Tuesday, February 17, 2009

New Conservative Narrative Needed

One of the key strengths of conservatives has always been their ability to weave a story.  They insist that details and specifics aren't important, because they're engaging in epic battles that rewrite history.  They don't have time for facts; they're too busy saving the world from commies, liberals, Mexicans, and Muslims.  The world is out to destroy them, so it's no biggie if they break a few eggs while making the omelette of freedom.

But unfortunately for them, they are so much in love with their narrative that they never know when to stop writing.  They're like authors in the serial age of novels, when guys like Dickens and Dostoyevsky got paid as long as they could keep milking their popular stories.  Except our conservatives never seem to learn when it's time to wrap-up the story.  They just keep going and going, and even when a catastrophic event like 9/11 occurs, they merely add the new characters as henchmen of their standard villain.

And so we have nutbag Pat Robertson daring to say that Rush Limbaugh isn't "thinking rationally" when he says that he hopes Obama fails.  And while it's possible that Robertson truly wants Obama to succeed, it's just as likely that he sees the error in Limbaugh's attacks.  Because Obama's presidency calls for a new story.  A fresh beginning.  The old story is getting boring and losing fans.  They need something new to pull in new readers and get them interested in the story again.

The New Story

And it needs to be like how the Harry Potter books work.  They had the big showdown with the ultimate villain and it looks like the villain has prevailed at the end of this one (by conservative standards).  Now it's time to start fresh with the next book in the series.  And that needs to be one that takes into account Obama's popularity.  It needs to address the fact that the "good guys" are on the outs and are disliked and lack credibility.  And most of all, it needs to give a definite separation between the story they've been telling and the one they want to tell now.

And from there, it can spin a tale about how they gave Obama a chance and tried to work together.  And without a doubt, it needs to have the "heroes" admit their failures and hubris, and become pure once more.  And so the first few chapters have to show them working hand-in-hand with Obama, giving him room, but without too much liberalism.  And then they need to work things up so that Obama appears to betray them, showing that he's actually the villain in all this.  And they can show that they put their partisanship aside and were punished for it.  And that explains why they should be trusted again.

But they blew it.  Instead of starting over with the fresh story, they keep milking the same damn narrative as before.  And without a sign of contrition or having tried to work with Obama, they keep going further downhill.  They weren't trusted before and now they're really not trusted.  They were unpopular before and now they're becoming less popular.  Meanwhile, Obama played the story properly and can show how he started up a fresh narrative, while Republicans quickly took the role of the villains in it. 

And so perhaps that's why Robertson thinks that Limbaugh is screwing up.  By refusing to start a new story, conservatives never get the fresh start they needed.  They still lack credibility.  They're still unpopular.  And there's no way for them to break free from all this.  Now, if they start working with Obama, it'll look like capitulation.  The die is cast and they're screwed.   They had a chance at writing a new story, but because they insisted on continuing the old one, it's now just a matter of how far they'll fall until they finally buckle-under and join the winning team.

1 comment:

Deranged Leftwing Baker said...

Dr. Biobrain, it's lucky for us that they will never listen to you. It's likely they won't listen to Robertson either because they probably think he's a nutbag, too.