Friday, August 16, 2013
I have followed the trajectory of the 2012 Presidential primaries through the re-election of President Obama, the continuing opposition by Congress to anything he does, programs he puts forward, vacations he takes, and the kind of reporting by the media of all of it. At the beginning the media blamed Congress' dysfunction as a general malaise of the body. They used such words to describe it as "dysfunctional Congress". Meanwhile, the candidates and, later, the Republican nominee, Mit Romney, said anything that came into their heads. They represented deranged minds, inveterate liars, and bigots. The media with the exception of MSNBC and, sometimes the New York Times, undertook some form of analysis. No-one came out strongly to identify their remarks as bigotry, lying, or distortion, or that most of the political upheaval and gridlock in Congress related to outfront disrespect of the first Black President by,first, the Tea Party and, later the Republican party as a whole. The media never pointed out that Romney as an outright liar and that he was unfit to hold any elected office, including his grasp for the Presidency.
Ten months after the election, media reporting has changed certain ways. Obama drubbed Romney. The voter base had changed demographically so that the previous white hold over the electorate had loosened and Romney had not only missed that, but set the subject for the Republicans to seriously consider. The party is out of touch with voters and, clearly, still represents the dying hold of white, middle to upper middle class. The subject matter of the media is how the party could become totally irrelevant. Prominent in their reporting is that the Republicans continue to oppose everything Obama wants or does or says, to their ultimate detriment. Now the media has clearly identify what is at the heart of the Washington political grid lock.
On certain other important subjects the media continues to report about the US role in the world in the same old way. With McCain and Mitch McConnel demanding, first, that Obama play a bigger role in the Syrian civil war, Iran, and, now the Egyptian political slaughter, the underlying suggestion is that the President of the United States can change all things and force these failed-states to see the light and adopt democracy. The US is no longer the police of the world. There are other forces that can only be resolved by themselves, which includes giving up violence, war, tribalism, and the settling of old scores between political parties, religions, and tribes.
The force of the "the big lie" about Obama, however, has become legend in such a way that it has led to confusion of his supporters. Democratic candidates for the upcoming '14 elections want to distance themselves from the President, especially when it comes to Obamacare which has been damned in such a way that it is a political football the opposition can throw into a campaign and derail moderate camdidates in their party and make election of Democats difficult. But almost no-one, including the media, knows or reports about what the act can do now in a positive way and what fixes need to be put in place to fulfill Obama's pledge that every American should have equal access to standard health care at an affordable price. The habit of the opposition is to damn it as a case of the federal government over-reaching itself to become a police state and to suggest it is the first ingredient of the move toward "socialism". The media has not countered to these accusations.
All of this demonstrates the recession of judgement. The worst outcome is that the US will lose the respect of other countries and will stay fixed in the present, when there is a vital to describe and plan for the future.