I only caught a bit of the Great Orange Satan/Harold Ford lunchtime discussion at Netroots Nation, but at one point he was chastizing all of us dirty fucking hippies for wasting time worrying about inconsequential things like FISA when people in the country were worried about their jobs, gas prices, health care, etc.
A corollary to the anti-intellectual argument of the past half-century has been the idea that only pussies care about our civil liberties, because they can afford to: Chardonnay futures are never going to crash, and the French will just keep sending us their Brie in order to make us gay. “You just give a fuck about our Constitution because you’re allemployed and shit, probably at a university full of liberals” is a lameass deflection and a way to try to make people who, last I read our “what do you do for a living” thread here, come from all over and got here a million differen ways, feel bad for raising an uncomfortable question.
Political attention is not a bowl of sugar. I am perfectly capable of figuring out that I do not want my phone illegally tapped and then in the next breath getting pissed off because it cost 45 bucks to fill up the Saturn of Love on Saturday. There’s not room for only one issue, this isn’t the newspaper where you’re making space decisions, this is the inside of your head and pace Mr. Conan Doyle, but it’s not an attic, it does expand. You can fit FISA and the shit economy in there at the same time and be angry about both.
That’s not what Ford is actually saying, though. What he’s actually saying is something along the lines of “Oh yeah, what about THIS?!” and if it wasn’t the economy, it’d be the war, or anything, really, in order to distract from the fact that he and his pals were on the wrong side of the issue, and so have to make it out like we suck for even giving a shit about how wrong they were.