Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘every story has exactly two sides

Manichaeism in America

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What Carville’s confused, contradictory screed highlights is the difficulty of trying to understand American political conflicts through an exclusively partisan prism of Democrats v. Republicans.  Some issues are properly assessed via that dichotomy, but many — a growing number — are not.  Nonetheless, confining oneself to Democrat v. Republican bickering is the admission price to establishment media access — that is the only prism they understand or permit — and most pundits thus happily cling to it; indeed, partisan pundits take the lead role in enforcing this orthodoxy and trying to marginalize anyone who deviates from it or resides outside of it.  Political issues insusceptible to this two-team mindset are deemed fringe and rendered invisible.  The result (by design) of this narrow, stultifying framework is that many — perhaps most — of the most consequential political developments are ignored.

No More 11-Dimensional Chess

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Obama loses Jon Stewart. A quirk of our system of adversarial political reporting is that the strongest arguments against Obama’s handling of the oil spill are relegated to boutique outlets like Rolling Stone; because Republicans are unable to argue that Obama’s should have done a better job cleaning up after their Caligulan corruption, it is not discussed. I’m glad to see Stewart let loose like this; maybe someone else in the media will notice.