Only Republicans Can Hold Republicans Accountable

Driftglass notes Andrew Sullivan calling for “someone in the GOP” to “take Bush-Cheney apart,” and asks:

Because, in the end, Mr. Sullivan is simply not intellectually fit or emotionally mature enough to either understand the true heart of American Conservatism or acknowledge the self-evident fact that the Liberals have been right about the Right all along. Instead, Mr. Sullivan pins his hopes on a Wise Conservative Daddy who will come and make it all better.

You know, it’s not so much that our discourse is so hopelessly polarized and BOTH SIDES DO IT and how awful and mean everyone is. It’s that we’ve decided disclaimers are more important than facts. If you say something correct about someone, does it matter that that person is of another party?

The facts should be the facts. If I say, for example, that Republican policies lead to outcomes X, Y and Z, as demonstrated by historical fact, all that should matter is whether I am right or wrong. Not where I’m coming from, or what my affiliations are. If I am correct, I am correct whether liberal or conservative. If I am wrong, same deal.

This would, of course, require a press corps both able and willing to determine those facts, and we currently have a press corps that is neither, and would rather read name tags and tell you which team the player is on than determine the truth of what the player is saying.

That still doesn’t explain, however, why Democrats only get the benefit of the doubt when criticizing their own party, as exemplified by Joe Lieberman being on every Sunday show every week forever by talking about how Democrats were horrible. Meanwhile, lawmakers who said Bush was horrible were unserious commie traitors who couldn’t be listened to by anyone who wanted Washington street cred.

I’m condensing certain things, of course, but the only major criticism of the GOP given credence comes from the GOP, and even then, the people in the GOP who did speak up were quickly made out to be closet liberals with personal failings anyway, so as to both shut them up and discourage future dissenters.

I’m not sure what Sullivan thinks will happen if his dream comes true and Bush-Cheney is taken down by some imaginary principled GOP stalwart. I mean, bygones, anyway, and everybody lost their minds after 9/11 also, and are we still fighting that war? Let’s look forward, not back. And for God’s sake, keep your powder dry.


6 thoughts on “Only Republicans Can Hold Republicans Accountable

  1. lawmakers who said Bush was horrible were unserious commie traitors who couldn’t be listened to by anyone who wanted Washington street cred
    And that contines — look at Chuck Hagel, who, best as I can tell, is still mostly full-on wingnut (I sure as hell wouldn’t want him running Health and Human Services), but gets the treatment for the unpardonable sin of apostasy from pricks and prissies like McCain, Graham, Cruz, et al.
    Krugman makes a related point now and again — the wingers tend to have a pretty simplistic view towards not just issues themselves, but the left. They think we’re their mirror image, i.e., they claim to want “less government” (a lie, but for the sake of argument…), anyway, they think liberals ALWAYS want more government (even though pro-choice or pro legalization of marijuana is explicitly ANTI government), etc.
    And some time back I remember a winger commentor (at Your Right Hand Thief, I think) asking me why I didn’t just accept his “Obama is a socialist” argument, because basically, who cared about actual policy and wouldn’t socialists like to have Obama on their side? Seriously…

  2. The media doesn’t care about facts, they care about perceptions. They shouted SHUT UP when we were all saying Saddam didn’t have WMD or attack us on 9/11. If they don’t care about the facts that lead us to war, they won’t care about any other facts, either.
    It’s appearances that they care about. They build up these memes (“Republicanas are strong and reliable and disciplinarians, Democrats are soft and mushy and Mommy-ish”) and then find the stories to perpetuate these memes, until one something happens to so thoroughly debunk the meme they can’t ignore it anymore.
    I keep wondering when they’ll get over their “Rand Paul is sane” meme; they still seem to be protecting him:

  3. I don’t think that the national press corps has “truth” in its sights any longer. They’re in the business of accentuating controversies, because, their editors think, that’s what attracts eyeballs and sells newspapers. In doing so, there’s no need to determine truth, and that approach also has the convenient advantage of not antagonizing advertisers.
    Editors and reporters today, generally (there are exceptions), do not want to wade into complex issues to determine some core truth, or provide exegesis, because the more complex those stories are, the more likely it is that some group or individual will take umbrage–and make no mistake about it, the right-wing screams of “liberal media!” have been effective in cowing the national press. And yet, in terms of influences on life and the state of the world, we’re living in the most complex times in history.
    It’s also a shitload of work to tease out all the intertwined threads of complex stories and to make them all understandable, and ignorance and laziness are factors. If one doesn’t know fission from fusion, MOx from Tex-Mex, one is never going to be able to tell if the spokesperson for the local nuclear power plant is blowing off a problem, and the inclination will be to simply repeat what was said, rather than parse the statement for weasel words and for what a better-informed person would recognize as PR bamboozlement (or, for that matter, to know that one’s colleagues are over-dramatizing a minor issue just to create some buzz). And, it’s often no help to call up the local university for background information if one’s training is insufficient to understand the answers provided.
    There’s a reason why there are so many Fred Hiatts and so few Dana Priests in journalism today.

  4. all that should matter is whether I am right or wrong. Not where I’m coming from, or what my affiliations are.
    You’re making the assumption that others operate on the worldview shared here based around facts, reason and evidence, and a search for truth, testable hypotheses and predictive power.
    Instead we have the festering DC/corporate media suckpile of authoritarianism, butt-covering careerism, craven conformity, court-jester storytelling, might-makes-right and money-shouts-loudest.

  5. In the modern American media/political landscape, the one unforgivable sin is to be CORRECT about an important issue.
    And that’s why the media has so many love&kisses for the GOP.

Comments are closed.