Joan Robinson was a famous Keynesian economist and also a not so famous Maoist. Nonetheless she had one shrewd observation about politics. People, she said, can no more see their own ideology than they can smell their own breath. The Internet magazine Salon, a large leftwing website for which I was a much unloved columnist fifteen years ago, provides an interesting case in point.
Joan Walsh was my editor at Salon, and soon became its editor-in-chief. Now she is described as “Editor-at-Large” but is more like its Matriarch-in-Residence. A recent election piece she wrote is titled, “America’s Nightmare Political Reality: Two Electorates Separate and Unequal.” In this, as in other similar articles, she displays the tawdry reality of her magazine’s current journalism. A teaser for the article explains the title: “Why conservatives prefer propaganda to reality.”
According to Walsh, Republicans have run their mid-term election campaigns against President Obama not because his feckless national security policies have left a power vacuum that terrorists have filled, not because his anti-military mania has helped to create 18 million refugees in the Middle East, not because he has run up a debt greater than that of all previous presidents combined, not because he has proudly violated the Constitution stripping congress of its authority and power, not because he has inflicted economic suffering on America’s minorities and poor, not because he has unleashed efforts by his administration to use the taxing power of government to crush his political opposition. Oh no. The Republican campaigns against Obama’s destructive agendas and incompetent performances are driven by hate, and racial hate at that.
According to Walsh, “The Republican Party is relying on Obama-hate to turn out its 96-percent-white, middle-class-to-wealthy base, while the Democrats, still trying to be a multi-racial party in a multi-racial country, are trying to court voters of every race and class.” Walsh is amazed at the extent to which the mainstream media clings to a reality that refutes this self-serving false narrative, which ignores how Democrat policies have hurt all economic classes but the wealthy, and in which the Republican Party is not 96 percent white and has a large working class and significant minority base. Here are Walsh’s own words: “It’s amazing the extent to which the mainstream media accepts that the GOP’s personalized, deeply disparaging campaign against Obama is just politics as usual.”
Because, according to Walsh, Democrats and the media never treated George Bush this …read more