Dis Coarse Discourse, Pivotal Moments Dept. 2
The Washington press corps loves to talk about the “pivot.”
They have a fanciful notion that a candidate can be one person during primary campaigns and turn into someone else, or “pivot,” during a general election campaign. They are waiting anxiously for Donald Trump to pivot, to become “more presidential” (whatever the hell that is–maybe refraining from insulting peoples, cultures, races, and communities for a day or so, maybe not threatening to rain death on foreign peoples as causally as others discuss baseball scores, maybe just not wearing baseball caps indoors–who can say what they mean?).
We recall how well the “pivot” worked for Mitt “Etch-a-Sketch” Romney and John “McMaverick” McCain.
The notion of the pivot highlights the ultimate hollowness of a certain style of political reportage, one that holds no truck with substance. Rather, it believes that strategy is not just everything, it’s the only thing. They care not that somebody’s drugging the race horses and bribing the jockeys, so long as the horse race is exciting. Hell, they’ll quite happily drug the horses and bribe the jockeys themselves if it makes the race more exciting.
They also clearly believe that the voting public is incapable of remembering anything that a politician said or did prior to the most recent pivot. Furthermore, and this is the truly craven part, even as they pat themselves on the back for their “journalistic excellence,” they forsake–nay, they flee–their journalistic responsibility to remind the polity that what some politician said or did yesterday directly contradicts what he or she did or said today.
The true noxiousness of the narrative of the pivot, though, is that it reveals empty souls, souls with no substance and no values, souls which believe only in appearances, which eschew fact, which pay no attention to the men and women behind the curtain.
I don’t have any secret methods for identifying who these “journalists” are other than paying attention to the discourse and reading Driftglass, who specializes in analyzing dis coarse discourse, but a good starting point would be a list of the “journalists” who most frequently appear on the Sunday talk shows.
June 16, 2016 at 4:11 pm
“Pivot” is used for everything. Obama was always pivoting to one thing or another. The US military is pivoting to the South East Pacific to confront China. Or it’s pivoting from worldwide special operations to fighting big wars with big forces. Whatever the pivot is to, you can always be sure though, it won’t be of any benefit to the average American.
At the root of it, too, is the fact the Washington press corps is, collectively, pretty crappy at writing so they copy each other relentlessly.
June 16, 2016 at 4:40 pm
In other words, the minds of the Washington press corps are constantly spinning . . . .