Monday, February 09, 2009

Stupidity, yes, but stupidity gets bequeathed to the media

About that idiocracy that is the Republican Party:

Over at his place, Sean rightly points out the pitfalls of the strained Republican parsing of "work" and "job" to force common sense into a warped ideological framework. Sean's examples of how the GOP Chair denies lots of different kinds of people who have jobs the status of having jobs are impeccable.

But I want to make a point about what I think Steele is up to. Rosen and Greenwald referred to what happens on these Sunday news shows that accommodate conservatives and slight liberals. Republicans in the system are perpetually framing political issues to leverage shifts in the mainstream media against progressives. Greenwald pointed to the attachment of anything that threatens powers-that-be to liberals. Likewise, I would point to the way that somewhat neutral term "estate tax" is now referred to as the "death tax" in the media thanks to tactics similar to Steele's far fetched formulation of work vs. jobs. There is no tax on death, and to suggest such is stupid, but the term has stuck.

Steele is simply putting a different spin on the business = good / government = bad dualism. He is trying to disqualify any jobs that the Obama Administration might generate beforehand and to sneak that idea through the media filters. Never mind that the job market has already been extremely flexible and tenuous for sometime.

I agree that Steele is being stupid, but I also believe that he is being strategic. In as much as he might move the media to employ the categories likewise in the future, his stupidity should not be ignored. It is not benign.

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