I think of all the things in the past couple of decades that I have come to have the most difficulty in comprehending is the disconnect between reality and truth and the current state of our political leadership in America.
The corollary in our popular culture is television and the seemingly endless parade of “reality shows”. Could you design a more profitable vehicle? Low budget shows, all premised on people supposedly doing real things and making mindless fools of themselves. The possibilities are endless, if your target demographic is the lowest possible common denominator in terms of intelligence and critical thinking skills. In America, the trials and travails of the Kardashian sisters, the biggest bunch of rich, spoiled, corrupt brats one could imagine, takes top billing over the deficit, the endless foreign wars, and the takeover of our government by the corporate oligarchy.
This is most evident in how our leaders and would be leaders, e.g. those contending for the GOP nomination right now, are portrayed in the mass media, by what I at this point only laughingly call American journalists and journalism. Uncritical stenographers of talking points and press releases comes closer to the truth about contemporary American journalism.
I mean, let’s be honest. Week after week the current candidates for the GOP nomination appear at the bottomless cup of GOP debates.
They are spoken to with deference by the moderators. They are asked questions that rarely verge on serious or getting to the heart of the matter, questions which are rarely answered with anything other than the particular candidates talking points of the moment.
And everyone carefully avoids saying the obvious, namely: they are all know-nothing, intolerant, homophobic, misogynistic, jingoistic, flip-flopping, corporate money-sucking, government supplement consuming, totally batshit crazy lunatics in the clown car from hell.
Even Herman Cain had a short ride on the clown car. It did not matter to the hardcore supporters when it was revealed how many sexual harassment lawsuits his companies had had to sweep under the rug. Only the revelation of a 16 year affair with a paid mistress brought him down, and at first, one could not be sure that would do the job. After all, being a serial adulterer seemed the least of Newt’s worries as his star rose in the polls after Cain’s fell smashing into the rubble.
All of the moderators and commentators and pundits keep their smiles on and pretend otherwise, because that would upset the comfortable applecart of their careers, which keeps them in the money and in the loop and in the company of the political ruling class, and all the rewards it brings. The mainstream media are now totally controlled by the corporate oligarchy, and the news is just another infotainment operation. Nothing critical will be said about those who help maintain the structure that now writes their paychecks. And of course the Faux Noise Nutwork is an active sump of disinformation and propaganda, wholly owned and operated by GOP Inc.
Of course commentators have been predicting Newt’s rise would be as sharp and fast as his climb to the latest not-Romney GOP candidate. And interestingly enough, today’s latest poll figures out of Iowa suggest Newt’s collapse is happening faster than the melting of a snowman in a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon. He is down to third place in Iowa, only 14%, behind Ron Paul, who has taken first place, and Willard (oh, sorry, Mitt) Romney in second.
It would be nice to think it was something Newt said, for instance his remark the other day that he thought it was time that Congress just send some marshals out and arrest judges that the GOP don’t agree with, and haul them off to prison.
Funny that Newt’s remarks were followed in only a matter of hours by the death of Beloved Leader Kim Jong Il. I am sure that Beloved Leader would have heartily approved of Newt’s plan of action. The mass starvation and child labor in North Korea could also be a model for Newt, who has also recently advocated doing away with the child labor laws passed at the end of the 1930’s. And then of course, all those pesky millionaires on food stamps simply must be dealt with.
Even as reported on HuffingtonPost, quoted below are just the first four paragraphs, you read the news reports, or listen to the talking heads, and you see what appears to be simple, straightforward reporting.
Until you stop and think a moment: Wait!? What?? This idiot is suggesting a total breach of the essential separation of powers embedded in the very heart of the Constitution, and its intentional design to separate the executive, the judicial, and the legislative branches, in order to prevent just the sort of interference and action that would unbalance the system. In other words, to prevent a future Newt Gingich!
With just weeks to go before the Iowa Caucus, Newt Gingrich has turned his presidential campaign into a veritable megaphone warning about the dangers and elitism of America’s judicial system. The former House Speaker held a half-hour phone call on Saturday during which he pledged to abolish courts and eliminated activist judges he believed were either outside the mainstream or infringing too deeply on the commander in chief’s authority.
On Sunday, he followed that up by saying he would be willing to arrest a judge who he thought was out of line.
“If you had to,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” when asked if he would send a Capitol Hill police officer to round up a judge, “or you would instruct the Justice Department to send the U.S. Marshal.” His preference, he added, would be to impeach the judge in question.
That Gingrich is willing to resort to these measures isn’t necessarily surprising to longtime watchers of the former Speaker. He has made criticism of the judiciary a rallying point for many years, peppering speeches to conservative audiences with calls to simply get rid of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and U.S. District Judge Fred Biery in San Antonio. As his prospects of actually winning the Iowa Caucus have improved, the rhetoric isn’t being tempered. If anything, it’s getting more fiery.
Note the serious reporting of the very serious Newt: “That Gingrich is willing to resort to these measures isn’t necessarily surprising….”
Nowhere in the rest of the article does the author point out the obvious: that what Gingrich is proposing is completely outside the bounds of the Constitutional framework of the separation of powers; and what he is proposing is not a Democracy, but a totalitarian state, where the judiciary has no power to limit the whims of the tyrant du jour.
Newt: the Man Who Would Be King.
Updated with remarks by two former GOP Attorneys General. Somewhere in hearing this from Gonzales there is some truly deep, deep irony.
Two former attorneys general named to the nation’s top law enforcement post by Republican President George W. Bush have slammed Gingrich’s proposal.
Michael Mukasey, a former federal judge, said Gingrich’s ideas were “dangerous, ridiculous, totally irresponsible, outrageous, off-the-wall and would reduce the entire judicial system to a spectacle.”
Alberto Gonzales was disturbed by the provision that would allow Congress to police judicial decisions. “I cannot support and would not support efforts that would appear to be intimidation or retaliation against judges,” he said.