Monday, August 2, 2021

The Narrative Souffle Is Overbeaten and Collapsing

"Sir, there is something on your chin," read the aide's discreet note, whereupon President Biden swiped something yellow off his face with his finger, peered closely at the little blob of goo, and then proceeded to nonchalantly pop it into his mouth.

I guess it could have been worse. Biden could have been choking on his own word salad again, and the aide, perhaps privy to a recent top-secret PET scan, could have discreetly written "Sir, you have swiss cheese for a brain. When you refer to the talking points that we so carefully write down for you on your cue card,  could you just for once also please remember to keep it out of camera range?"

Luckily for Biden, neither the gross food/bodily secretion recycling incident nor any other "gaffes" are receiving any coverage at all in establishment liberal media. You just have to grit your teeth and hold your nose and gingerly descend into the deepest depths of right-wing and click-bait media like Yahoo!, Fox, and the The Daily Mail to see either the above clip or the recent suggestion by former White House physician and current congress-critter Ronny Jackson that Biden should be subject to emergency cognitive testing. Of course, given that Jackson had also once opined that the overweight and hypertensive Donald Trump would live to be a hundred, you can pretty much rest assured that his concern about what could be early signs of dementia in Biden are not altruistically medical, but crassly political. 

On the other hand, you can also rest assured that if it had been Trump oafishly wolfing down a glob of mystery goo that he'd just picked off his face, it would have been trending at Number One on CNN, the most trusted name in nooze. That's why it's always a good idea to get your nooze from the entire duopolistic spectrum of A to B, the better to bypass all the censorship by omission while at the same time using your own critical thinking skills to sidestep all the virtual La Brea tarpits bubbling over with gooey propaganda. Swallowing whole, no matter how outrage-inducing or delectable that any given nooze-morsel might seem at first glance, is not only a choking hazard, it can wreak havoc with your overloaded information digestive system.

 That's a daunting prospect for sure, especially given that most of us are too beaten down by neoliberalism and too worried about our own precarious lives to indulge in media criticism as yet another side-gig. But here's where we might finally be getting lucky ourselves.

On the surface, it might seem lucky for Biden that he is still being treated with kid gloves by the liberal establishment media. But anybody with a functioning brain can also plainly see that their myriad official narratives have so many holes in them that they're collapsing faster than an overbeaten swiss cheese souffle. When powerful establishment figures start turning on each other, like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is now turning on the White House for not extending the national eviction moratorium, that leaves a fleeting power vacuum that the rest of us can and must fill.

When progressive "squad" maven Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is so cowed by Medicare For All agitators that she has to close her district office, she has received the message that her pithy tweets against Republicans don't cut it any more. She should be smart enough to realize that unless the "progressive" wing of the House of "Representatives" uses its very real leverage in the here and now, she might even lose her seat.

Notwithstanding the establishment media's tacit agreement to ignore Biden's cognitive issues, the role of the establishment media as a government mouthpiece is beginning to wobble. There is widespread agreement that both the White House and its private corporate partners jumped the gun in declaring victory over the pandemic early this summer, as they made a euphoric return to "normal" their highest priority. Watching the poobahs undercut each other on mask-wearing, eviction moratoriums and the spread of the virus even among the vaccinated is a sign that the ruling class is weakening, at least insofar as their propaganda narratives are concerned. They all look bad, because they're all, in fact, guilty of putting profits over people. Nothing points to their cynical self-dealing more than the current eviction crisis.

Take the White House's pathetic rationale for not extending the eviction moratorium. Since Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in a majority opinion upholding the moratorium that any further extension would require an act of Congress, Biden's flouting of this judicial opinion could, his legal minions claim, lead to the Court overthrowing further executive public health actions, possibly even declaring that in the future, no president can ever again declare a public health emergency for any reason whatsoever. The Black Plague could make a comeback and wipe out half the population, and the US president still would be powerless to order a mass lockdown. Therefore, Biden claims he has no other choice but to let millions of people lose the roofs over their heads during the current pandemic. It's a flimsy claim at best.

Now, if Biden were really proactive, he would have attempted to overhaul the court by now, so that reactionary ideologues like Brett Kavanaugh would not have such outsize power to effectively dictate public policy. 

Instead, Status Quo Joe did the cynical thing. He appointed a commission to study Supreme Court reform, and he even appointed a stalwart Brett Kavanaugh defender to sit on it, all but ensuring that, once again, "nothing will fundamentally change."

Just as Biden punted tenant protections to Congress just as they were leaving for their summer vacation, he is now using the Supreme Court as another excuse to do nothing. As The Nation's Elie Mystal writes,

Perhaps even more troubling, instead of balancing some of the center-left people on the commission with more, or any, outspoken advocates of court reform, Biden went the other way and put Federalist Society scholars and judges in there to drag the whole thing to the right. I cannot recall the last time a Republican president bothered even to consult a Democratic voice, never mind a genuinely left voice, on how to proceed with a matter related to the Supreme Court. But Democrats continue to act like they need a hall pass from Republicans before they take any action.

If Biden didn't have the Court as his partner in crime, he can always fall back on such useful idiots as Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, not to mention Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth McDonough, all but designated by Biden as America's official Pope-Queen for her power to impede Democratic reconciliation bills. This is legislation introduced by the ultra-slim liberal majority to great fanfare, great grandstanding, and most important of all, great re-election fundraising campaigns to show how much they care and how hard they are fighting for us.

But, gosh darn it, their poor grasping hands are tied. They like to say they're being thwarted by those nasty old Republicans. But let's get real. It is more obvious with every passing day that these supposed handcuffs are nothing but cheap canned silly string.

They all have egg on their faces, not to mention the ice water mush flowing sluggishly through their tortuous veins.


Marcus A. A. said...

Not surprised by the inaction of the neoliberal democrats. In the ‘70s some wise political reporter said, “ Democratic's are Republican’s in cheap suits.” That was then, now the Dems have more PAC money and are dressing better, the the song remains the same. America needs more and better choices. Just a thought.

Will said...

Hey y'all. Got a cool new website for Sardonickists called created by Lee Camp and Eleanor Goldfield. Lee describes it as a lefty newspaper that you visit once or twice a day. I love it and I'm sure you guys will too. Also maybe Karen could have her stuff featured there. We all know she's the best!

Anyhoo, here's their info from their "about" page:

Rad Indie Media (RIM) is a radical media aggregate featuring the work of independent journalists and outlets who produce content that challenge official narratives, dig deep to root issues, and report on the stories and people silenced by corporate outlets.

Therefore RIM is not only a one-stop news feed where people can read, watch and listen to the latest in left independent media, but it is also a project that combats the ongoing censorship of alternative voices while uplifting the importance of media literacy. (Each post has a small icon to the left above the title which indicates whether it is for watching, listening, or reading.)

As independent and leftist media continues to be silenced by the big tech titans, the need for grassroots and investigative truth-tellers grows. As the dog whistle of ‘fake news’ seeks to throw out legitimate journalism along with anything that challenges the official narrative, the need for media literacy is amplified. As we watch websites being taken down under false allegations, our goal is to create a safe and secure home base where folks can go to read and see real news from trusted and vetted journalists and groups.

RIM is a not-for-profit project started by Lee Camp and Eleanor Goldfield. We’re not supported by any outside funders or entities, so if you can donate to help keep the site going, please do. We do not accept any offers for advertising or sponsorship.

If you know of an outlet or journalist you’d like to see on RIM, let us know! Please share RIM with your networks and help us amplify these vital journalistic voices, thereby combating both censorship and media illiteracy!

voice-in-wilderness said...

Besides criticism of Biden, I remain critical of Obama's post-presidential activities, such as his upcoming birthday party.

But I have to temper that with the realization that these are the good-old days that we are living right now. I fully expect the GOP to have full control of the House and Senate after the 2022 mid-term elections and to take back the presidency in 2024, with or without Trump running. At that point they will work to make up for Trump's failure to complete the change to a one-party authoritarian system of government, one that uses lots of old-fashioned slogans about democracy. I'd love to still be here in 2028 and to say I was wrong, but ... IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. WAR IS PEACE.

Jay–Ottawa said...

Welcome back to your Word-of-the-Day blog.

Here's a new Entry from the Dictionary of Political Jargon:
Bidenitis: synonym for Barackitis.

We all remember the meaning of Barackitis, don't we? Let's check the DPJ:

Barackitis: a condition whereby a politician promises much but delivers little, if anything, on those promises. Failures must unfailingly be blamed on the opposition party, even though the party in power has/had the votes to pass the promises.

A street talk definition of Barackitis might be "repeatedly seizing defeat from the jaws of victory."

Since January 20, 2009, the Democratic Party has practiced the barackity form of government when in power. Barackitis pleases just about everybody: the naive, at least initially; the billionaires and their collaborators always; and those in-between, until they too slip south economically. Everybody, that is, except the long-screwed and duly suspicious majorities of rural, rusty and gerrymandered counties.

Like Barackitis, Bidenitis is expected to lead to the loss of the House, Senate and White House in the very next election.

Food on face is a planned distraction from forced announcements of failure, using the magician's art of an apparent slip here so that you miss the key event over there. Distractions of longer duration include simulated or authentic displays of dementia, identity group struggles taking over the agenda, #MeToo uproars directed at beloved politicians like Andrew Cuomo, yet another celebratory event with the rich and happy Barack Obama at its center, or the next mass shooting at home, or another reversal in one of our desultory wars abroad.

Bidenitis, the word for today. And tomorrow.