I was watching the morning news getting ready for work this morning hoping to catch the weather quickly and be on my way. Instead I was treated to another assault upon sane rational thought. Maybe I am just nostalgic for the old times, when news actually reported as opposed to serving as sounding board for people whose job it is to assault the truth. You remember the truth don't you? The truth was mugged over a decade ago as our lives slowly became Foxified. The end result of this is continually coming home to roost today as the death by a thousand cuts strategy has worked flawlessly.
At issue today was Tea Party darling Michele Bachman. Now before you dismiss her as a nut, remember it is not your opinion that always matters. Somehow, enough people who live where she lives thought enough of her despite her insanity to vote for her. She was being interviewed and the subject was the Bush tax cuts expiring. Bachman's canned talking point answer was to correct the interviewer for stating the truth. She decried the notion that this was an expiring legislation, which it clearly is. Instead she said, "we have to make sure we are calling this what it is a huge tax increase." No Michele, that is what used to be called a lie.
But there are no more liars in America, only people who love their country but through a different lens. That is what we are supposed to believe. We are supposed to believe that it isn't a difference of the truth but rather a difference in ideology. That the other person is not lying, they merely see this country differently. That is what the Foxification of this nation has done. It has mugged the truth to the point where it has become a malleable property. People no longer have to tell the truth they just need to pretend what they are saying is the truth to them. It has permeated society so much that even great commentators such as Jon Stewart have fallen victim to this clearly transparent line of fake reasoning. Stewart was interviewed last week by Rachel Maddow where he actually said that he does not believe Fox News lies and that the struggle is an ideological one. As a huge Stewart fan it saddened me greatly to see that Jon has fallen for the trap.
As long as we pretend this is a difference over ideologies then it will only continue to get worse. As long as we continue to allow the puppet masters to continue pulling the strings, we will never recover as a nation. This struggle is against the truth not ideologies. Michele Bachman may very well believe the nonsense that she spews but that does not make it TRUTH. The Bush tax cuts were purposefully created with a sunset clause in case they were never paid for and they weren't end of story, keep your ideology. That is the truth.
But not satisfied to see the truth curled up in a fetal position in a pool of its own blood; Representative Bachman continued. The interviewer correctly pointed out that President Obama wants to only see the tax rates return to the Clinton era rates for those making over $250,000 per year. Bachman went into talking point number two about how regular guys like you and me make $250,000 per year and we will have to fire everyone who works for us if this is allowed to be foisted upon the American people. Adding lie to lie, Bachman stated that it is these rich people that are the job creators, and that somehow expecting them to pay more money would hurt all the little people. No mention of the fact that rich people are generally not rich because they like to create jobs. No mention of shipping jobs overseas. No mention of how this Reagan policy of "voodoo economics" has failed already twice in the last thirty years and is the CAUSE of why we are in the current recession.
The death blow however came when the interviewer asked if she could support a compromise where the extension of the tax cuts are allowed in exchange for extending unemployment benefits. Never mind the vile notion that giving millions of dollars back to the richest 2% is somehow now being considered on par with allowing the working poor to continue to eat. It still was not good enough for Bachman. Instead she dehumanized the efforts to extend unemployment as "massive spending." So in the mind of Michele Bachman and the GOP, extending the Bush tax cuts where 98% of the money goes to 2% of the population is a moral imperative but extending unemployment benefits to the middle and working classes amounts to frivolous spending.
And that is fine in Bachman's mind so long as it is called a lie when it escapes her lips. But the truth was mugged 10 years ago and remains on life support today. Opinion has become fact as the country continues to be Foxified. The expiration of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy is set for the end of this year. Calling it a tax increase is a lie, nothing more. It is not an ideological difference. Folks who make $250,000 per year are not mom and pop; to continue to pretend they are is a lie, nothing more. It is not difference of opinion. The notion of extending the tax cuts and extending unemployment are both additional spending. The difference is that one makes the richest people richer and the other allows the poorest workers amongst us to temporarily continue to have food on the table. To pretend other wise is simply to lie, nothing more. It is not viewing the country through different lenses unless one of those lenses is the truth and the other a lie.
A little over ten years ago Fox News created the notion that the truth was a fluid property. It presented pure fiction as fact. Pure political opinion as stone cold truth. It did so brazenly, with ridiculously silly catch lines like the most trusted name in news and we report you decide. The result of ten years of repeatedly mugging the truth is that people like Michele Bachman not only exist but thrive. People like Christine O'Donnell and Sarah Palin are loaned a level of credibility they have neither earned nor deserved. Why? Because they do not have to play by a fair set of rules. They can go on their fake news channel anytime they want to lie and it will be embraced as ideology, opinion, or God help us truth. Vice Presidential candidates having to write cheat sheets on their hands is celebrated while the Bachman's of the world can go on national television, lie with impunity, and never even be called on it.
This is how democracy dies. By a thousand cuts to the truth while we laugh as it lies bleeding in our hands.