Monday, June 21, 2010

"The Problem With The American Right" -- They Aren't Leftists

I should stop reading The Economist, I really should. All it does is anger me. In the June 13 print issue, they did a story titled: “What’s wrong with America’s right.” Of course, their conclusion is that the problem with the right is that it’s not the left. But what else do you expect from an “unbiased” magazine that routinely spits out increasingly far left tripe?

First, they start with a strawman set up by telling us how this should be “happy days” for the Republicans! Apparently the public is “jaded” about the lack of jobs, and Obama’s “perceived failure” to get a grip on the oil spill is not playing well either. And did you know his popularity is around 50% and that 60% of the public think the country is on the wrong track? But somehow, these still aren't happy times for Republicans. This must be the fault of something being wrong with the American right!

This is, of course, the beginning of the propaganda. First, Obama’s approval rating is between 40% and 45%, which doesn’t round up to 50%. And it’s 68% who say the country is on the wrong track, that doesn’t round down to 60% either. It's funny how both rounding mistakes favor the left, isn't it? And it’s funny how people were “right to be upset” about 6% unemployment under Bush, but are “jaded” now that they’re upset about 10% under Obama. And as for this “perceived failure” garbage, even leftists are starting to get upset at Obama’s lies, neglect, over-promises, misplaced “ass kicking” and general do-nothing-ness about the Gulf.

Secondly, polls are showing the Republicans with the highest support among the public since 1994. The Democrats are at historic lows in the polls, including a recent NPR poll that found that 49% of Americans think the Democratic Party is “too liberal.” Republicans are likely to sweep the House and have a decent shot at the Senate. The same NPR poll just mentioned showed that a majority of Americans (55%) want their Republican incumbents re-elected, but only 41% want their Democratic incumbent re-elected. Moreover, Republican voters (and Republican leaning independents) are very energized about this election, Democrats are not -- 62% compared to 37%). Most polls also show that Obama is unlikely to get re-elected. Republicans are winning the governors races in a dramatic fashion, and Democrats are dropping out of races all over the country. So who says these aren't these happy days?

After setting up their fake premise, The Economist moved on to diagnosing the problem. Here's what they think is wrong with the right:

1. “The Republicans at the moment are less a party than an ongoing civil war (with, from a centrist point of view, the wrong side usually winning).” Really? This old canard?

Isn’t it funny how self-described “centrists” never ask the question “what’s wrong with the left?” They ask this about the right all the time, but they never can seem to bring themselves to look at the left. Sure, they point out that Clinton was a “playa” and that Obama might be “too perfect” for what we mere mortals deserve, but that’s about as far as they get. They seem incapable of noticing the war going on in the Democratic ranks between the far left and the “moderates,” and the tribalism that has stymied the Democrats' entire agenda, but somehow the fact that Republicans don’t all agree means “civil war.” Of course, despite this “civil war,” they also always seem to conclude that somehow the Republicans have uniform opinions. . . which is, after all, the premise of The Economist's article.

2. The right consists of “the old intolerant, gun-toting, immigrant-bashing, mainly southern right,” which is “egged on by a hysterical blogosphere and the ravings of Fox News blowhards.” Yeah, that’s not a far-left mischaracterization there.

Forget that 75% of Americans believe the Second Amendment guarantees the right to own guns, and that 69% believe that cities don’t have the power to ban handguns and that only 39% think that stricter gun control laws are needed. . . only right wing racist Southern Republicans support gun rights. Forget that 70% of Americans support Arizona’s law and oppose illegal immigration. Forget that Republicans dominate every part of the country that is not part of a big city. And, as for Fox, forget that The Economist has never called out a single left-wing news organization for bias and, in the same issue, even called The Los Angeles Times “respected” and “unbiased.”

When 70% of the public believes something that you think is extremist, then you are the extremist. Sorry Economist, you’re living in a leftist bubble.

3. “As for ideas, the Republicans seem to be reducing themselves into exactly what the Democrats say they are: the nasty party of No.” Funny, I see the Republicans offering all kinds of alternatives on every bill. . . it’s the Democrats who are saying “my way or nothing.”

4. “Do Republicans favor state bail-outs for banks or not? If they are against them, as they protest, why are they doing everything they can to sabotage a financial-reform bill that will make them less likely?”

Well, for starters, because the bill you’re whining about would have made bailouts more likely, not less. It even sets up a tax fund to support future bailouts. Secondly, the Democrats can pass this bill if they want to, so don’t blame anyone else. Third, even if this bill stopped bailouts, that’s not all that’s in the bill. The bill includes all kinds of bad things. Hence, your stupid argument is like saying, “isn't Roosevelt a hypocrite for opposing Hitler's policies? After all, Hitler's policies will lead to massive economic stimulus.”

5. “During the row over health care, the right demanded smaller deficits but refused to countenance any cuts in medical spending on the elderly.” Funny, I don’t remember that. It seems to me Republicans were opposed to Obama's socialist approach and never said they wouldn’t countenance cuts in government programs if they led to real reform. And aren't you the people who favor all government spending any ways, so why are you upset by this? Also, aren’t Republicans supposed to be heartless bastards who want to toss old people out into the streets? At least try to keep your propaganda straight.

6. “Is the party of ‘drill, baby, drill’ in favor of tighter regulation of oil companies or not? If not, why it is berating Mr. Obama for events a mile beneath the ocean?” How do you spell “strawman” in British?

Seriously, if The Economist can’t tell the difference between arguments favoring increased drilling and arguments against government failure to do its inspection job and requiring compliance with safety regulations, or if it can’t tell the difference between arguments to reduce pointless government regulation and complaints about (1) Obama’s dithering, (2) his absenteeism, (3) his whining and faked “ass kicking,” (4) his lies, (5) his total failure of leadership, (6) his failure and refusal to reform the government, (7) his self-serving finger pointing, and (8) his cozy relationship with industry, then The Economist needs to fire its incompetent staff and start over.

7. “Many of America’s most prominent business leaders are privately as disappointed by the right as they are by the statist Mr. Obama.” Oh no!

You mean the same quasi-socialists who want to use the government treasury to enrich themselves, to protect their financial bets, and who wanted things like ObamaCare to unload their healthcare costs onto taxpayers? You mean we’ve lost those guys? Whatever will we do?

Let’s put this all together. The problem with the American right is that they (1) don’t suffer from groupthink, (2) that they believe the things 70% of the American public believes about ObamaCare, deficits, immigrants, and guns, (3) that they have a voice in the blogosphere and on Fox News, (4) that Democrats voted down all of the alternative bills they offered (and The Economist apparently didn’t know about those bills), (5) that they won’t pass the Democrats’ financial regulation bill, (6) that they opposed ObamaCare, (7) that they are critical of Obama’s mishandling of the BP spill, and (8) that big-business socialists don’t like them.

Sounds like the “problem with the right” is that they aren’t the left.

Or maybe, the problem really is with the left. Maybe the problem is that the left, as evidenced by the “centrist” Economist (LOL!), doesn’t seem to understand how far out of touch they are with the American people?

Maybe I should cancel that subscription after all.

(P.S. Tomorrow night I'll give my take on the real problems with the American right.)


Unknown said...

Andrew: You won't cancel your subscription. For the same reason I won't cancel my subscriptions to The New Republic and The Nation. "Know your enemy" has been good advice since it was first uttered. Of course, that doesn't make it any more pleasant reading their tripe, but it at least explains it.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I've actually been considering canceling it. It used to be an interesting magazine with an interesting perspective, and it was the only place I could get foreign news. But their coverage has been getting increasingly politicized and the facts they present are getting fewer and fewer. Add in that their perspective is shifting so far left. These days, it's becomes a lot less worth reading. At least with The New Republic and The Nation, they don't actually think they are unbiased. They know they are spitting out far left crappola.

Unknown said...

Andrew: You have a point. And at least you never read TNR and The Nation as holy writ the way I did in my liberal past life. LOL

Mike K. said...

"Jaded" seems an odd word to chose to describe the public's anger over unemployment. I know that it can mean "weary," but it has a connotation of being spoiled, or of having too much of a good thing.

AndrewPrice said...

Mike, It was a very strange word choice, especially since I've never seen them use it before in any context. Under Bush they would have described it as "rightfully outraged" or "angry." But not here. And to me, it's kind of obvious that they mean to imply that the public is "wrongfully upset."

It fits the whole pattern. It's amazing how in the same articles sometimes you'll see them round up figures that favor the left but round down figures that favor the right. Hmmm, inconsistency that favors the left. I wonder how that can be? And they have gotten to the point that they can't even discuss Democratic scandals without finding ways to mention "corrupt Republicans."

In an earlier part of the magazine they blasted critics of Obama's handling of the BP disaster (all cynical right-wingers apparently) for wrongfully accusing Obama -- apparently, there is nothing he can do about it at all so shut up people. And they try to talk up ObamaCare in terms that were right out of the Democratic playbook. For example, they still claim it will provide universal coverage even though the Democrats themselves admit that it won't cover 22 million people.

They're really ruining what was an exemplary magazine.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, Yeah, I never did believe that! LOL! I'm glad you don't believe it anymore either!

JG said...

I have to say, I don't mind the "Party of No" moniker. A little more "No" would have been a help the past couple of years.

AndrewPrice said...

JG, Isn't that the truth! It would be great if our government did a lot less.

The problem with that, however, is that the public at large generally wants its leaders to come up with plans to make things better. So if you have nothing to offer, they will turn to people who claim to have something to offer -- even if it's obviously snake oil.

What we need are Republicans who can offer conservative solutions to problems when they arise. Take health care and primary education, for example. Both are disasters. And the Republicans should be out there proposing to open those "markets" to the free market, which is the best way to reduce costs and improve the quality of service. Just saying NO to the Democratic plans of adding more regulations to the ones that already failed isn't the best political strategy.

Tennessee Jed said...

Andrew - I know I sure would I just never really cared for the Economist, although as you or previously pointed out, they seeem to have gone farther left and less academic.

I have always thought that most people whether "left" or "right" of center see themselves as much more mainstream, reasonable or even "centrists" than people from the opposing side of an issue sees them. Put slightly differently, there is no objective absolute middle. The left truly believes "center" falls more on the left side of most aruments and the opposite for those of us on the right.

What is all to rare these days is to see an article that doesn't pick a point of view and then spin the facts to support that view. If this were really true, we would probably see more liberals and conservative at least occasionally come down on the side of the opposition

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew, you have a much better constitution than I do. I had to cancel my subscriptions to Time and Newsweek early on because I was about to get violent. I thought it was just better for all concerned.

The left is beginning to panic because they just can't get around the numbers anymore. Obama is everything that we said he was going to be and he's tanking badly. They were betting on riding the Healthcare victory right into November, but darn if that Oil slick hasn't caused more than just an environmental catastophe, but probably the first political crisis of Obama's entire political career. Now the world gets to see what we saw all along, Obama's an empty suit that can make pretty speeches. (And even that failed him last Tuesday). Someone said that he would make a really good minister, but he's a lousy leader. However this is no great comfort for the Gulf Coast states...

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I used to like The Economist a great deal, particularly because they provided me with news that I just couldn't get anywhere else. But that's changing, and I no longer find their "news" to be reliable.

I think you're right about people wanting to see themselves in the mainstream. Part of that is that people tend to surround themselves with people who think like they do. Thus, it becomes very easy to think that everyone must share your views.

I would say, however, that conservatives are much less prone to this kind of thinking because they are constantly assaulted in the public with liberal views. Thus, even though their friends may all share the same views, journalists, teachers, and actors all keep spouting off the alternative view. Liberals, on the other hand, can live their whole lives in a big happy bubble.

I try to break through this by looking at polls, looking at voting patterns (both with actual votes and how people respond with their money and their feet), and by trying to figure how people really react (rather than how they say they will react).

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, The Economist was the last of the "news mags" that I could stomach, and even that's in doubt at this point. I don't see the point in reading something that I can't trust.

I think you're right about the left. They bought into the idea that this guy who had never proven anything was somehow "pure" and therefore would succeed just on their desire for him to succeed.

But he's proven to be entirely incompetent -- as we said from the beginning. And nothing has shown that more than his mishandling of the BP disaster. From a PR perspective, he's done everything wrong he could have done and then some.

Plus, he's become the master of the no-win situation. Take health care: if they didn't pass it, they were toast with the left. But if they did pass it, they were toast with the public. And that was all because they handled the whole thing wrong from the get-go and because Obama made it impossible for them to compromise in a way that could satisfy anyone.

StanH said...

God! …I hate those people! Liberal projection, in a obvious attempt to normalize socialism in America. Making the majority of Americans seem like the minority, with blather and BS. Great Article!

Excuse my absence, I’ve been incredibly busy with my business.

AndrewPrice said...

No problem Stan, this is American. . . business comes first!

I agree with you, I'm really sick of liberals trying to make it sound like they are somehow in the center when their views are shared by only around 35% of the population. But that's typical for liberals because they live in bubbles, so they assume that everyone shares their views.

Ed said...

I don't read the Economist, but I'm pretty glad I don't, from what you've mentioned several times now. I just wish conservatives would stop giving it credence. It seems to be the one magazine that conservatives claim they read.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, It used to be a pretty good magazine. It's still got the most coverage of the world of any magazine I've seen, but it's becoming unreliable and it's politics are truly annoying. I easily would have recommended it ten years ago, but not today.

btw said...

Sounds like the same problem I had with National Geographic and Scientific American. When both titles had their reins taken over by younger publishers with personal agendas that were aimed at attracting those readers primarily on the left I finally said "bye bye".

MegaTroll said...

I get the Economist under my bridge and I'm thinking the same thing -- why do I keep reading this thing. I stopped reading their American coverage entirely. But that gets me wondering, why should I trust the rest anymore than I trust the American coverage?

AndrewPrice said...

btw, It's really a shame because many of these magazines have been around for 100+ years and have a loyal readership. And then they decide that they want to go political, they throw all of that out -- all of their hard earned reputations as unbiased and reliable, in the hopes of adding people who probably don't care anyways.

Take The Economist as an example. They are losing their right-wing readers, and the left isn't going to touch a magazine that they view as suspiciously right wing. Where's the benefit?

AndrewPrice said...

Mega, That's the same problem I'm having. If their American coverage is so biased -- and it is, they shade the truth, they ignore facts, and they spin like a top, then why should I think the rest of their coverage is any better?

CrispyRice said...

I stopped reading “The Economist” for the same reason. It’s too bad too because I liked their foreign news, you just can’t get that in any other magazine. But it’s just become too politicized.

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, I'm hearing that a lot. I think that newspapers have been losing their readership for the same reason. But the left will never accept that it's their failed and offensive ideology that is ruining these journals. It must be some unknown evil force!

Post a Comment