Rob Christensen on Pope et al: 'No vast conspiracy'

From the Raleigh News and Observer today.

No vast conspiracy

Rob Christensen writes:

Which brings me to the conservative fantasy – being flogged by Pope, Gov. Pat McCrory and other Republicans: That there is a vast Democratic conspiracy to take them down.

Never have the Democrats had less clout in North Carolina. They have lost control of all three branches. The state Democratic Party is in disarray. The party’s sources of money have dried up. No new leaders have stepped forward. It’s best response so far has been getting arrested – a tactic traditionally reserved by the powerless in societies.

Ok I can agree with most of his political assessment, and I am not a Christensen fan. Here is his bottom line conclusion:

So there we have it. The Republicans in power in Raleigh could not possibly want a smaller government. They are merely puppets of megalomaniac billionaires.

There could not possibly be any legitimate criticism of cutting off unemployment benefits or not extending health insurance. It is a left-wing plot to “eviscerate” the state’s elected leaders.

We have gone from political polarization to paranoia. Pitiful.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/06/22/2982472/christensen-nc-politics-has-gone.html#storylink=cpy

Ok, so now the doctor is in and his diagnosis of the GOP: paranoia. The War on Women and the War on the Poor is all about "small government." The doctor has spoken. Must be true, right?

Comments

To put an exclamation point on 'The War on Women'

from NC NOW (National Organization for Women)

Proof that the war on women is very real. As if there was any question. But how nice to have numbers supporting it.

As the [Daily Kos] article says - 916 anti-woman laws introduced in just three months? That my friends is a freakin’ war on women.

Read it!

Martha Brock

Stunning, self-satisfied arrogance from Christensen

though I'm not surprised at all.

This entire response is on a predictable curve. During the first couple of weeks of protests, we received the "bless their little hearts" response from the Republicans and their media mouthpieces. Now it's gone into ugly vilification, while media hagiographers such as Christensen scurry to make false equivalences: "gee, there's no vast, well-funded conspiracy by liberals to steamroll the NC GOP, and by the same token, Pope and the Koch brothers are not engaged in any attempt to take over the state government, no no uh uh." The Civitas database is the first real counterattack by the right-wing notaconspiracy to go beyond verbal attacks.

Expect it to continue. Meanwhile, we continue as well.

Pitiful indeed

North Carolina is facing a war for its very soul and this article is focused on the seating arrangements at some privileged garden party? There is no conspiracy on either side. Pope owns North Carolina and we the people are striking back the only way we can right now. No big mystery.

War versus a debate club

There are really two approaches to politics. One can look at it as a way to get involved and make your community, your state or your country better. You might disagree with someone on how to get there, but the end game is to get things done that will leave a legacy. Your job is to convince voters to support what you want to do.

The other approach is to view politics as war. The end goal is power - you're there to win and put yourself in a position that you can use for your advantage, whether what you want is more money, stroking your ego, justifying your personal fantasies or all of the above.

Voters aren't there to persuade. They're just one of many obstacles in your way. You don't care what voters think and they don't really matter except as blocks of consumers to buy your product. If they don't like what you're selling, you just lie to them or play on their fears. You don't care about a legacy or making things better for others - it's all about you and what you can get in the short term.

The problem with the Democrats is that they've been showing up for campaigning, elections and trying to govern for the past couple of decades, while Pope and his fellow billionaires just drove a tank into the proceedings and started shooting.

The Dems - and many moderate Republicans - were just in a state of denial. They thought they could win with ideas, common sense, and persuasion. That doesn't work when someone shows up at a debate club with a knife or an AK-47.

Politically, the Dems have lost. They're dead in the water.

The only path back to power is to go to war themselves - not in the same way as Pope and his fellow billionaires, but in the war they _do_ want to fight for their local communities, their state, and their country. That war is against corruption and influence peddlers.

The goal of progressives, Democrats and moderate Republicans right now shouldn't be seeing the paranoid extremists defeated in the next election - it should be seeing them locked up in jail.

Keep reading

...I hate to disagree with your interpretation of his bottom-line diagnosis, Martha, but Christensen is diagnosing paranoia on both sides. His piece was very condescending and full of false equivalences. But what you quote was his parody of the Progressive view of the Republicans, not his own.

If I have misinterpreted what you wrote, let me konw.

I am trying to come up with a long-form response to him. I was particularly troubled by Christensen's facile dismissal of America Votes.

'Raleigh sees orgy of meanness'

I think Christensen, Binker, et al are all apologists for the ogres on the right, who can not be let of the hook for their attacks on women and the poor. Maybe women are more sensitive to the extreme behavior of the current GOP leadership than the white males who write for the media in NC.

I may not have expressed myself well yesterday, but basically I agree with Christensen that there is no conspiracy of the right or the left. I think there are at least three different strains of influence on the GOP and Art Pope and his Civitas connections are only one of them. I worry just as much about ALEC and about the racist bigots elected to NCGA, who want to express their supremacy to women and blacks through legislation.

A friend of mine in Asheville alerted me to a column written for the Asheville Citizen-Times. I suggest it hits the target better than Christensen's. It is an op ed written by a retired journalist who moved to NC from Florida.

Check it out:
Raleigh sees orgy of meanness

My favorite line from his column:
"It’s an orgy of meanness, prejudice, nastiness, cruelty, shortsightedness, selfishness, spite, arrogance and conscious brutality..."

read the column here: http://www.citizen-times.com/article/20130620/OPINION07/306190003/Raleigh-sees-orgy-meanness

Martha Brock