What has become a profitable business model in America is causing the destruction of the political model that is America. O'Reilly, Hannity and Limbaugh (O'Hannibaugh) are largely responsible. Immediate corrective action is essential.
Positions prevent solutions. Strident, unyielding positions create gridlock. It has become sadly clear that far too many elected to lead our nation are yielding to philosophical extremes that require compliance with such conduct.
Should this practice continue, the ability of our Republic to effectively serve its population will continue to diminish and America will cease to remain the Constitutional model for the world. Immediate corrective action is essential.
Fixing problems first requires an understanding of their causes…followed by a determination to view the challenges that emerge as an opportunity to correct them.
Applying that standard in this instance provides compelling evidence that what has become a profitable business model in America is playing a major role in the destruction of the political model that is America.
The political extremists who host right-wing talk radio and cable news programs have excessive influence and are largely responsible for our political gridlock. Among these highly paid purveyors of positioning, those with the most clout are O’Reilly, Hannity, and Limbaugh. Let’s call it the O’Hannibaugh Factor!
Elected to nothing, they, nevertheless, philosophically lead the Republican Party. They have created and now control the strident political conduct and message of the far right, the controlling wing of the party. No current elected party leader is their equal.
When combined with gerrymandering of congressional districts and Koch Brother money in Republican-controlled states, they are able to provide the daily talking points and resulting organizational momentum to have elected just enough far-right Republican extremists to control this majority of a numerical minority. That’s especially true in the House of Representatives.
The use of cloture, the filibuster, and other stalling strategies have replaced traditional problem-solving. It now takes more votes in the Senate to approve debating legislation than securing its passage. This govern-by-gridlock strategy is constitutionally destructive and politically reprehensible. We deserve better!
Their enforcement entity is the Tea Party, a series of effective grass roots, state-based entities made up of folks who fit the profile of O’Hannibaugh listeners and viewers. If any elected party member dare stray from their “my way or the highway” expectations, the penalty is often career-ending.
And if you question that observation, ask the highly respected, but former, U.S. Senator from Indiana, Dick Lugar. Ask, also, a host of other former moderate Republican office holders who have chosen not to seek re-election or who didn’t survive the O’Hannibaugh/Tea Party litmus test and were defeated in their primary elections. Their only sin was willingness to compromise.
As long as they continue to insist that Democrats compromise while penalizing Republicans who do, it would be both “fair and balanced” for the “folks” to start demanding that the O’Hannibaugh/Tea Party coalition accept primary responsibility for the fact that our political process is broken.
While those who watch and listen to O’Hannibaugh each week are sufficient in numbers and passion to control election results in selected districts, in growing numbers our electorate is sending the message that national control is highly unlikely. O’Hannibaugh made clear for months prior to the recent presidential election how and for whom Americans should vote. And we didn’t listen!
Not even their newly acquired, but politically motivated, support for affirmative action is likely to help much. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Ben Carson, prominent among their 2016 hopefuls, have far-right views generally rejected by the majority of voters.
The resulting grieving process is both visible and lingering. Hannity is in nightly meltdown; I get dizzy every time I watch the no-spin zone; and the Rush Rants become more disconnected from reality with each passing day. Their egos have taken a major hit.
They also whine even more about bias in the mainstream media. But OHannibaugh then destroys any credibility they might otherwise have on the subject by doing what they say they oppose. In both tone and content, nobody is more biased. That’s the perfect definition of hypocrisy.
Does bias exist among talkers and writers on the Left? It absolutely does! But, more to the point, their clout doesn’t begin to parallel that of entertainers on the Right. Nor do they claim to be fair or balanced.
Will Rogers got it exactly right decades ago when he observed that he was a democrat and, therefore, not a member of any organized political party. Political discipline on the Left is an oxymoron!
And while they would have us believe otherwise, we now know that O’Hannibaugh’s daily access to a microphone gives them no special wisdom. In matters both foreign and domestic, America continues to struggle with outcomes associated with their beliefs.
Their economic strategy resulted in the greatest economic crisis since the great depression. And they wanted to repeat it with Romney. Their foreign policy preferences in the Middle East and elsewhere would have us orchestrating everything for everybody and putting “feet on the street” to make sure we succeeded. Recent history tells us that such a strategy will not be helpful, prudent, or successful.
If they could arrange a brief visit, Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln could make a very compelling case that those seeking democracy must be allowed to make the choices – even the mistakes – associated with their freedom movement.
They must be free, no matter how frustrating to us, to define who and what they become… that such passion might actually cause both a Revolutionary and a Civil War…and that activity associated with those outcomes can be devastating. There could be serious consequences.
For example, four brave Americans to die in Benghazi. Over four thousand no-less brave American men and women could die in Iraq. They might also observe that debating talking points about either mistake misses the point and that O’Hannibaugh outrage on those topics is both selective and transparent. Events associated with Benghazi have been criticized more by them in eight months than was Iraq in eight years.
Their profound wisdom might then conclude with an observation that O’Hannibaugh’s “do as I say, not as I do” legislative gridlock strategy severely damages our ability to credibly promote democracy in Egypt, Syria and elsewhere around the world. And they might then take leave by urging us to promptly end our current gridlock form of government or be prepared to suffer continuing consequences.
“We the People” have available to us a system and a process that will make it possible for us to expose and hold accountable anyone trying to “game” the system by engaging only in such conduct. My next post will introduce that highly successful remedy.