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Ed Driscoll

Outside the Matrix, Looking In

December 3rd, 2013 - 7:04 pm

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In a new article titled “A World of Lies,” Dennis Prager writes, “The Left has no scruples about distorting the truth in service of its agenda.” As I’ve joked a few times, “Everything You Know About the 20th Century is Wrong,” at least if you get your news and worldview from the MSM.

I can’t quote all of Prager’s new article, but here’s a whirlwind summary of most of the terrain he travails: He begins with the murder of Matthew Shepard in 1998 — which was universally presented by the media as an anti-gay hate crime, when it was, according to later reporting by gay journalist and TV producer Stephen Jimenez, simply a drug deal gone horribly wrong.  Prager then goes into all of the other race- and gender-based lies told by the MSM: “Remember the 2006 story about nooses that were hung by racist white students in Jena, La., to signify lynchings?,” Prager asks. Then the MSM’s Duke lacrosse fabrications, and then the grandaddies of them all: Walter Duranty’s denial of Stalin’s terror famine in the Ukraine in the New York Times, and, thirty years later, the MSM’s denial that JFK was a victim of the Cold War. Then he asks, “Why all this mendacity?”

There are truth-tellers and there are liars on the right and on the left. But for the Left, truth is subordinated to whatever it is the Left most cares about. Gay rights, minority rights, women’s rights, government health care, and environmentalism are only the most obvious current examples.

That’s why talk radio, conservative websites, Fox News, and conservative opinion pages are so important.

Europe doesn’t have them. And its population is brainwashed. No wonder Europeans believe that America and Israel are the most dangerous countries in the world. Their media told them so.

Which brings us to another reason why talk radio, Fox News, and conservative Websites (err, like the mothership we broadcast from) are so important, via Seth Mandel of Commentary, on “Bursting the ObamaCare Bubble”:

One reason conservatives were right and liberals were wrong about ObamaCare is that they were essentially having two different conversations. Conservatives were treating health-care reform as a policy issue. So they correctly explained what the health-policy implications would be thanks to the design of the law.

To the left, however, the health-policy implications were close to irrelevant. They viewed ObamaCare simply as a wealth transfer, as a financial insurance plan. I explained yesterday why this is wrong in many cases as well. And that also explains why the website’s disastrous rollout garnered such attention from across the ideological divide, but especially, and finally, from the left. Liberals by and large weren’t troubled by the fact that ObamaCare kicked people off their insurance plans. The key question was: can lower-income Americans sign up for this wealth transfer? When the website failed, the answer was no.

There are a great many scandalous aspects of ObamaCare. This is the one that captivated the left because it’s the only one–the confiscation of some Americans’ money to give to others, under the guise of insurance reform–that endangered what they see as ObamaCare’s core mission.

At the Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan has another read-the-whole-thing column that looks at the failures of the Obama White House from the point of view of someone who’s worked there herself. As Noonan writes:

Commentators like to decry low-information voters—the stupid are picking our leaders. I think the real problem is low-information leaders. They have so little experience of life and have so much faith in magic—in media, in words—that they don’t understand people will get angry at you when you mislead them, and never see you the same way again.

And from their titular boss downward, while the current administration has self-esteem to burn, in many ways, they’re really not all that well-informed, in terms of both history and the real-world consequences of their actions. “From what I have seen the administration is full of young people who’ve seen the movie but not read the book,” Noonan spot-on writes:

They act bright, they know the reference, they’re credentialed. But they’ve only seen the movie about, say, the Cuban missile crisis, and then they get into a foreign-policy question and they’re seeing movies in their heads. They haven’t read the histories, the texts, which carry more information, more texture, data and subtlety, and different points of view. They’ve only seen the movie—the Cubans had the missiles and Jack said “Not another war” and Bobby said “Pearl Harbor in reverse” and dreadful old Curtis LeMay chomped his cigar and said “We can fry a million of ‘em by this afternoon, Mr. President.” Grrr, grrr, good guys beat bad guys.

It’s as if history isn’t real to them. They run around tweeting, all of them, even those in substantial positions. “Darfur government inadequate. Genocide unacceptable.” They share their feelings – that happens to be one of the things they seem to think is real, what they feel. “Unjust treatment of women—scourge that hurts my heart.” This is the dialogue to the movies in their heads.

There’s a sense that they’re all freelancing, not really part of anything coherent.

For four years I have been told, by those who’ve worked in the administration and those who’ve visited it as volunteers or contractors, that the Obama White House isn’t organized. It’s just full of chatter. Meetings don’t begin on time, there’s no agenda, the list of those invited seems to expand and contract at somebody’s whim. There is a tendency to speak of how a problem will look and how its appearance should be handled, as opposed to what the problem is and should be done about it. People speak airily, without point. They scroll down, see a call that has to be returned, pop out and then in again.

It does not sound like a professional operation. And this is both typical of White Houses and yet on some level extreme. People have always had meetings to arrange meetings, but the lack of focus, the lack of point, the sense that they are operating within accepted levels of incoherence—this all sounds, actually, peculiar.

It also sounds very much like what Tom Wolfe would call “The land of the Rococo Marxists” — that postmodern academic milieu where history and language are both entirely fungible, the one in which the president marinated his entire adult life, before exchanging it for the equally fantasy world of politics. Which helps to explain “Obama’s Slow Learning Curve,”  a topic that Peter Berkowitz explored late last month at Real Clear Politics.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
The steady march into the abyss has been going on for a long time. At a trot following the French Revolution and into full gallop by the 1960s. The 20th Century was the most horrific period of human history, yet hope in the Big Idea, the Big Man, and the Party still dominate the public square, even in the so called Western democracies. Yep, we is the smartest people what ever lived alright.

No system of government, no new political party or shiny new politician is going to fix this. Any society that says that killing 1,000,000 unborn children every year is "women's health" probably deserves to disappear.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
You speak of low-information leaders--how about "low-information political commentators", like Peggy Noonan? She sang the praises of Barak Obama in 2008, considered Sarah Palin essentially stupid (and by extension all us Flyover Voters who supported her and McCain), and helped to create the disaster we have now.
She was one of the Smart Kids who supported Obama, and who looked down her nose at the Dumb Kids who warned that Obama was a Marxist catastrophe in progress. It took her years to change her tune, but now we're supposed to see her as a fount of wisdom? I don't think so...
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
If by democracy you mean "majority rules" and that means anything goes, then, yes, democracies always lead to civilizational collapse. But, our Founders were trying to create a republic with checks and balances that would allow the nation to right itself. Unfortunately, they didn't put enough checks on government power. They didn't foresee the extent of technology. And so, they didn't build enough power to say "No" to things in the Constitution. Anything centralized (like education for instance) inevitably gets captured by those with the Will to Power, then the brainwashing and collapse can begin. America is one of the youngest countries in the world, but in reality has one of the oldest continuing governments. Age and atrophy taking over the U.S. government was inevitable, but it's still a testimony to their political wisdom of the day.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (38)
All Comments   (38)
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The Last Man aka The Dude (The Big Lebowski)
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
You can turn it this way and that and add long word trains trying to make sense of what is under your nose, but it doesn't change reality.
It is a heist.
This is part and parcel of the largest theft in the world. Adding word pictures might sooth Peggy Noonan for having endorsed the thief in chief, but he is still a thief.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
What I can't grasp is how and why PJMedia authors seem to think there is a civil/political fix against a foe that, by their own words have abandoned all pretense of civility and political engagement. If they believe their own words PJMedia must come out for war. Not a war of words. They're telling us this implacable foe is immune to the weight of words and ideas, the rule of law and the traditions of politics. Why would they respect the political process? In fact they do not, with examples filling a tome, should one ever assemble the examples.
I am beginning to think PJMedia and others of their ilk are only in it for reasons at odds with their feigned disgust with the Left.
We should start with jury duty. When the Left closes that avenue it is time for the 2nd.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Murray Rothbard - The Government Is Not Us

Murray Rothbard, "For A New Liberty, The Libertarian Manifesto." Read by Jeff Riggenbaum.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqoBZLSm1WA
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
He will not learn because he cannot learn; no one he trusts will explain it to him.

The Dunning-Kruger President: http://two-masters.blogspot.com/2012/04/dunning-kruger-effect-on-barack-obama.html
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
"There is a tendency to speak of how a problem will look and how its appearance should be handled, as opposed to what the problem is and should be done about it."

Identity over principle?

What a revolting kick in the pants surprise that is from a culture of Marxist class/race/gender identity freaks. That yanked me out of my comfort zone and now I think there may be something wrong in Washington.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Given the cossetted nature of the Boomers and succeeding generations, and their increasing disconnect from history...

A key behind this disconnection is the collapse of education over the last forty years. No, not just in post-secondary, but from the first grade on up. This is a cultural phenomenon, not just a natural outcome of the corrupt arrangement between our anti-freedom anti-American socialist rulers - aka the Democrats - and the union brothers and sisters in the AFT and NEA, who receive high pay for nine months work, can't be fired, and retire early to gold plated benefits in exchange for richly funding the Democrat's campaign coffers and casting their faithful votes. The same goes for bureaucrats in general, whether municipal, state or federal.

Running the deep con that Obama has on the go requires an ignorant and hopefully stupid public. The teachers and bureaucrats have delivered that.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
The first thing the next Republican president should do - if the vote fraudsters take some time off, that is - is abolish the Dept. of Education. He/she wouldn't be able to campaign on the issue, though, because there would be a howl from Democrats and their media puppets that "Republicans want to end public schools!" A code should be developed for the next campaign so our candidate could speak to us about real issues under a disguise of treacle for the benefit of the opposition.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ed, how much did they pay you to help work on the Peggy Noonan Memorial Reputational Rehabilitation Project?
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Pretend the article was written by Emily Litella; it will make it go down easier. It's a pretty good assessment of Obama et al, no?
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
"separating Barry's worldview from his old man's"

Just who is Barry's father? Is it Obama, Sr., Muslim anti-colonialist, or Frank Marshall Davis, a communist and supporter of Stalin? (Quite frankly, he looks much more like Davis then Obama, Sr.) If Davis was his father then Barry lied about not knowing his father when he was growing up.

Barry is all about smoke and mirrors. Just look at Benghazi. He blamed it on a poorly done video. His administration makes an agreement with Iran that permits it to continue enriching uranium and then lies about what was agreed to. He writes two books about himself before he is even elected President to create a narrative for himself. Yet, these books may contain more fiction then reality.

What the right needs to do is expose the lies. They certainly have plenty of them to deal with and then create a more compelling and honest narrative. Barry and the left must be shown to be emperors who wear no clothes.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
It seems to me that the health insurance redistributes wealth and well being primarily from the middle class to the poor. The middle class gernerally earns its money and either pays for health insurance or gets it through an employeryer.The rich aren't concerned about the cost and can get good care by paying for it. The poor have always benefitted through medicare although many of them did not use it. I guess, under Obama rules, those paying no income tax will never have to pay any whereas I think everyone should have to pay something to develop an understanding of where government largesse comes from.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
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