Unfortunately, I’m afraid that this MeFi comment is right on target. The heart of the matter:
You may scoff at the stupidity of “death panels”. You may laugh and criticize in a thousand ways the stupid idiotic memes propagated by the right wing forces. But it is you who is missing the point. You are not getting it. Of course the memes are stupid – but that is the point. You get no brownie points for spotting the obvious absurdities. You are missing the point.
The point is to so flood the political discourse with stupidity, that it lowers the IQ of the debate across the board. THAT IS INTENTIONAL. Why?
It bogs down the thinkers – by depriving the thinker – of the very tools which give him/her an edge. When even simple facts are in dispute, when the absurdity of the claims is so huge, it reaches a critical mass – and intelligent discourse is impossible. All the intelligence in the world won’t help, because the discourse is not amenable to the tools of intelligence. Notable example: the Barney Frank controversy re: “dining room table”. People here were crowing on behalf of BF. I took a different view – you are missing the point. Barney Frank lost. How? He was sidetracked. His intelligence was beside the point, because the discourse did not lend itself to intelligent debate – and he was reduced to snark, reduced to the level of insult – exactly what was wanted. He lost. Time was wasted, energy was drained, progress was stopped. Instead of discussing details of implementation, he had to address a dining table. A sick and dying patient was waiting – do you think he’d be more gratified to hear about the dining table, or details about how to pay for his treatment?
God, that’s depressing.