Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Thought About the Loons

I have commented a couple of times about the deteriorating quantity and "quality" of material that I have found the last couple of months to post in Wingnut Wrapup. The decline has continued for long enough that I think it's worth while speculating on its cause.

I saw a comment the other day,about the fact that the right wing accusations against Obama seem to get more crazy every week. This is true, but I don't think that it's because the wingnuts themselves are getting more crazy (if that were possible.) After a year and a half of nonstop character assassination against Obama, they have, I think, simply used up the most plausible attacks against him- he's too liberal, he isn't a citizen, he would favor minorities, he's too inexperienced, he's not tough enough... Each one of these things is false, but at least it could conceivably have been true. But, as the force of these smears has waned due to overexposure, and to the fact that they simply do not describe the Obama we see every day, Conservatives have had to resort to more and more implausible claims, and more and more hostile and vicious ones- the claims about him being a communist plant committed to destroying the country, that health care reform involves death panels, that winning the Nobel Peace Prize is somehow a disgrace, or that he is a would-be Hitlerian dictator, in league with Islamic terrorists.

Well, these narratives have a life too, and it is a relatively short one compared to the earlier, more plausible lies. Looking at many right wing web sites as I do, I have seen them deteriorate until they are now little more than a testing ground for ever more ridiculous and mean spirited smears. And, even their authors seem to be aware of the futility of this approach. The enthusiasm with which their lies were spread only two or three months ago has waned. Even they seem tired of this ugly game.

Have they managed to harm Obama? Yes, they have. There is no question that the endless barrage of smears and lies has affected the popularity of both Obama himself and his agenda. How could such a well-funded campaign of destruction not have an effect? But it hasn't worked well enough. Obama still remains popular, and regardless of what Republicans claim, a strong majority of Americans stand with him on his major proposals.

They've lost. And they know it, even though many of us haven't gotten it yet. All it takes is the will to carry the ball the last couple of yards into the end zone, and we can have a presidency that will stand in history as one of our greatest, and an opposition party that has disgraced itself into near oblivion.

All it takes is the will.


Derek said...

"Obama still remains popular, and regardless of what Republicans claim, a strong majority of Americans stand with him on his major proposals.

Apparently you don't read my comments so I'll post it again.

America disagrees with Obama on healthcare (they want reform but not his reform), the closing of gitmo, his diplomatic actions with Iran, his tax plan, his budget, his economic policy, his cap and trade antics, the bailouts, his nobel peace prize (Fifty-six per cent believe the President should not have have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize), his views on guns, his views on abortion, and many many more issues.

But go ahead and keep thinking america agrees with him, it will make your reaction in 2012 when he isn't reelected that much funnier.

mastercynic said...

While Obama's popularity has cooled slightly, as all newly elected Presidents' will as the euphoria of the election fades, His popularity remains above 55% in most of the polls I've read. But I think it's a huge mistake to say the right has lost. Just as it was a huge mistake to say Bush could never take the White House over Gore. (Notice I said take - not win.) I haven't seen a Democrat, at least since Johnson, who knew how to fight to win. Obama won an election, but his opponent didn't, or couldn't, mount much of a fight. And even if the right does lose, they're death throes are sure to be quite painful to the country.

Green Eagle said...


More cynical than me, as usual. Good work there, O Master. You are right that this only works if Dems show some willingness to seize the opportunity, which they have not done since (I guess you are right) Lyndon Johnson took office, or at least since Nixon.

Derek, I don't trust Rasmussen at this point for reasons that are too boring to go into here. The American public, however, favors a public health insurance option by two to one, does not believe that Bush left a winnable war in Afghanistan, wants Guantanamo closed, etc. I won't argue the individual points here- too long. But to add the synthetic indignation over Obama's Nobel Peace Prize shows that you are still far too captive to the Republican party line. This award was a sign of the almost miraculous degree to which Obama has restored our country's standing in the eyes of the world, after the disasters of the Bush era. It should be deeply gratifying to any decent American to see our president honored, and those who use this occasion as an opportunity to launch more abuse his way need to really think about whether they want our country to do well or not.