Eclectic commentary from a progressive voice in the red state

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Congressional Turds

Last night’s midnight deadline came and went without Congress agreeing on the budget and the debt
ceiling. Try as I might, I can’t think of a civil thing to say to the 435 United States House members who have allows this to happen.

Thanks, however, to the New York Daily News, I am aided in my communication to the right wingers who have visited this upon our nation and on the taxpayers. What is gratifying to me about the Daily News’ front page today is that it says (perhaps a bit more gently than I wish) what I feel and perhaps what many others feel today too. But because it’s the Daily News, it will be hard for those inhabiting the Beltway Bubble to avoid seeing the disdain we the people have for them. At this level of exposure, I suspect it’s difficult, if not impossible, for the members of Congress to miss this message.

Whether these bought-and-paid-for folks care is another matter altogether. Most are smug in their cocoons, protected from the wrath of their lowly constituents. First, unless you pay to play by making big contributions, these parasites don’t give a damn about your position. Second, they really never see the negative communications they get from constituents. Those are handled by staffers who vomit form letters that duck the issues and ignore the lowly concerns.

We are in our own civil war in the United States. It’s a war being fought for the hearts and minds of voters using the most sophisticated propaganda techniques known to man. In fact, I am going to start using a term that I’ve only recently learned: “false balance.” Also known as the balance fallacy, false balance gives equal weight to both sides of an argument, implying either that the truth is somewhere in the middle or that both arguments have equal weight.

We know, at least in journalism, or news media terms, false balance occurs far too often. It’s our job as journalists to fact-check and in doing so, we eliminate false balance. But if you’re either lazy or part of the propaganda machine, like the corporatist news media is, people aren’t going to see the false balance.

Which brings me back to the picture. As much as House Speaker John Boehner is to blame, it’s false balance to not include all the Tea Party members of the House and most of the Republicans. And some blue dog Democrats, too. Still, the part that’s right is calling them, all too gently, “turds.”