Signs of desperation are showing throughout the VRWC. They know they’ve been lying all this time; probably they don’t know it consciously, but at a deep level they do know. Their current desperation — desperation being a constant companion to such folks — arises from the failure of their schemes and champions, and a realization that they’ve turned the country against their cause as well as themselves. It’s a slow turn with a ship this big, but I feel it turning.
Is “desperation” too strong? Here’s Richard Morin in the Post:
This is not funny: Jon Stewart and his hit Comedy Central cable show may be poisoning democracy.
Two political scientists found that young people who watch Stewart’s faux news program, “The Daily Show,” develop cynical views about politics and politicians that could lead them to just say no to voting.
Let’s skip over the irony of Republicans acting like they want more people to vote, and go directly to the study.
To test for a “Daily Effect,” Baumgartner and Morris showed video clips of coverage of the 2004 presidential candidates to one group of college students and campaign coverage from “The CBS Evening News” to another group. Then they measured the students’ attitudes toward politics, President Bush and the Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.).
The results showed that the participants rated both candidates more negatively after watching Stewart’s program. Participants also expressed less trust in the electoral system and more cynical views of the news media, according to the researchers’ article, in the latest issue of American Politics Research.
“Ultimately, negative perceptions of candidates could have participation implications by keeping more youth from the polls,” they wrote.
Unimpeachable methodology. Since the two parties, plus the media, are the definition of legitimate, cynicism about the institutions and negative perceptions of the candidates are evidence of the damage Stewart and friends have caused (I wonder if they measured “The Colbert Report”, speaking of cynical). And cynical voters have negative perceptions of the candidates, so they don’t vote.
Okay, where do I fit in that scheme? Where does Bill Blum, Osama’s favorite American historian, fit? I’m as cynical as anyone, and I have negative perceptions of the two parties and pretty much everyone they’ve nominated for President in the decades I’ve been a voter. But I’ve voted for President in every election except for one, when I’d moved and didn’t get re-registered in time. (If I’d had it together that time, I would have voted for the winner for the only time in my life.)
What the VRWC minions are concerned about is that people are breaking out of the fantasy-based mind set and returning to the reality-based one. This spells trouble for the true believers, unless they manage to bring about Armageddon before sanity returns. It’s also trouble for the thieves, ending that duty-free period in which their thefts, even if discovered, went unpunished. But judging by the thefts the same folks got away with during Reagan’s occupancy of the White House — the looting of the S&L’s, for example — very little restitution will be made, and most likely no one, even those known to have made huge illegal profits, will even be accused, let alone indicted or convicted. Their control of the media is greater than it was during the previous looting period.
But they don’t, yet, control the internet. Controlling the net is undoubtedly near the top of their to-do list.