Field of Science

A political reflection

Pardon me for indulging in a bit of political reminiscence. The GOP’s and conservative pundits’ reactions to the 1st 100 days of the Obama presidency have been something to behold, and I have been hard pressed to find any words to describe these events. “Sour grapes” was botanical enough, but that seems far too mild for the shrill tone and the bitterness of the flavor. Ah, but then it came to me from the deep recesses of my political memory, Obama is being hounded by "nattering nabobs of negativity".

For those of you too young to remember, this wonderful bit of alliteration was penned by speechwriter William Safire and used by former Vice President, Spiro Agnew to describe the "liberal" media. Agnew had reason to down on the press. The Nixon administration was nearly as devoted to secrecy as W’s, and Agnew was eventually convicted of tax evasion and money laundering in connection to bribes he took as governor of Maryland.

The bitter negativity, the shrillness, the aggressiveness, the absurdity of their claims, and the dangerous divisiveness of today's right-wing commentators and politicians, were all pioneered by Agnew. Anyone who questioned the policies of the Nixon administration and the war in Vietnam were “enemies” of the state and branded communists or hippies, more or less depending upon your age.

Take it from a hippy who was there, today’s right-wing rhetoric is not a return to the good old days.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

What folks often forget is that the fox tries and then fails to get what he wants--the sweet grapes hanging way up high--and thus condemns and feigns contempt for what he couldn't attain, saying the grapes would have been sour anyhow. That seems a pretty good explanation for the nattering negativity going around these days.

Maybe we should just call it "just desserts" . . .

~Shelley

Dr A said...

A most apt reflection. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that the only two administrations to basically quarantine and insult a specific news organization are the Nixon administration (against the Washington Post) and...

The Obama administration.

He's not in good company, not even to venture into the advisors he chooses. Unless you think Chavez' revolution was "incredible" and "Democratic" (Mark Lloyd).

As long as you comment on the "tone" of the conservative pundits, you still fall into the helpless spiral of hypocrisy, since we know that both sides of the spectrum are apt to be more negative when the other side is in power. I'm not interested in talking "tone."

Refute any of the facts Beck and others have raised about the type of individuals Obama has appointed. These aren't simply Democrats or run-of-the-mill Liberals. They are radical, Marxist (by their own admission), Maoist (by their own admission), Socialist (Carol Browner, again, by their own admission), revolutionaries who want to systemically flip the United States over from a country of freedom to a country of heavy centralized government control. This isn't even really a left-right debate anymore, since those designations depend upon a center axis.

This is now a debate about whether or not we want to be full-blown socialists/communists. It's going to happen under the guise of "emergency" and "necessity" and "unsustainability," as long as the left-center Democrats ignore what Obama is actually doing while he gives speeches about fiscal responsibility and lowering the deficit. He "inherited" a 1.4 million deficit (at least 700 billion of which he voted for in TARP), and is fast turning that into small change.

I hope that wasn't too "sour grapes" for you.

Anonymous said...

Oh, about this:

Anyone who questioned the policies of the Nixon administration and the war in Vietnam were “enemies” of the state and branded communists or hippies, more or less depending upon your age.

Alan Grayson: "Republicans are the enemy of America"

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/64173-grayson-republicans-are-the-enemy-of-america

With all the "Fox isn't a news organization" talk coming from almost every one of Obama's top officials, it'd obvious that's how their attack is focused. They never mention anything specific, they just say that it's like "talk radio."

If you can't confront someone's facts, just try to discredit them...

Now I hated Fox's bias as much as anyone in the past 3 years, especially (being far more libertarian than I am conservative), but the intellectually honest must admit that Obama really is operating under a heavily escalated version of the "Politics of the Past" as he likes to call it.

You don't agree with the administration? You're a radical nutjob, an idiot, not a real news organization, or you "have a perspective."

I'm sure GE-owned MSNBC has absolutely no perspective ("Green Week" has nothing to do with GE's investments, right?). Seems the White House left them out of that discussion.

Dr A said...

One wonders where you've been for the past 6 months? Thinking up pithy comments? Why I'm beginning to think you John Birchers are making coming back! Enjoy.