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So That’s Who It’s For!

The Mighty WurlitzerAtrios makes a very interesting observation:

…[I]t’s remarkable and distressing that while the right wing noise machine hasn’t managed to move public opinion on Iraq at all, it’s been quite successful at moving the elite discourse and perhaps the opinions of lawmakers.

You know, all this time, I’ve always assumed that the primary target audience of the corporate media and the crazy wingnut media was the American people in general, or at least those most susceptible to hate, fear, and baldfaced lies.

But what if it’s actually been the Democratic establishment all along? It would certainly explain the media and noise machine’s fondness for making absurdly wrong claims about what “the American people” want (war, warrantless wiretaps, Social Security reform, theocracy) or don’t want (oversight, gay marriage, legal abortions, Mexicans).

I figured it was a peer-pressure mindgame to make people adopt right-wing views out of a desire to fit in and be cool. But maybe the real intent was for Democrats and their consultants to see it and say, “OMG! Every poll we’ve ever read is COMPLETELY WRONG! David Broder tells us we need to lay off the oversight and antiwar stuff and start talking about Jesus instead! Thank God we read his column in time!”

If so, it’s a double benefit to the Republicans: It alienates Democrats from their base, making it harder for them to get elected; and it ensures that there are always enough Bush Dogs and LieberDems to give the Republicans functioning majorities in Congress.

As Atrios says, it really is quite “remarkable and distressing” to realize that either the average American voter is smarter and more perceptive than the Democratic party leadership, or that that leadership is so monumentally out of touch with its constituents and the American people, that it would rather read about us secondhand than actually listen. Either way, we’re screwed.

Of course, I know there are a lot of very good Democrats; we’ve helped elect some of them. But they’re not the ones calling the shots, and the ones who are don’t feel accountable to grubby commoners like us.

(Note: You may have noticed that I glossed over “elite discourse” as a target audience of the noise machine. This is because I consider ED to be part of the noise machine. The members of it who get to be on TV, anyway.)

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