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May 15, 2013

Den Beste: See No Evil

Steven Den Beste sent some thoughts along about President Obama's collapsing second term, which I'm happy to share with ya'll.

So you and me, imagine that we're good little liberals, members of the press. All our friends are liberals, and all our co-workers, and the people we work for, and everyone whose opinions we respect, all liberals. Yeah, out there somewhere are those people, those damned conservatives, but they don't matter. They are an obstruction, buncha racists, stupid, venal, and the sooner they're sidelined and ignored, the better. In the mean time, good little liberals like us have to work to advance the program, right? Breitbart et al need not apply.

And after a long hard struggle we've managed to get a black man into the Presidency. Imagine that! We never thought we'd live to see it, did we? And yet, here we are and there he is. It's a tremendous achievement. We managed to convince the country to try it out with a president who isn't a white male, and we should all feel proud of ourselves!

But will it open doors, or slam them shut? Obama can't be president forever. (There's that damned 22nd Amendment, and there's no way we're going to get it repealed in time.) Once it's over, when the voting public looks back on it, will they think it was a success? The next time someone who isn't a white male runs for President, will people say, "Yes, maybe she'll be another Obama!" or will they say, "Hell no! She might be another Obama!"

The fact of him getting elected is only half the job. The other half is making sure his legacy is strong. Which is why we good little liberal press folk are doing our damndest to try to present him in the most positive light we can, loudly trumpeting his achievements (few though they've been -- hey, did you hear that he bagged Bin Laden?) and ignoring his failures, as common as they have been. (Fast and Furious? What's that? Trillion dollar deficits? Never heard of them.)

Remember Bob Woodward? He has Nixon's head hanging on his wall. And until just recently Bob Woodward was something of a living saint among good little liberal press folk for that achievement. Spoken of in whispers, respected and idolized, he's one of the Gods of liberal pressdom. It's been the dream of other liberal press folk to do the same thing, ever since, and have they ever tried. It was obvious during Reagan's presidency and it approached a fevered pitch during the Presidency of George W. Bush.

But no one wants to hang Obama's head on their wall. Any good little liberal press person who does that will be scorned for the rest of their lives by all the people they know whose opinions they value. You! You're the one who ruined it all! It'll be a hundred years until we can get another non-white-male elected, and it's all your fault!

No one wants to be the one who breaks the spell, even though the Emperor truly does not have any clothes. Everyone is thinking the same thing: You know, Obama really isn't a very good president. Truth to tell, he's been terrible. People voted for him because he was black. He's the first Affirmative Action President.

They're all thinking that, but it's, you know, racist and if anyone says it, they could start the process of ruining everything. Whichever good little liberal press person comes out and says that, and starts the preference cascade, will probably be fired, and won't be able to find another job with anyone more reputable than The National Enquirer. And they'll spend their lives knowing that instead of the Obama Presidency being a solid step in the right liberal direction, that instead it was a huge leap backwards because it convinced the American public to not trust anyone like Obama ever again!

So even though we're increasingly uncomfortable acting as a shill for the government instead of as an opposing force, the way we always thought the press was supposed to be, we'll keep doing it because the consequences for ourselves (and the country) if we tell the truth would be unconscionable.

Now if Breitbart was still alive, he'd gleefully be revealing everything and screaming about it. And the people carrying on for him are trying their best. Obviously none of the above applies to them. But despite their best efforts they are still marginalized and few hear them. It is still the mainstream, where good little liberals dominate, where all this is happening. Their power to control the national agenda has been declining for the last fifteen years but it isn't yet gone, and I think this is the main reason why they continue to protect Obama.

This week's dam burst of negative news may make an end to it. It's just too big. They can't ignore it, and despite their best attempts they can't tamp it down. Will this be the end of the protective press?

Probably not, but it may be too big for them to fight, even though I expect they still will try. Obama's legacy is now toast, and when Obamacare implementation gets botched it's only going to get worse.

Steven Den Beste can be found these days at chizumatic.mee.nu, where he's talking anime and other things that pass his fancy.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 10:05 AM

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