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Every Man/Woman in the Beltway/Media Village is a Liar!

I caught a few minutes of the beginning of Chris Matthews' Hardball tonight on MSNBC. In that oh-so-familiar "I'm okay and everyone else is an idiot" way of his, he was coughing out his contempt at Americans too dim-witted to grasp how the Obama administration has brought our country 70% back to recovery.

At least I think that was the respectably high percentage he quoted, uncited, and I found myself wondering bitterly what unmentionable orifice that statistic had originated from.

Or maybe it actually had been computed somewhere by one with an esteemed degree and a six plus figure salary. Or better yet, presented by a government agency. Which ever way, I'm not buying.

I also wonder how many of us, disenfranchised from the media's political discussions, are out here. According to the media it would seem only the right, the crazy tea partiers, have irrational issues with the Obama administration, as well as the expected grid-locking, gamesmen Republicans. And, okay, on the left, maybe a few stray, maniacal old hippies and some misinformed or simply indolent Democratic voters.

I had sat through the Newshour earlier, listening to accounts of Obama in earnest campaign mode, now attempting to re-seduce the college youth vote. His in-person titillating celebrity was rounding up big crowds apparently. I wondered if Oprah will soon be materializing with him on the horizon. So, he is willing to play Lucy and the football with the youth. Hmmmm.

Obama with that radiant, amiable, election-mode smile. As well as the feistiness of indignation of the martyr and the wronged. A feistiness directed at those progressives daring to question his governance. Against those whom I consider people of conscience. Whom he and his partners in snarky talking points apparently consider whining, perfectionistic, troublemaking fringers. Whom the media hardly ever acknowledges let alone takes seriously until they ... we ... are deliberately assigned a talking point. Then the media obligingly echoes and re-echoes and re-echoes and re-echoes (you get the idea) the hypnotic, propaganda sound bites. Both the administration and the media are without any sense of responsibility in seriously exploring and presenting the other perspective (okay, corporate-unfriendly perspective, funny how that works) of the people of conscience. They persecute us as if THEY are OUR victims. How ironic.

Mid-term election kabuki. How unsatisfying for us disenfranchised ones. How manipulative and craven of the legacy Democratic party and corporate media.

I read once in a psychology book that there are two intentions, two options, humans resort to in relating to one another. The intention to protect and the intention to explore. Exploring is the healthier one. It leads to intimacy and understanding, communication and partnership. Reconciliation of differences. Protection causes contraction and separation. Breeds more fear, distrust, paranoia.

The Obama administration executes knee-jerk responses for protection. For cover-ups. Pounce on the whistleblowers. Punish them. Denigrate critics. Don't address and seriously explore the criticisms. Spin, baby, spin.

The people of conscience are looking for a paradigm shift. They, we, want evidence of a sensibility of justice, morality, and empathy coming from our government. From either party. We do not see it.

With the Beltway Bubble people the metaphor of the boiled frogs comes to mind. The incremental or not so incremental regressions into corruption, opportunism, narcissism, cronyism have left a moral dead zone where our government should be.

Obamaco challenges that we expect magic wands. No. We want only evidence of conscience. Of responsibility. The "ability to respond." Do Obama and his defenders in the politial or media elite EVER dare to address any specifics their detractors are articulating? No, they make only petulant generalizations about not being appreciated for their self-defined "historic" efforts on our (HAH!) behalfs.

Two columnists call out the Obama administration and media hypocrisy very well:

Cenk Uygur:

... They think they're going to lose and they're setting up a scapegoat. It wasn't that they ran a bad campaign or that they didn't deliver on their promises - it was their ungrateful voters and the damned professional left. Actually, Washington reporters will love this. There is nothing they enjoy more than beating up on progressive activists and the Democratic base. This strategy is tailored made for the DC elite. They're going to eat it up!


... Obama is so immersed in the DC bubble that he has forgotten the end goal. He is under the delusion that if he can just get the Washington media and politicians to like him everything will be fine. But that wasn't supposed to be the end goal. As a politician, you're supposed to get the voters to like you, not some DC media jerk.


In a recent AP poll about the healthcare bill, people - by a 2-to-1 margin - said that it should have done more not less in reforming the system. That isn't the professional left, that's America. The progressive base is so much larger than the Tea Party clowns running around in Koch brother funded protests. Remember, those are the same progressives who got you elected in the first place.

So, you can shoot the messenger all you like but it isn't going to change the message. You didn't do too much government intervention as Fox News claims, you did too little. Too little to protect the average American, too little to help him or her get a job, too little to change the same old games in Washington.

Almost everyone in Washington is there because they succeeded in this broken, corrupt system. If you make them happy, you've probably done the exact opposite of what you were supposed to do.

What got you elected was the promise to throw those bums out on their asses not to cater to them. But if you like, you can take another cheap shot at the people trying to help you and see if that changes the polls. My guess is it won't. And then when you blame us again, the only people happy will be the ones in DC who hate change.

Marc Rubin:

Recently Vice President Biden ( with obviously the full support of Obama) told Democrats that they should "buck up" and "stop whining" over their complaints about Obama's failures as the most dishonest, disingenuous, ineffective, politically deceitful, inept,unqualified convictionless and wasteful president the Democrats have ever had.


But leaders dont hope, they lead. And Obama is not a leader. As for wanting to work with Republicans to solve problemsm the question is why? Obama had the biggest congressional majority any president has had in 100 years. He didnt need Republicans. That he allowed them to block his agenda because they didnt want to play ball with him is his own fault, his own lack of convictions and his own political ineptness.

After Obama and Biden's latest salvo against Democrats ( most are sure to wonder why they havent been able to be as tough with Republicans) they may very well stop whining and feel even more motivated to join the 61% of independents who say they are so disgusted with Obama over what he's failed to deliver they will vote against Democratic congressional candidates or stay home as retribution. The number of rank and file Democrats ready to give Obama and Biden a "teachable moment" is growing which is putting Democratic congressional candidates in a real bind.


Rather than admit his failures, admitting he hasnt been all that he hoped to be and asking for forgiveness and promise that with a Democratic congress he will do better, he and Biden whine about the lack of enthusiasm over the tepid "better than nothing" bills they passed when it was possible to do so much more.And they whine about Republicans standing in their way.

There will be real irony if Republicans gain the majority. From the beginning Obama has blown the biggest congressional majority any president has had in 100 years by kowtowing, bowing and capitulating to Republicans. Every tepid ineffectual watered down bill passed by the Democratic congress from healthcare to financial reform, was watered down and made toothless by Obama in order to try and curry favor with Republicans.


The other thing they need to do is send a message to the White House and tell them to just shut up. The more they talk the worse they make it, like Biden deciding this was a good time to thank George W. Bush for supporting the troops and giving him credit for the war that caused the bulk of the deficit. Then they turn around and accuse Democrats of "whining and complaining" simply because they are fed up with Obama's lack of character , his political disengenousness, his ineptitude and his well documented lying ( like the auto bailout saving GM from "liquidation" when "liquidation" was never even remotely a possibility or threat). And they just cant understand why Democrats are angry.


Democratic candidates need to acknowledge what is obvious to Democrats -- that Obama has been a catastrophic failure in executing his office, in not delivering on his promises, by always trying to play both ends against the middle with half way measures, and creating a long and documented record of lying and reneging. But then they have to promise that a Democratic congress now chastened by Obama's lack of convictions and failures will take the reins and get it done.

One last thing. The title of my blog is a take-off from an awesome book by Megan K. Stack entitled Every Man In This Village is a Liar, subtitled an education in war. It is the riveting account of Ms. Stack's 7 years in the Middle East post 9/11 as a national reporter for the Los Angeles Times. This from the book jacket:

"Stack writes in ravishing detail and with growing sorrow and anger as the ideals that American politicians and diplomats speak of -- freedom for Afghan women, free elections in the Arab world, security in Iraq and Lebanon -- fail to materialize and as war and violence damage another generation of souls."

One more voice of a person of conscience worth listening to.


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Submitted by mass on

I guess 90% of us represent the 30% that didn't recover, given our share of the wealth actually shrank.

There is something seriously wrong happening here. The country looks more and more like Chile to me everyday. I think it is really sad that the only "movement" generating any juice is the Tea Party people. We are getting so screwed here, when does it stop?

Submitted by libbyliberal on

just like he gave himself the A for first year in office, right?

We seem to be waitin for the craven media to define reality for us.

As politicians walk the tightrope of never being real or addressing anything that seriously and remotely matters.

Submitted by Nancy Van Ness on

So right on.

An astute observation I heard recently was that the Republican party has worked for decades to get a base that is truly afraid of thinking, a mentality seen in the bumper sticker "God said it, I believe it, that settles it." This base can be called on to interrupt vote counts in a fraudulent election, do whatever it takes.

The Democrats, by comparison, are afraid to see their base really mobilized because it might turn on them. Instead, every election, they try to woo the voters back. The choice of a woman or a black man in 2008 was brilliant in that regard. I know people who worked for Clinton, I mean left home at their own expense to work in other states, largely because they wanted a woman president.

Naturally, since this government does not represent the people, democratic voters who fall for the line are betrayed time after time.

As for media, even much of the alternative media do not support real change in this country. Common Dreams has not linked Chris Hedges articles since he declared that engaging in electoral politics is a waste of time and proposed a plan for what to do instead. They also abandoned Cindy Sheehan when she ran against Pelosi and have not published a word she has written since. That is, a not for profit, alternative, "progressive" news medium. Of course, Hedges publishes on Truthdig and his work is linked on Information Clearing House and lately Joshua Holland has linked his work on AlterNet. It is still telling that Common Dreams is censoring in this way. Maybe I mentioned that they published Norman Soloman's piece on why one should vote for the Democrats instead.

I see you are going to vote for the Green party candidates. If Cynthia McKinney had been elected in 2008, certainly the wars would be over, if she herself had survived. In the unlikely event that anyone who counters the corporatocracy were elected, it seems to me likely that they would be targeted for assassination unless things were to change very radically here.

Unless US citizens are willing to risk a lot more than I see them doing, there will not be substantive change toward a more open and free society, one that serves its people.

Unwilling to be cowed and to give in to paranoia, I protested the FBI raids on anti war activists on Tuesday, right down there in front of the federal building. There was a protest, a group of people big enough to be called a protest, not just the handful that often shows up for such events.

What would it have been like if a million of us showed up? Even a hundred thousand? Would a hundred thousand people stretch up Broadway to 42nd Street? I am not good with those kinds of estimates; surely at least to 14th Street. Would the police have shot us if we were that numerous? Would the corporate media have covered that? I was interviewed on camera by Democracy Now, though whether that ran on air, I don't know. Surely, they did cover the 20 protests all over the country. No major media were present, not even the photographers who often are, though their editors never publish their work.

Until people in the US are willing to do something, not just talk, but take action, things are not going to change. Whether people vote for the Democratic candidates or not, as we have seen, there will not be changes of substance: the wars will rage, the occupations will go on, the ruling class will benefit and the rest of the world, not least people living in the increasingly bleak third world US, will suffer.

Are we going to take actions or continue to talk about how awful it is?

Submitted by libbyliberal on

And those are important questions. What is the saying? "Life begins at the end of one's comfort zone?" Something like that.

We have to keep stretching. I think to myself I oughta do this and that. Write, call, show up. Sometimes I do. But other times i let my reactive life rituals prevent me from setting off some proactive ripples for change. Margaret Mead's quote about a small committed group. The song about the ant and the rubber tree plant.

I read in was it the American Prospect some young hipster journalist dissing Code Pink a good while back. He was outraged that they would "embarrass" themselves and felt very much superior writing at his computer for justice. He was truly annoyed.

I do believe we need to do what we do best to fight the fresh hells. And we need to apply critical thinking to find our most effective niche that fits our emotional capacity and our IRL situation and our conscience and then move on out and walk the walk. I was very annoyed at that journalist's lack of respect for CP's passionate and brave, so often in your face protesting in this (I'll use Maddow's quote yet again) ethical freakshow of a universe.

How do you fight American amoral zombie-ism?

Courage and action is contagious.

Thanks for the inspiration.

Submitted by Hugh on

70%! This is great news. The war with Eastasia will be won in no time now!

The media is full of vacuous idiots. Even so, for sheer inanity, Matthews is in a class by himself.