Criticism, constructive and otherwise — or talk radio can serve us better

During the past week, whenever I found myself alone in the car during good drive-time talk radio (i.e., Rush), I did something unusual:  I didn’t listen.  Instead, I turned to mindless pop music.  I was thinking about this peculiar behavior on my part, because I truly love Rush.  I think he’s a radio genius, someone who understands perfectly the lines between entertainment, news, and analysis.  He’s also one of the sharpest political thinkers out there.  No wonder the Left hates him.

But still….  I didn’t want to listen.

Analyzing my bizarre retreat from Rush, I realized that my problem is that the things that used to energize me during Obama’s first term — conservatives reporting on the faults and foibles of the administration, even as the MSM ignored them — no longer stir me up.  I’ve had four years to learn that Obama is not the “hope” promised, unless your hope was for a jobless stock market recovery, endless welfare rolls, increased racial tension, a simmering Middle East that constantly threatens to explode, negative pressure on core Constitutional rights, and all the other practical and ideological changes Obama’s presidency has brought to America.  The problem is that, while you and I were riled by these stories, none of this data penetrated the minds of less engaged American voters, all of whom who listened to the media’s siren song and reelected Obama.

Having accomplished its job, the media is suddenly discovering that there are some problems with Obama’s first term, everything from violently antisemitic and anti-American “friends” in Egypt, to the coming economic and medical disaster that is ObamaCare, to the corruption that’s always swirled around his administration.  As I told my mother when she pointed to such stories, this isn’t just a case of too little, too late.  It’s nastier than that.  The media is doing these stories as cover:  when the second Obama term brings badness to America (although Obama may still escape unscathed), the media has provided itself with some plausible deniability.  It can point to these articles and say “We told you so” — the big con being that they only told the American people so after they’d ensured that Obama locked up a second term in office.

The fact is that four years of conservative media pointing out what Obama and the Dem Progressives are doing made no difference to the ultimate outcome in 2012.  To be sure, there was a ton of criticism from the Right, but it wasn’t constructive, because those who needed it (Obama and the Dem Progs) weren’t listening and wouldn’t have changed anyway.  It was criticism in a vacuum.  It made the minority party feel better, but ultimately had no effect.

I want marching orders, not whining mourners.  I want to hear ideas about how to change the body politic, not another story about what weasels Obama and his buddies are.  I already know that stuff — and the media, for reasons of its own, is finally doing a little heavy lifting and is starting to report on a few foibles in the Obama administration.  The fact is that Obama will not run again.  He’s already old news.  What conservatives need know is to disengage from the war with Obama and begin, instead to plot a strategy for 2014 and beyond, one that ignores this little man and, instead, focuses on shaping ideological issues in ways that excite the man on the street.  Talk radio, with its vast reach, should be a source of inspiration, rather than relentless, mis-focused anger.

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  • Mike Devx

    Book says: I want marching orders, not whining mourners.
    Book, to have marching orders, you need generals, perhaps even a commander-in-chief.  And you need a battle plan.
    These things are not going to come from the GOP.  I am not stating this as a whining mourner.  I am stating this based on observations and my own personal judgment based on those observations.  We have had plenty of time to observe the workings of the GOP and I see no signs that what you want is going to come from them.
    This is both a cultural war and a political war.  The Democrat/Leftist side is treating it like a war.  Our side is not.  War is ugly and you have to be prepared and mean.  Perhaps you even have to be vicious.  Are you prepared to be vicious, or do want this to be a nice little ol’ thing, with people gathering in decorum, with wine glasses, sipping wine and politely debating?  The opposition is biting off ears; the opposition is taking that black man with the “Don’t Tread On Me” T-Shirts, and pushing him to the ground, and kicking and stomping him.
    After the 2008 election, the MSM issued a mea-culpa, saying we were one-sided in our coverage, we’re sorry, we’re sorry.  It made not one damned bit of difference when it came to 2012.  Now they are in effect pulling the same trick again, and again, it will make not one damned bit of difference when it comes to 2014 or 2016.  Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice, shame on me.  Don’t be fooled.
    The forces you will ally with will need to rally around a leader, or perhaps a group of leaders.  I do not see that effective leader (or leaders) anywhere, not just yet.  If they’re out there, they’ve not emerged yet.  In the absence of the rallying point of true leaders, we can only prepare the ground in advance.  The GOP has failed, utterly failed, in preparing the ground, and they’re utterly incapable of sticking by their principles, nor doing anything else that would effectively advance the cause.
    I’m not a leader, but I’m sure looking for the leadership to rally behind.  It appears you are ready for action.  I wish you good luck, and I mean that in every positive way; I’m not being snarky or cynical.  I won’t be joining you if you throw your own weight behind GOP efforts.  I personally have had it with the GOP and I have given up on them.  One can always change one’s mind, though.  Currently I’m just waiting and watching.  Waiting and watching.

  • swedishlady

    Thank you. Bookworm. Very well said. After the coronation, the ball and the adulation,  the grim reality will hit again. I believe it will be downhill from now on. I mean, look at the deficit, it isn´t earthly possible to solve the problems without a lot of pain, sorrows  and anger. And the government must deal will it. The world is watching, there is fear for the dollar. For example, Germany has so little trust in Obama that they bring home their gold. On the bright side, this President can´t run again so please Conservatives,  start plotting for 2014. Build a “shadow cabinet” with strong , likeable, Conservative voices and make this Obamadrooling media take notice. Like Mike Dewx I believe leadership must come from outside the GOP establishment. So let´s get finished and done with this miserable affair and start all over again.

  • Ron19

    Bookworm, I know how you are feeling now;  I’ve felt this way since the end of last November, and the emotions that preceded this for you preceded my feeling this way in November.
    Mostly I felt betrayed by the candidates, the GOP leadership, and the voters in the primaries and general elections.  Even more so by most of the right side conservative commentators.  I’ve tried, sometimes unsuccessfully, to keep quiet about the election results for a while.   Since the first of the year, I’ve been pruning the blogs and newsletters that I read every day.   Especially the ones that predicted so much that didn’t happen.  I have also cut back some on reading everything published by the rest.
    Even Rush.  Although I was reading less of Rush each day, since I don’t follow his broadcasts as well as I do his website transcripts.  Too much was repetitious.
    Even Bookwormroom.  I don’t know everything about you (although I think you live a few blocks from my widowed sister-in-law in Kentfield!). 
    After the election, it seemed like most of you went into hysterics about what the candidates should have done, and I felt the same way sometimes.  There also seems to be a lot of what we complain about the left doing, such as the Conservative Right Wing Universal Talking Point and Bullets of the Day.
    Now it’s time for me to resume normal ranting.
    I’ve still been reading Rush and Bookwormroom and Mark Steyn and Breitbart every day, and my local Orange County Register (CA) online newspaper, which is Libertarian, and some others.  I agree with Bookwormroom that we need to define some of our own labels.  Such as “mass murderer” instead of “mass shooting.”  We need to re-support the Tea Parties.  We need to repair or replace the Republican Party, especially its leadership.  We need to re-invigorate some of the candidates who dropped out of the primaries because of the MSM attacks and lack of support from the Republican National Party and committees.  An example is Sharon Angle (R-Nev) who ran against Harry Reid, and lost because of the weak support and non-support from the Republican National Senate Campaign committee, when Reid was weak and in trouble; she made the mistake of defeating the Republican Party Pick in the primary; the people have spoken, d—n them! 
    We need to support them when they fight back against the name-calling and outright lies and innuendo of the MSM, or when they sidestep the MSM ad-hominem attacks.  If they have something they wish they could hide about their past or their position, they need to be prepared to talk about it when it inevitably is found out, and respond quickly but thoroughly when the opposition springs a lie out of thin air.  Does anybody remember Dan Rather?  He was outed not by the Bush campaign, but by conservative bloggers.  They need to trim or re-position staff that doesn’t really support them.  They need to be ready to state, explain, and defend their position on issues, but not like a boring PowerPoint Presentation at a seminar.  They need to hammer at it in simple sound bites rather than lengthy explanations that will be edited by the MSM.  They need to get presented to the public on their own terms.  (See, even I’m doing the post-election punditry analysis.)
    When a potential darling on our side goes all wobbly for the opposition, like Colin Powell and Chris Christie, we need to reevaluate our position on them, to see if they are redeemable or should get the cold shoulder from us in the future, at least before the general election, if some other supportable candidate is available.  In 2012, I felt I could support any of several Republican Presidential Primary candidates, and hoped I wouldn’t have to support a few of the rest.  There are a lot of good people out there with good ideas and leadership, but we usually quickly degenerate into “I’m not going to support this candidate even though they are the least of several evils, because they’ don’t support my position the way that I want them too.  I’m not even going to vote, because they are all just a bunch of crooks.  I’m certainly not going to vote for any local candidates, because I don’t know anything about them; they’ll just be converted to evil like all the rest.”  If they do get elected, we need to develop ways to keep them from getting sucked into the “Old Boys Network.”
    I don’t think we’re going to convert most of the electorate on all sides by announcing the truth.  My wife is one of them, and the only thing that gets her to think about what she believes is for me to be persistent in telling her about stuff that she is not finding out about when she watches Dr. Phil and Dancing with the Stars, answering and commenting on specific things that she says to me, and not letting her change the subject every time she sees herself losing the argument on an issue that she brought up.  I love her, and that’s part of the reason I don’t let her deny accountability for what she says.  I don’t have the energy or skills to do this for large numbers of people, but I know that she and some others do spread what they learn from me.
    For the past few years, I’m frequently reminded of the Jewish Diaspora in the Old Testament and how long and difficult it was for them to recover from it.  But then, they spent an even longer time setting themselves up for it by trusting bad advice and ignoring good advice from proven leadership, namely G-d (or God because I’m a Catholic Christian).  One of my daily prayers is for sanity and conversion, of me and everybody else.
    I really don’t know how to deal with the next few years, but I do know that I’ve got to change myself, if I want to change others.  I will need your continued help by the postings and comments and drill-downs here at Bookwormroom, and at other places.

    1 THESSALONIANS 5: 11-22
    11 Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do.
    12 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who are laboring among you and who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you,
    13 and to show esteem for them with special love on account of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.
    14 We urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, cheer the fainthearted, support the weak, be patient with all.
    15 See that no one returns evil for evil; rather, always seek what is good [both] for each other and for all.
    16 Rejoice always.
    17 Pray without ceasing.
    18 In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.
    19 Do not quench the Spirit.
    20 Do not despise prophetic utterances.
    21 Test everything; retain what is good.
    22 Refrain from every kind of evil.

  • Ron19

    By the way, BW, your first marching order is to pray as if there is a God, because there is.

  • Ymarsakar

    The way things work now, much of the GOP leadership is working for the Left for various reasons; whether they know it or not. This is much akin to the Verona Project, where US patriots got spy intel, but couldn’t report it upwards in their chain of command because their chain of command was infested by communist agents all the way up.
    While there are many people who came from the grassroots, such as Sarah Palin or various Tea Party organizers, they aren’t being shut out of the political process by Dems. No, it is the GOP itself that is doing most of the shutting out. In local Democrat fiefdoms like Chicago and Detroit, that would be expected. On a national level, I don’t think many people expected it.
    Before we can win in Iraq and Afghanistan, first we had to defeat the saboteurs at home. Before we could win against those at home, first we had to take care of our own personal issues. The consequences of not doing so, led directly to Vietnam and the destruction of the black middle class family.
    It wouldn’t be such a bad idea either to make liberation of the black ghettoes and urban fiefdoms from under the Democrat regime a priority either. Much can be accomplished through humanitarian and idealistic aims, if one is willing to shed the required blood (women’s rights in Afghanistan didn’t come about from Leftist lectures on the school campus). The combination of guns +blacks + cities+ breaking the Left’s power=foothold.
    The problem with a foothold is that it presumes one doesn’t even have a foot in the door, and thus will meet great resistance (Normandy, missionaries).

  • Leah

    I too no longer listen to talk radio, it’s creative podcasts and audible books for me.
    Along with your reason is that I find Rush bashing the Republicans – too much in my mind. It’s like when I was in school and someone did something very wrong – we the good kids got punished. My feeling is don’t put faith in politicians – concentrate on what is good in your own life – of course I will always vote and I might even work for someone worthwhile to elect them – but our salvation doesn’t come from politicians – it comes from ourselves as free honorable Americans. Btw, all the gun purchasing that I am seeing is a great example of that. The Tea Party has morphed into the gun ownership society.

  • Ron19

    Deja vu all over again:
    Check the timestamps: I was there first!

  • Ron19

    Same for Ymarsakar!

  • Mike Devx

    Ron19 #7 has a link to Ben Shapiro’s article on “Mark Levin’s Inauguration Day Address”.
    In it, Mark Levin says *everything* I wish I knew how to say.  Sometimes the guy is in full insult-rant-and-rave move, and at other times he is cogent and spot-on.  In this one he is cogent and spot-on.  Well worth your time!

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