Yesterday I agreed to take on the role of Director of the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab. It will mean a great deal of added responsibility and will also mean that I will not have time to write a daily blog. This has been a great three year experiment and I have enjoyed it. I’m going to leave up some of the most epic discussions as a kind of Greatest Hits collection. I will occasionally post on the Annenberg Innovation Lab blog.
As I noted a couple of weeks ago, I feel like the signal to noise ratio in our media has gotten terribly distorted. There is little honest reporting about what is going on in this Interregnum. Matt Taibi’s recent report on the Tea Party movement comes close to my feelings.
In the Tea Party narrative, victory at the polls means a new American revolution, one that will “take our country back” from everyone they disapprove of. But what they don’t realize is, there’s a catch: This is America, and we have an entrenched oligarchical system in place that insulates us all from any meaningful political change. The Tea Party today is being pitched in the media as this great threat to the GOP; in reality, the Tea Party is the GOP. What few elements of the movement aren’t yet under the control of the Republican Party soon will be, and even if a few genuine Tea Party candidates sneak through, it’s only a matter of time before the uprising as a whole gets castrated, just like every grass-roots movement does in this country. Its leaders will be bought off and sucked into the two-party bureaucracy, where its platform will be whittled down until the only things left are those that the GOP’s campaign contributors want anyway: top-bracket tax breaks, free trade and financial deregulation.
The rest of it — the sweeping cuts to federal spending, the clampdown on bailouts, the rollback of Roe v. Wade — will die on the vine as one Tea Party leader after another gets seduced by the Republican Party and retrained for the revolutionary cause of voting down taxes for Goldman Sachs executives.
To my long time contributors, I thank you for your insights and your spirit. We will cross paths again, of this I am sure.
Pacific Palisades, CA