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In a Washington Post piece, E.J. Dionne muses about Obama's declining approval numbers and the Massachusetts special election tomorrow to fill Ted Kennedy's vacant senate seat. The piece is worth reading. I'll get to one of his conclusions later in this post.
In the Massachusetts election it looks like the GOP candidate, Scott Brown, just might defeat Democrat, Martha Coakley.......although the race still looks like it's 'too close to call.' A Brown win would eliminate the alleged filibuster proof majority the senate Democrats, at least, have on paper.....and possibly threaten passage of the health care reform legislation Congress worked on most of 2009.
I don't understand how the very blue state of Massachusetts could be seriously considering a poser like Brown for Kennedy's empty seat, but then this is America....where nothing in politics is predictable except the bribery.
First....let's look at Obama's numbers. 53% of Americans approve of Obama's handling of the presidency. Nothing unusual,....actually pretty good for the numerous catastrophes left over from the previous administration that Obama has been wrestling with.
But look at these numbers.....
Just 20 percent of Republicans approve of his overall job performance, compared with 87 percent of Democrats. That partisan gap is bigger than any that Presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush or Ronald Reagan ever faced among the general public. It's about on par with divergent ratings of George W. Bush across his second term.
Republicans detest Obama after less than a year in office at the same percentage that Democrats detested George W. Bush during his second term. Obama hasn't done anything to merit the high-hate levels from Republicans....but he didn't have to do anything....he was elected, he is a Democrat...and that's enough. Review the Clinton presidency for historical perspective. One of the leaders of the conservative and Republican machine, Mr. Rush Limbaugh, on the first week of Obama's presidency, declared that he wanted Obama to fail. Because the hate-speech artist, Limbaugh, is so influential with other media, his "wanting Obama to fail" declaration set the tone for the national narrative.
This Republican hatred isn't even based on Obama's policies or executive decisions. Most Republicans have no idea, and could care less, about what policies or executive decisions Obama's White House is promoting. It's clear from all of 2009.....no matter what Obama would recommend, Republicans would be against it before it was recommended.
Consider only the time that Obama spoke to schoolchildren via video-conference. Nothing unusual about a president speaking to schoolchildren, and yet when Obama did it, it became a national screed-fest of 'Obama is indoctinating our children on socialism, communism, or some other -ism.'
The keys on my keyboard are blue in the face from pointing out the numerous examples from 2009 when media quickly moved to pick-up some nutty, farcical conservative complaint about Obama, and then magnified that ridiculous complaint into a multi-day-week-or-month "story." Once again, this isn't anything new after a Democrat has been elected president. During the Bill Clinton presidency, we witnessed a similar dynamic, which finally resulted in hysterical and ridiculous impeachment proceedings.
However, during Clinton's presidency, Glenn Beck wasn't around, Fox "News" was in it's infancy, Rush Limbaugh wasn't heard or seen on nightly cable teevee, and the 'vast right-wing conspiracy' hadn't perfected their communication/propaganda machine.
In 2009, even the craziest, most bizarre and ignorant conservative complaint or objection against Obama has been examined and discussed at length by Big Media. Conservatives, the same ones who helped George wreck the country, outnumbered Democrats on the Sunday morning "news" shows....all year. No matter whether it was 'Obama is indoctrinating our children'....or 'it's perfectly fine to carry loaded weapons to political events'....no matter how insanely crazy the conservative action or accusation was, Big Media always took it Seriously, providing more than ample time to air the "controversy."
Now to something E.J. Dionne said in today's column....
Yet the truth that liberals and Obama must grapple with is that they have failed so far to dent the right's narrative, especially among those moderates and independents with no strong commitments to either side in this fight.
Obama and the Democrats have "failed so far to dent the right's narrative."
Wouldn't Big Media, who creates and spins the "narrative", be most responsible for what the "narrative" is? Doesn't Big Media get to decide what the "narrative" should be, don't they create it each and every day.....or am I mistaken? Is Chris Matthews, for example, correct when he says stuff like...'Cheney is always "grabbing those headlines? Do media narratives and headlines exist in their own mysterious-ether dimension where all people like Cheney have to do is reach out and "grab them?"
How in the hell could Obama and the Democrats "dent" the Big Media-created narrative when Big Media insists on giving ample coverage to pseudo-narratives like, 'Obama is indoctrinating our schoolchildren?'
How can a reality-based group of Democrats "dent" a Big Media-created narrative which insists there is a legitimate "debate" to be had over Obama's citizenship, whether loaded weapons should be carried at political events, whether Democrats plan to "kill grandma", or whether the incoherent Tea Partiers have a "point" worthy of lengthy and Very Serious panel discussions?
Shouldn't E. J. Dionne, and his fellow Big Media comrades, be the one's looking in the mirror when pondering why it is Obama and the Democrats haven't been able to "dent the right's narrative?"
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