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Two long reads for a Sunday afternoon

Two long reads for a Sunday afternoon

by digby

If you are looking for something to chew over on a long summer afternoon Batocchio over at Vagabond Scholar has two lengthy, excellent, well-documented pieces this week-end. The first is about the press and the "both sides do it" partisanship trope. Here's an excerpt:

If you read Paul Krugman regularly, you know that austerity is all the rage among Very Serious People, despite all the data arguing against it (and the history of such tiny, forgettable events as the Great Depression). Preaching austerity just feels right to them, and expresses a set of moral values that entail... that the very people who caused the global economic mess should continue to stay in power and prosper, while the already-squeezed middle class and the poor should "sacrifice." Similarly, it's terribly rude to question that nice Mr. Cheney about his evidence of WMD in Iraq and a 9/11-Iraq link, or hold the Bush administration responsible for torture, or challenge the surveillance state that still continues, or discuss how other countries successfully deliver universal health care, and so on. Basically, in an amazing coincidence, the ruling class and its courtiers always think they're just swell folks (who should be deferred to, and not held accountable), but that the lower orders are lazy moochers (who need a good scolding and the boot). The more aware among this set are exploiting the shock doctrine (evil in the stupid-evil-crazy vortex), but many in the chattering class don't think that deeply, and are merely expressing unreflective class attitudes. They are simply arguing for what they view as the natural order of things. Part of the problem is that they're terribly cloistered, and cut off from the consequences of their own blithe idiocy (most are in the richest 1%). Not all of them are unredeemable. Still, it shouldn't be ignored that many of them are truly awful people.
The other piece is about the four kinds of conservatives. I won't excerpt it, I'll just show you a couple of the accompanying diagrams: