Saturday, June 02, 2012

Quotable: Sweet-And-Sour Melissa, Being A Disingenuous Conspiracist

"I don't believe in (conspiracies) conspiracy theories." ~ Melissa Harris-Perry, being self-censorious, repeating this three times (by my count — for whose ears?!) re: show topics of millionaire-billionaire Super PAC donors, and Republican voter suppression laws.

C'mon Melissa, of course you do. It's THE WORD that is verboten in your ivory tower academic's world, and to your MSNBC bosses. For example, fascism in America exists, right? I would submit that it comprises the extremist right wing fringe of the Republican Party, which makes it verboten to your bosses. And, being a newbie, you kinda want to please them. So, everybody uses catch-all euphemisms — "dog whistles," "extremists" — silly terms like that.

FINE. Paul Krugman spoke to this, as to why his media colleagues seem so often to pull their punches. They have a mortgage to pay, a family to support, a career to nurture, he noted. So maybe, on certain "sensitive" topics, they might not want to "go there" if it should raise upper management eyebrows. Krugman said such things don't concern him. Should today he lose his prestigious columnist gig at the Times, he would happily return to his academic pursuits, full-time. Perhaps, Melissa, in lieu of being self-censorious, you ought to follow Paul's example. Just saying.

A "conspiracy" can be a coordinated action as part of a larger political strategy, e.g., voter suppression laws in Republican-controlled states, battleground states. Call it what you will, but if you don't believe that's happening, you're (a) naïve, (b) a fool (not likely, for one with your "c.v." as Chris Hayes might say), or (c) living in some delusional Why-Can't-We-All-Get-Along fantasy land.

When you limit your vocabulary in order to accommodate your perception of the status quo, you're really caving to the "free speech" police, aren't you? Hmm ... in the broader conspiracy, that's precisely what the conspiracists count on. The toxicity of what they do is itself a protective shield. Doug Brinkley, one of my very favorite historians, said on your show of his latest book subject, Walter Cronkite, that he scolded liberals for not shouting to the four winds what we believe in, loud and clear.

The absence of outrage in this country over this sustained assault on our democracy is a tragedy. It's nice that you "worry" about it, Melissa.

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