Have you heard the latest? Republicans have decided that the LAMEstream LIEberal media is in the tank for NObama because there’s no way those polls showing the Kenyan usurper in the lead could possibly be right, so they’ve developed their own polls which — shocker! — show Mitt Romney with an insurmountable lead. I know, what are the odds, right?
Isn’t that just typical? Whenever reality contradicts conservative ideology, it’s always the reality that’s wrong, and the conservative solution is always to create their own version of whatever so-called “liberal” thing vexes them at the moment. It must be exhausting creating your own alternate reality: your own news network, your own Bible, your own science and history, and on, and on. Expensive, too. But there you have it.
Last week Mistermix over at Balloon Juice observed:
…the Romney campaign is what you get when your incubator is Fox News.
Y’know, I’d never seen it stated quite so bluntly before. I smacked my forehead and went, “Duh! Of course!” And so I’d like to take this moment to thank Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch and Rush Limbaugh and all the rest for effectively killing the Republican Party as we know it. By creating this alternate reality hermetically sealed against anything dangerous like, y’know, facts, they’ve effectively cut themselves off from any political party’s oxygen supply: reality.
Jonathan Bernstein put it better than I ever could:
The truth is that Romney is constantly constrained by what conservatives want him to do and by what they believe. Furthermore, what they want is generally unpopular, and what they believe is far too often simply cut off from the reality that the rest of the nation lives in.
So Romney cannot have a coherent foreign policy because what his voters want to hear is that Barack Obama sympathizes with terrorists. Most Americans, meanwhile, think of Obama as the guy who took out bin Laden. Romney cannot have a sensible tax policy because conservatives insist that he promote large, self-funding tax cuts for the rich. Most of the nation, however, supports raising taxes on the rich, and reality insists that cutting taxes also reduces revenues.Also, Romney didn’t invent the 47 percent nonsense; whether he truly believes it or not, he was simply parroting back what his voters have been hearing for years from Rush Limbaugh and others like him.
Somewhere back in the 80s and 90s a bunch of conservatives got together in a smoke-filled room and decided if they didn’t like what the “LIEberal establishment” was doing in the news media, the entertainment media, at the nation’s universities and science laboratories, economic policy think tanks, etc., they’d use their vast wealth to make their own. That was deemed such a good idea that over the years it’s grown to some ludicrous extremes like Andy Schlafly’s Conservative Bible Project, for example. Or, think the AARP is too liberal with their Medicare-loving, Social Security-supporting enabling of life on the taxpayer teet?Welcome to AMAC, the right-wing version. Or the 60 Plus Association. Or, um, the ASA.
Anything deemed “liberal” by conservatives now has its right-wing counterpart, catering exclusively to right-wingers. The results have been predictable: a core group of intractable true believers increasingly cut off from the rest of the electorate.
Ghettos are never a good idea, but when a political movement willfully and intentionally separates itself from the people at large — the very people it needs to reach if it’s going to continue to exist — it has become irrelevant.