Democrats & Liberals Archives

Celluloid Scapegoats

Hollywood Liberals. It’s one of the Right’s favorite zingers, interchangeable with the phrase “the Hollywood Elite”. For many Republicans it’s just another group of people to get terminally angry about. For many Democrats its an almost guaranteed eye-roller. What it does speak to, for all of its real-world political worthlessness, is the way the Right builds up so much of its politics on fear.

Normandy wasn't on the map culturally for most people until a well-known Hollywood Liberal put the definitive version of those events on movie screens in 1998's Saving Private Ryan. That movie started much of the well-deserved praise of the "Greatest Generation" that saturated the media in pre-9/11 days, and started my generation wanting to emulate them. In many ways, Bush has Spielberg to thank for forging that cultural connection back to WWII and giving them Normandy as a moment of American perseverance.

Personally, I don't think the NRA has done half as much to make Americans as gun happy as multiple generations of blazing gun battles have. Few Hollywood Liberals have gone so far as to eliminate gunplay from their films. The most recent best picture Oscar-winner has to be one of the all-time record holders for gunshot wounds to the head. Spielberg has made his share of films with guns in them, even punctuating one Action scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark with what has to be one of the snappiest "brought a knife to a gunfight" sight gags of all time. Michael Mann, who demonstrated his liberal credentials with The Insider nonetheless figures gun violence in many of his action scenes, including his breathless robbery sequences in Heat, much of Miami Vice, and with Tom Cruise wielding a weapon in Collateral. Edward Zwick and his producing partners certainly fit the mold of media liberals to a T, yet more than half their movies are war films, including, quite pointedly in these times, The Siege. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie ended up together in a fun little movie about professional killers... The list goes on.

These Hollywood Liberals have had little problem in picking out the Enemy du jour for their movies. How many Arab Terrorists ended up dutifully presented in the movies as bad guys? Conservatives might beat up on Michael J. Fox nowadays, but if they were to go back in time about twenty years, they would find him fighting the terrorists in Back to the Future Back then, of course, it was the Libyans. Soviets figured greatly in many thrillers, including Alec Baldwin's turn as Jack Ryan in The Hunt For Red October Alec certainly had no problem engineering America's triumph over its enemies there. How many Bond Films would feature Soviets, or Soviet villains? Timothy Dalton's first outing as Bond, The Living Daylights finds him aiding the Mujahadeen against them, back when that was fashionable. Same thing with Rambo in his third outing. Now you find Keifer Sutherland, no raving right-winger, battling terrorists on a regular basis. When the Liberals got together to make their own studio, DreamWorks, what kind of movies do they make? Two of the first ones are The Peacemaker with George Clooney as a rule-breaking Special forces commando who tries to stop nuclear terrorism with Nicole Kidman, and The Prince of Egypt, which has the studio doing an actual biblical picture.

For all the controversies that occasionally pop up, Hollywood is not quite the colony of Leftism it's made out to be. The Mainstream media is called that for a reason. There are some movies out to the left, of course, but most are simply part of the culture as it is, rooted much in the center.

Hollywood is a convenient target because it has a nice supply of creative types who act and often express views differently from the mainstream. It's international in character, and many filmmakers like to challenge the sacred cows of the establishment. There's a sensationalist streak in the industry, no doubt, and this serves as a scapegoat for those both left and right for the ills of society.

What is that all about? Quite simply, control, which neither side has ever quite managed, and for good reasons. American culture is set into a feedback loop with the rest of society. All kinds of people feed into a society. Alongside Spielberg and Zwick, you find folks like John Milius and William Friedkin. George Clooney makes his kind of movies, Kevin Costner his kind, Robert Duvall his sort, and Mel Gibson his own. Even the most Liberal of Filmmakers has to deal with an audience that varies in its composition, a culture that is not aligned perfectly with their values. Nobody is in real control. Evidence of that can be seen in how Michael Moore is funded by the very corporations he berates on a regular basis. If Michael Moore or his corporate patrons had absolute control, neither would be in that relationship. Even with today's corporately consolidated media, the messages get leaked through, because they're so popular, and the companies can make money off of that!

This is the oddity of the whole system. This is what scares those on both the right and left who find its complexity and stubborn refusal to just change as desired to be intimidating.

What's my take? Nobody controls our culture. Not even society itself! It evolved, half aware of where it's going half unaware. Those who want influence have to be good a presenting at vision of their own, and not just subracting from that of others. If conservatives want their values to arise once more, to overcome the others, they must compete well in the marketplace of ideas against them, making their vision, their views as compelling as their rivals, if not more. Same thing for Liberals.

The First Amendment to the constitution, which allows people to have all these most troublesome differences of opinion, was intended to make this situation intractible. It was intended to make the problem impossible to solve by the brute force of government intervention, because then the weakness of the few are forced to be the weaknesses of the many. Nobody can force us to abandon our churches, or take up one our consciences do not concur with. Nobody can tell us not to express certain opinions, not to bruise the egos of our leaders and make sirloin steak of their sacred cows. To be perpetually offended that others simply aren't taking up your point of view, is to miss the point of being an American, to miss the challenge that our founding fathers set up for us: prove yourself to others. Prove what is good and right, and be prepared to challenge and be challenged.

This government of ours was not constructed to be a bunch of people who could just sit on top of the common person and determine things at an arbitrary whim. Politics in this country was built to be something like log-rolling, with people winning control only by keeping on top of things, watching their step, and keeping a lively pace in their activities. The government is supposed to interact with its people, feedback to it. Leaders are not supposed to try to impose their will by brute force and authoritarian whim. Governing a nation like ours is not supposed to be easy or always a thankful task. Say what you might about what might happen to America if things don't go the way you want them to, but if you don't want people gainsaying you, you have to convince them there really is a problem.

It's time for conservatives to humble themselves. The question is not how to talk to liberals "if you really must". The question is how you talk to liberals and moderates, period. As highly as conservatives and Republicans might think of themselves and their view of the world, how well they persuade others depends to a greater extent on how others buy what they think and say, than what they think of their own ideas.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at April 1, 2007 4:37 PM
Comments
Comment #214614

Stephen

The movies are very hot topics. It is just more of them are made with a liberal bias and that is why you hear conservatives making more noise. Liberals are often able to prempt topics they do not like. For example, I remember hearing about a film idea of that gay dentist who infected some of his patients with AIDS. It never went anywhere.

But when something gets by, we heard plenty from the left, for example re the “Passion” or that miniseries the Road to 9/11, when liberals felt they lost some control.

I took my boys to see “the 300” yesterday. I understand there is controversy about that because it shows Persians as effeminate and decadent and shows those seeking peace as corrupt. That, BTW, is based on a 2500 years old stereotype.

“Saving Private Ryan” was a good movie, but it shows the perils of interpretation. My father landed at Normandy. He said the uniforms and the action were accurate, but the attitudes were not. In the real war, they were interested in killing Nazis and when they talked about saving lives, they only meant Americans. I do not think that was a liberal consiracy to hide that; it was merely made for our times.

Re Arabs as villians. Did you read “Sum of All Fears.” In the book Arabs did it (and Arabs are, logical ones given the record of recent real life events). In the movie it was some vague Nazi/S Africa racists. Why did they feel it necessary to change the plot line so much?

Sometime the liberal sensibility is out of touch with the audience and inadvertently makes an image. I recall the movie “Apocalypse Now”. The scene with the helicopter assault on the VC village was meant to show the horror of war, but ended up having young men cheering when they blew up the enemy. Young men like to see things blow up. I do not think that was the point the director was trying to make.

Returning to “the 300”, it was a good movie. I could make a long list of historical inaccuracies, but it caught the warrior spirit of the Spartans. The liked to kill their enemies. They felt no remorse. Hollywood liberals (and most of us modern people, BTW) have trouble with that kind of thinking, so it rarely appears or is portrayed in a convoluted way.

BTW - the best movie re D-Day remains “the Longest Day.”

Posted by: Jack at April 1, 2007 6:50 PM
Comment #214616

TO THE WORLD CHRISTIANS

Bomb and completely destroy Irans sole oil refinery . Then place a blockade on ports to prevent the importation of gasoline and other goods. Their economy will falter and implode. The Iranian people will demand that the hostages be released.

This will be the catalyst to not only obtain the sailors release but also to begin the downfall of the theocracy in Tehran.

The mentality of this terrorist government and all terrorist governments, they only understand brut force. Talk is cheap and Tehran expects the U.K. to do nothing.

Do not waste your time even thinking that the UN will somehow resolve this matter. They never have in the past and never will in the future. The UN is a joke to humanity.

Until the UK and the world Christian civilized governments reacts with real brut force, your sailors will be on a long leave of absence in Tehran or some other part of Iran.

We are in a HOLY WAR and everyone is afraid to admit or talk about it. This war will last hundreds of years, perhaps thousands, unless we deal with it NOW! Welcome to the new crusades, like it or not. Then again, the Christian world also has the option to roll over like the infidel dogs that we are perceived to be and let Islam rule the world…..STEP UP TO THE PLATE HUMANINTY, this is the most important world conflict we will ever witness in history. It will change how mankind lives.

The UK must “fight fire with fire”.

Posted by: Maxcroft Squire Mulhdoon at April 1, 2007 7:14 PM
Comment #214618

Apocalypse Now was hokey. The best VietNam war movie I’ve seen is Platoon Sargeant. The war scenes are more realistic overall.

Stephen, you seem to equate conservatives with being “gun happy” and many on the left equate conservatives with being the “warrior”. I can tell you truly from experience that the warrior hates war more than anyone.

Posted by: tomd at April 1, 2007 7:33 PM
Comment #214619

Maxcroft:

April fools, right?

Posted by: womanmarine at April 1, 2007 7:36 PM
Comment #214622

Movies & television are used by some to get people to become comfortable with, or tolerant of, things that they believed were morally wrong or should be kept private.
We don’t have to go to a movie…but we are told that all we have to do is turn the channel at home. Turn it to what? Another stupid reality show? Another show that is trying to normalize behavior that the majority find appalling?
It’s not as easy as they say. Yes. We could turn the set off. BUT it’s not normal to spend less than 300hrs/wk watching the boob tube - conversations are based on tv and movies. AND what are people more concerned about - Idol or Iran? — go ahead — take a wild guess!
The more the public becomes ‘used to’ seeing gays making out on tv or in the movies, the easier it becomes ‘normal’.
It’s ‘normal’ for a girl to show off her breasts on spring break??
It’s ‘normal’ for kids to dress sexy each day at public school?
Off subject - but relevant…
The other day there was a clothing designer who claimed they give the public what they want.
I hear mothers complaining because they can’t find descent pants for their sons to wear. I hear mothers complaining because the girls’ clothes are all too sexy - for young girls.
It’s not true that the public is getting what they want.

Movies blasting the behavior of the radical muslims would help win the battle we are facing.
Why don’t we see more of these? Could it be because those who would make them , Van Gogh, are afraid they’ll end up dead?
This is a way they could ‘serve’, self sacrifice, but do we see it happening? NO. A cartoon showing bad behavior of Muslims cannot even be published
- how can we possibly expect such a movie?
Most people don’t even realize what an enormous problem we are battling. They know we are at war, but they don’t understand the consequences of losing.
This has everything to do with what they do, and don’t, see when they go to the movies or watch tv.

Scapegoat is the wrong word. They do more to affect culture, and public opinion, than you will ever admit. If their stories go along with your view of the world, you can never understand where the other side is coming from.

Posted by: bugcrazy at April 1, 2007 8:31 PM
Comment #214624

I can sort of agree with much of what Stephen says about some conservative reaction to Hollywood, which strikes me as borderline hysterical and paranoid at times.

On the other hand, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with criticising movies for whatever reason you want. I mean, Roger Ebert does it all the time and makes a good living at it.

What irritates a lot of conservative crtics about Hollywood is the spectacle of Hollywood forever congratulating themselves for their “bravery” and “courage” in attacking what are really very safe targets—i.e., corporations, white Christians, and American society in general. In other words, people who don’t fight back except with words.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 1, 2007 8:55 PM
Comment #214636

LO

You got that right. I also think it is funny how stars you hear all the time claim to have been silenced.

Posted by: Jack at April 1, 2007 10:00 PM
Comment #214645

Jack-
I think they show a great deal of bloodthirsty behavior in Saving Private Ryan, in particular “Let them burn!”, and “Look Ma, I washed for Supper!” You’ll know what I mean when you see the film. There is an adjustment for our times, but not so much as had to be done. I think one important element was showing these young soldiers as being as human as the kids in the audience.

The Path to 9/11 was controversial because it essentially made up scenes that never happened, that had Bin Laden in gunsights and Sandy Berger too much of a coward to give the order to shoot.

The Passion wasn’t that offensive to me. As a Christian who’s read the account, It’s incredibly difficult to put forward a gospel account that doesn’t bear the possibility of offending Jews.
There are a number of sympathetic jews and very unsympathetic Romans in that picture. The Romans are far worse in that picture. Some of the Jews scheme, but that’s part of the story. Gibson has other Jews protesting the action, the manner of the trial, Jews helping and being kind to Jesus. They are presented realistically, not as the cariactures of passion plays in the past.

As far as Sum of All Fears go, I think Arab Terrorism had been done to death before that point. The Nuclear Terrorism angle remained as starkly powerful as it was in the book, perhaps more so in our times.

As for Apocalypse Now? The movie is a little hokey. It’s a Vietnam veneer over Hearts of Darkness. It’s a movie of its time.

As for “300”? Haven’t seen it yet, but I can’t help but chuckle at lines like “Tonight, We Dine in Hell!” delivered at full spittle-catapulting force.

Remorseless violence is rare, not because of some liberal tendency, but because conflict is difficult to create when a character is simply unstoppable, or doesn’t have human weaknesses. You need something the character has to resist, to prove themselves against, and the challenge has to be real enough that people can buy that they’d have trouble. Moreover, conflicts, if you buy Robert McKee’s notion on this, are not about good vs. evil choices, but irreconcilable goods or equally bad evil choices.

It’s not necessarily that he’s saying that one should pick an evil or a good over another one. A person might get past that dilemma without picking either horn, or by coming to peace with one choice over another. However, what these conflicts do is force people to stop operating on autopilot. It’s when people stop doing that, when they think for themselves, when they depart from original plans and start making real choices.

That’s where you get a real story.

tomd-
I believe I listed a number of Liberal directors who have films filled with plenty of gunplay, including Michael Mann and Edward Zwick. Point isn’t that Republicans are gun nuts (though Milius, known for Red Dawn and Conan the Barbarian, was an avowed gun nut himself.) The point is that so called Liberal directors aren’t so gun-shy themselves.

LO-
First, I don’t think it’s American society in general. People kind of got tired of that real quickly. You get Nihilism about pop culture, consumerism and other various targets, but people typically do Whites and corporations for the underdog quality, and Christians because one of the most potent kind of bad-guys is the one who is not merely evil, but evil disguised as, or going around in the trappings of good.

In that case, though, the old saying of hypocrisy being the tribute vice pays to virtue comes to mind. Catholic Priests can be some of the worst villains and some of the wisest and most powerful allies and heroes.

I think conservatives need to realize that man of their pet enemies can seem just as silly. Everybody concerned should realize that easy or simple villains often provide less opportunity for involving material. We have to get past stereotypes to make our ideas truly fresh and truly compelling.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 2, 2007 12:16 AM
Comment #214648

Re the 300

Most of those lines are from Herodotus. That is how people thought they should talk in those days and that is what I liked about the movie. It didn’t try to modify those things.

Nobody knows if the Spartans really talked like that, but that was their reputation. When Phillip of Macedonia sent them a messages threatening that if they did not give up he would would come into their land, destroy their homes etc. The Spartans sent back a one word rely - “if”.

Re “Sum of All Fears” I still do not see why they felt it necessary to change the basic story line.

As I wrote above, I do not blame a liberal conspiracy, but there is a general syndrome. I only ask you to think of it yourself. If in the first part of a tv show, you find a white, male, christian authority figure, how long before he turns out to be the villian?

If we tv or movies tracked with real life, the villians and heroes would be very different.

BTW - I do not believe they are just making what the market wants. G rated films usually make a lot of money and many people are still watching old movies and reruns because they like the good guys to win and do not like seeing alternative lifestyles all the time.

Tom Hanks is still the most popular actor. He generally plays pretty wholesome roles. Even almost 30 years after he died, John Wayne still makes the top ten. What does that tell you about the current crop of heroes?

Posted by: Jack at April 2, 2007 12:41 AM
Comment #214649

These are the most popular actors

Denzel Washington is #1, Tom Hanks #2 and the long dead John Wayne still manages #3.

Posted by: Jack at April 2, 2007 12:50 AM
Comment #214650

Stephen, A good and thoughtful post. IMHO, Today most movies have been toned down to take into consideration the complaints of conservatives back in the 80’s. The problem has not really been violence as much as its been sex. Not that violence wasnt an issue but sex was the villian. If you think back to the seventies and eighties there was more sex and drugs in the movies and the general quality of the hollywood movies was going down hill. The perceived problem for the most part has been fixed. However the actors and actresses that support liberal political causes tend to be outspoken about their beliefs. This of course offends those on the right. Therfore they continue to act as if its 1982 and use insults and accusations to counteract the actors message. The “Hollywood is evil” message is now ingrained into the American people to the point where we dont question it. So your post is timely as well as truthful.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 2, 2007 12:51 AM
Comment #214651

Considering the very large number of activist groups out there who make it their entire business to raise a stink over the unsympathetic portrayal of any member of any minority group—from gays, to Muslims, to Jews, to women (if that counts as a “minority”) it would be unreasonable to say that conservatives have any corner whatsoever on the market for this kind of meddling.

If anything, conservatives are just the least effective at getting their way at the same time they’re the only ones criticized for complaining.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 2, 2007 1:05 AM
Comment #214658

Hmmm, An interesting conversation that I find disturbing.

Movies are entertainment. T.V. is entertainment. Theater is entertainment. Concerts are entertainment.

War is killing people. Poverty kills people. Crime kills people.

In general, I do not consult entertainers to deal with real life. Yes, there are morons out there that confuse the two. Most of us don’t.

I don’t care what the political tilt of entertainers are, just that they entertain. When someone tells me that entertainment is what is wrong with America, I intantly realize I am talking to a moron, or watching some show purporting to be news that is actually entertainment.

Posted by: gergle at April 2, 2007 3:39 AM
Comment #214664

If anyone famous or otherwise throws their political opinion into the public arena, they should be prepared for some backlash. They are never immune to criticism or should they be. I do not care who they are.

If actors want to play politics, fine, they can. BUT, some of them should do a little homework and understand what they are talking about before they open their mouths and embarass themselves.

Posted by: cliff at April 2, 2007 8:56 AM
Comment #214669

We need to separate the people from the product. It is true that Hollywood types tend to skew to the left. I don’t think that is a cause for complaint. I’m sure there are plenty of industries that are dominated by conservative Republicans. If you don’t care to hear what left-leaning actors think, don’t listen to them.

As for the product itself, these movies cost tens to 100’s of millions of $s to make. The producers would have to be crazy to use them as political propaganda, unless the message was too bland to offend anyone.

Since someone mentioned “300”, I have to ask whether it was really necessary in today’s geopolitical climate to portray Xerxes as a flaming S&M queen. In contemporary depictions he had a big long beard and a long robe. He is still a big hero in Iran. It is like the Iranians made a movie depicting George Washington as a drag queen.
I’m all for free expression, but is it worth the potential cost in this case?

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 2, 2007 11:00 AM
Comment #214670

Stephen, so (once again) you managed to blame Republicans for the Hollywood libs. Amazing! Why don’t you blame the hollywood libs for their comments and movies?!

The Sum of All Fears was a good example, which was used earlier, of hollywood “wimping” out to the multi-culturalism crap. The book, by Tom Clancy, had muslim fanatics as the bad guys (which they are in present day “real” life!!); where the terrorists obective was to rekindle cold war animosity and prevent reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. The movie version scratched that and made white supremeists as the bad guys. Whatever! Viewers are not getting “tired” of muslims as the bad guys; they already know they are and that’s why it should be represented that way. The problem is that the viewers, if they were fed a constant diet of muslim fanaticism in movies and shows, they would veer away from the (modern day) liberal point of view.

Hollywood needs to take responsibilty for their actions and the actors/activists certainly need to be accountable for their words and actions!

Posted by: rahdigly at April 2, 2007 11:31 AM
Comment #214671

Hey, Guys,
Don’t forget that particularly during WWII, movies were intended as propaganda. Those actors who couldn’t or didn’t serve in the military frequently were encouraged to make movies and films with America as the Hero.

Remember John Wayne never served in the military. Ronald Reagan’s meager military career consisted of making training and education films for the war effort. Jimmy Stewart did serve, obtaining the rank of Brigadier General.

Of course most movies are slanted - the money tree that feeds them is slanted. Whether right or left - look to the money people behind the movie and you’ll get your answer.

I would imagine that it is probably next to impossible to write a book, screenplay, or film that is is not slanted in some manner.

Posted by: Linda H. at April 2, 2007 12:16 PM
Comment #214677

LO has it right; the uproar about Hollywood is less about the films and more about the congratulations given to those brave filmmakers who dare to make a political point. A left political point that is.

I saw 300 this weekend as well and was very entertained (except for the killing of the horses which I guess you have to show).

Posted by: George in SC at April 2, 2007 1:00 PM
Comment #214679

Woody

The Iranians portray us a lot worse. Besides, as you say yourself, this film is just one filmmakers vision.

I did not likethe Xerxes character in the film. I always kind of liked Xerxes. I even named one of my dogs after him. The stereotype from the times was that Xerxes was effeminate. He certainly was not very good at his job. We talked about the need for updating in films. I think the Xerxes of the film was updated to show what such a man would be like today.

I think it is very good that Xerxes - a pre Islamic king - is still popular in the Islamic Republic. Xerxes, however, was not very admirable. He was an example of the noble bloodline thinning. Cyrus was the great one and he warned what would happen in the next generations if Persians adopted the soft life.

Posted by: Jack at April 2, 2007 1:15 PM
Comment #214680

woody


“If you don’t care to hear what left-leaning actors think, don’t listen to them. “


i don’t, however when i turn on the tv and see one of them publicly spouting thier views, if i find them offensive i tend to go out of my way to avoid purchasing thier product. while they have the right to express thier views like anyone else, they need to remember that people watch movies to be entertained, and to escape reality for a while. offending your audience can have financial reprocusions, just ask the dixie chicks. lets be honest sometimes it’s hard to turn on the tv, or open a news paper without seeing sean penn or george clooney blabberiing away about some political opinion they have.

“It is like the Iranians made a movie depicting George Washington as a drag queen.
I’m all for free expression, but is it worth the potential cost in this case?”


are you saying we shouldn’t piss off the iranians? wouldn’t that then also be true of those in hollywood pissing off thier adience? is that worth the potential cost?

Posted by: dbs at April 2, 2007 1:31 PM
Comment #214683

Jack,

Pretty funny about your dog. Interesting variation on “Some of my best friends are…”

dbs,

I should have explained myself more clearly. American movies are made for an American audience. From a business standpoint, it would be dumb for them to make movies with non-mainstream political messages because they would lose money.

The issue with Iran is different. American studios can piss off Iran as much as they want without losing money. But there may be geopolitical implications (“costs”) that go beyond their business interests.

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 2, 2007 2:11 PM
Comment #214684

woody

“But there may be geopolitical implications (“costs”) that go beyond their business interests.”

why walk on egg shells? sensorship is just another form of serendor. the iranian gov’t hates us anyway. every time we change the way we go about our day to day lives for fear of angering them they win.

Posted by: dbs at April 2, 2007 2:35 PM
Comment #214687

Hey folks, here is something I’m sure we’ll all get in line to see ;) Will be interesting to see who makes the first post after the first screening.
http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003566118

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 2, 2007 2:59 PM
Comment #214688

Sandra

i can see the fireworks already.

Posted by: dbs at April 2, 2007 3:08 PM
Comment #214690

dbs, if we were all the same, and of the same mind, what a dull and boring world it would be…… I personally can’t wait….release in spring of ‘08, perfect timing to coincide with the elections. ;)

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 2, 2007 3:37 PM
Comment #214695

Rahdigly-
True Lies, Executive Decision, G.I. Jane, The Siege, Munich, United 93, Back to the Future, American Dreamz Syriana

I think you can get your fill of Arab Terrorism quite easily. The loss of one movie with Arab Terrorism is not the end of the world. If all else fails, go through the video store and rent some Golan Globus films.

I don’t think Americans need more films like this in order to dislike and oppose the terrorists. I think most of us saw all we needed to, on 9/11, and the weeks after that.

Your mistake is in thinking that Republicans like you are the only people who remember, hate, and want to prevent what happened that September day. It’s easy to wrap oneself up in such a flattering illusion of being the ones carrying the flame of justice for the unavenged, but the rest of us know what happened, and know this country has to be protected.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 2, 2007 4:02 PM
Comment #214698
Stephen Daugherty wrote: This government of ours was not constructed to be a bunch of people who could just sit on top of the common person and determine things at an arbitrary whim.

Well, that’s what it is.
Goverernment is FOR-SALE, and voters keep re-eleciting 90% of them each election.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s time for conservatives to humble themselves. The question is not how to talk to liberals “if you really must”.
More fueling the partisan warfare.

Nothing is likely to change as long as too many voters keep rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians by repeatedly re-electing them.

Congress is still:

  • the same teams (merely taking turns being the IN PARTY and OUT PARTY)

  • the same players (90% were re-elected)

  • the same old game

  • the same old results (the nation’s problems still go ignored)
The politicians don’t care, because they still believe voters will still keep rewarding them by repeatedly re-electing 90% of them.

The real problem isn’t the movie stars.
Many of them just make asses out of themselves when they start delving into politics (which is their right, of course).

The real problem is laziness.
It’s a natural fact of human nature.
It runs in cycles.
When will it end?
Only when it becomes too painful.
And that may not be that far off, as Do-Nothing Congress keeps ignoring the nation’s most pressing problems, growing in number and severity.

What’s fascinating to watch is that no matter which party is the IN-PARTY, they like to believe everything is good and problems are being solved.

The OUT-PARTY doen’t have to play that game anymore. In fact, they try to exaggerate problems that are really not that important.

But politicians of the two party duopoly keep ignoring the nation’s truly most pressing problems because it:

  • real problem solving requires hard work. They prefer to talk endlessly, and make it look like all of the inaction is the OTHER party’s fault.

  • most politicians don’t like to tackle tough problems or make tough decisions.

  • most politicians are too busy campaigning endlessly to fill up their campaign war chests.

  • most politicians are more interested in voting themselves cu$hy perks and raises (9 times between 1997 and 2007; they just got another raise)

  • most politicians are FOR-SALE and too beholding to their big money donors. 83% of all federal donations (of $200 or more) come from only 0.15% of all 200 million eligible voters. The other 99.85% of voters are ignored.

  • 90% of most politicans know they’ll get re-elected. They have vast incumbent advantages.

  • 90% of elections are won by the candidate that spends the most money. Unfortunately, it’s all about visibility, and money buys visibility. Incumbency gets visibility too, and easier access to the media.

  • most politicians already got theirs and a golden parachute too. Heck, even if convicted of most types of felonies, they can still get to keep their multi-million dollar pensions. Better yet, many might can get a pardon, like one of 546 felons pardoned by Clinton (140 on his last day in office).

Congress ain’t likely to become responsible until the voters do too.
The voters ain’t lilely to become responsible until they are motivated to do so.
That motivation ain’t likely to occur until there is a crisis (or significant economic downturn).
That crises may not be far away considering the approaching entitlements iceberg, 77 million baby boomers becoming eligible for Social Security and Medicare at a rate of 13,175 per day, $8.8 trillion national debt, waste, pork-barrel, graft, $12.8 trillion Social Security debt, $450 billion PBGC debt, massive trade deficits, excessive money printing, the falling dollar, world population growing by 249,000 per day, declining quality and rising cost of education, declining quality and rising cost of healthcare, arable land disappearing by 38,610 square miles per year, war in Iraq and Afghanistan, illegal immigration costing tax payers over $70 billion per year in net losses, and government keeps growing, to nightmare proportions.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 2, 2007 4:11 PM
Comment #214699

Not only do they use fear, but ignorance and self-righteousness as well. Today the NYTimes reported on the Institute of Medicine’s evaluation of the Bush/Repub Congress’s anti-HIV/AIDs measures and said that it was great but hampered by three restrictions:

¶The requirement that 33 percent of all money for prevention be spent teaching chastity and fidelity, even in countries where most cases are spread by drug injection.

¶The need for separate Food and Drug Administration approval of AIDS drugs that the World Health Organization has already approved.
¶Laws forbidding the use of taxpayer money to give clean needles to drug addicts.

Employing preconceived notions rather than science is one of the hallmarks of this bunch of yo-yos. The ill-concealed censorious attitudes toward those who are at risk predominates in these right-wing versions of “compassion.” It is also evident in the attitudes about contraception and abortion: the hidden agenda is to make “loose” women pay for their mistakes, not to prevent abortions per se. This, of course, makes it so much more difficult to prevent abortions, because tactics known to do so are fought against tirelessly by the prudish right wing.

Posted by: Mental Wimp at April 2, 2007 4:19 PM
Comment #214704

d.a.n(cnp) & wimp,

Tell me again what your posts have to do with the topic?

Posted by: cliff at April 2, 2007 5:06 PM
Comment #214718

cliff,

If you had been paying attention, you’d know that “fear” was one topic of Stephens post, based on “the way the Right builds up so much of its politics on fear”.

The other was “bunch of people who could just sit on top of the common person and determine things at an arbitrary whim”

So there. What did your one and only comment have to do with anything?

Posted by: d.a.n at April 2, 2007 7:21 PM
Comment #214731

Stephen,

The “Hollywood Liberal” is a political construct to whip up the base of the right just as the “Wall Street Republican” is a political construct to whip up the base of the left.

These constructs share common themes: first, they are a presentation of those that are supposedly allied with the opposition of the base who are more powerful than the common man. By virtue of their success, they have the ability to spread their views more easily and to have greater access to the politicians who support their views (and even those who don’t).

Secondly, some of their products pursue goals that are antithetical to the more radical elements of the oppositions base. For example, those that have the biggest problem with the Hollywood Elite are further to the social right than most of the rank and file membership of the Republican Party. They distrust and dislike the “Hollywood Elite” because they see some of their products as pushing the bounds in ways they believe harm society(i.e. portrayls of gays, guns, or money).

Similarly, those on the radical left dislike and distrust Wall Street Republicans because their products serve only to extend the wealth of those already wealthy in a way that harms society.

Thirdly, the groups are also similar because their membership or their agents enjoy wide, important, and daily access to most Americans. Many Americans invite the “Hollywood Elite” into their homes on a nightly basis. Many Americans have direct interaction with the “Wall Street Republicans” by virtue of having a manager or boss at their jobs that acts on the behalf of a CEO.

Fourthly, the groups are similar because some of their most visible members take stances that are easily identifiable and villiafiable by their oppositions base. Rosie Odonell is a member of the Hollywood Elite that gets a lot of negative attention. Donald Trump is a member of the Wall Street Right that gets a lot of attention (though lately, I’m not sure where Trump comes down).

Finally, in reality neither group is nearly as a cohesive whole as imagined by their opponents. They probably are divided across the idealogical spectrum in ways that are reflectively of the broader society. As a result their perceived power in moving the debate within the various politcal parties is probably not nearly as great as imagined. Before Dan says it, though, both groups probably have more power within the whole of government than the common man does because of their one common denominator, disproportinate wealth.

I would further submit that such constructs are not new to American politics in the twentieth century. Populists in the late 18th century tilted at the “robber barons”. Democratic candidates in the early 20th century tilted at the Republican Party for their anti-slavery members. As far back as the early 19th century, the Federalists whipped up the common folks with images of the French Revolutions excesses wrought on America in the guise of the Jeffersonian Party.

Posted by: Rob at April 2, 2007 8:52 PM
Comment #214737

Dan-
My basic message is that a hyperpartisan, controlling attitude toward the media, and towards voters will not work, that people are more alike than some folks are prepared to think they are.

Yet you managed to drop that damn cut and paste argument here, too. And accuse me of partisan hackery, despite the central message of what I have written!

The problem of people keeping incumbents in the system is one part of the problems we have in our culture, not the whole affair, It is not pure nor pure effect, but instead the manner in which the ongoing process of selecting our Representatives is going on. The problem emerges from other causes, and effects emerge from it and other conditions of things going on.

The problem is, some are so entranced with the idea of directly handing people their views, that they don’t stop to think how people really absorb them, or even what they’re really saying.

The only real solution is for both sides to commit to get their hands dirty examining the facts- politicians to figure out what they’re going to do and keep track of what they’re doing, and the people to maintain a good idea of what they are doing. Otherwise, the only real picture people will have is distant, generalized picture, often blurred by partisan rhetoric.

The only way I see to really get past that, is to know the important facts behind what the people say. Otherwise, how do people know any better?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 2, 2007 10:00 PM
Comment #214785

d.a.n (cnp)

Even though Stephen D and I tend to disagree, he is spot on with his reply to you. (His actual reply was probably betterthen what i would have written..thanks Stephen)

Stephen D.

You figured out what “(cnp)” meant…

Posted by: cliff at April 3, 2007 9:36 AM
Comment #214794

cliff, Stephen,

There’s no cnp, and even if it was cnp, so what? I commented on what Stephen wrote of “fear”, “movie stars”, and what Stephen called a “bunch of people who could just sit on top of the common person and determine things at an arbitrary whim”.

Stephen also talked about getting “their hands dirty” and “the important facts”, but it doesn’t mean much while jumping at every chance to fuel the circular, petty, divisive, partisan warfare (e.g. Stephen Daugherty wrote: “It’s time for conservatives to humble themselves. The question is not how to talk to liberals “if you really must”.)

It is interesting how the deeply engrained partisan bias blinds party loyalists to the fact that most politicians in BOTH parties are BOTH terribly irresponsible. Look in the Red column and the Blue column. The partisan warfare rages on while problems go ignored. Politicians love it, and love to seduce voters to wallow in it. It’s a great distraction.

It’s also interesting how the new IN-PARTY loyalists don’t like any criticism of Congress, but bashed Congress all the time when THEIR party was the OUT-PARTY.

Never mind that 90% of them are still there.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s time for conservatives to humble themselves. The question is not how to talk to liberals “if you really must”. The question is how you talk to liberals and moderates, period. As highly as conservatives and Republicans might think of themselves and their view of the world, how well they persuade others depends to a greater extent on how others buy what they think and say, than what they think of their own ideas.
That’s just more blatant fanning the flames of the circular, divisive, distracting partisan warfare.

Perhaps to distract others from the fact Do-Nohthing Congress is still ignoring the nation’s most pressing problems. I see Congress just voted itself another raise (one of 9 raises in the last 10 years). What happened to that first 100 hour clock, 5 day work weeks, and prohibiting earmarks (pork-barrel)?

What “it’s time for” is an end to the circular, divisive, time-wasting, distracting partisan warfare … which plays into the hands of the politicians; distracting voters from more substantive issues.

Thus, what’s a fact is that Congress is still:

  • the same teams (90% of them were re-elected; each merely taking turns being the IN-PARTY and OUT-PARTY)

  • the same players

  • the same old game

  • the same old results (the nation’s problems still go ignored)

Posted by: d.a.n at April 3, 2007 10:32 AM
Comment #214800

d.a.n

same post…
same player…
same message…
same cnp…

Posted by: cliff at April 3, 2007 11:26 AM
Comment #214804
cliff wrote:If [they] want to play politics, fine, they can. BUT, some of them should do a little homework and understand what they are talking about before they open their mouths and embarass themselves.
Good advice. Posted by: d.a.n at April 3, 2007 11:37 AM
Comment #214824

Stephen,
What else would you expect from the Republican Noise Machine. They never say anything about Hollowood Liberals such as George Murphy, Ronald Reagan and Sonny Bono. Whoops-they were very conservative and how about the Hollywood icon Chuck Heston.

Posted by: C.T. Rich at April 3, 2007 1:07 PM
Comment #214848

Dan-
I would tell my fellow Democrats not to follow in the footsteps of of the Republicans. I dislike more than the nasty partisan rhetoric of the Coulter’s and the Hannity’s, whose rhetoric needlessly, venomously defames Democrats and liberals as traitors, as beneath them. I dislike what their kind of tone does to the whole thing.

Why do I choose the words I do? Why do I say to get one’s hand dirty? The image is of manual labor, of not doing things at a distance, automatically, but instead doing the difficult, complex work of actually thinking things through up close.

I want facts to moderate people’s political approaches. I want people to learn what these facts mean, what they imply.

In short, I don’t want partisanship to rule things. If we are to be partisans about an issue, it should be on a legitimate, not politicized, disagreement on the facts, and the facts should be used to determine the right approach.

There’s too much emphasis on the political superficialities today, too much emphasis on message control and dogma at the expense of government’s practical performance. For me, that is not the ideal outcome for liberals.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 3, 2007 2:58 PM
Comment #214856

Stephen, They already are following in the Republicans footsteps in many ways, and doing worse in some other ways.

But the real problem is not an issue of one party or the other.

It is _B_O_T_H_ !

For example, how about this:

  • Congress still ignoring these pressing problems that Congress is still ignoring?

  • Congress just voted itself another raise (the 9th raise in the last 10 years)?

  • Congress is still FOR-SALE and still ignores campaign finance reform?

  • What’s up with Rep. Jefferson Williams? And Pelosi recommending him for the Homeland Security committee? What’s up with the voters that re-elected him?

  • What happened to that 100 hour clock? Did it finally run down after a few months?

  • What happened to 5 day work weeks?

  • The last pork-laden BILL? Bush will veto it, but for the wrong reasons?

  • Congress is ignoring the approaching entitlements/77 million baby boomer iceberg; soon to start becoming eligible for entitlements at the rate of 13,175 per day?

  • Federal Reserve printing too much money? (incessant inflation over 1%)?

  • Pelosi tried to omit Samoa for the minimum wage, one of the biggest opponents of the federal minimum wage in Samoa is StarKist Tuna, which owns one of the two packing plants that together employ more than 5,000 Samoans, or nearly 75 percent of the island’s work force. StarKist’s parent company, Del Monte Corp., has headquarters in San Francisco, which is represented by Nancy Pelosi. The other plant belongs to California-based Chicken of the Sea.

  • Congress still ignores wide-open borders. Homeland Security is a joke?

  • Congress voting on a fence without any funding?

  • Democrats are trying to get amnesty for illegal aliens. How about these Congress persons (mostly Democrats) that voted to give illegal aliens Social Security benefits?

  • What good is a minimum wage when the borders are wide open, cheap labor (i.e. illegal aliens) flood across the border by the millions, and immigration laws are ignored? Congress still refuses to enforce immigration laws; Congress is essentially (and despicably) pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other? 32% of illegal aliens receive welfare. 29% of all incarcerated in federal prisons are illegal aliens. In a GAO Report 5646, a study group of 55,322 illegal aliens commited 5992 murders, and were repeatedly arrested on average 8 times.

  • Congress growing the $8.8 trillion National Debt ever larger?

  • Congress still plundering Social Security surpluses (Social Security is now $12.8 trillion in debt)?

  • Congress refuses to reform the absurdly complicated tax system?

  • … more waste, corruption, pork-barrel, graft, malfeasance, and government growing ever larger to nightmare proportions … ?

Republicans blew it.
No doubt about it.
And within a relatively short time too (about 10 years).
But, Stephen, Democrat politicians are not any better, and worse in some ways (e.g. illegal immigration, pork-barrel, etc.). Some party-loyalists don’t like it, and can’t admit it, but Congress is still:

  • the same teams (90% of them were re-elected; each merely taking turns being the IN-PARTY and OUT-PARTY)

  • the same players

  • the same old game

  • the same old results (the nation’s problems still go ignored)

Congress will not become more responsible until voters do too, and that ain’t gonna happen by fueling the circular, divisive, distracting partisan warfare, blindly believing things are better just because Democrats have a slight majority, and rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians by repeatedly re-electing them.

It’s ridiculous how the politicians get voters all worked up, pitting Americans against each other (similar to the way they are now despicably pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other), wallowing in the circular, divisive, distracting partisan warfare, while they get theirs, vote themselves some more raises, and continue to ignore the nation’s most serious problems. What has Congress done so far? Let Pelosi fly around the Middle East. What is that accomplishing?

Posted by: d.a.n at April 3, 2007 3:42 PM
Comment #214868

d.a.n (cnp)

I wasn’t writing that quote about you, but if the shoe fits …

Posted by: cliff at April 3, 2007 5:59 PM
Comment #214904

cliff,
Don’t you have anything other to add?
Is that it?
If that’s all you have, it’s lame.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 3, 2007 9:41 PM
Comment #214908

dan-
Do me a favor, and just come up with some thoughts on the subject I actually started this thread on, what you’ve seen politically in movies, what you’d like to see. If you won’t move on from this standard set of points you repeat in every thread, I may just have to do the unthinkable, and ignore you.

Everybody-
Please feel free to relate your own experiences of this. I believe our culture is a lot richer than we give ourselves credit for, and a lot smarter, too.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 3, 2007 9:57 PM
Comment #214929

Stephen,

I’d be interested in your thoughts on my post.

Posted by: Rob at April 3, 2007 11:16 PM
Comment #214965

d.a.n

Once again, Stephen has the credible reply for you and sarcasm hit the target but failed to explode.

Bottom line:
Stay on the topic of the post,
NOT your own topic.

Posted by: cliff at April 4, 2007 8:37 AM
Comment #214991

Stephen, Cliff,

I am addressing portions of Stephen’s article, so it IS on topic.
Stephen, you asked for facts, and I provided them.
Regarding movie stars, you said they aren’t that different, and I agree. Movie stars are entitled to their opinion (per the 1st Amendment).

You also spoke of fear, Republicans, conservatives needing to humble themselves, and you wrote “This government of ours was not constructed to be a bunch of people who could just sit on top of the common person”, and I addressed all that too, plus offerring facts that politicians of BOTH parties are irresponsible (not just the Republicans you have such a disdain for). So, I am on topic since those are all about things in YOUR article.

Perhaps the real problem is that some people just don’t like any criticism of THEIR party now that THEIR party is the IN-PARTY. Are Democrats holding THEIR party’s feet to the fire? Or, are they just making excuses for it? Just like the Republicans did, saying WE are not perfect, WE need more time, WE are not as bad as the OTHER party, etc.? The proof is in the pudding. Stephen, you asked for facts. So I provided a list of facts? Ignore it if you like. And how about Pelosi galavanting around the Middle East? Is that what’s important now? What happened to those 5 day work weeks? What’s up with that? So, what has changed? A minimum wage? Big deal. I’m sure the people of Samoa are happy about that. A minimum wage in the U.S. mainland doesn’t mean much when politicians refuse to enforce the laws, allowing cheap labor (illegal aliens) to flood across the borders by the millions.

Cliff wrote: Bottom line: Stay on the topic of the post, NOT your own topic.

Cliff, Who put you in charge? Take a look at your own comments telling others what to do and offering nothing about the topic? Perhaps you should follow your own advice? My comments are on topic as long as my posts address portions of the topic (which they do), and also answer questions posed. I’m addressing portions of Stephen’s post (fear, Republicans, and his sentence “This government of ours was not constructed to be a bunch of people who could just sit on top of the common person”, etc.). So, saying it is off topic is nonsense.

Stephen, I’ll say one thing about many movie stars of the 1940s and 1950s. In my opinion, they were part of the Great Generation. They were better in many ways. Are they a product of their times, or are the times a product of the people? Now look at what the following generations have done. It’s a mess, and fueling the circular, divisive, distracting partisan warfare with comments like yours below just fuel it and perpetuate it.

Stephen wrote: It’s time for conservatives to humble themselves. The question is not how to talk to liberals “if you really must”. The question is how you talk to liberals and moderates, period. As highly as conservatives and Republicans might think of themselves and their view of the world, how well they persuade others depends to a greater extent on how others buy what they think and say, than what they think of their own ideas.

Here, IMO, are great actors of the 1940s. Compare them to today’s Hollywood actors.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 4, 2007 12:19 PM
Comment #215043

d.a.n

That was a little better…(no cnp)
AND no “throw all the bums out” diatribe…

Your comments did make sense…

POST APPROVED

;-)

Posted by: cliff at April 4, 2007 4:20 PM
Comment #215166

Rob-
I think the Wall Street Republican is a stereotype to a certain extent, but it’s less inaccurate. Republicans have supported much of the pro-business agenda, though arguably much of it has been to their disadvantage.

Few, though, I will admit, actually take this approach in greed. However, those few have had much influence. The concentration of the media, the consolidation of many companies, the free rein that’s been given to the anti-competitive practices of Microsoft, the oil companies and other practices indicate the reality of this corporate bias among the Republicans.

In fact, to a certain extent, the sensationalism of the media results from a free market attitude by those wanting to cater to a public largely jaded by previous sensationalism.

The reality is, culture and business are linked together. If the liberal relaxation of social mores have had an effect in one direction, so did the willingness to do much of anything to make a buck, and to allow people to do so, and even more so.

There are ways in which an overly corporate biased policy has allowed the business world to consume people’s lives. The constant shifting of hours, the elimination of job security, the pressure to engage in cutthroat competitive practices… We should acknowledge that what people do in corporations, and what they can be made to do can have a corrosive effect on morality as well, and far more deeply felt, since most people spend more time at work, and the culture of the workplace and the corporation plays a big role in what’s seen in the media.

All sides need to approach the expression of their principles in a more results-oriented manner, considering what emerges from the consequences of policy, rather than simply labelling approaches in terms of their intent

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 5, 2007 10:47 AM
Comment #215180

Dan-
My problem is that you offer that with every post regardless of actual content- that rather than take a more active, less dogmatic, less pro forma approach. It’s impersonal, yet we’re expected to enthusiastically respond to it.

You’re expecting me not to take the position that I identify with, to take your position essentially, without you stepping down from your generalized position, and discussing events and the facts surrounding them. Did you know Pelosi was passing on a message to Assad clarifying Israel’s attentions on that country’s behalf? That what she was doing could prevent fighting from breaking out over a misunderstanding? The details are not unimportant in judging people’s behavior. 90% incumbency, however important it is to you, is not the only thing that determines the way things move in Washington and the world.

It’s good that you provide that list, but my response would be this: golden age thinking can be a trap, especially when it leads you to underestimate the current generation. What we had then was compulsory service, which mean that a large number of people served, regardless of political inclination, and a war that enjoyed popular support, which meant that few were seeking to get out of service.

We had an upper-class mentality then that had the sons of the rich serve, rather than cheat their way out. Now with the all volunteer army and the loss of the sense of the army being an upper-class profession, they no longer do.

But does that indicate that this generation isn’t a good one? No generation is without its faults, even the greatest generation. The same generation who won WWII lead the policies that made us lose in Vietnam.

I think my generation has a chance to be a remarkable one, but it will have to watch what it does.

The least we can do, at this point, is ask the challenging questions about what the policies of previous generations have done to this country, and gain some fresh perspective.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 5, 2007 11:44 AM
Comment #215226

Stephen,
You forget. You’re not the only person reading these blogs. Thousands read these pages daily. Only a small percentage leave comments. Unlike most, I don’t write just for regulars.

Pelosi passing on a message?
Nonsense. Ever heard of the telephone?
Pelosi needs to get her priorities straight.
She is in no position, nor has the authority to bargain anything. You’re grasping at straws trying to rationalize it. Personally, I think the purpose of it, more than anything, was to piss off Bush and Republicans, and fuel the partisan warfare.

So, you’re still dodging the question.
What has Congress accomplished so far?
Pelosi galivanting around the Middle East?
Don’t we have enough domestic problems without Pelosi wasting tax payers money trying to act like the Secretary of State?

How about working on some badly-needed, common-sense, no-brainer reforms?

If not, then it really is STILL the Do-Nothing Congress?

Are you starting to suspect, yet, that it’s going to get harder and harder to keep rationalizing the behavior of the 110th Congress, as if it is suddently better than the 109th? Already the media is starting to see that nothing much is happening, the “first 100 hours” was a joke, 5 day work weeks didn’t last long, and Congress just got another raise (the 9th in the last 10 years). Oh … never mind. I forgot. Nobody is perfect. All generations have problems. We need more time.

All the excuses don’t change the facts.
Congress is STILL irresponsible and unaccountable, and is STILL ignoring a large number of things. So they raised the minimum wage. What good is that when illegal aliens are still flooding across the borders, displacing millions of American workers? All these questions go unanswered just like they did when the Republicans had the majority. Nothing has changed, except the IN-PARTY and OUT-PARTY taking turns, as evidenced by their handi-work and do-nothingness.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 5, 2007 2:14 PM
Comment #215281

Stephen,

I’m not sure I followed your full argument. I understand that you believe that the Republicans are pro-business and they are to an extent largely comparable to the extent that Democrats are for the expansion of gay rights, multi-culturalism, and against the current war.

What I’m arguing is that the Hollywood Elites and the Wall Street Republicans are the political constructs used by party activitist to label and “otherize” the opposition. Both images give the base a group to dislike and point at.

I’m a moderate. I’m not at all worried about Hollywood Elites. I like the idea of an expansion of gay-rights, multi-culturalism. I’m also not a proponent of corporation bashing or ready to explore the full extent of the government’s regulatory powers that you are. I disagree with you that the Republicans have overly coddled business; (however, I do take exception to some specific decisions that have been made under this government in regards to certain business interests). So I neither image is to me particularly derogatory so not all the compelling.

The other point of my original post though is that the construct does not represent the actual political participation of the group being “otherized”. Certainly, not everyone in Hollywood is a Liberal. Nor is everyone on Wall Street a Republican (thank goodness for that or the Democrats would have no election funding
;-) ). Instead, the groups are probably more likely representative of larger society.

By the way, I missed the other demonizing group that the Democrats like to trot out against Republicans. Take a look three posts up from this one in the blue column. You will see the political construct of the Republican Racist that to me is just as insidious as the gay bashing done by the religious right.

Posted by: Rob at April 5, 2007 8:53 PM
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