It's a brave new world. Will the traditional media take note? by @DavidOAtkins

It's a brave new world. Will the media take note?

by David Atkins

Dave Dayen at FDL:

I didn’t think we had reached the point in America where providing free contraception would be seen as a risky political maneuver, but here we are.

Brian Beutler at TPM:

It’s shaping up to be spring 2011 redux. Just under a year ago, Republicans — euphoric after a midterm election landslide, and overzealous in their interpretation of their mandate — passed a budget that called for phasing out Medicare over the coming years and replacing it with a subsidized private insurance system for newly eligible seniors.

The backlash was ugly. But Republicans seem to have forgotten how poisonous that vote really was, and remains…because they’re poised to do it again. This time they’re signaling they’ll move ahead, with a modified plan — one that, though less radical, would still fundamentally remake and roll back one of the country’s most popular and enduring safety net programs.

Joan McCarter at DKos:

Still itching for a fight, some congressional Republicans want to take the December debacle of their resistance to middle class tax cuts, and anything that might help the economy and thus President Obama's reelection, well into this year, while others recognize the PR disaster that would mean for them.

Forget all the other insanity this year and simply focus on this: Republicans are poised to take a stand this year against contraception, Medicare, and middle class tax cuts. If that doesn't seem bizarre to you, step back, and focus your lens out to the past 40 years of American politics. Try to picture those stances being taken openly by a majority of Republicans during, say, the first Bush Administration in 1989. It's hard to fathom. That Republican Party was alive and well only 20 years ago.

And yet the only people seeming to ring major alarm bells about it are dirty hippie liberal bloggers unworthy of even the basest journalistic cocktail party.

The sole arbiter of seriousness in mainstream journalism today is lack of opposition to the neoliberal/neoconservative global dominance of free-flowing capital and its biggest holders. Threatening to end Medicare, middle-class tax cuts and contraception? No problem--that's just politics as usual. But threatening even mild forms of protectionism, or even the slightest corrections to the behavior of out-of-control capital markets? That's scary crazy talk, whether it's coming from Tea Partiers or Occupiers.

This perhaps more than anything else is the most destructive legacy of the dominance of the neoliberal paradigm: there is no right-wing extremism that will cause the press to even bat an eye unless it threatens the ability of the holders of capital to do whatever they please with it on a global scale. The occasional sex scandal or tabloid sensationalism will still sell well enough to hound a few Anthony Weiners out of office. But beyond that, anything goes.

As long as no one gets in the way of the almighty bond markets, the Very Serious People couldn't care less. It's not like they're middle class, need Medicare, or can't get their contraceptives from overseas. So why worry?