Glenn Greenwald - Political Blogs and Opinions - Salon
Most importantly of all, the guardians of our political discourse -- the Chris Matthews and Howie Kurtzs and Mark Halperins and The Politicos, all of whom dwell in Matt Drudge's kingdom -- traffic almost exclusively in puerile, vapid fixations with these types of petty conflicts and substance-free controversies. They're the decadent ringleaders of the freak show which dominates our political discourse and dictates the outcome of our elections.
Just this morning alone, Howie Kurtz's entire column is filled with quoting the likes of The Weekly Standard, Captain Ed, Kathryn Jean Lopez and David Brooks in order mindlessly to re-circulate every slimy, small-minded attack from this week on Obama. None of them is going to change in the slightest, because slothful, empty, small-minded chatter, driven by their Matt Drudge overlords, is all they are told to do, all they're capable of doing, and all they want to do. No matter who the nominees are, the behavior of our media stars won't change, because it can't.
Nor, contrary to what appears to be the unduly optimistic belief of some Obama supporters, will the sleazy right-wing noise machine change its tactics in the slightest. Immediately before I read Lisa Schiffren's "half black/half Jewish, red diaper baby" rant, I watched Mike Gallagher on Fox News explain, to a sympathetic host, that Sharon Stone ought to be "charged with treason" for pointing out that insufficient attention is paid to the death of Iraqi civilians.
It's vitally important to remember that our political life is suffuse with lowlifes and hatemongers like this. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter -- the heart and soul of the right-wing -- aren't going anywhere, nor are the media-connected, Swiftboat-spewing operatives who function in the shadows and the sewers. As Digby pointed out yesterday, the Right has already created a new, extremely well-funded organization -- overseen by the incomparably slimy and truth-free Ari Fleischer -- preparing to unleash exactly this sort of bile. As Digby said, the Democratic primary is exceedingly polite when compared to what is coming: "Just wait until you see what Ari Fleischer and his quarter of a billion have in store for us."
So the question isn't whether Obama will be relentlessly pelted by the sprawling appendages of the Right-wing edifice and its media allies with the most grotesque, bottom-feeding, substance-free, personality-based attacks. Of course he will be -- ones as ugly as, if not uglier than, anything we've seen yet.