38 Comments
founding

It isn’t just Republicans who were using “woke-ism” and critical race theory to scare voters, by constantly repeating those Republican talking points the mainstream media has made it sound like millions on the left are demanding everyone be “woke”, not a tiny minority, and that public schools are teaching critical race theory when NONE of them are. In fact just this morning Joe Scarborough was ranting that “progressives” need to stop with the wokism and talk about jobs, child care, etc. That statement confirms the false picture Republicans are painting that Democratic leaders on the left are all about being woke when they have been all about getting a bill passed to address things voters really care about. They are not the ones waging a phony culture war. It is Republican leaders doing that.

Every time the media wanted to talk about CRT they should have used the “truth sandwich” — first make it clear that CRT is not taught in our schools, state the lie, then summarize by restating the truth. That way people hear the truth twice for on repeating of the lie. And the media should refuse to obsessively report about a subject like CRT that has been debunked.

This is the same media who has kept mostly silent while wealthy donors like BB&T gave money to universities on the condition that they teach Ayn Rand’s crackpot, fascist and anti-religion “philosophy” ; the same media who kept quiet when Harvard Business School started teaching the Milton Friedman’s economic version of her toxic “greed-is-good” ideology; the same media who has ignored the growing threat of right wing domestic terrorists even in our military.

https://www.newsweek.com/2017/04/14/harvard-business-school-financial-crisis-economics-578378.html?utm_source=internal&utm_campaign=most_read&utm_medium=most_read5

Expand full comment
author

oh but press loved the CRT storyline

Expand full comment

And they loved the WWE wrestling matches going on at school board meetings.

Expand full comment

We're back to the "economic anxiety" excuse and the new buzzword "education" instead of just being honest and say it's the racism.

Stephanie Ruhle opened her show today with saying how "education" was the most important item with voters. Not even Stephanie on MSNBC could just say the truth that a bunch of well off suburban voters voted to make sure that there is no chance that anything remotely similar to diversity and anti-racism is being taught in their schools. They will be damned if a book on racism, no matter how watered down, sits on a shelf in their child's elementary school.

Expand full comment

Republicans ran a policy-free campaign that was literally about nothing but race and culture wars.

Expand full comment
founding

It’s not just here. Boris Johnson is also using phony culture wars to keep his grip on power. The fact that right wingers are using these tactics in other countries ought to be a big story here but our media can’t be bothered

https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/14/uk/boris-Johnson-british-political-culture-intl-gbr-cmd/index.html

Expand full comment

Just like they've done for the past 50-60 years.

Expand full comment

And the stenographers are having a field day gushing with happiness over Republicans wins...

Expand full comment

I think you have summed up the repugs and the owners of news organizations GREED-IS-GOOD. The world is spinning out of control not only in America, people would rather believe a lie then the truth. Everything happening is about money they care nothing about the people. We are expendable we are just the worker bees, and if the worker 🐝 dont start getting these evil politicians out of office where will be.

Expand full comment

DeSantis SHOULD get a Covid medal...from the Florida Undertakers Association. Interesting how the Florida newspapers see DeSantis for the cynical fraud he is while the national media laps up, and regurgitates, rightwing BS about him.

Expand full comment
author

yep, local press has never fallen DeSantis bs

Expand full comment

The Republican strategy of implementing a deeply unpopular agenda then obstructing Democrats from doing anything popular is way too effective. It's not even that democratic-leaning voters become apathetic to voting for Democrats. "Independent" voters who seem to hate Republican policies very quickly change sides when Democrats can't pass an agenda the independents like. What the hell do these voters think will happen when they put Republicans back in charge?

Expand full comment

IMHO it's the addiction to instant gratification and short term memory coupled with an outlook influenced by a media which consistently puts its collective finger on the scale by how it shapes and reports stories—as well as what it omits or ignores. In a year, these voters will get mad because "government is broken" and "both sides are all the same" if the VA legislature remains Dem. Or if the GOP passes some law or EO that is actually detrimental to their lives, they'll re-elect them because "well, at least they're doing something." Sigh.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

It perfectly illustrates Einstein's witticism: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

Expand full comment

CRT is going to be the GOP’s dogwhistle. It’s a MacGuffin that will animate their election strategies and it doesn’t matter that it doesn’t exist in public schools: they believe in it because they want to, and because it works. I don’t know how we fight against what is essentially a matter of faith.

It’s all madness.

Expand full comment

It's just a reaffirmation of what LBJ said in 1967, "If you can convince the lowest white man that he's better than the best colored man he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him someone to look down on and he'll empty his pockets for you!"

Expand full comment

It's the new "drug dealer/criminal/welfare queen/Willie Horton". Too many rand and file Democrats don't want to accept that racism is the draw for Republican voters.

Expand full comment

"Among the laws he wants passed is one making businesses liable for medical harm that results from mandatory vaccinations, even though tens of millions of vaccines have safely been administered in the U.S."

Every bit as performative as banning CRT...and the rubes will eat it up....

Expand full comment
author

Performative is key

Expand full comment

Agreed...people who don't try to understand the issues behind the performance will fall in line with the performance every time. That viral clip from The Good Liars is the epitome of this. A man says CRT is the most important issue on the ballot but then dances around it for as long as he can before finally admitting he doesn't understand it but knows he doesn't like it.

Expand full comment

But when they have majorities it’s anything but performative. That’s what is so frightening and enraging.

Expand full comment

It's a shame that people can't see their only "policies" are discrimination and making the wealthy even wealthier.

Expand full comment
Comment deleted
Expand full comment

Huh? Democrats actually deliver when they can. They have consistently pulled the country out of the brink of financial crises, have enacted laws to protect the environment and expand citizens' rights, work for more equitable and affordable health care, etc. Just because you haven't gotten all you want now now now doesn't mean that it's all performance. When you have a divided Senate with a majority in name only, an opposition (that's what they are) determined to see you fail, and two recalcitrant senators for whom no amount of arm twisting (or even cajoling it seems) works, it makes it tough to pass the big legislation we need and want.

With a slim majority in the House filled with squabbling caucuses, Nancy Pelosi has held it together and passed bill after bill since retaking the Speakership in Jan 2019. But without a solid majority in the Senate, those bills have gotten watered down and especially under the GOP, died. Instead of getting mad at the Dems and staying home, the left needs to use that anger to drive them to the polls to elect MORE Dems who will make those two idiots irrelevant. That's how you make change. Not by letting the other guy—who loves to take the nation two steps back at every opportunity—win.

Are the Dems perfect? Of course not. We have scandals and disappointments on our side as well. It infuriates me that so many on the left have taken on the right's mantle that compromise is capitulation and that making some progress that can be built on with bigger majorities is unacceptable. You want change, work for it with EVERY ELECTION.

Expand full comment

There is a cancer on our democracy and look no further for the tumor than Fox News. Rupert Murdoch is hell bent on creating an autocratic country for the likes of him and a handful of other billionaires to rule. DeSantis is just another Trump impersonator for Fox to regurgitate their bullshit. Unlike real cancer that has many effective treatments and in some cases cures, the cancer on our country is very hard to fight. And now with the Governor of VA race lost and the surprisingly close race in NJ, the MSM will be intolerable in telling all that will listen just how in disarray the Democrats are. God help us all.

Expand full comment

I've decided to pretty much stay off of social media. I haven't watched any cable or national network propaganda regularly for years. I've concluded listening/reading mainstream media in most (not all) cases is as bad for me as drinking bleach.

Expand full comment

But at least drinking bleach will cure your covid. :)

Expand full comment

Now Youngkin will turn Virginia into Florida. Watch the Covid cases spike...

Expand full comment

It is normal for the opposition party to do well in midterms. Now, we know that they are not an opposition party, but rather a treasonous, terrorist organization. WE know, but do others?

This is why I have been saying to people that the greatest, gravest threat to this country and to the planet is not the republikkkan party, as repulsive, bigoted, pro-rape, and treasonous as it is, as much as it is responsible for the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of Americans and others around the world in the past almost two years.

The greatest, gravest threat to this country is its political media. To put it another way, how many of those assigned to cover politics were involved in the best reporting The Times and The Post did on January 6? Zero. Why? Because they are not journalists. I can count on one hand the number of people in DC who write regularly about politics, as reporters or commentators, who are always on target.

Expand full comment

The political media are killing this country.

Expand full comment

Almost as sad, they are a disgrace to what journalism is supposed to be. I worked at a newspaper nearly 40 years ago, and I wasn't very good. But I can't think of a national political "reporter" right now who could have carried our typewriters.

Expand full comment

They are a disgrace.

Expand full comment

I’m in a self-imposed media blackout today, much like 11/9/16. I just can’t bear to hear the gleeful punditry pat themselves on the back for all their Dems in disarray and bad messaging takes or listen to their “warnings for Democrats” admonishments.

Bottom line, American voters are why this country is a hot mess. American voters are so easily bored, forgetful, and ignorant, and many on the left are often lazy and vindictive when they don’t get exactly what they want. Like Charlie Brown trusting Lucy with the football, voters fall for GOP lies and chicanery. They vote them in, then when the GOP gerrymander, restrict voting, and pass legislation like the abortion law in Texas, voters wail “how could this have happened” and join the media chorus of “why did the Dems allow this and what are they going to do to stop/fix it?”

Many on the right and left don’t seem to understand how our government works—or why it doesn’t when “nothing gets done.” They fall for GOP-invented, media-inspired nonsense like “entitlements” “death panels” and “caravans.” The left too is at fault for self owns like “defund the police” which made it very difficult for reps in swing districts like mine. No matter how committed you are to racial equality and justice, it’s exhausting to constantly hear “all whites are privileged”—which makes it easy to tune out and believe stupid CRT lies and exaggerations, especially when media amplify them.

Today is hard. Tomorrow is another day and we must and will regroup to continue the fight against the likes of DeSantis, Youngkin, TFG, et al. Because the alternative is unacceptable.

Expand full comment

I'm from the Philippines and I share your pain. Used to believe the American voters were better informed compared to the Philippine voters. However, the election of Mar-A-Lardo as president in 2016 made me realize that your country's voters were just as gullible and dumb as the voters in my country.

While I admire how the left in your country is more principled and willing to work within the system compared to those that claim to be left here in my country who somehow haven't been able to adapt their 70's era rhetoric and focus too much on disruption, I'll agree that your country's left have to stop believing that compromise is a dirty word.

Expand full comment

You mention bad messaging and then just repeat the bad messaging. No one but for a very few activists were talking about "defund the police" and I don't know anyone saying "all whites are privileged."

You are just repeating exactly what you say is being messaging incorrectly.

Expand full comment

Of course only a few activists were saying it, but that was the message that the media focused on and talked about incessantly, as did many across social media. The GOP used it as a cudgel in swing districts in 2020 whether you want to believe it or not. My popular moderate Dem Rep (who consistently votes yes) nearly lost his seat because the GOP constantly ran these awful explicit and implicit fear-mongering ads about defunding the police, and I've already gotten RW literature targeting him with the same idiocy already.

Please stop being disingenuous about the term "white privilege."

From Meriam Webster: the set of social and economic advantages that white people have by virtue of their race (see RACE entry 1 sense 1a) in a culture characterized by racial inequality

From Wikipedia: "White privilege, or white skin privilege, is the societal privilege that benefits white people over non-white people in some societies, particularly if they are otherwise under the same social, political, or economic circumstances."

Expand full comment

I think we're probably talking about the same thing, but maybe in different ways. Bottom line, we're all frustrated by the vote in VA today (and I don't even live in VA), but thankfully we may have survived NJ. But sure the media will focus on VA and not the win in NJ. Or some of the other Democrat wins. Not like VA was the only race.

And you just have to laugh that the party of family values just elected a disgraced ex-Congressman, that had gotten caught living with his 2nd family, having a child with this other woman, while still married to his wife in his 1st family, when pulled over arrested for a DUI.

Expand full comment

Dis the Murdoch operation as much as you want but this is much worse:

“Let’s be clear, the mainstream media was not hard on DeSantis for his handling of Covid this year.”

The mainstream media are as complicit in covering for literal killers as FNC which, BTW, I consider part and parcel of the mainstream.

Expand full comment

Silly me! How could I forget!!!!!

Expand full comment
Comment deleted
Expand full comment

My first thought was what, Mark Penn wasn't available?

Expand full comment