Because mainstream opinion is still catching up with the radicalization of the remnant right

Looking at the extreme, exaggerated, consistent, pervasive, and distasteful contempt for the President that characterizes so much contemporary rightwing discourse, Andrew Sullivan asks (again):

Is this rank racism, pure partisanship, class resentment, or some toxic combination of them all?

That and much more, but also quite simply the fact that the current Republican political and opinion leadership is exploiting credibility that it has inherited rather than earned.  It was built up over decades, and popular and mainstream comprehension of the current party’s narrowness has not yet caught up to the reality.  So we have the mere appearance of a still closely and sharply divided country against an actual ideological relative consensus, though the gap or lag also equates with prudent patience, since it remains conceivable that the Republicans will revert to historical form – as an element within the American social democratic state rather than as the principle of its total negation – at any political time.  It’s not just or even so much that the Republican opinion elite has moved right, as that the mainstream opinion consensus has expanded to envelop much of what was once thought “conservative,” an argument that the President and allies, and more than a few disgruntled further-leftists, have not yet tired of making.  For now, in the aftermath of the Bush catastrophe and ahead of the oncoming demographic deluge, the remaining Republican centrists either have adopted adversarial stances toward the movement (Frum, Bartlett) or are represented by politician-opportunists and hacks (Romney, Huntsman, Boehner, McConnell) whose path of least resistance is to operate within the radicalized party as they find it.


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13 comments on “Because mainstream opinion is still catching up with the radicalization of the remnant right

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  1. Ah Andrew is as droll as Coward or Wodehouse, cheerio old chap, We have the most blanc mange frontrunner since Wilder’s Throttlebottom, yet like Chip Dillard, his pater familia is ridiculed, despite having been the GOP’s house liberal
    on Mad Men,

  2. Yes Henry Francis, isn’t the least sympathetic character that’s split between Pete Campbell and Ken (last name escapes me) Me thinks SDP wouldn’t have been interested in American Motors either.

  3. It’s not just or even so much that the Republican opinion elite has moved right, as that the mainstream opinion consensus has expanded to envelop much of what was once thought “conservative,” an argument that the President and allies, and more than a few disgruntled further-leftists, have not yet tired of making.

    Really? Or is the real mainstream opinion consensus buried under Fox News’ influence? I believe that everyone who watches tv news on any station–no matter how liberal its reports may even actually be–is being influenced hugely by Fox News via the effect of the competition for viewers. Never underestimate the underlining (what in the yoga world we refer to as the…) energetic power of motivation. Whatever motivates people also influences people. So it’s not the words, it’s the consciousness, and while most Unitedstatesians may watch tv news, what tv news succeeds in burying is still there and if the real mainstream opinion consensus was as it seems on television I don’t think they would have ever elected someone named Obama.

    • What appears in the TV news, Fox or otherwise, isn’t the same as the totality. People like Miggs, if I’m not mistaken, are convinced beyond dissuasion that the totality of the mainstream media – TV News as well as Mad Men and probably Judge Judy and sports coverage and WAY TOO MUCH of Fox – are advancing a leftwingified super-plot to annihilate or transform all that’s good and holy and bury it in the Gulag. They’re right, but just don’t realize that what they have in mind is much worse, and that neither is much going anywhere anyway.

      FNC didn’t emerge from the vacuum. It filled a growing niche for its product that could be described in different ways, for instance as a provisional perspective at a particular intersection of power and culture. I read somewhere BTW that Fox’s viewership is in major decline, but maybe it was a one-month blip – had been meaning to look look into it further.

      • Well Most networks are in decline, Fox has given up it’s ‘comparative advantage’ adding the likes of Sally Kohn, carrying the pom poms for Governor Blanc Mange, while the center left like CNN
        are moving toward ‘an increasingly more selective audience,’ the O’Brien dissertation on CRT notwithstanding.

  4. Well Scott, the reverse is somewhat true, Obama’s formative experience led him to conclude that the nuclear freeze didn’t go far enough, ‘Reagan’s dark doings’ presumedly against the insurgents in Central America, led him to community organizing,
    the Iowa Peace Pledge is being followed through, Israel is being forced into a ‘zero barrier’ choice, with Iran, with the real and imagined leaks to Mark Perry, similarly the Siloviki have an ear at the White House, although they despise his economic policy.

  5. Fox has viewers to spare and unfortunately takes them for granted, probably Erin Burnett’s is the only show in the lineup that’s really worth much, Piers Morgan, is outpaced by his predecessor, Fox has watered down the brand,

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