For all of the self-flagellation going on with progressives and/or Democrats these days, no one seems to grasp the real impact of the Echo Chamber on political dialog in this country. Wing-nut talk radio -- and its various cousins on cable TV and the internet (although the internet just gives the stooges an excuse to talk about something as if it has actually been "published") -- have had an enormous impact on the political landscape. Even the nuttiest, graveyard-shift clear-channel AM mystery voices start rumors and introduce ideas that eventually find their way into the mainstream press.
The Democrats can't get a word in edge-wise. And I'll be damned if I can figure out how we possibly could.
Some dismiss the wing-nuts because it is assumed that they are only preaching to the converted. Who cares how the hopelessly-fooled confirm and maintain their delusions? But the impact -- entirely intended -- of the continuous drumbeat of Roveian talking points is that issues and leaders are seen through the distorted prism of an ingenious alternate reality; one where the hopelessly manipulated, wrong and inadequate Junior Bush is a just and pure leader of men and any Democrats who might threaten his reign with new ideas or just plain old common sense are universally savaged and characatured as lame and ineffective.
As I examine the dark caverns of the wing-nut world, I have noticed how all of them devote more time to defining their real or imagined enemies than they ever do discussing any of their "ideas". After all, Bush "won" in '04 not by any confirmation of his own wonderfulness -- voters were done with his sorry ass a full year before that election. But, besides making sure his wealthy contributors fixed the paper-trail-less voting machines in Ohio (OK, maybe, but I wouldn't put it past these bastards), he "won" by making sure people thought the worst of John Kerry. "OK, he's a dick," the Average Voter thought of Bush. "But, Kerry?"
I'm going to explore this for a while. Stay tuned.