Political argument in this country as practiced by most if not all pundits is disingenuous and has nothing to do with any objective analysis. This should come as no shock. Most if not all members of the punditocracy couch their opinions in term of who’s in charge. An example would be nice.
This is one of my favorite terms. The term denotes, frankly, a nut. Someone who espouses a thinking that is insane. Translation: something that if true makes my side look bad. The term was and is used most deftly by those of the political right to reference accusations of the left. Remember, like racial stereotypes, they’re only offensive if they’re based on a kernel of truth. As is usual, the left is absolutely lousy at slinging pejoratives. When the right was accusing Bill Clinton of everything from rape, draft dodging, murder and miscellaneous mayhem, that would have been a perfect time to yell “conspiracy!” But, nope. The best the left can do is allege a veiled reference to stupidity. Exhibit A: Keith Olbermann.
When so-called 9/11 Truthers were alleging all sorts of shenanigans about virtually every aspect of the official account of that dreadful day, the right, i.e. Bushies, refuted the allegations as being of a conspiratorial bent. They were delusional, insane and ‘pert near criminal. Why, to suggest that a sitting President would be engaged in … . You get the picture.
Well, now’s the left’s turn to use the conspiracy argument against the Tea Partiers who allege inter alia that Obama’s not a natural born citizen and is in fact a Muslim and a Venusian. Or something. That would make perfect sense.
What’s a conspiracy?
Simple. At least two guilty parties conspiring, confederating or planning something that’s illegal or real, real bad. Again, the term has been relegated to include any idea which is politically embarrassing, compromising and, more important, true. But the left per usual fails to attack and use the same defense against the right.
Impeachment? Depends on who’s in office, I guess.
The sinistral folks who clamored for 43 to get impeached and convicted are now aghast that the right would suggest the same against their guy, Barry. Chris Matthews even had a “special” on DEMS-NBC, perhaps the lamest example of Zeus only knows what I’ve ever seen. He just repeated the accusations of Obamaphobes and didn’t really challenge them. Now, that was smart, Mr. Hardball. Now would have been the chance to fight back against the more politically deft right. But, alas, they’ve no spine, guts or C.O. Jones. Here’s the chance to return the favor and, nope, they’ve nary a clue. Maybe it’s not their fault. They’ve been out of power for so long, they may have contracted a terminal case of learned helplessness.
A lifetime of great symbols.
The right is without peer when it comes to grabbing a symbol that (using Dubyonics) “resignates” with folks. Think of it: the flag, Gawd, the Bible, the family, country, patriotism, marriage, the nuclear family, Charlton Heston, Ronald Reagan, wingtips, The Ten Commandments, guns.
Those poor, misguided lefties. They’ve got abortion, gays, flag burning, gay marriage, Adam and Steve, drugs, Birkenstocks, medical marijuana, Alec Baldwin, LGBT, healthcare, bailouts, perceived socialism, assisted suicide. Nice, huh?
They never knew about image. They’re so incredibly naive. The far right, however, is incredibly intolerant, scared, reflexively fascistic to be sure. But great when it comes to grabbing a symbol. And grabbing a symbol that works.
Semiotics is the study of signs and symbols as elements of communicative behavior. And the right is masterful at it. To the most unfamiliar of political observers, now’s the chance for Obamaphiles and liberals and progressives to fight fire with fire and throw the conspiracy theory accusation right back at ’em. I’d even go so far as to throw in xenophobia and racism, but on second thought, no. Why?
The former accusation they wouldn’t get and the latter they might agree with.
So long as the left remains impuissant and maladroit at crafting a message, they will always play second fiddle. But in any event, this affects Obama not in the least. He’s neither left nor right.
He’s the President.