Bush’s decision to commute Libby’s sentence came shortly after I read this fascinating WaPo story about Bush and his bubble (which both Christy and I have already covered separately). In addition to thinking about all the most likely reasons for the commutation – obstruction of justice, taking care of a loyal soldier, sending the very important message that it’s okay to break the law on behalf of a Republican president – I found myself wondering if Bush even realized that his decision would not be popular outside of Crazy Base Land. After all, who’s going to tell him otherwise?
I started thinking about bubbles some more, and realized that the bubble is actually much larger than just the White House. The fact is that there is a giant bubble machine called the media, which insisted that not only was the Libby trial a partisan Democratic witch hunt that could only be remedied by a pardon, but that most Americans felt the same way. Similarly, on issues like abortion and gay marriage and withdrawal from Iraq, the mainstream corporate media keeps pretending that the Republican positions are mainstream positions.
This is something that I have long regarded as a serious threat to our democratic system, but I’m beginning to think that media corruption cuts both ways. Yes, the media’s Republican bias is still very dangerous on matters of fact (i.e., not questioning election irregularities or the case for war with Iraq), but it just doesn’t have quite the same effect on matters of opinion. Sure, they can say that most Americans are the anti-choice bloodthirsty homophobes the GOP wants them to be, but that doesn’t actually turn anyone into an anti-choice bloodthirsty homophobe who isn’t one already – anyone that suggestible is probably a Republican anyway.
But you know who really does eat that shit up? The Republican Party. Not just Bush, but all of them. I think they’ve actually started to believe their own media’s hype; that despite all the polls that say otherwise, they are somehow following the will of the American people. How else to explain their steadfast support for Scooter and neverending war, or their steely opposition to choice or immigration reform? It’s like they’re following their own Pied Piper into the river of electoral oblivion, and I encourage them to continue.
The only problem is, the Democratic Party is watching the same media. I reckon at least half of them are inside the same media bubble as the Republicans. That’s why we liberals have to be such pricks.
(And just because I know we’re going to be talking about it anyway: KEITH! – hat tip Oklahoma kiddo for the video link)