While right-wing pundits furiously try to spin Rev. Wright’s comments as speaking for anyone other than Rev. Wright, it’s vital that progressive observers and commentators remember that their machine will do anything — anything — to confuse people and divert attention from the failures of conservative governance. On the economy, on values, on social policy, and, perhaps most of all given the current situation in Iraq, on foreign affairs.
Our policies in Iraq — not to mention places like Pakistan, Indonesia, Somalia, Iran, North Korea — make America and the world a more dangerous place. Expert upon expert and report after report say so, and they’re correct. The right wing wants to tie this common-sense argument to controversial figures so they can marginalize ideas along with individuals, and it’s a smear tactic that can be devastating if people don’t stand up and identify it for what it is. They’re not making substantive critiques, they’re using the politics of destruction and distraction.
The politics of destruction. The politics of distraction. That’s what fuels the Right-Wing Noise Machine–conservatives know that if the election hinges on the issues, they’ll lose. So they try to distract the American people, paying ‘gotcha’ and distracting us from the very real problems we have to face every day.
This is why the right is pushing Wright above the fold day after day:
Bush — not Wright or Bill Clinton — is voters’ main concern
According to the poll, 73 percent of respondents disapprove of Bush’s handling of the economy and 81 percent believe the United States is in a recession.
What is your preference for the outcome of this year’s congressional elections––a Congress controlled by Republicans or a Congress controlled by Democrats?
Republican-controlled Congress ……34
Democrat-controlled Congress ……..49
And then there’s this:
The current data show that the most commonly mentioned characteristics about McCain are that he is “too old,” that he is a “good man”/”likable,” that he would give the country more of the same/be another George W. Bush, that he had a good military background, and basic dislike of him.
Interestingly, enough, “Good military background” has actually dropped from 11 percent to 8 percent. His age and the George Bush connection are quickly overshadowing his military service.
The politics of distraction give us headlines like this one:
While Malkin & Co. Continue Endless Circle Jerk On Wright, Deadliest Month Of 2008 In Iraq Gets Worse
The stakes in this election are the highest they’ve been in decades. The economy’s in ruin. Our foreign policy is in shambles. Our military is stretched to the breaking point. Gas prices are at record highs. America is in the midst of a health care crisis. Our deficit is the highest it’s ever been. Our enemies are stronger and our defenses are weaker. We as Americans face some of the biggest issues and the toughest battles of our times; we can’t afford to be distracted.
As I’ve said time and time again, Republicans can’t govern. They controlled all three branches of our government for years–we saw the effects of Republican control, and they were disastrous. They can’t win on the issues, so the GOP fires up the Right-Wing Noise Machine to distract us from the issues and focus us on trivial, pointless nonsense.
This time we can’t afford to fall for it. This time we can’t afford to fall for the politics of distraction. This time we have to stand up and tell them that this will not be tolerated. This time we must stand up and change our country for the better, and we will not let these right-wing charlatans stand in our way.
Enough is enough. Once and for all, enough is enough.
UPDATE: Bob Cesca nails it:
Have You Left No Sense Of Decency?
If the corporate media had been as diligent about watchdogging President Bush as they have been about watchdogging Reverend Wright, it’s very likely we wouldn’t have invaded Iraq.
If the corporate media had spent as much time exposing the obvious flaws and grotesque inequalities of Reaganomics throughout the last 30 years as they’ve spent on Wright, we wouldn’t necessarily be staring into the maw of another depression.
If the corporate media were as diligent about debunking the lies surrounding Iran’s so-called nuclear program as they’ve been about Wright, there wouldn’t be such a sense of inevitability in terms of attacking — or entirely obliterating — Iran.
So I have to ask the appropriate network executives the familiar yet appropriate question: Have you no sense of decency at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?