To make a point of Republican weakness, I’m going to turn to an article that came out today on yahoo. Before I begin, however, I’d like to remind you of the first edition of UTL: narrative manipulation. Most people on the Right will write off this article because it doesn’t come from a mainstream source. Yahoo is a fledgling company that has been overshadowed by the Google behemoth, but it still produces articles that people read. Yes, people do read articles from yahoo. By overlooking this source, the Right misses an opportunity to quickly squash Leftist propaganda, and they continue to allow themselves to be defined by the Left.
The great Walter Shapiro, who is apparently yahoo’s character guru, champions the character of Boehner and McConnell because of the fiscal cliff “deal” they helped get pushed through. Shapiro positions himself as a rational, reasonable (and clearly of insanely high character) human being who is rationally acknowledging the bravery exhibited by these two Republican leaders. He writes of McConnell:
As the Senate minority leader, McConnell presides over the more mainstream wing of Capitol Hill Republicans. While there are Tea Partiers and right-wing firebrands among Senate Republicans, there are also a few remaining moderates and old-guard legislators who remember when the word “bipartisan” was not considered hate speech.
Still, it was impressive that McConnell convinced all but five Senate Republicans to support the legislation. What was more politically ominous, though, is that the two Senate Republicans most likely to run for president in 2016 (Marco Rubio and Rand Paul) both voted “no.” Rubio’s and Paul’s votes were obviously shaped by ideology, but the two White House dreamers also presumably made a calculation that Republican presidential primary voters will demand litmus-test purity on taxes.
Of Boehner, he writes:
As the first rays of daylight hit the Capitol on New Year’s Day, Boehner confronted a series of unpalatable choices. He could try to pass the Senate bill with mostly Democratic votes, in violation of the majority-of-the-majority tradition. He could support an effort to add spending cuts to the Senate legislation, even though all signs suggested that this was a route to a new impasse. Or he could follow the Republican base right off the cliff—in effect, do nothing until the new Congress began work on Thursday.
Boehner chose legislating over posturing. Even though Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy (the No. 2 and No. 3 figures in the House GOP leadership) opposed the Senate bill, Boehner remained undaunted. By tradition, House speakers rarely vote on legislation, but Boehner put his gavel aside to vote for the Senate bill. Even more pointedly, Boehner had a friendly chat with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer on the House floor just before the vote.
Shapiro has positioned himself as a centrist, so the distance between himself and the tea party and “right-wing firebrands” represents the distance between rationality and the near-insane irrationality of those on the Right. He fails to recognize the unwillingness of the Left to negotiate on any terms the Right wishes to be considered, and he fails to mention how the Left received the bulk of what they wanted, while the Right got virtually nothing (even the ‘moderates’ on the Right were displeased). He’s framed his view as one that is not only rational (and full of character, given his series) and that which opposes his as one of irrationality and poor character.
Shapiro’s Leftist bias needs to be exposed. However, it won’t be. People on the Right will dismiss him as irrational, and they will continue to ignore this open war against their ideologies. What’s even worse about this article is how he’s painted Boehner and McConnell in a positive light. The Left needs them in charge because they will NOT stand up for principled values. They will continue to play the political game, continue to get clobbered because they are poorly positioned and don’t understand narrative construction, and the Left will continue to get its way. It’s in the best interests of the Left to keep them in power, so you’ll see more articles like Shapiro’s painting them as rational beings as long as they bow to the will of the Left.
We on the Right need to act immediately to counter these articles. We can’t let the narrative be dictated by self-proclaimed moralists on the Left (which they clearly aren’t) and we need to not only react to these narratives, but work to construct our own, more correct narrative. Until the Right realizes this, we’ll find ourselves drifting further from the Constitution, just like this guy wants.