Friday, February 27, 2015

Returning to Idiot America

Heading back to the mainland tomorrow, so I'll be able to catch up with all the shenanigans that have been going on in the crazy week I've been away. But I've been using the time to re-read some great books that seem even more fitting today, including Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine and Charlie Pierce's Idiot America .

Pierce mentions that Idiot America (best exemplified by the average Fox News watcher) has three Great Premises. Given our fair Guv's descent into a further depth of stupidity than I even thought possible this week, let me give you Pierce's summary of those premises and see how it applies to today.
The First Great Premise: Any theory is valid if it sells books, soaks up ratings, or otherwise moves units.
And a corollary of that is anyone who can move those units is given credibility, even if what they have to say it absurd bullshit.
Which leads us, inevitably to the Second Great Premise: Anything can be true if someone says it loudly enough.
If that doesn't define Milwaukee AM talk radio and other GOP-aganda, what does? Repeat the lie loud enough, send it around to enough venues, and it becomes "something people are talking about" and has to inevitably be followed up by the "legitimate" media. Much like how Walker has flat-out lied about the threats he has faced from protestors in the last 4 years (very few, despite the damage he has tried to impose), and that the state was bankrupt and flailing when he took over (actually it was adding more jobs than it is today, and the Doyle/Dem budget ended up in a surplus with better revenues, the direct opposite of today's budget mess).
The sheer initial force created by the effort people are willing to put behind the promulgation of what they believe to be true inevitably leads to the Third Great Premise: Fact is that which enough people believe. Truth is determined by how fervently they believe it.
In this mentality, you can claim that 100,000 teachers, bureaucrats, librarians, and other public employees are just as scary and destructive as ISIS, and enough rubes might suck it up.

In a better time, we had a media that would call this BS out, and ultimately humiliate and expose a candidate who clearly was clueless and/or so blatantly dishonest. But because a whole lot of people at Journal Communications stand to make a lot of money on Scott Walker books to go with their revenues from Scott Walker ads, they tend to stay silent when our fair Guv makes a fool out of himself and lies about the way things are back home.

Which is why it is up to us to continue to respond vocally and forcefully, to counteract the pull of Idiot Wisconsin and Idiot America, which is fueling the (likely already fading) Scott Walker boomlet. We need to generate equal heat to grab the casual bystander's attention, and if our response is based on fact, it's a lot more likely to succeed over the long run.

That being said, the mistake too many Dems have made in Wisconsin is in thinking that being kind and appealing solely to reason will encourage enough voters to agree and win midterm elections. The other guys have bellowed from the Gut, and that's been enough to get 29% of the voting-age population to pull the lever for Walker, and keep this destructive Reign of Error going. Reason and facts do matter, but so does a little fire, and I hope we see more of it back home in Wisconsin from the good guys tomorrow and over the coming weeks.


  1. Yes. And now, Walker's team pushes the so-called Overton window -- see -- rightward by a.) blaming the news media who covered his public remarks for somehow distorting them or paying too much attention to them and b.) complaining that left-wing activists have in the past called him a terrorist -- see today's front-page (!) Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story:

  2. This is why you have to hammer anyone that tries that false equivalency BS. And I love the subtext about how everyday citizens who are being robbed are supposed to be as classy as someone who is running to be the leader of the free world.

    I know the J-S won't tell it like it is with this bum, so we need to go after them for enabling this disgusting behavior as well. Sen. Warren showed how it's done with her comments today