After 25 years of lies, innuendo, double-dealing, slime attacks, calculated intimidation, and pretzel logic as twisted as an old phone cord (remember them?), you’d think by now everyone on our side would understand what the right wing up to. But we don’t, not really. We’re getting there but our learning curve is longer than an elephant’s memory. It should have been obvious in the early days of the Reagan Administration when the newly-minted Right-Wing Noise Machine – a creation of conservative think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation and funded by rich far-right kooks like Adolf Coors – mounted a concerted assault on our news media that made it afraid to criticize Ramblin’ Ronnie when he said stupid shit like “Trees pollute”. Yet here it is, more than two decades later, and many on the left still profess surprise whenever the RWNM gears up another campaign of vicious fantasizing.
Even more disturbing is our collective misunderstanding about the right’s aims, motivations, and tactics. We insist on criticizing their disconnectedness from reality as if it was relevant or, worse, some sort of accident. We keep thinking they’ll have to acknowledge reality at some point, and if they don’t they’ll smack their noses on it. But they don’t. They go right on ignoring it and we go right on being surprised.
This dance sort of reminds me of a classic old vaudeville bit made famous by Abbott and Costello and then infamous for later generations by the 3 Stooges, “Slowly I Turn…” Continue reading