Holy Manu Ginobli, the Republican primary season starts in less than a month! I’ve been limited in my coverage. Mostly because this is a non-partisan site and it’s too easy to be misinterpreted as partial one way or the other in a 90 second rap song.
I’d say the most disappointing thing about modern politics and certainly this particular primary is the tendency of the process to force candidates to talk along the memo points most appeasing to the base. Of course, this is ancient to politics. It’s just become increasingly exaggerated in its lunacy. So people like Paul and Huntsman, of some balance and independence, can’t gain any real traction even where in practice and performance they have been more conservative than the more ostensibly viable candidates, in the current frontrunner, Gingrich, and the unrelenting has-been, Romney. That’s not an endorsement of Paul and Huntsman that’s just a recognition that if you go off script there is a cost and not necessarily one commensurate with the actual policy differences at stake.
The easiest take on this crowd of candidates is mockery. If you’ve been following, SNL doesn’t even modify the dialogue. Its live comedy sketches are virtual reproductions of the debate transcripts. You can’t make this stuff up.
I think the more sophisticated take is that the 21st Century candidate is a victim of two things.
1. Preposterous scrutiny. I heard someone comparing the foibles of Gingrich to those of Reagan (divorce, flip-flopping, etc.). The difference is that Gingrich’s entire political and social careers (certainly ripe of material by any standard) are cached on the world wide webinar for your second grader to Bing. If we do not modify our sense of righteous indignation, not a single child of the sexting generation will stand. Their every flagellation in an audio database.
2. This sort of unrelenting scrutiny drives people ever more to neuteredly efficient and vapid speech. Candidates that won’t answer the question. Candidates afraid to talk detail and nuance. Candidates that won’t venture even the slightest disagreement or departure with the base. We all wind up talking and listening and living in the echo chamber of our own agreement. We listen to the same talk radio and read the same books and parrot the same ideas as of those with whom we already agree. There is no real accountability from within and heaven forbid we ever consider some view from without. Does it ever strike you as a cosmic miracle of impossible odds that the party you belong to always gets it right and the party with which you are opposed always gets it wrong? Maybe not.
Performed by ipoet. Produced by djclutch.
Today’s song blog here:Echo Chamber