July 16, 2007

Eating my brain

Republicans are eating my brain.

Check out this little tidbit, courtesy of Rick Perlstein at TomPaine.com. Seems that SIRIUS Satellite Radio has a couple of political talk channels they offer to subscribers.

The liberal channel is called "SIRIUS Left."

The conservative channel is called "SIRIUS Patriot."

That's right, kids. Patriot. By implication, this organization has clearly communicated to its listening public that non-conservative talk radio is... un-patriotic?!?!

Mr. Perlstein notes:
SIRIUS's media relations representative for talk radio is Hillary Schupf. Her email is hschupf@siriusradio.com. Her phone number is 212-901-6739. Let's start with her.
Sounds like the thing to do.

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July 15, 2007

Why it matters

As if in answer to several of my previous "cries in the dark," the always erudite Glenn Greenwald offers this encouraging bit of observation:
Given how systemic and deeply rooted all of these political and media failures are, what is the point of writing about them day after day, and complaining on a case-by-case basis about them? The corruption and dysfunction is, by now, obvious to those who are able and willing to see it. Why beat the same drum every day?

As frustrating as it can be, this sort of day-to-day pressure on individual journalists and political figures is the most effective weapon possessed by blogs, websites and other organizations devoted to forcing into our public discourse various perspectives and narratives which are otherwise excluded. Given how energized, engaged and active blog readers are, virtually all journalists, editors, pundits and political figures now hear the criticisms launched at them, and usually hear them quite loudly.


The point here is that changing our public discourse is a slow, grinding, difficult process. Any changes that occur, any progress that is made, will be made only incrementally, one day after the next. Each individual change is usually so slight as to be imperceptible, but aggregated, those changes can be substantial. The real success of blogs comes not from single, easily identifiable spectacular achievements ("we defeated this bill/candidate" or "we uncovered this fact"), but rather, by the gradual re-shaping of the dominant political narratives, by changing how political and cultural issues are discussed, by influencing (either through pressure or competition) how the media conducts itself in covering our political process.
OK. Deep breath. Now back in the game.

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Catching up

I'm trying to catch up on the continuing flurry of jaw-droppingly obvious insults to our collective intelligence that have been transpiring in Washington these days - and attempting to regain some of that old fire by posting more regularly than I have been.

But God knows it's a struggle. The sheer volume of evidence that this Administration and its Borg-like enablers throughout the halls of Congress are, at best, incompetent - and, more likely, megalomaniacally insane - makes their immediate removal such a no-brainer that I simply can't fathom why we haven't taken to the streets for years now, torches and pitchforks at the ready.

I think for many of us the "through-the-looking-glass" horror of this President and his loyal minions produces a sort of verbal paralysis, in much the same way a body goes into shock during and after a garden-variety traumatic event. Let's face it - I'm still reeling from li'l Georgie's re-coronation in '04. The sad truth that he's still in command even now is virtually beyond comprehension.

For the moment, this piece by Dover Bitch (via digby) caught my eye today, for the way it captures my innermost frustrations with the fact that we're still allowing a madman to drive us over the proverbial cliff. To wit:
I couldn't possibly list, at this point, all the things Bush and Cheney have done that would, by themselves, make me vote for impeachment were I representing my district or state. The day the news broke about domestic wiretapping was the day Bush jumped from the "lousy president" to the "felon" category for this blogger.

Others could point to Katrina, Abu Ghraib, secret prisons... Again, what's the point of trying to list them all?

But for whatever reason, no singular event has been enough to convince Congress to put impeachment on the table, so to speak. More striking, though, is the failure of Bush's cumulative record to create any traction for impeachment. Not even with a majority of Americans supporting Cheney's impeachment and practically as many in favor of Bush getting the heave-ho as opposed the idea...

By failing to hold Bush accountable to even a minimal standard along the way, Congress not only encouraged more bad behavior from this administration, they made it incredibly difficult to ever reach a point where they could say "enough already."
That about sums it up for me.

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