My Priorities Make Me Better Than You

Oh for fuck’s sake, Harold Ford:

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.



7 thoughts on “My Priorities Make Me Better Than You

  1. Did it ever occur to Ford that it wasCongress that decided the FISA dead-letter deserved priority over “more important things”?
    I guess that’s why FOX hired him as their resident “sensible Democrat”–they always need a foil for their caricature of dangerous DFHs, and Alan Colmes has been demonstrating a little too much independent thought lately.

  2. People worry about gas prices, jobs and health care in totalitarian countries too! Everybody worries about that shit – everywhere. Here in the US of A we make a big show of being a democracy. That means we to worry about prices, jobs, and health care AND liberty and equal justice under the law. It’s not that hard of a concept unless at the end of the day you’d just as soon be a happy asshole living in a totalitarian state.

  3. While I’d reluctantly be forced to agree that the average schmoe on the street probably doesn’t give too much of a shit about FISA, that’s also because the average schmoe on the street hews pretty closely to the idea that if you aren’t doing anything wrong, you don’t have anything to worry about.
    Why, no, I don’t have a lot of faith in average people, how could you tell?

  4. I take it that the good orator didn’t figure out that the government control of information makes anyone a possible target of a political hit squad? That FISA allows an ideological zealot to take conversations out of context and submarine anyone they don’t like?

  5. You know it would be interesting for Athenae and I to do a meta take down of the interview it self to point out and spot some of these techniques to the people. Interrobang is also great at that. The are all tactics to change the subject some of the people do this almost unconsciously. If you are really really good you can bust them in real time when they are doing that. Most people can’t do it because they are listening to the actual content and can’t see the methods used to do the switch.
    So for example if someone was up there with Markos and said after someone challenged the actual question.
    “I’d like to point out to the audience and to Markos that Harold Ford quickly changed the topic (a common strategy used by politicians) who don’t want to deal with the real issue that they were on the wrong side of the FISA story.

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