Paul “It’s the 1930s Again” Krugman has turned his attention back to budgets and taxes and has toned down both the “Return of Fascism” and the “We’re Being Governed by Moscow” schtick. The Washington Post, the paper that brought us not only the Putin Hacks Vermont story, but the Anyone who Criticizes Hillary Clinton is a Russian Propagandist story, is also going lighter on the blatant smear jobs, and focusing on stuff like how much former Hitler’s vacations are costing the taxpayer. Even a shameless tabloid like The Guardian is doing its part to dampen expections. With notable exceptions (like Rachel Maddow, Louise Mensch, and other bull goose loonies), the Arbiters of Reality seem to be settling in for a protracted battle, as opposed to the impeachment proceedings or deep state coup they’ve been openly pining for. The overriding message is … “Don’t expect any proof of Trump’s collusion with Russia, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t do it, and it doesn’t really matter if we can’t prove it, because even if we can’t officially impeach him, he’s still a fascist, Putin-loving traitor, and since we’re stuck with him for the next four years, we’re going to move on to other things.”
All of which is understandably jarring for the neoliberals, neoconservatives, and just garden variety authoritarians who’ve been dutifully swallowing the preposterous swill the corporate media has been pouring down their throats (and who have been looking forward to Trump’s removal from office). And more so, given that, in the course of a year, they have (a) had to pretend to believe that Donald Trump is a modern-day Hitler who is going to exterminate millions of people and transform America into a new Fourth Reich, and then (b) once that tactic didn’t work, immediately forget the Hitler hooey, and pretend to believe that Donald Trump is a secret agent working for Putin, who they (c) suddenly had to believe is an evil James Bond-villian-type menace intent on annihilating Western democracy … all of which has been hard to swallow, given that, just before all this started, they (d) were just getting used to believing that the official enemy was not Putin, or fascists, but rather, those scary self-radicalized terrorists. Can you remember back to when they were the enemy? It was actually less than a year ago. The media was calling it “The Summer of Fear.” Back then, Trump was just becoming Hitler — they had started with the Hitler stuff back in May — but Putin wasn’t controlling him yet, as no one thought he had a chance of defeating Clinton in the general election, so the terrorists were still the reigning bogeymen,and George W. Bush was still a war criminal and not smooching it up with Ellen DeGeneres.
If all that sounds impossible to follow, and totally insane, that’s because it is … and is how Americans, and not just Americans, but mostly Americans, are being conditioned to think. Or, rather, to react to a disjunctive series of totally nonsensical emotional stimuli, like the subject of some sick psychological experiment. Let’s take a moment and visualize this …
Imagine the subject strapped in a chair like Alex was in Clockwork Orange, barraged with images of frightening terrorists until his mind accepts them as “the enemy,” at which point “the enemy” is immediately switched, and now it’s Hitler that is coming to get him, which, after a time, he comes to accept (and forgets the former terrorist “enemy”), at which point “the enemy” is switched once again, and now it’s Putin and the Russians who are after him. And so on … until his mind just snaps and surrenders to whatever official “reality” is being fed into it any given day. At which point you have rendered the subject a totally compliant, scramble-headed, functionally psychotic member of society, whose attention span is about twenty seconds, and whose brain you can fill full of fancy pharmaceuticals to keep it from completely melting down in response to the stress of the cognitive dissonance that it has to deal with on a daily basis.
There is a mention of Rachel Maddow being one of the ones who still is pushing this shit. I see where she has earned the moniker of Madcow at some places.