Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Economist and mealy-mouthed press

I've said before that it seems to me like the current conservative/Republican party movement is an unstable conglomerate, full of people who wouldn't share any structure together other than a big tent: there are

  1. the Romney-supporting moderate/realists (or closet nuts); 
  2. the Santorum-supporting religious right; 
  3. the Paul-supporting libertarian right (i.e., financially libertarians, socially conservative); and 
  4. the Gingrich-supporting haters-of-liberals. (You can tell them because they're the ones who say that you should do something because it annoys a liberal. Heck, Sarah Palin said that almost exactly: vote for Gingrich to annoy a liberal.)
I hope for a conservative fracture in part because it bothers me that people who have such diverse views feel the need to vote together. (I hate libertarians and I think most are essentially conservative; but there is some liberal-libertarian overlap that could be reached if not for Paul's figurehead leadership.) Also, I wouldn't mind if these single-issue voters fractured since it would cede power to the Democrats.

But more importantly this conglomerate mess bothers me because you end up arguing with a moderate who disavows some extreme view--but then both the moderate and the extremist go into a booth and vote the same way.

(Some political bloggers I follow argue that moderate Republicans tend to vote the same as the more extreme Republicans--that their moderation is more an electoral strategy than a policy conviction. Judging by the last few years, it's hard to argue with that; though I think it's probable that more extreme politicians start more extreme policy and the moderates in the Republican Party just go along. For what it's worth, Democratic moderates seem more interested in fighting other Democrats, cf. Manchin in WV.)

So for a few years now, some hopeful political bloggers have argued that moderate Republicans would some day take back their party.

But moderate Republicans will never be in charge as long as they're coddled by a mealy-mouthed, "both sides do it"horse-race press.

And one big example of that is  The Economist, which is a realpolitick, conservative magazine with a nasty inability to tell the truth. That is, The Economist would be happiest with a globalized, laissez-faire, tax-the-poor world (more or less), but they're not global-warming-denying, dinosaurs-missed-the-ark crazies.

And yet whenever The Economist podcast discusses American politics, it always comes out with mealy-mouthed narratives about how partisan gridlock is paralyzing the nation--without ever noting how the Republican Party is blocking nominations and legislation at an unprecedented rate.

No comments:

Post a Comment