “These swine should be fucked, broken, and driven across the land.”
As I said, this came via e-mail, and I dove straight into the text. Didn’t notice who wrote it or published it. But at this point I doubled back to check.
Ah. Michael Gerson. And the Washington Post. That explains it. If you don’t know Gerson, here’s a brief snip from his Wikipedia page:
The Washington Post, of course, is the house rag of the DC apparatchik establishment, the institution most critically charged with maintenance and propagation of America’s corporatist ideology. Their official motto is “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” Beltway Zen, if you will.
I believe in free speech. I believe in hearing what people have to say, even if I disagree, because a lot of times I’ll learn something important. I may even wind up amending my opinion or changing my mind altogether if you make a compelling case.
I’ll read you right up to the point where you prove to me that you’re a moron or a liar. Then we’re through, perhaps forever, because if you lied to me once I can’t trust you to shoot straight thereafter. And if you’re a moron, well, you’re not likely to grow an extra 50 IQ points are you, now?
Earlier today that happened early in the third paragraph.