Saturday, January 28, 2006

Saturday Nothings and Wingut Framings

More of a writing exercise than a real post, because I had these tremendous deep thought experiences last night and I didn't write them down and now I can't remember them. They were really good ideas about the American political system and how to fix it. But they are gone the way so many other things have: the Great American Novel, what to plant in the northeastern corner of my garden, how to reuse those jeans I love which have large holes in dangerous places. Where do ideas go when you don't pay attention to them? Do they sulk and hide, just to come back one day, or are they gone for good, to be given to someone else who does pay attention?

This has been a sad week in politics, for me at least, because it has shown the debased nature of so many political pundits. They have been bought, lock-stock-and-barrel, by the wingnuts, and we still hear all the screaming about the liberal media. Now I have to listen to Canadian and English news every day just to know what might be happening.

I have also learned that the wingnut framing of liberals as angry has taken hold. This is only possible in a faith-based world where Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter are courteous old-timers who have tea with tiny cucumber sandwiches and gently whisper compliments to each other. We are uncouth and mean-spirited, but joking about giving Justice Stephens rat-poison is the new black.

Then there is the new framing of all of us liberals in the blogs: we are the radical fringe extremists, the bothersome fleas biting at the butts of the Democratic establishment. Poor Democrats, as they must cope with us who don't matter at the same time as coping with the wingnuts who do matter. See the touch of the conservatives in all this? One base is all-important: the wingnuts; the other base is nutters, to be ignored.

These frames are dangerous. I am not a radical extremist, and neither are 99% of the other lefty bloggers on the net. But soon we are all going to cower in fear when we look in the mirror and see those fangs and those red eyes.