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August 10, 2022

Wednesday Morning Rant [Joe Mannix]


The Boogeyman

Everything in public life today indicates the unserious and obsessive passions of those running the show. Behavior from the highest corridors of power to corporate boardrooms to lecture halls, classrooms, doctors' offices and the press appears to be just so much obsession with minutia and symbolic enemies. It's passionate argument over which flavor of fancy coffee creamer to use or who hates the symbolic enemy more as the house burns down.

This is perhaps nowhere more apparent than in the stupid, venal, partisan and obsessive pile of trash that used to be called "the press." The flippant and casual immaturity with which the press addresses the developments and stories of the day is breathtaking. There were two headlines recently that underscore their unprofessional and obsessive behavior, both of which were brought to my attention by fellow Morons.

First, there was last week's thinly-reported 95-1 vote in the Senate to approve the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO. This does not make their entry a done deal by any means, but it is an important step. Whatever your opinions on NATO, the potential expansion of that organization or the consequences of it, this action is a big deal. 48 out of 50 Republicans (Hawley voted against; Paul voted present) joined 47 Democrats on the "yes" vote. And how did Washington's premier gossip rag "The Hill" cover this fairly big story? The headline is McConnell gets win on Trump in NATO vote. The partisan hacks and Trump-obsessives cannot help themselves.

This is a story about a Biden Administration ambition to expand NATO and broad bipartisan support. McConnell likely had fairly little to do with it, beyond whipping his caucus - but it didn't need much whipping. The House version passed with just 18 opposition votes from Republicans. This is something both parties and the administration want. This isn't about McConnell and it isn't about Trump. Trump was a NATO skeptic, but - in case you've forgotten - he hasn't been in power for more than two years. Yet the asinine and obsessive framing remains: this is a great victory by McConnell over Trump, despite the fact that this is an ambition of the current administration. It doesn't matter that this move is - justified or not - provocative or that it marks a major escalation in geopolitics. They must make it about their boogeyman.

Second, that great reservoir of journalistic integrity - USA Today - had its coverage of the Mar-a-Lago raid. One headline was notable for how it made it very clear what this is about: The truth? A lot can still go wrong, but FBI search on Trump's Mar-a-Lago was cathartic. It was cathartic you see. We all needed a great emotional release because we're all Trump-obsessed idiots, so this was necessary even if it is unsuccessful. This unprecedented, dangerous and - despite the efforts at normalization - extremely controversial action is needed because we need an anti-Trump dopamine hit. Hell of a take, USA Today. You're clearly very serious people.

These people are foolish mental children. Things that have nothing to do with their boogeyman are reframed as being great victories against the boogeyman. Things that are unprecedented, provocative, corrosive, destructive or controversial are all just great because it's a strike on the boogeyman. The boogeyman is all there is, and all things are explained by their intersection with him.

But they're serious. And balanced. And fair. And smart. And very, very serious. They're not at all unserious, obsessive, partisan idiots. Not. At. All.

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posted by Open Blogger at 11:00 AM

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