Outraged rants are not exactly in short supply on cable TV these days. The thing that makes yesterday’s Dylan Ratigan rant worthy of note is that unlike most famous rants of recent memory, it isn’t pandering to one side in a tribalist right-left cable TV-packaged slapfest. Most such outbursts merely string together a list of partisan talking points and crank up the volume in a manner guaranteed to delight one side and infuriate the other. Ratigan’s rant made everyone uncomfortable.
Watch the Democratic and Republican operatives grow increasingly uncomfortable as Ratigan veers out of their comfort zone. Wealth extraction? Tax havens? Draining the country dry? It isn’t his indignation that takes them off guard, they’re on cable TV every day. They know the drill. It’s the things he is talking about that make them so profoundly nervous.
This chart from a must-read article by Kevin Drum is a graphic representation of what Ratigan is talking about, a manifestly obvious fact that nobody on cable TV or from either party wants to discuss:
We’re in a class war. The rich are getting wealthy at the expense of everyone else, raping and pillaging both the economy and the middle class. Things continue to get better for them as they get worse for you, and both parties are complicit in making that happen.
The tribal left-right battles are manufactured to make sure the participants don’t notice that. As long as they’re firing at each other, rank and file partisans are guaranteed to shoot past the true architects of our current economic malaise.
Ratigan’s rant did not pander to his audience with cheap talking points that reinforce tribalist divisions — as well as the status quo. Instead he made everyone profoundly agitated by speaking the hard truths that throw the whole game board up in the air and scatter the playing pieces on the ground.
Watch the Democratic and Republican operatives quickly scramble to restore order and resume their scripted partisan finger-pointing. They literally do not have the ability to process things in any other way.