Saturday, March 18, 2006

Dada as Policy?

Jean-Paul Sartre
Jean-Paul Sartre

Digby has a good take on the sound of thousands of conservative feet shuffling away from President Bush and his new blend of conservativism.
Appropriately, modern conservatism turns out to be the first post-modern political movement.
President Bush's approach to governing may actually fit well with post-modern existentialism. They have an fanatical fixation on the appearance of things rather than their substance. That is not an unusual tendency in politics, but they have moved from merely holding press conferences and feeding stories to trusted reporters (which they also do).

The administration is so concerned about its image that they have tailored the world to their view. They have successfully moved the public perception of facts from a concrete source of information to a relative construct that is defined by your view of the world. Criticism is not valid because you don't have the "facts" they do, e.g., evolution, global warming, fiscal responsibility. The facts are dismissed because they support a conclusion the administration does not agree with.

They have even reorganized government agencies to keep the campaign moving. Unfavorable facts or reports are dropped or dismissed and an essential part of the management practice is geared towards preserving the public image of the administration. Nothing is to be done unless it furthers the aims of the administration, namely political gain.

They have even gone so far as to deny reality. A singular incident involved David Letterman broadcasting a clip of a kid acting bored while on stage at a Bush speech. The White House initially accused Letterman of doctoring the footage, then denied they made the accusation. Letterman had a field day, showing the clip each night through the week, passing along the White House denial of the day, until it culminated with having the kid on the show as a guest. At that point the White House claimed they knew nothing of the incident.

When you are in a debate with a late-night comedian over facts backed up by video footage, you have lost touch with reality.

- Murphy

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