The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Beltway Hypnosis Syndrome

Posted on | May 6, 2014 | 31 Comments

Larry O’Connor nails it:

I hear it from half the callers on my talk radio shows. I read it in the comment sections of my favorite blogs. I see it from some of the most well-respected pundits on cable news.
Every time the discussion turns to anything outside the Washington Beltway or to any topic not related to the Democrat vs. Republican horserace narrative of “Who’s up and who’s down” political gamesmanship I hear “It’s not important. We need to get back to the real issues America cares about.”
With all due respect, I have to ask, “Are you high?”

Read the whole thing. Having often attempted to persuade conservatives to take seriously stories outside the “horserace narrative of . . . political gamesmanship,” I know the frustration Larry describes. Part of the problem is the Right’s epidemic Obamamania, with which I have never been afflicted, understanding that a fixation on presidential politics means the trivialization of everything else. Here we are, in the fifth year of the Obama presidency, his 2012 re-election disappearing in the rear-view mirror and the crucial 2014 mid-term elections just six months away and . . . Obama! Obama! Obama!

Day after day, ad infinitum, ad tedium.



31 Responses to “Beltway Hypnosis Syndrome”

  1. RS
    May 6th, 2014 @ 3:10 pm

    N.B. in most jurisdictions, professionals like teachers, doctors and so forth can lose their licenses, if they are mandatory reporters and fail to do so. This, more than anything else, goes to demonstrate the lengths the Progressives will stride to protect their “sacrament” of abortion.

  2. Cactus Ed
    May 6th, 2014 @ 3:30 pm

    But when liberals are up to their usual scumbaggery ought one take the high road with them, patiently making one’s case in gentlemanly fashion and rebutting theirs, assuming there is one, all the while ignoring their insults and slanders?

    Yep, nothing should be trivialized. We need moral sanity.

  3. K-Bob
    May 6th, 2014 @ 3:35 pm

    Interestingly enough, this jibes well with Glenn Beck’s throwing his hands in the air over “talking politics.” In his case, that’s good, because he’s all over the place on that subject, anyway. (But he’s not all over the place on the culture stuff, so I hope he continues on his path to be the next Disney. I just can’t listen to the guy’s opinions anymore.)

    This intense focus on the horse race aspect (as in “24/7”) began in the aftermath of Roe v. Wade, but it was not always in your face, everywhere. It jumped up in earnest during the 2000 elections, and has gotten worse every year since. (It was greatly fueled by the rise of competing cable news channels like Fox and MSNBC.)

    It’s caused too many people to take their eyes off the actual destruction of society created by whichever ones have been in power over the past thirteen years and seven months. So that’s why a lot of us hang out here. It’s like leaving the arena and visiting the pub.


    Speaking of pubs, grab yourself a beverage and catch up with The Amnesty Papers series I'm almost done with over at Scoop's. I think one more installment will wrap it up. I filled the series with lots of resources of info for getting caught up on the whole, stupid, "immigration" debate. No horserace talk. Just analysis.

  4. Cube
    May 6th, 2014 @ 4:14 pm

    Who are these conservatives that want to just “get back to the issues of D vs R”? ‘Cause the ones I know care an awful lot about things like the destruction of jobs, the part time economy, wiping out private insurance, our shrinking military, the weaponized bureaucracy, lawless behavior by government officials and on and on – in short “managing the decline”. We’re not interested in being shuffled off to the ash heap of history.

    Cynics used to say that if voting really made a difference, it would be illegal. Quite a few of us have figured out that we get much of the same agenda regardless of what letter is behind any given politician’s name since the permanent political class makes sure that they continue to get theirs first and foremost.

  5. RS
    May 6th, 2014 @ 4:20 pm

    Realized this comment belongs on the thread below. Sorry.

  6. RKae
    May 6th, 2014 @ 4:28 pm

    And, yet, you got 2 thumbs-up – one from me.

    I thought it was a jump, but we ARE talking about cultural decay, so…

  7. Separated at Birth: Barack Obama and…? | Batshit Crazy News
    May 6th, 2014 @ 4:44 pm

    […] TOM: Beltway Hypnosis Syndrome […]

  8. Mike G.
    May 6th, 2014 @ 5:59 pm

    One of the more important elections coming up is in South Carolina for Lindsey “Amnesty” Graham’s senate seat. We have two good challengers… But what I’m afraid of is that since SC has an open primary and the democrats don’t have a viable challenger, that they will cross party lines and vote for Graham.

    We need to get rid of him.

  9. daleyrocks
    May 6th, 2014 @ 6:17 pm

    This post is just a distraction from National Offend A Feminist Week.

  10. daleyrocks
    May 6th, 2014 @ 6:21 pm

    I was expecting offers for Nina Burleigh Kneepads or Lewinsky Lip Balm.

  11. K-Bob
    May 6th, 2014 @ 7:01 pm

    Speaking of the horserace, it’s kind of wierd that few right-i-verse blogs or websites have done much with barack’s new “Climate Initiative.” It’s like they’re all watching some sort of sports event or something. Involving horses.

    Mediaite only links Althouse’s blog on it, and Google Blog Search comes up pretty empty with righty blog coverage.

    Meanwhile, Watt’s site has it covered, as you’d expect.

    Also, no “significant” change in UAH Global Temp for the last 45 years.

    So, ZERO change over the last sixteen years, and only about a third of a degree (F) over 45 years.

    We really need to impeach barack. I’d rather have to deal with Biden. He’s stupid, but not anti-American.

  12. Bob Belvedere
    May 6th, 2014 @ 7:04 pm

    You had me until that last sentence.

    All Leftism is anti-American.

  13. Cactus Ed
    May 6th, 2014 @ 7:57 pm

    We really need to impeach barack.

    One can dream, but it shall never happen. He’s covered in a blanket of cronies, I’m afraid.

    Yes, the world is very unfair…

  14. Have I Mentioned That I Hate Political Books? | The Lonely Conservative
    May 7th, 2014 @ 12:24 am

    […] Wednesday, I guess it’s just that we need to resist coming down with a full blown case of Beltway Hypnosis Syndrome. At least we can say we’ve been sufficiently […]

  15. Chance Boudreaux
    May 7th, 2014 @ 10:36 am

    To paraphrase Aliens, “We just need to nuke DC from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.”

  16. TMLutas
    May 7th, 2014 @ 11:23 am

    Government, as an economic sector, is ~40% of the national economy. It’s divided up in tens of thousands of governments. Nobody has a national comprehensive list of all of them. The states have their own definitions as do the feds and their lists tend to disagree.

    What do all these governments actually do is a natural question, but nobody has asked it or made it a requirement that they tell us. What are the acceptable standards of performance for each thing that each government does is a mystery. It shouldn’t be.

    There can be a technical setup to quickly and efficiently monitor all this at a pretty low cost. Nobody has set it up.

    Virtually none of the work I’ve laid out requires a college degree. These, and several other really simple questions could provide productive employment that pays for itself in improved government oversight and more effective government spending. Neither Democrat or Republican officeholders have made this sort of thing a priority.

  17. Dave6034
    May 7th, 2014 @ 11:40 am

    Politics is a ratchet that moves only leftward, faster and faster, ultimately exploding in a Left Singularity. Resisting this process would only slow it down a little, so conservatives go to ground, stockpile guns and ammo, and disengage from an increasingly toxic national culture. They’ll emerge later, when the Leftists have all massacred each other for being insufficiently left-wing.

  18. bgbear_rnh
    May 7th, 2014 @ 11:47 am

    In California hate how what happens in DC is a big distraction from what happens in Sacramento.

  19. Quoth « The Big Think
    May 7th, 2014 @ 12:12 pm

    […] Beltway Hypnosis Syndrome: “I hear it from half the callers on my talk radio shows. I read it in the comment sections of my favorite blogs. I see it from some of the most well-respected pundits on cable news. Every time the discussion turns to anything outside the Washington Beltway or to any topic not related to the Democrat vs. Republican horserace narrative of ‘Who’s up and who’s down’ political gamesmanship I hear ‘It’s not important. We need to get back to the real issues America cares about.’ With all due respect, I have to ask, ‘Are you high?’” […]

  20. AndrewX
    May 7th, 2014 @ 12:25 pm

    Is “hate how” supposed to read “right now”? Otherwise, I’m not getting what you are saying.

  21. Have I Mentioned That I Hate Political Books? | Our Tyrannical Government
    May 7th, 2014 @ 2:29 pm

    […] only Wednesday, I guess it’s just that we need to resist coming down with a full blown case of Beltway Hypnosis Syndrome. At least we can say we’ve been sufficiently […]

  22. K-Bob
    May 7th, 2014 @ 5:13 pm

    I’d say it’s anti-liberty, but we used to have big-government, pro-union leftists who were staunchly pro-American. Many of them (still) hate commies, too.

    They’ve all been silenced of course, because unlike the right, the left always stays in line, with tightly closed ranks.

  23. K-Bob
    May 7th, 2014 @ 6:32 pm

    Looks like Dellers has decided to take CNN’s advice on Climate Alarmism.

    Let’s all chip in!

  24. Bob Belvedere
    May 7th, 2014 @ 7:23 pm

    Excellent suggestions.

  25. John Scotus
    May 7th, 2014 @ 9:30 pm

    Within this group is a large subset which not only insists upon talking exclusively about presidential politics, but who see all matters besides their own pet issues as not just irrelevant, but a harmful distraction. For example, the multitude who in 2012 screamed that it was just “the economy, stupid”, and tried to shut up debate when it turned to any other topic, as though somehow discussing abortion, the decline of the family, immigration, foreign policy, or any of a host of other issues would derail any chance of ousting Obama. Of course, it was never just about the economy, and people who pointed this out were far from stupid.

  26. It’s Not Just About Ousting Obama, And Never Was | The Tree of Mamre
    May 7th, 2014 @ 10:51 pm

    […] (H/t Robert Stacy McCain) […]

  27. richard40
    May 8th, 2014 @ 6:47 pm

    You cant ignore obama, because he is definitely the embodiment of evil. But you have a point that it is too late to stop obama, our last chance there was in 2012. The priority now should be one short term priority, and one long term priority:
    1. short term. Obama is beyond reach, and impeachment talk is foolish and non productive. The way to punish obama is to punish his party, the dems, any way we can in any election we can, until obama becomes as bitter a memory for dems as bush has become for repubs.
    2. Long term. This is far more important, and the key to preventing future Obamas. The key there is to find a way to break the leftist dem lock on journalism, hollywood, academia, and the gov bureaucracy.
    2a. Instead of spending billions to fund adds on leftist media, how about buying the actual leftist journalist outlets, and creating conservative journalist schools.
    2b. Break the leftist lock on academia by creating private conservative colleges, and defunding leftist ones until they reform themselves. End tenure, and appoint conservative college heads who can fire leftists. Make it much easier to fire incompetant or leftist k-12 teachers.
    2c. Buy a Hollywood studio, and start making conservative movies, or even just non political famioy pictures. Demand is there, look at the great attendance for Passion of The Christ. And this would also provide a palce for conservative filmakers and actors, where they would not be blackballed by leftists.
    2d. End protections for gov bureaucrats, so they can be fired, so we can weed out the worst leftists from the gov bureaucracy. And ban gov unions.
    Of course dems will howl that we are politicising everything. But that ignores the fact the the dems have already politicised everything. We will just be restoring political balance to institutions that the dems have already politicised, and then blackballed any conservatives in those institutions who dared to object.

  28. richard40
    May 8th, 2014 @ 6:55 pm

    That wont help, since the leftists will massacre all of us first, before they start masacring each other. Remember that the communists only started purging each other until after they had already masacred and enslaved the capitalists first. Do you really think the leftists wont find you when you are hiding in your cabin with your gun. Keep your guns of course, just in case we lose the battle to take back this country from the leftists. But we still must work to take it back.

  29. Dave6034
    May 8th, 2014 @ 9:13 pm

    Take our country back to what? To the 1950s? The 1920s? The 1880s? After a century of lurching and drifting left, it’s impossible for conservatives to agree what exactly we ought to conserve. If you try to defeat leftism with a slightly less leftist ideology, as the Republicans do, you’ve already lost the argument, because some leftism always justifies more leftism.

    Lenin, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Pol Pot, et al didn’t so much conquer their own peoples as bamboozle them with highly evolved Western memes for which the uneducated peasants knew no counter-argument. I think it would be easier to conquer and subdue Afghanistan than some of America’s rural areas.

  30. richard40
    May 9th, 2014 @ 1:12 am

    I agree that slightly less leftist will not do. As a start, I suppose taking gov size and power back to Calvin Coolidge, but without segregation, would be pretty good.

  31. FMJRA 2.0: Every Picture Tells A Story : The Other McCain
    May 11th, 2014 @ 6:53 am

    […] Beltway Hypnosis Syndrome […]