Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Obama Failed To Make Liberalism Cool

There seems to be an interesting meme developing on the left. Call it a talking point. It’s about the true failure of Obama, as seen by the left. The left saw Obama’s promise as president as being able to convince the American people to embrace government, but in that he has failed miserably.

I’ve seen this talking point developing for some months now, but it didn’t hit the mainstream until the other day when I read an article by Dan Balz of the The Washington Post, and a nearly identical article by Maureen Dowd. In his article, Balz laments the “multiple controversies” (read: scandals) that have engulfed poor Barack and he notes that these controversies leave one thing clear:
“President Obama has failed to meet one of the most important goals he set out when he was first elected, which was to demonstrate that activist government could also be smart government.”
Right there. That’s how they see him. His goal was to win the public over to the belief that government is good and he failed. Indeed, Balz continues by telling us that Obama promised to win people over by bringing “smart, effective government.” But things didn’t turn out that way. Notes Balz:
“What has happened since Obama laid down that challenge for his administration? More Americans favor smaller government over bigger government than when he was first elected, according to exit polls from last November. Public confidence in the federal government is as low as it has ever been, according to a Pew Research Center survey released this spring.”
Snicker snicker. Yep. No sale.

What has caused this? Well, there are the “controversies” (read: scandals), including Benghazi, IRS, Justice spying on reporters, and Balz adds the DOD scandal of a rising number of sexual assaults -- he ignores all the rest. There are also “the questions about Health and Human Services and its implementation of the Affordable Care Act.” Of this, he says, “it is little wonder confidence has eroded.” Ultimately though, he blames his lord and master for just not doing what he needed to do:
“But Obama bears a particular responsibility for failing to do what he said he had to do, which was to convince the public that he could make the part of government that he directly controls — the executive branch — smarter, more effective and more deserving of trust.”
That is the liberal judgment of Obama: Obama is a failure because he failed to convince the public that government is good. Balz even claims that Obamacare is failing to win support for the simple reason that while people supposedly like all of its parts (a delusion), “Obama is still fighting to overcome distrust of government.”

As I said, this wasn’t the first article to talk like this either. This meme has been building. The first mention I saw of this was in January in an article that concluded that the Republicans had really won and Obama lost because the things Obama was seeking all accepted conservative thinking. Particularly, the article noted that on taxes, on the idea of using market-based solutions, and on issues like gun control, the public remains remarkably conservative. Other similar articles followed, each of which suggested ways in which Obama has failed to sell people on expanded government.

Then there was the article by Maureen Dowd, which came out the same day as Balz’s article and which makes the same point only much more damningly than Balz. Maureen whined:
“You know that the faltering American idol in the White House must be reeling in this scandalous spring. . . Just four months after his second inauguration, the president is buffeted by gushing investigations, smug and deranged Republicans, and cat-who-ate-the-canary conspiracists. The man who promised in 2008 to make government cool again is instead batting away charges that he has made government ‘Nixonian’ again.
Call it a talking point or groupthink, but either way note what is going on here. Liberals see Obama as a failure. And it’s not because they see him as the man who failed to fix race relations, something he could have done much to help. It’s not because they see him as the man who failed to fix partisan gridlock, something he could have done too. It’s not because they see him as the man who failed to solve global warming/cooling/whatevering or bring gay marriage or solve illegal immigration or reform Wall Street or bring universal healthcare. No. It’s none of that. It’s much more basic.

They wanted Obama to be a transformative president, a president who would finally get the rest of America to accept them.

He failed.

Americans still distrust government. Americans still distrust liberals. He didn’t make liberalism cool.

Score: Ronald Reagan 1, Barack Obama 0.


Tennessee Jed said...

absolute power corrupts absolutely. Big government has the same problem as big corporations ... it invites corruption. I am reminded of one of your posts about liberals believing if they just close their eyes and believe in fairys enough, Tinkerbell will come back to life

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Both good points. This is what happens when a politician thinks he can get away with it.

And you are correct, liberals use fairy logic. They think they can will things to be true. They have no grasp of reality or they would realize that the reason people don't like government is because it doesn't work. They don't dislike it on principle, they just know it will only make things worse.

So until they prove they can actually make things better for people with government, they can forget winning people over to liberalism.

K said...

“President Obama has failed to meet one of the most important goals he set out when he was first elected, which was to demonstrate that activist government could also be smart government.”

Stalin and Pol Pot had the same problem. The usual solution is more NKVD.

AndrewPrice said...

K, What's interesting to me is that Obama really blew it with overreach. If he'd only nudged the country to the left little by little, he probably would have gotten away with it. He might even have sold people on the idea that the government is a good thing.

But he decided instead to make this giant leap and in the process he ended up turning off everyone who wasn't a leftist... yet angering the left because he didn't leap far enough.

The man is a really poor politician.

K said...

He might even have sold people on the idea that the government is a good thing.

That was Bush. Ironic, isn't it?

AndrewPrice said...

True. What I often wonder about is if the absolute venom the left had for Bush was that he was basically doing liberalism better than they ever had? Kind of a "he's stealing our thing" kind of anger.

And along those lines, I find it amazing how much Obama is just a continuation of Bush with only minor tinkering at the edges.

El Gordo said...

But you forget the reality "on the ground".

Europeans were not sold on the EU and the Euro but what difference did it make? They got it anyway. Their feelings didn´t matter. Same here. Big government does not depend on our consent, and there is always enough approval for specific parts of it anyway.

Thanks to Obama, government IS bigger and less accountable. The perverse incentives created by liberals are in place. Baked in the cake. How is that a failure?

Leftists are revolutionary in nature. They take over institutions, put their people everywhere and create facts. The intimidation of conservatives and journalists by government agencies is such a fact. As of today, it helped them more than it hurt them and all the "told you so" in the world do not change that.

You don´t roll that back with opinion polls, or by simply electing Republicans (necessary, not sufficient) especially if they stick to the rule book.

Rescuing the economy is in fact the easy part. You just have to unleash it. But it won´t "fundamentally change" a thing.

What are the chances that a Republican President and Congress will really roll back government? For that, you need to be radical. But conservatives are by definition not radical (the word means tearing up the roots). Careerists even less so.

You needed a President who will mirror what Obama did. He must repeal almost all of Obama´s executive orders and fire every appointee, put reliable conservatives in place and then shrink, reform, close and merge agency after agency. And do it in his first year in office. And sell it by using the language of common sense and good government against a thousand hostile special interests.

What are the chances of that happening?

The only guy who even might be aware of what needs to be done is Ted Cruz, if he could get elected and had majorities in both Houses.

Anthony said...

I agree Obama hasn't been a transformation president, but I don't think such presidents are possible nowadays.

In Reagan's time the Democrats controlled Congress and never came close to losing control. Negotiations are a bit easier when both sides are on firm footing (Democrats assumed that since they had held Congress for a few decades, they would continue to hold it in perpetuity and that the only office in play was the Presidency).

Post-Bush 1, presidents have enjoyed periods when their parties controlled Congress. During such periods, overreach is inevitable. Parties cannot resist the urge to use their power to address the issues that obsess them.

Look how many shifts of power we've seen since 1994. Voters vote out party A because of the excesses of party B, then party B says 'A vote for us was a vote for our whole agenda, clearly its time for radical reform!' then they get voted out for their excesses.

Also, presidents are always (eventually) viewed as traitors to the cause. Its part of the reality of power.

*Shrugs* Maybe Republicans will break the cycle once they win power, but I see little sign of it.

BevfromNYC said...

"And along those lines, I find it amazing how much Obama is just a continuation of Bush with only minor tinkering at the edges"
"He might even have sold people on the idea that the government is a good thing."

Andrew and K - This is why Bush could do it and Obama can't. Obama shows utter disdain for those who disagree with his policies (I.e. half of the citizens of the US) even if most of those policies are a continuation of Bush''s. How can you convince the public that your policies will benefit everyone, if you openly despise 1/2 of them to their faces. Oh and add this too - at the same time criticizing Bush for al of the same policies.

Even with Bush''s most ardent and vocal critics, Bush never once called them out by name in public...ever.

Tennessee Jed said...

really great discussion going on here

LL said...

Do you recall the pre-first election Obama, promising to put bills on the Internet to foster public debate, howling about transparency, and on and on. The great liberal hope turned out to be an empty chair.

It's HARD to be the Leader of the Free World. Reagan did better than almost everyone. Obama simply replicated the record that Jimmy Carter set -- except that we will have him for 8 years.

tryanmax said...

El Gordo,
The difference between American liberals and European liberals is that American liberals want to be loved. European liberals are content to be smug and roll over the peons. American liberals need to be loved by the peons whom they roll.

Part of it is because American liberals know that, however unlikely, if American peons fall out of love with them, they can roll back all their hard work in a historical instant. European liberals don't really have to worry about that.

Patriot said...

I think we are seeing the end result of trying to run a country with a history of ornerinous(sp?) in the people. Many of our ancestors left Europe because of the hope for a life free of government overreach. So I believe it is built in to our national character and culture.

When a "internationalist Progressive" tries to come in and fundamentally transform a country where half the citizens are just fine with the way it is, well then, as we are seeing, he is running up against the same mentality that created a revolution to throw off a government that was abusing it's power. I've heard only about a third of the American people supported the revolution at the time. However many there actually were, there were enough to fight to the death for a cause that many held dear.

Does anyone think the leftists, such as Obama and his spoiled brats, would fight to the death to keep what they are trying to transform? Doubt it. I think we'll see them slink off into history with their millions stolen from the US Treasury and write their memoirs of how misunderstood they all were, etc., etc., etc.

I don't think I've seen this disgust at how our government operates in my lifetime. Now that we have a few mainstream media types experiencing the type of overreach that our side has seen and cautioned about for years, we might finally have the opportunity to "right the ship of state" and begin re-building trust in our form of government.

Andrew...hurry and get your book into the right hands. You could very well be the next Tom Paine!

T-Rav said...

(sigh) A good thing, I suppose. But just once in a while, it would be nice if liberals took a look at their ideas and wondered whether that was the problem, not who was implementing them.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Why would they do that? After all, "liberalism has never been tried." LOL!

rlaWTX said...

T-Rav, that would be nice... unlikely, but nice.

AndrewPrice said...

El Gordo, Undoing what's been done is another issues. This article is just meant to point out that Obama has left a bad taste in liberals mouths and the reason for it. It's not that he failed to get his agenda or give them all the things they wanted, it's that he failed to make them acceptable to the public. Liberalism remains a 40% belief in the US. That hasn't changed.

But as for rolling things back, honestly, I thought Romney was our best chance. He struck me as a guy who had experience reforming dinosaurs and he could well have done it. His problem was that conservatives couldn't see that and they wanted someone who was foaming at the mouth -- someone who would have zero ability to get anything done -- so they set out to destroy him.

Further, in terms of reforming, let me point out two things to consider.

1. The states have done it under competent management. I can point to a great many states that mirrored the Feds until they got smart Republican governors and those states now have smaller, smarter and more efficient governments. The same thing can be done at the federal level, but it will take a guy with a brain, not an ideologue, and conservatives will need to realize that reform isn't as simple as "slash everything!" and support the guy as he does it.

2. The big secret to government isn't the fancy stuff that gets the public's attention, it's the small stuff the public doesn't understand. That's what shapes the government. If you can master that small stuff, you can change the world and no one will notice until it's happened. It's not sexy, but it's real and it's possible.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I agree with your history, but I disagree with your idea that presidents can't be transformational. I think they can in one of three ways.

1. In a negative way: Bush W/Obama -- both overreached and failed to such a degree that they disgraced their own ideology and left the public amenable to joining the other side. If Obama had been more moderate, he would have made this a liberal nation and conservatism would be dead. Conversely, if the Republicans had offered an agenda and dropped the anger, they would have swept into power and wouldn't leave again for decades. The only reason the balance remains is because incompetence and fringe met incompetence and fringe.

2. Rubio/Rand. Both Rubio and Rand are changing the Republican Party back to the mainstream. I am 100% certain they will succeed and they have the potential to cause a significant re-alignment that gives the Republicans tremendous power to reshape the government. I'm just not sure what they will do with it once they have it.

3. Customer Satisfaction: That leads us to number three. I firmly believe the problem with both parties right now is that they are pure fringe. They only care about fringe issues. The first party to change their platform to something that appeals to the public will both win a vast majority of the public, but will also reshape the government in the process and change the nation.

I'm going to publish my book hopefully this week. Take a look at it and tell me you don't think a platform like that wouldn't change everything.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, That is a huge difference between Bush and Obama. Bush never treated anyone with disdain, but Obama never treated anyone in any other way.

In terms of how Bush got stuff passed, however, I think there was another reason for that. The Republicans were going to support whatever he proposed, no matter how much it went against their ideology, and the Democrats were giddy to get a Republican pushing liberalism. Moreover, the Democrats knew they could get what they want and still attack Bush because he never fought back.

Honestly, he's a decent man, but a disaster for conservatism.

AndrewPrice said...

LL, It's amazing the difference between candidate Obama and President Obama. If candidate Obama had taken office, the world would be very different today. But instead, we got this guy... a rotten, stupid, lazy narcissist.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I think you put your finger on a key difference. European liberals live in a different reality than American liberals. They have simply replaced the royalty who ran those countries and they treat the country as a fief and the citizens as serfs. And for the most part, the citizen do as they are told.

Americans have the bad habit of not doing what they are told. We do not accept royalty and we are very quick to undo things we don't like.

America is a country that reinvents itself every couple days. Europe is a private club with 400 million janitors. That means nothing is ever permanent here, but most everything is permanent in Europe.

AndrewPrice said...

Patriot, I think the American people are remarkably practical. Our whole history tells us that. We will try things if we think they are a good idea. If they aren't, we change them (e.g. Prohibition). Nothing in America is ever forever or and we don't accept "that's just the way it is." In fact, our heroes are the very guys who were told "that's just the way it is" and then they went out and changed it.

Look at the guy who started FedEx, who got a C on his thesis because his professors told him the idea of an overnight carrier was impossible. Look at Sam Walton, who was told "you can't cater to poor, rural types" and think about what Walmart is today.

America was built by people who did things that weren't supposed to work and showed people a better way. And once people saw that their way worked, we all adopted it.... because Americans want what's best and what works. And that part of our natures flies in the face of liberalism, which has shown repeatedly that it doesn't work and which cuts off our ability to keep experimenting. Liberalism is anti-American nature.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, The first step in solving a problem is recognizing that the problem exists. Liberals aren't there yet.

El Gordo said...

"The same thing can be done at the federal level, but it will take a guy with a brain, not an ideologue, and conservatives will need to realize that reform isn't as simple as "slash everything!" and support the guy as he does it."

Andrew, doing it at the federal level means decentralizing and devolving power, which means shrinking. For example, it means getting rid of all the people meant to administer our new health care regime. What else would you do with them?

I have not said "slash everything" but unless you can subtract a lot of what Obama added, he has won, has he not?

Obama WILL have a legacy, alas one he would be proud of. He didn´t do that by mastering small stuff. I would say the number of people in positions of power with a strong incentive to support liberalism or "statism" has grown massively. That way, a majority is not necessary. That is how the left gets things done.

Undoing it requires a kind of pagan ruthlessness. Heads must roll (Biden would say: literally) simply to ensure you´re not undermined by your own bureaucracy from day one. For your policies to work they must be implemented and enforced. You can´t just rely on that anymore.

AndrewPrice said...

El Gordo, Of course we need to wipe out all of what Obama had done... and then some. But that will take a scalpel, not a chainsaw. When our side screams about slashing everything and shutting down agencies, they automatically lose the public.

For one thing, the public doesn't trust ideologues because ideologues are seen as dangerous because they put their beliefs ahead of reality. For another, people like the agencies we attack. When our presidential candidates all said "shut down the EPA" the public heard, "let business pollute." The truth about something like the EPA is that they do good things and they do bad things. If we attack the bad things, the public is with us. If we attack the agency as a whole, then the public sees us attacking the good things and they resist.

That's the problem. Every time we talk about reforming any agency, our right flank crawls out of the woodwork and screams, "SLASH IT ALL!! LET IT BURN!!" And the public sees our side as lunatics. That approach is guaranteed to fail. And it makes it really easy for the Democrats because all they have to do is say, "Gee, they hate schools and clean air," and the public rallies to the left.

It's a self-inflicted wound.

In terms of decentralization, it does NOT mean decentralizing power. What it really means is "paring back power." Take the EPA, for example, it means shrinking their mandate and reducing the level of power they have to do what they do. That means changing laws and regulations to make their role more narrow, to raise their burden, and to provide average citizens with more power to defend themselves.

It also means streamlining agency functions and processes and eliminating employees who aren't needed anymore so that agencies get better at doing their jobs and become easier to deal with. It also means bringing in modern management techniques that let managers eliminate deadwood and provide incentives to make sure people are doing their jobs right.

That isn't base-sexy, but it will actually work.

As for Obama, his legacy is shit. His legacy will be a wealth transfer from the Treasury to private insurers until the bill collapses under its own weight and needs to be replaced because there's no money. The best he will achieve is "well, he tried."

If Obama had understood the little things, he might actually have a legacy, but he didn't bother. He tried the sledge hammer approach and the result is stillborn experiment.

As for the idea that the bureaucracy won't implement policies, that's a conservative boogeyman. It's not true. The bureaucracy is slow and abusive to average people, but it does what it is told.

wahsatchmo said...

A core tenant of liberal belief is that we'd all be better off if we were ruled by a benevolent dictator who was influenced by a cadre of elite thinkers. These elite thinkers would be independent and dispassionate, of course, because at some point they'd be paid by the government to be so.

Liberals assumed that once Obama was put in power, this structure would be established and the public would love it. The press assumed that they were included among the elite thinkers and lined up to lick the boots of the President, carry his water, and cover his ass. They never realized that the liberal inner circle doesn't really give a damn what they think, thank you very much; they have the reigns of power and that's all that matters.

So, shocker, despite begging for bailouts, newspaper companies did not become wards of the state. Obama's WH spied on reporters Politburo-style to curb free speech. His Executive Branch is, and always has been, completely out of control. What did they expect? They wanted a dictator, so they got one.

Yet I actually believe that Obama wasn't aware of most of the actions of his Executive Branch. Valarie Jarrett so insulates Obama from criticism, commentary, advice, and information, that he probably is ignorant of his Administration's activities. So we have a dictatorship where no one is actually in charge.

And the solution to the problem, of course, is more government. And the way to convince the public of that need is to make sure that everybody knows liberalism is "cool." Which Obama didn't do. It's his one failing, don't you know.

AndrewPrice said...

wahsatchmo, That is very astute! I agree across the board with your comment. I think the media and other Democrats assumed Obama would be the cool, hip benign dictator and everyone would fall in love with him. Then he could implement all the stuff they've always wanted and be loved in the process. And by going along with him, they would get to share in his reward.

But they picked the wrong guy. They picked a Chicago thug whose real goal was to rob the Treasury for his friends as he enjoyed his time at Club Fed playing golf. That is exactly what he did and he never lifted a finger to help any of the slobbering liberals who thought they were part of the team. To the contrary, he treated them with contempt and suspicion, just like he treated the rest of us.

As to what Obama knows, I frankly wouldn't doubt that he knows nothing. I still see him as an empty suit, a guy who doesn't know anything and doesn't want to know anything. He's a figurehead. I would honestly be shocked if he could hold a conversation for five minutes or even describe his own job.

T-Rav said...

Here's the thing I never understood about Obama--or rather, about the way he was perceived. This is a guy who came out of the Chicago political machine; there's no way you rise to political power in that neck of the woods without being involved with it in some way. Either he's got some bodies buried of his own or he knows where someone else's are. So how could anyone believe that he was pure as the driven snow? There's ignorance and there's willful ignorance.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I think image is everything. Obama did his best to sell himself as "different." He was supposed to be the young ideologue who wasn't ideological. He was the young black guy who wasn't like those other black guys. He was hip. He was cool. He was packaged as a blank slate and everyone was able to project their own desires onto him.

He was a brilliant piece of marketing.

Commander Max said...

Obama always came across to me as one of the Smothered Brothers(remember In Living Color). Cool is something he never had.

Plus he really can't be that smart(only thinks he is). Anybody who thinks it's good to intimidate your opponents and bury them in red tape(and not at least do the same to some of your own people, make it look like they are being fair). Especially in a country as litigious as ours. If Goldberg and Osborn are any indication, it is cool to sue people. So in that regard perhaps there might be some success.

AndrewPrice said...

Max, I think Obama's "cool" was a combination of his hipster style (he tried to look like Kennedy), his constant talk of "let's do it all differently" which made him a safe rebel, and frankly, the fact that he was black without being connected to "black culture." Basically, he was the idea; black man for white liberal women who want to prove that they aren't really racist in a very safe suburban white way.

If you saw the movie "The Watch," he resonated with the Ben Stiller vote -- white suburbanite who thought he was cool and was looking for the "ideal black person" so he could say he had a black friend.

Anthony said...


1) I think Bush/Obama is what inevitably happens with presidents who win majorities. Power is a poisoned chalice for political parties, the more they get, the more extreme they become and the faster they lose favor.

If they don't become extreme once their party wins power over government, then they piss of their wings (we worked hard to get you elected, and your victory is a clear mandate for our ideology, why aren't you doing what you were elected to do!) which includes many of their friends and supporters.

2. Rubio/Rand are two very interesting guys, but I'm not sure they can make the sort of changes that will keep the Republicans from nuking themselves in one form or another once in power or perhaps even from attaining it.

For example, much of the conservative media is working hard to foster the perception that 'real' conservatives/Republicans don't support immigration reform.

3. I agree completely.

El Gordo said...

Andrew, I don´t want to talk about the dreaded base again. I´m not one of them though I can at least understand their point if not their style.

The left forces change on us by capturing and subverting institutions. They have been very successful in moving the Overton window. I didn´t have to defend free markets nearly as much in the 1980s or 1990s. Left-wing thought is well entrenched. They don´t look afraid to me. They got one of their guys in the White House and they can do it again. Culturally, the Obami have taken two steps forward with their thuggery and race, class and gender warfare. Another wall torn down. The next GOP administration will start with bad fundamentals and will struggle to take one step back. Obamacare collapsing because the money runs out is not a victory, it is another crisis. Who knows what will come of it?

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, Sadly, I can't disagree. Rubio and Rand both have tremendous power to attract non-base voters and make the party more aligned with American thinking. Unfortunately, our base is really toxic right now and has decided that the solution is to become even more toxic.

The immigration thing is a good example. Not only has the conservative media lied through its teeth about the issue, but they are becoming openly racist and they are seeking to destroy anyone who doesn't get back in line with them.

The thing is, this is the moment where the Republicans can win a huge victory by flipping the base the finger and moving on. That might set the Republicans free to become a majority party based on conservative values, rather than a tiny party based on fringe lunacy.

I think Rubio is making the bet that he can do that only without flipping the bird, and I think he's finding that the bird is automatic. But if he wins (and I think he will) that might set the Republicans free.

We'll see, but that's the only way I think the Republicans stay relevant, is to toss away the conservative media and the lunatics.

AndrewPrice said...

El Gordo, The one thing I've found about our system is that when you get a new administration, everything changes. If we got an intelligent conservative who wanted to remake the government and a Congress that could pass some things, they could easily undo all of Obama's "legacy."

The problem is that I don't see the Republicans winning again unless they change, and the base isn't willing to allow that. I don't know if you listen to talk radio, but the level of delusion is beyond comprehension at this point. And that delusion is compounded by anger. Moreover, you see it now in more reputable places too like National Review.

In terms of Obamacare, the Democrats will call it a crisis, but I think this is more likely a dud. The problem for the Democrats is that the public doesn't see any of the workings, so when they don't get their subsidies, they'll never know it didn't happen. When state budgets go broke for expanding Medicaid, only the poor will be affected. The one area they will see it is if they get fined or if their employer drops their coverage. That will be the legacy of Obamacare:

1. Angry people getting fined.
2. Angry people losing their insurance.
3. Skyrocketing insurance costs.
4. Democrats whining about something not being funded, but the public not knowing what that is.
5. Doctors complaining bitterly.

That's Obamacare.

El Gordo said...

Andrew, I stopped listening to talk radio circa 2010 for two reasons, both related to high blood pressure. First, listening to a conversation between opponents is torture to me. I always want to jump in to correct them. For the same reason I cannot listen to political debates. That´s just a personal foible.

Second, I remember at first it was nice to find voices who basically agreed with me. After a while the shows left me angry and depressed. Once I had analyzed their MO it became repetitive and depressing. Not fun.

I don´t know the current "level of delusion". I hope people like Dennis Prager still try to be thoughtful and civilized. But when it comes to Limbaugh or Levin, I don´t need to be whipped into a frenzy every damn day.

I listen to some podcasts. The "Uncommon Knowledge" series of interviews on NR is very good. Old fashioned, long interviews where you get to know the guy. It´s on itunes.

AndrewPrice said...

El Gordo, That's about the time I stopped listening too, but I still hear it a lot because people around me listen to it all the time -- they also report what they heard and I get to spend my days debunking it, only to be told "but Rush wouldn't say it if it wasn't true."

Prager is ok (so is Medved), but most of the rest are just a nightmare. Every day is a new outrage. They foam at the mouth. They take things so far out of context they might as well have made them up. Everything is bathes in innuendo and rumor. Everything is a vast worldwide conspiracies of the most twisted sort to "destroy America." You hear that phrase probably every half hour. And their prime target these days is fellow conservatives. Yet, the try to make it sound like they were the ones being attacked because they are HUGE on playing the victim.

Mark Levin even does this routine where he calls the Republicans "fascists" and say they're doing things behind the scenes "to try to shut me down, so I can't tell you the truth anymore."

Current talk radio has all the makings of a doomsday cult.

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