Sunday, September 7, 2008

The beginning

I have been late to come to this forum, judging by the massive number of blogs in existance. But I found myself turning away from mainstream media this past week and reading numerous blogs for some semblance of truthtelling that the MSM seems no longer equipped to provide or even provoke. After wearing out my partner with my political rantings of outrage during the Republican convention, she suggested I start a blog. So here it is--with the dual purpose of expressing myself on issues of importance to me and hopefully others, and keeping a relationship sane and uncluttered.

I do not intend to speak only to the political issues of the day. I am, after all, an ardent, dyed-in-the-wool, true blue Cubs fan, and have been since I was a kid. So this year, the 100th anniversary of the Cubs last World Series Championship (for anyone not paying attention), demands more than a little attention, as the Cubs aim for the postseason. Forgive me all you Yankee, Red Sox, Cardinals et al fans, I do not mean to offend. But you have all had your seasons. This one is ours. You will note that, as a true humble and patient fan of the lovable losers, I am only asking for one.

But back to politics, as time is short and the challenges are many. I would like to make some observations on what I like to call:

The Dumbing Down Effect

Andrea Mitchell aptly observes on The Chris Matthews Show this morning, "Its about campaigning not governing," when referring to the Palin debate strategy. Her point is essentially that the Republicans can do anything they want to win, regardless of whether we think Palin's grossly unqualified or not. Mitchell is not defending this strategy, she is simply making the observation of a seasoned poltical reporter. She points out that the "kitchen table" strategy for appealing to middle class Americans has worked in the past and may well work now. So Palin can talk about the price of a gallon of milk and butter up (pardon the pun) women voters, but may never have to talk about the complex workings of the US economy in a global economy. She only has to know a few talking points to sound knowledgeable, she doesn't actually have to be knowledgeable. Why? Because most of the American voters do not know enough to question her knowledge, so if it sounds good, it must be good. As an added protection against tougher questioning, the Rovicans (which is what we should call them now, as the traditional conservative Republicans have sold their souls to the devil incarnate, Karl Rove) have introduced two defenses: sexism and the elitist east coast media. By doing this, they can point to one of these two when it fits their need, instead of responding to why the question can't be answered intelligently by Palin. ("Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain") Has Bush succeeded in the effort to dumb America down to the point where we will believe any lie if its told often enough, or simply said by a pretty, smiling woman in a skirt? Oops, sorry, did that sound sexist? :)

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