By Bob Dorn
Get ready for the message: Democrats need to move toward the center. That’s it, that’s all you need to know from the political professionals whom we pay to tell us who we are and what we think.
Picture them. You have Brian Williams, the hippest of that knot of strange guys in a hotel bar who anchor the nightly news of the three traditional used-to-be’s: ABC, CBS and NBC. The truth is, these guys don’t really carry the anesthesia and toxins for our political elite; they just introduce the heavyweights who do. But they’re the most important of the traditional media.
Scott Pelley, and what’s-it over at ABC and Brian Williams are the ones in the bar who seem to know who’s got the goods. They mostly look like second-stringers, or backup singers; their too-tight suits and subtle blebs help us see they’re just like us, just folks who’ve been placed momentarily in the spotlights and the corner offices. But they’re the ones who point their fingers and start up the choruses of specialists who call out the numbers and quote the right people and bring on the soloists and the experts.
Over at FOX, the non-traditional hell-center of Big Money (ever hear of Rupert Murdoch?), the approach is different. No false equivalencies here, no one’s going to say, for instance, that some Georgia state senator has it wrong when he advocates shipping negroes back to Liberia, but on the other hand strict voter identification cards are a good idea. At FOX they’ll just go with the i.d. cards and leave race out of it.
Plus, they’re not as pretty (unless they’re women). You got your Krauthammer (doesn’t he look like his name?), a real slasher. He looks like something you might put back in the shopping bag so you can get your money back. He’s, well, sort of rotten.
The point is, you know what you’re getting from FOX. You’re no longer in that convention hotel bar, it’s more like you’ve been transported to a German putschist beer hall in the early 30s. No references to Obama’s unpopularity; they just hate him and say so. The people in FOX studios aren’t democrats, nor are they Democrats, who more and more will follow their orders.
Back among the respectable and more conventional, the signs and signals of Big Media are more subtle and personal, for sure. It’s easier to identify with them — Judy Woodruff’s taste in clothes, what’s-it over at ABC so non-threatening… all that stuff counts if your job requires you to tell people the GOP/Democrats are just like you and me.
It’s interesting that with all the disease and warfare and road rage and racial and religious bigotry and jobless numbers (which ignore the evidence outside your door and on the boulevard dividers at the traffic lights that more and more people are in misery) despite all these growing problems, many of them so much like those that occurred during The Great Depression, the Democrats have to move closer to the center.
Didn’t Scott Peters (Peter Scott?) already try to do that? Wasn’t he the guy who voted against Obama on several key bills? Before him there was Nathan … uh Fletcher, the man of the center who lost a mayoral election to Bob Filner, the lefty who ran into his own libido, and Republican pornographers.
Nationally, how about that Allison Lundergran Grimes in Kentucky who shot off skeet guns at rifle ranges and swore she wasn’t an Obama partisan? Wasn’t she supposed to knock off Mitch McConnell, the still-breathing, who now readies himself to twist Democrats into various irrelevancies?
These people, Scott Peters (he’d be losing were it not for Carl’s Grab and Grin episodes), Nathan Fletcher (he lost), even Scott Brown (he lost!) look and sound like those news anchors, blameless, unimaginative, indifferent. If they were cars they’d be ’54 Dodge sedans, right turnlights blinking.
And… let’s face it, didn’t Obama already move way to the center-right back in 2008 with his inner committee of Lawrence Summers and Timothy Geithner and their long fashionable austerity theories? What did he get for abandoning the New Deal? A deeply depressed negative approval rating of -19%, according to the latest Rasmussen poll.
A New Dealer might have figured out that our homeless population –demoralized and unable to survive in our digital/finance capital world — would be a hell of a lot better off if they could report to a new Works Projects Administration job dedicated to national parks preservation and recycling. Where were all these now-failed Democrats during the summer’s minimum wage struggles? Why is it they couldn’t find something that held promise for a better world, nation, state, county or city, something that could excite people?
As Lori Saldaña said at this site, the Wednesday after the debacle… “…we didn’t hear many candidates talking about the wage gap, or affordable higher ed for kids…” My wife is even more succinct; she says Demo politicians “are cowards.”
Has any Democratic candidate this election cycle demonstrated the courage of Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders? And remember, these are people who won their Senate seats.
Politicians can’t win by boring people. Even less likely to win that way are Democratic Party politicians.
The Center is a political graveyard.