Saturday, April 15, 2023

Just Another Lie

The United States is ruled by a crumbling gerontocracy. Maureen Dowd writes:

Carl Hulse and Annie Karni wrote in The New York Times about Washington’s actual gerontocracy and the challenges of governing with “an old and frail group of lawmakers.” The advanced age of many senators — with their ailments and chronic absences — has diluted the power of the Democratic majority. Now everyone in D.C. is also wondering how long Mitch McConnell will stay as the head of the Senate Republicans.

The 81-year-old minority leader is recovering from a fall at a fund-raiser that resulted in a concussion and a broken rib. Dianne Feinstein, 89 and suffering from shingles, has barely been in the Senate this year. The Judiciary Committee she is supposed to sit on can’t advance judicial nominations to keep pace with the way Donald Trump and McConnell reshaped the federal courts; their handiwork is visible in the horrible abortion rulings being handed down. Chuck Grassley, 89, had a fall and a hip replacement this winter and has already filed to run in 2028; at the end of that term, he’d be 101.

Next week, an American rendition of King Lear opens with an Australian in the lead role:

The $1.6 billion Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation case against Fox News goes on trial in Delaware Monday. At long last, after a shameless career built on spreading poisonous lies about everything from climate to Covid to Trump’s stolen election blather, King Rupert, as Vanity Fair calls him, may be losing dominion over his dominion because of Dominion.

The Australian immigrant who ran anti-immigrant news organizations and let Fox News thrive on the racist “birther” lie about Barack Obama reaped billions by putting Americans at one another’s throat.

It’s hard for a journalist to argue that a news organization should be penalized, but Fox News isn’t a news organization. It’s a greedy business that freaked out when some Fox News reporters actually told the truth about Trump’s lies, and then it proceeded to broadcast the lies.

It would be swell to see someone held accountable for the grotesque deceptions that corroded our democracy and sparked the Jan. 6 insurrection. Just as social media companies torqued their algorithms to spin up conflict and profits, Murdoch torqued the news, giving viewers what they wanted to hear and blinding them to the truth.

Thanks to the despicable likes of Murdoch and Trump, America is now “this great stage of fools,” in Lear’s phrase, howling at the storm.

Murdoch and Trump may claim that they are "more sinned against than sinning," but that's just another lie.

Image: Shakespeare Birthplace Trust


Cap said...

"Dianne Feinstein, 89 and suffering from shingles, has barely been in the Senate this year." Shingles, my ass. Feinstein has been suffering from dementia for at least two years and likely no longer has capacity. This is the worst-kept secret in DC.

The average age of US senators is now older than the average age of Soviet politburo members in the Brezhnev era. As for Murdoch (92) and Trump (76), they should have been turned out to pasture long ago. Biden (80) and Pelosi (83) too. We wouldn't let any of them fly a commercial aircraft, yet they're still fit to govern?! Go do something useful, like Carter did.

Owen Gray said...

Contrary to dogma, Cap, there is life after politics.

jrkrideau said...

A year or so ago I did a check about the age of US reps vs Cdn MPs. There was not a huge difference. In both cases, a mean == 55 and sd == 10 or thereabout, I don't have the figures any more so I am going from memory. I don't remember if I looked at the US Senate.

The shocking thing seemed to be that the US leadership was much, much, older.
We do not seem to have Ministers or even senior MPs over 80.

Owen Gray said...

There are some who maintain that age is not an indicator of anything, jrk. But given what's been happening in Tennessee, you have to wonder.

Anonymous said...

Call me ageist and all that, but the US gerontocracy is getting ridiculous and hindering the next generation of leadership, that for the most part is getting sidelined. The good news is that a whole new generation is gathering steam and are fed up with the inertia brought on by years of corruption and status quo, particularly with the entirely preventable gun mass murders. In the meantime, talented leaders such as Senator Amy Klobochar (sic), Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris are certainly left on the periphery of politics while the Trumps, Feinsteins and stupid MTG etc consume all of the oxygen. To me the worst of the bunch is Chuck Schumer, the useless empty suit on the senate. All of these older folks need to retire. BC Waterboy.

Owen Gray said...

You can see the movement building, waterboy. Like Bob Dylan, the young want the old to get out of the way.

Northern PoV said...

Perhaps they've taken Dylan to heart:

"Do not go gentle into that good night
Rage, rage against the dying of the light"

Sad to think all these young Canadian whippersnappers (Jr. & Lil'PP for example) are making most of the same mistakes as the elder class to our south.

Owen Gray said...

Ah, yes, the other Dylan, PoV -- Thomas.