Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Conservative Cocoon

There are at least 10 posts about John Kerry’s gaffe at Hugh Hewitt’s blog. Why so much attention to such a trivial story? Because the purpose of Hewitt’s show and his blog is to advance Republican power. All else is subordinated to the quest for power – and Hugh Hewitt never goes off message. He adheres to the party line with Prussian discipline.

Hewitt knows this story is great for the Republicans and deadly for the Democrats. All stories that show the Republicans as strong on the military are winners. This story is especially good because John Kerry is a weasel. The man has less charisma than a sea cucumber. He makes Republicans look good and Democrats look bad. (How did he ever succeed in politics? Oh, yeah – Massachusetts. Say no more.)

Oh, I’m sure Hewitt is sincerely upset about John Kerry’s remark. Anyone who has any respect for the military is bothered by Kerry. But 10 posts worth of upset? It’s all about power. It’s all about inciting the Republican base to feel fear and loathing for the Democrats; this is the one thing that unites the broad coalition that is the Republican Party; this is the one thing that drives Republicans of all types to the ballot box. Ratings might have something to do with Hewitt’s selection of topics – but I think he would sacrifice ratings to see Republicans gain more power.

When did Hewitt last do a show about the looming social security crisis? Or how the Bush administration appeases the enemy? Topics like this don’t stir the emotions and they don’t help to elect Republicans. They’re the kind of issues that Hewitt spends 15 minutes a month on just so he can say, “Yes, we talked about that.”

Liberals like to live within the liberal cocoon, where they just hear news that confirms their worldview. Before the coming of cable news, talk radio and the internet, staying inside the liberal cocoon was easy. The right drew strength from being on the outside. In the ‘80s and ‘90s talk radio was a revelation: it was the child who shocked us by announcing that the mainstream media had no clothes.

Today right-wing talk radio’s schtick is getting old. It continues its mission of exposing the hypocrisy of the liberals and the mainstream media – a mission that was accomplished long ago. There is a more pressing mission now: exposing the hypocrisy of the Republicans. Showing how the compassionate conservatives have betrayed the party of Barry Goldwater. Showing how the Republicans have failed to defeat the enemy in our war with fundamentalist Islam. The left can’t handle this mission because their understanding of individual rights and free market economics is worse than President Bush’s.

Instead of taking up this mission, shows like Hugh Hewitt’s and Rush Limbaugh’s are emulating the enemy they vanquished. They’re spinning a cocoon of their own. This is what happens when the pursuit of power becomes more important than the pursuit of truth.


EdMcGon said...

I am not a fan of Hewitt's, so I won't disagree with you there, or even about talk radio in general.

Unfortunately, political reality forces us into a choice between the insane Democrats and the corrupt Republicans. In those rare cases where there is a third party choice, that is certainly the way to go.

But in most cases, we are stuck with the lesser of two evils choice. Sadly, I have to side with the Republicans and their talk radio homers until the Democrats decide to return to our planet.

Myrhaf said...

I'm seriously considering voting Dem in '08 for president. I think a Dem prez with Republican congress is a good situation. Come on, Ed -- Hillary in '08!

EdMcGon said...

If Hillary is the best choice both parties can come up with, I'm voting Libertarian. :P


Anonymous said...

I would never, ever, of my own free will vote for a Libertarian candidate.

That said, I agree with this post by AllahPundit. I don't like John Kerry, and I'm quite sure that he does not have a positive evaluation of our Armed Forces, but: "Again, neither this nor Kerry’s long, long history of denigrating soldiers proves that he meant to smear the troops at the Angelides rally. And yeah, that’s important to keep in mind; otherwise, as Lileks said this morning, you’re flirting with “fake but accurate.”"

EdMcGon said...

Would you EVER vote for a third party candidate?

Don't ignore the "Perot effect". When enough people vote for a third party candidate, it makes the two majors sit up and take notice. ESPECIALLY the major which lost the election.

If it weren't for Ross Perot, the "Contract with America" never would have happened.

Myrhaf said...

If it weren't for Ross Perot the Clinton Presidency would not have happened.

EdMcGon said...

Granted, but if you take a close look at Clinton's presidency, what did he really do?

Gingrich was more responsible for the balanced budget than Clinton.

Alan Greenspan was more responsible for the strong economy than Clinton.

Welfare reform is about the only useful thing Clinton did in 8 years. In my lifetime, I think only Gerald Ford did less than Bill Clinton. :P