Most everybody slightly to the left of Attila the Hun knows that there’s much amiss about the United States.
Seldom has yr (justifiably) humble svt encountered as bracing an analysis of why the U.S. has become the global basket case it is, as in Arianna Huffington’s book excerpt published in AlterNet.org today.
How did we get to this benighted valley? How did mainstream Republicans and Democrats of all stripes let it happen? We dropped the ball. Left a vacuum. And, of course, the fools rushed in.
Right Is Wrong — How the Lunatic Fringe Hijacked America
By Arianna Huffington, Knopf Publishing. Posted May 22, 2008.
The GOP is now a dark, putrefied party of Bush, Cheney, Rove, Limbaugh and Coulter. And we’re all the worse because of it.
The following is an excerpt from Arianna Huffington’s new book, Right Is Wrong.
The Radical Takeover
The most sweeping takeover of the new millennium didn’t take place among the telecoms or the big oil companies, or in Silicon Valley. It took place in Washington, but we can see and hear and feel its effects nationwide on our televisions, radios, and computer screens. And America is much the worse because of it. I’m talking about the takeover of the Republican Party by its own lunatic fringe, and the Right’s hijacking of America.
Ronald Reagan’s GOP has been replaced by the dark, moldering, putrefied party of Bush, Cheney, Rove, Limbaugh, and Coulter. Morning in America has given way to Midnight in America.
Yes, the Republican Party has always had its far-right cowboys, its Jesse Helmses and Spiro Agnews. Yet they were removed from the party’s more sober core.
But these days, judging by the opinions and actions of the Republicans in office and the party’s candidates for president, it has become impossible to tell where this core stops and the fanatical fringe begins. Just look at what the party is endorsing.
We have a Republican Party that continues to back the White House’s delusions about Iraq at the expense of our military, our treasure, our safety, and our standing in the world.
We have a mainstream on the Right that supports torture, that confirmed an attorney general nominee who is officially agnostic on torture, and that rallies behind a president who refuses to define what the very word “torture” means.
We have a mainstream that supports — even applauds — the behavior of thuggish Blackwater mercenaries, that supports the gutting of our civil liberties, that opposes universal health care, and that has views on immigration that wouldn’t have been heard outside a John Birch Society meeting ten years ago.
The “supposedly liberal” media can take some “credit” for the current awful state of this nation, as they have legitimized, in the name of balance, the outrageous agenda of the radical Right.
A key to understanding the fanatical Right’s takeover of the Republican Party and how these ideas spread to the rest of the country is looking at the role of the media — not the Fox News pseudo-newsmen or the talk radio blowhards — but the respectable, supposedly liberal media. Without the enabling of the traditional media — with their obsession with “balance” and their pathological devotion to the idea that truth is always found in the middle — the radical Right would never have been able to have its ideas taken seriously. If not for the media’s appeals to balance, movement conservatism would have been laughed out of the court of public opinion long ago. And when the press does attempt to dig into the ideological underpinnings of debates about policy and current affairs, it becomes trapped by another form of the media’s bipolar disorder. Besides seeing two sides to every issue, they insist on seeing most political battles through the lens of right vs. left. By reporting everything that’s happening in American politics through this prism, the media missed the big story: the hijacking of America by the lunatic Right.
As faithful reader may recall, Arianna Huffington, whose primary journalistic endeavor these days is The Huffington Post, always an important read, and, of course, found in our blogroll, once was a Republican.
[Please click the link below for the complete article — but then please come on back!]
She says she left the Republican party after she realized that only government can provide the funding solutions to the urgent problems our country faces: poverty, a deeply damaged public education system, the crumbling infrastructure.
The mainstream of U.S. thought probably has always believed in government, but has allowed that sensible position, as have so many sensible opinions, get overrun by the “putrid” likes of Cheney, Limbaugh and Coulter.
We, our children and our grandchildren are, and will be paying for scores of years a stupefyingly high price for the radical Right’s takeover of government and the national agenda.
A price measured, of course, in treasure (our tax dollars, as well as catastrophically high prices for commodities such as fuel and food).
A price measured in the loss of economic influence to rapacious oil chieftains and the new global capitalist mafia, as best exemplified by Russia (Tsarist, Communist, Putinist, a thug is a thug is a thug).
A price measured in the erosion of the U.S.’s status as the world’s last best hope for democracy.
Sensible people need to be sure that they vote in November for candidates that sever themselves totally from the lunatics. John McCain is not that candidate, people.
A short word about process…
While this nanocorner of the ‘Sphere© is a hobby, I take seriously the Prime Directive of Blogging that reads: Thou Shalt Blog Daily!
That is why I was bothered that, for the first day in some months, yesterday, I missed.
I could blame my “friends” at Comcast (with friends like that…) who left me without Internet access at home for 32 hours — gone for no reason, back with even less. But, I’m not going to get mad…
Happy to be back!
It’s it for now. Thanks,