This is perhaps getting a bit too recursive, but when Blue Gal reacted to the term "scandal fatigue" in my post yesterday talking about Swopa talking about Swopa talking about Peter Daou, it reminded me of a post from late last year, where I took exception to an earlier "scandal fatigue" formulation by Peter Daou, both in the main post and in the comments.
To recap, Daou basically said that there are so many Republican scandals that they've lost their impact. My rebuttal was that:
A) Prosecutors and juries don't care about the Republican or media spin, and indictments and convictions are kinda hard for the media to not report. Plus they pretty effectively take the guilty or indicted person out of circulation for a while.
B) Each additional scandal may have less impact, but they still add to a great big honking Pile O' Scandal, and contribute to an uneasy feeling that maybe, just maybe, the Republicans are less than honest. Of course, a lot of people will probably just shrug it off as "those damn corrupt politicians at it again" without making party distinctions. Which brings me to my final point.
Swopa was trying to come up with a narrative frame that would tie all Republican actions together, so that everything they do would reinforce that narrative, the way the Republicans frame all Democratic actions in terms of either weakness or flip-flopping/inauthenticity. Frankly, "Republicans have dangerously bad judgment" doesn't really resonate for me, although it certainly can be applied to almost everything they do.
So I asked myself, What are the most distinctive Republican traits in the Bush Era? And I came up with Greed, Lust For Power, Contempt For The Law, and Negligence/Incompetence. Attempting to pull all of this together, my narrative recommendation is something along the lines of "Republicans are selfish. They care more about their own enrichment and power than they do about protecting this country or respecting its laws."
It could use some fine-tuning, but I think the basic structure is sound: Republicans always put their own interests ahead of America's. Hmm, maybe I should just stop there...