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July 15, 2015

Manufacturing Consent: Democrats Pretend to be "Skeptical" of the Iran Deal

Before getting into this, let me talk about radicals.

Radicals despise the system and essentially want it destroyed. Confronted with the fact that a true demolition of a ruling regime might result in chaos, privation, and even death, the radical shrugs and says, "Not much worse than it is now then, huh?"

Conservatives have tended to not be radicals. Conservatives are invested in the system -- they have mortgages, they have kids, they have a significant amount of skin in the game and something real to lose in a real Let it Burn scenario.

Radicals tend to be of the left.

However, these are just tendencies. Some conservatives, of course, become radicals -- no longer invested in the system, no longer willing to parrot the lies that serve as the lubricant that keep the machinery of day-to-day orderliness moving.

Noam Chomsky is a radical, or poses as one anyway (he's got a lot of property and he's gotten pretty fat financially as part of the Academic Left Monied Establishment). Let's say he at least pretends at radicalism, even if while he enjoys his carefully-sculpted, impeccably-trimmed hedge funds.

But this left winger has a simple claim: that in America, the "consent of the governed" is not had honestly -- which is to say it's not had at all; you can't "trick" someone into consent, after all: if you trick them, they have not consented -- but is instead "manufactured" by various lies propagated by a corporate-media-political complex which offers the public a limited menu of choices, and a limited set of data, they have judged to be safe for public consumption, and then says, "No go and make your choices from the few choices we have permitted you, and with the limited information we have allowed you to see."

Now, some years back, being more invested in the political system, and, frankly, the concept of America itself, than I am now, I would have, and in fact did I'm sure, look askance at this crusty old Trust Fund Socialist's ideas and laugh at the contrived nature of his conspiratorial analysis; always looking for dark agents pulling the strings of opinion, always fantasizing some High Cabal which really runs the country.

Again, several years ago, I actually believed in America, and participatory democracy, and all that.

Now I don't. So now I find myself agreeing with Chomsky, albeit from a rightward direction. I don't agree with him about who controls the country, or to what political ends; but I do with agree with him that it is controlled.

Now this brings me to the Manufactured Consent we're about to have on this Iran deal.

We are now offered articles that state that some Democrats are "skeptical" of the idea. This holds out to us all that the future is yet unwritten, and that, through our political exertions, we can make a difference.

After all, the vote is iffy, we're told, and the vote lies in the future; we can therefore change that vote.

Or at least that is what They (capitalization intended, though I suppose it might be self-mocking and ironical) would like you to think.

If we invest ourselves in this, if we buy into the drama -- perhaps we can lobby Ben Cardin to our side! And Ben Cardin is the key to Chuck Schumer -- it helps make this "real" to us. Drama, emotion, tangible feelings make something feel real.

But I fear that is part of the design.

Because the vote is not upcoming. The vote will not be had, in the future, when the cameras are rolling and Statesmen are giving speeches in the Well of Congress.

The vote is not in fact to be had; the vote of course already was had, two months ago, when Bob Corker proposed the "compromise" that said that deal would become law automatically, subject to a negative vote by Congress, but Obama gets to veto that, meaning Obama only needs one third support in both bodies to carry the day.

This is an inversion of the usual scheme wherein it requires a two thirds positive vote to carry the day in his favor; a mere one third minority could have blocked him.

No more. A one-third minority now wins the day for him.

So the actual vote, the actual History, the important deed, passed by two months ago when few of us were paying attention.

The coming vote will be the performance of Failure Theater, debuting to a world hungry for some dramatic political entertainment; but plays are of course scripted, and thus, their conclusions are foreordained, and this particular bit of stagecraft was written and finalized months ago by Bob Corker, with every single Republican voting in favor of it, save one -- Tom Cotton -- who objected, and save another, Ted Cruz, who made himself absent.

The vote was already had. The event has already passed. Law was already made and the trajectory of America was already changed.

But now will come the Performance aspect of it, the actual theatrical production, which we'll all watch, because They know we are first and foremost Spectators, and we are suckers for Spectacle, and Drama.

But know this: No, Ben Cardin will not flip; no, Chuck Schumer will not flip. And further, whether one or two Democrats flipped is entirely irrelevant, as 12 of of them would have to flip now to block this in the Senate -- a possibility as remote as the far side of Pluto.

So we can all pretend that we are part of making History here, of shaping our own lives, of guiding our own country; but in fact it's all a Lie.

They decided this for us, in the quiet and in the darkness, a couple of months ago.

I will personally not be following the twists and turns, the cliffhangers and sudden reversals, they've all scripted for our viewing pleasure.

I already know the ending: The deal passes, and rather easily at that.

Democracy is not being practiced here; it is merely being stage-managed. They have worked their level best to insulate themselves from the rebuking power of popular opinion, and, with their corporate-media allies to protect them, they have managed to do so almost completely.

So this is why I have become a radical: I agree with a left-wing socialist/communist about the fundamental rotten lie at the heart of the American democracy.

I will not trouble myself to follow a farce.

Spoiler Alert: Iran gets the bomb and the gold, Obama gets to pretend he's a statesmen, and Republicans get to pretend they opposed any of this.

There are many tv shows on in which people pretend various things. Most of these other pretend things I could be watching are more interesting.

So I am turning off the TV, I am turning off the Bob Corker & Mitch McConnell show, and, frankly, I am cutting the cord on America.

Open Thread. Turning off the computer for the day for purposes of mental health.


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posted by Ace at 06:05 PM

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