June 9, 2010

Those Darned 'Special Interests'

I'd love to put together a montage of liberals, Democrats and progressives complaining about or assailing the special interests that they are fighting. Okay, maybe not.  It would drive me batty.  It must be uttered in a sound bite a dozen times a day.  I'm actually getting sick of hearing those two words in sequence.  Most often they don't name the special interests because a fictionalized demon works better than a named one.  The mind makes an unknown more sinister than reality and they rely on our imaginations to do the dirty work and then come onside with them.

Who are the special interests?  There are loads of them like big oil, big banks, big insurance, big medicine...basically any 'big' industry.  Do they have special interests?  Of course they do.  So do you and I.  At it's core, it turns out everyone is a special interest because as liberals put it, everyone is special.  Which brings me to another point.

If we want to talk about special interests aren't these groups special interests as well: big labor unions (SEIU, AFL-CIO, teamsters, teachers etc.),  pro-choice groups, GLBT groups, ACLU, anti-war activists like Code Pink?  You get the picture.  It's just another example of talking points that aren't being called out by the media.

It's awfully easy to rail against corporate fat cats but has any Democrat ever been asked what those special interests are nefariously trying to do?  That's where their talking points start to fall apart, even if they have a pat answer for them, I bet it's vague and uninsightful.

Here's another question - how do you know that the interests of big oil for example are diametrically opposed to that of the American people?  Aren't they at least somewhat aligned?  We need oil as cheaply as possible, they want to supply it as cheaply as possible.  We want it done safely, they don't want a PR nightmare a la BP. 

See, everything isn't so cut and dry.  When you have the opportunity at a town hall or a press conference, call them out when they say 'special interests'.  Who are they? What do they want?  Why is that wrong? Where is your proof?

Then watch the stammering start.

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