It is something of a miracle that the Republicans still manage to keep the Democrats on the defensive even though the Democrats control both the White House and Congress. Bombarded by a constant barrage of buzz words and faux issues, the Democrats have barely been able to keep their balance and go on the offensive. The rightwing noise machine has them so cowed they self-censor their every thought less it unleashes a barrage of polemic.
It all gets down to the right’s superb ability to frame any given issue in such a way that the Democrats can only react, and in their reaction come across as weak and uncertain.
The key to framing an issue to make a blatantly false statement with such confidence and certainty that the public believes it must be true. The statement is repeated and repeated until the public accepts it as fact. This entire process is abetted by a supine press that parrots every turd tossed out by the right without questioning it.
For example, a Wingnut could express moral outrage over the Democratic Party’s belief that the sun rises in the East. Such a belief is eating away at the country’s moral fiber because studies have shown that people who support gay marriage and abortion also believe in an East-rising sun. And there the right has its buzz word, the East-rising sun conspiracy, because we all know that in the corporatist state east is west, west is east, north is south and south is north.
Immediately, the rightwing noise machine screams its abhorrence of the East-rising sun conspiracy and demands that the Democratic Party repudiate this subversive heresy.
The Democrats are in disarray. The attack on the East-rising sun conspiracy is so virulent they are too scared to point out that the sun actually does rise in the East. To do so would leave them open to attack.
At first, they try to ignore the issue. But the right refuses to let them off the hook. Why, the right demands to know, are the Democrats silent? Is it possible that they believe the sun rises in the East. Finally, the Democrats issue a statement that calls for further study of the rising sun issue.
The media, of course, laps this all up as they repeat every charge and every futile attempt by the Democrats to defuse the issue. Editorials accuse the Democrats of being weak on the rising-sun controversy. Pundits expound that there are two sides to every issue and that the Democrats are hurting themselves by their failure to take a strong position on the issue.
Pressure builds at the local level for schools to teach both sides of the question. The whole concept of an easterly direction comes under attack. Democrats start losing elections because of it. The party is reeling from the onslaught of the anti East-rising sun movement. Cable news rating soar as the controversy grows. Evangelicals join the fray and condemn the East-rising sun doctrine as another attack on Christianity.
The whole issue is nearly as absurd as death panels. But then, political trivia is just another manifestation of the bread and circuses that keep the public distracted.
It is amazing that after all these years the Democratic Party still hasn’t figured out that it is being gamed. The party has spent so many years on the defensive that it has forgotten how to mount an effective attack.
America is truly a one-and-a-half party system.