Lost in culture wars
From Jane Mayer’s report about the money behind the Tea Party:
“The Koch brothers gave the money that founded it. It’s like they put the seeds in the ground. Then the rainstorm comes, and the frogs come out of the mud—and they’re our candidates!”
The media decided to pretend the Tea Party was a genuine grassroots movement when they knew it was an astroturf movement controlled and funded by the Kochs. This is the kind of media fail that has allowed Republicans to badly corrode our democracy with impunity.
I remember reading that the late Roger Aisles warned FNC management to NOT get in bed with Trump, that it would end in disaster for the network; they didn’t listen to him and it seems prescient now. FNC solution: lessen the footprint of the news-side and increase the footprint of the opinion-side.
FNC is a junkie looking for a fix, and President Biden is just not cooperating with their claims of being senile, and meanwhile their usual constellation of Republican politician talking heads have been replaced by Q-Anon weirdos talking about Jewish Space Lasers.
The riddle about Joe Biden is that there is no riddle. What you see is what you get, and what you get is a good person.
As a bonus, you get 44 years of experience at the top, of honesty, of fighting for workers and oppressed victims.
Biden was the primary sponsor (the creator) of 42 bills that were enacted, a high number; successful laws passed such as the 1986 Global Climate Protection Act, the 1990 Violence Against Women Act, and the 1993 Brady Bill (gun restrictions, which Sanders voted against five times),
Joe's worst enemy isn't the Republican Party: they are what they are, right out in the open liars. Joe knows what to do about them, and he's doing it.
His worst enemies are the lying progressives in his own party, who attempted a revolution led by Sanders that would put them into power in the Democratic Party, who lied constantly about Joe, saying, for just one example, that Joe was in the pockets of the oil industry and that he wouldn't pass any environmental laws. To tell that lie, they had to pretend not to know about Joe’s 1986 Global Climate Protection Act, the first climate change bill in the Senate. The act directed the government to develop a strategy to deal with global warming. Over his time in the Senate, Biden earned a lifetime score of 83 percent from the League of Conservation Voters for his support of various environmental and clean energy legislation, like backing provisions to limit greenhouse gases.
The big problem for Fox is everything turned around Trump for four years. Like the GOP, without Trump they don’t have anything to fall back on.
Everything Trump touches dies.
Two big reasons why Fox is not even trying the "tea party" move again
1) the "activist" wing of the GOP is now full of open white nationalists, "western chauvanists, and insurrectionists. Any 'grassroots' protests would immediately be identified with those groups, alienating even most Republicans who don't want to be seen to be openly racist.
2) Trump would create problems --- either he would become the face of this movement (alienating 60% of Americans who are sick and tired of his antics, and would attract the racist crowd from #1 above), or Trump would resent FoxNews efforts to create a movement that isn't part of his cult of personality, and lash out at the network.
I also suspect there is a "fool me once" dimension here --- the Tea Party quickly became identified with birthers and other crazies, and completely lost its original/stated purpose. Sincere people who got involved in the tea party, and organized on a grassroots level, soon found themselves cut out of the 'movement'. They might not get fooled again.
Fox seems completely adrift. The in fighting is delightful and with billion dollars lawsuits waiting in the wings there will be more. Ratings plummeting and they can’t seem to find the bogeyman
Thx Eric. I wake up every day worrying that we are sliding towards autocracy. I worry about gerrymandered states, like mine..PA. I worry most about the GA voter suppression bill, where msm is capitalizing on the no food/water aspect (bec it's easier for those ppl not deep-in-the-weeds ppl like us, to visualuze) rather than the idea that a state can take over a local elections board and throw out results!!! That is what needs the REAL attention.
Attacking Joe Biden is a problem - like attacking Anthony Fauci - primarily because the former comes across as friendly and a nice guy. The affable uncle. A Mister Rodgers like figure. Fox News is discovering that it's the hater who is ostracized and reviled, not Joe Biden.
I have one fear and it's been there since the election - that Joe Biden doesn't make it through his entire term. You can think of your own reasons. Because once gone, the Republicans and Fox News will gleefully go back to the racism playbook with Kamala Harris - something they're good at and always chomping at the bit to do. I like Kamala Harris because she's smart, competent, tough and seemingly organized - exactly what we need in a President. However, she doesn't have the charisma that Biden brings. It's just not something you can duplicate - you either have it or you don't.
So my strong feeling is that a Harris presidency or candidacy in 2024 will find a much more energized right.
Do you think the emergence of OANN and Newsmax have diluted the effectiveness of a coordinated assault against Biden, on top of his policies having such widespread support, making it difficult for any of Fox/GOP’s old playbook to get any traction this time around? Or did Fox/GOP simply jump the shark at the end of the Trump years and people are just too woke and tired of their BS and drama now to fall for it again?
Personally, I’m hoping it’s the second option.
I love this song you picked, Eric. Really feeling the lyrics this morning.
Love the music you end with!