Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The 30% Bubble

U.S. News and World Report recently ran an article titled A Sinking Presidency, describing the worsening political situation faced by the White House. The fact that President Bush lives in a bubble surrounded by yes people is expanded in this article, with the perspective given by a former administration insider:
Former 2004 Bush campaign strategist Matthew Dowd recently broke with his former boss by declaring that Bush is "secluded and bubbled in"-a reference to the protective "bubble" that insulates the White House. Dowd's assessment is shared by many Republicans in Washington. "Isolation is inevitable in any White House," says a former Bush aide who returned to the West Wing recently to chat with former colleagues. Now that he is out of the bubble, the former aide says, he can see an isolation he didn't recognize before. "People in the White House are talking only to each other, reconfirming each other's and the president's perceptions and judgments," he says.
The famed Bush bubble has been the talk of Washington for years, but now it turns out that the insulation extends well beyond George Bush to encompass the entire administration. Dowd, in effect, expands the much ballyhooed Bush bubble to encompass the entire administration. No wonder Congressional oversight hearings since Democrats have taken control have seen such spectacular melt downs, from the head of the GSA, Lurita Doan, being heard asking her aides to take her drinking glass because she didn't want "them to have my fingerprints, they've got me totally paranoid!", to Alberto Gonzales' famed appearance being compared by another Republican to the clubbing of a baby seal.

One of the great perplexities to my side of the great political divide has to do with the 30 percenters. Call them what you will. Koolaid drinkers, The Borg, wingnuts, or any of another half dozen such labels intended to denote mindless acceptance of all things Bush. How is it that there is this immutable base that can not be reached, no matter the facts or logic given them. I think the U.S. News story provides the equation I've been searching for.

What Matthew Dowd exposes as a bubble encompassing the entire administration widened the perception, in my mind at least, from just the President to the entire White House. Another level of bubble expansion can explain the seemingly unrealistic opinions and self serving facts espoused by the administrations benefactors on Capitol Hill, and that would place the entire Republican establishment of Washington D.C. in that bubble.

Just one more expansion of the bubble is enough to encompass anyone in the Republican party who wants to be in the bubble. Anyone who doesn't want to open their eyes to truth or reality can surround themselves in this bubble. Anyone who wishes can be nearly as out of touch and in an alternate reality of Republican making as the President, his administration, and Republican Congress members.

All they have to do is rely upon Fox news for their daily information. Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage and the rest of the right wing hate gang are good for strengthening the veneer of alternate fact their bubble consists of. They can read the Washington Times and columns from Ann Coulter for further reinforcement. All of these sources and many more reinforce the notion that things are going swell in Iraq, that the President is always right, that Democrats are going to be the unwitting cause of the next 9/11, and that the Generals on the ground in Iraq formulated the surge.

The President isn't the only one in the bubble. 30% of the entire nation is!

Now I'm certain that the same people I accuse here would accuse me of being in my own ideological bubble. The fact is that it is very difficult for a liberal to have the resources to surround themselves with the sort of echo machine conservatives have. There is no liberal equivalent for Fox News. I can't go to any one of 5 liberal talk shows on the radio. If I only wanted to live an online existence I could construct that bubble, but I spend so much time at work looking at a monitor that my home time is spent anywhere BUT at the keyboard. I just don't think there are as many opportunities for a liberal bubble to be created, and frankly I would not want one as it is.

The question is... how do we burst the bubble on the 30 percenters?

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