Lefty Blogger: Media Coverage of Jade Helm Protests ‘Validates the Paranoia’ of Right-Wingers

Mainstream pundits generally have seen the protests over Jade Helm 15 as an embarrassment to conservatives, but blogger Leslie Savan of The Nation suggested in a Friday post that looking silly now may benefit the right in the long run.

The Jade Helm uproar, opined Savan, “is like Obamacare death panels, or Sharia law coming to a court near you, or fluoride in the water supply. It doesn’t matter if the particular charge is proven to be completely false. Just getting the larger idea (don’t trust Obama’s feds, they want to un-cling you from your guns and religion) into the mainstream media is a victory. It validates the paranoia.”

Not only that, she wrote, but there might be an electoral payoff for the GOP: “This is how ginning up the base works…[T]he 24/7 coverage before the 2014 midterm elections about Ebola and the crazies’ theory that the feds were encouraging an epidemic in America by not quarantining anyone who set foot in West Africa...was a bad joke, too…And the media coverage stopped on a dime when the election was over. But, boy, did that coverage help drive racially biased voters to the polls.”

From Savan’s post (bolding added):

All week long we’ve been having a good laugh over Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s ordering the Texas State Guard to monitor Jade Helm 15…

We on the left can laugh all we want at the right-wing nut jobs, but don’t think for a moment that liberals are the only ones enjoying the comedy. A lot of Republicans who know better are laughing up their sleeves about the hysteria the media coverage is generating…

This is how ginning up the base works. If there’s a near-time analog, it would be the 24/7 coverage before the 2014 midterm elections about Ebola and the crazies’ theory that the feds were encouraging an epidemic in America by not quarantining anyone who set foot in West Africa. That was a bad joke, too, since, after all, nobody who had not been in West Africa or treated someone with Ebola had ever caught the disease. And the media coverage stopped on a dime when the election was over.

But, boy, did that coverage help drive racially biased voters to the polls.

Whether or not rank-and-file Texans really believe that US generals are threatening to put them under martial law, there’s a sense of pleasure in punking the national media and forcing them to discuss black helicopters...

The Texas takeover is like Obamacare death panels, or Sharia law coming to a court near you, or fluoride in the water supply. It doesn’t matter if the particular charge is proven to be completely false. Just getting the larger idea (don’t trust Obama’s feds, they want to un-cling you from your guns and religion) into the mainstream media is a victory. It validates the paranoia.

…Right-wingers perceive their power waning and so proactively taunt the powers that be to expend resources and convince them they’re wrong. Many conservatives are sane enough to know that these conspiracy theories are a crock. But they see that Mitt Romney tried to win the presidency two years ago with a supermajority of white voters and lost convincingly. They want conservatives to win elections, and it is increasingly apparent that their ability to do so in national contests is diminishing rapidly. Defying or degrading the institutions that enforce the will of popular majorities is actually a logical way to delay their expression.

Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential 2016 Congressional Military Conservatives & Republicans Protesters The Nation Texas Leslie Savan


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