Monday, July 02, 2018

Media: The Panic Players

Enter the wimps.

Anthony Kennedy announced he was retiring from the Supreme Court.  A right-winger.

It was, we were told repeatedly, the end of the world.

It was the end of the world, especially if you were a woman.

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Not being professional victims, the scare-a-thon didn't work for us.

It failed for a number of reasons.  Chief among them, you can only blackmail someone for so long before they just don't care.  Abortion and the Supreme Court -- it's been used for decades by the Democratic Party to blackmail women into mindless submission.  We don't buy into that garbage.

We stopped drinking that rancid Kool-Aid by January 2006 when 'brave' Kate Michelman had been betrayed by the men of the Democratic Party yet again at a confirmation hearing.  We watched in disgust as she cried in the halls of Congress, publicly.

"Get a grip," was probably our kindest thought.

Then, a little while later, she was supposed to get her reward for not tearing the Dems a new one over their confirmation vote.  She was, she was told, going to the Senate!  But like most promises from Democratic leadership, it didn't come in writing.  So, big surprise, they quickly turned on her.

Even more telling, for abortion rights, they backed Bob Casey Jr.

For those confused, that is the very definition of 'adding insult to injury.'

Did Kate learn?  Did she stand up for herself?

Of course  not.

There she was a couple of years later doing the Democrats bidding via public shaming herself over healthcare.

We're not the little masochist that Kate is.

We longed to hear, on our so-called 'independent' media, other women refusing to play victim last week, refusing to be held hostage.

Instead we got men, men and more men.  John Nichols?  He seemed to be everywhere -- especially on multiple KPFK programs.  (On KPFK, Brad Friedman, do you ever plan to book an equal number of male and female guests in one week?  Or do you just feel women don't matter?)

As bad as Nichols was, and he was awful, the worst was KPFA's FLASHPOINTS.

Mary Bottari showed up to whine, on the verge of tears.

Is she really that pathetic or does she have some vocal disorder?

We can understand her -- or any woman unfortunate enough to be married to John Nichols -- always being on the verge of tears.

But that's not anyone to book as a guest.

Equally true, she and John Nichols are part of the embarrassment that is Wisconson 'progressives.'

Republican governor Scott Walker has destroyed them over and over.

Why is anyone turning to them for analysis or advice?

They're a joke.

Real voices would have, first, stressed, Kennedy's retirement is not the end of the world.  We've been here before, we'll sadly be here again.  It's a moment, not a lifetime curse.

Maybe we'd be better at protesting and at demanding our rights, if our so-called 'experts' and 'leaders' didn't repeatedly see an extinction level event every time our car hit a road bump?

Kennedy is a right-winger.  He voted against abortion rights many times -- including late-term abortions.  He's part of the Court's slow chipping away at abortion rights.

He has been a 'swing-voter,' yes, but that's just because the Court has swung so far to the right.

Maybe Ruth Bader Ginsburg shouldn't be such a hero?

Does anyone ever bother to ponder that?

We're not trying to take anything away from her.  We are pointing out the fact that she was nominated to the Court in 1993 (by Bill Clinton).  Why, fifteen years later, is she still the most left Justice on the Court?

Barack Obama had the chance to nominate three Justices -- two got confirmed.  His third choice, Merrick Garland, should never have been nominated.  Conservative-lite.  Barack had already appeased authoritarians with Elena Kagan.

Merrick not getting on the Court was no great loss -- though it should finally put to death the notion that Barack could play three-dimensional chess.  Lyndon B. Johnson, not a great mind, knew how to line up Congressional votes but Barack couldn't even handle that?

We're where we are today because too many have sold us out.  Sadly, until we stop whining, that will always be the case.  You either start owning your power or you are left to be Kate Michelman crying in the halls of Congress.

No matter where you went last week on independent media, you were told (often by John Nichols) what a life destroying event Kennedy's retirement was.  As they waxed on and on, we had to wonder if they were confusing Anthony Kennedy with John F. Kennedy?

The Court's tilt to the right, which Kennedy is part of, didn't happen because of voters.  It happened because of the Congress and whomever occupied the Oval Office.  Senators refused to stand up.  Joe Biden?  He didn't stand up against Clarence Thomas.  He betrayed Anita Hill and other women.  Time and again, cowards on the Senate have seen their role in the confirmation process as to make nice, not to defend the beliefs of the voters who put them in office.

That's the information we should be receiving.  Instead, we're encouraged to freak out and run in circles screaming.  If the supposed experts and analysts can't grasp the basics of 'first do no harm,' maybe they can hum Jewel's "Hands" as a reminder before they're interviewed:

If I could tell the world just one thing
It would be that we're all ok
And not to worry because worry is wasteful
And useless in times like these
I will not be made useless
I won't be idled with despair
I will gather myself around my faith
For light does the darkness most fear
My hands are small, I know,
But they're not yours they are my own
But they're not yours they are my own
And I am never broken

That's how you reassure and build power.  Panic and rending garmets only induce feelings of fear and despair.  We won't be made useless and we are never broken.

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