In the last post I mentioned Henry Rollins' contention that there is a power higher than the politicians and the pundit class. In this post we'll be asking who has more influence over the people, the pundits or the politicians.
This question has been playing out in America at this very moment. Generally speaking APF pundits spend their time in conflict with their ideological opponents whether they be politicians, celebrities, voters or other pundits. If there is any discord from an ideological familiar, its usually in the interest of the pundit to ignore the issue. It can turn away voters or be used as ammunition or offer comfort to their opponents.
Political realities come into play for those in power from corporate interests and other lobby groups. This can trump the interests of the ordinary voter as personified by the talk radio listener. Pundits have the luxury of not being as directly swayed from these influences.
Ironically its much easier for pundits when their political representatives are out of power. It is at this moment of weakness that pundits are at their most effective. This is because when a party is out of power, by nature they are disjointed. There are many voices offering viewpoints on the course to reclaim power. They can afford to be more principled and hardline because their is no expectation or consequence as their representatives don't have the power to enact those suggestions.
Its all theoretical. Thinktank-ed. A game of rhetoric.
Every so often pundits will dissent from the party line. Its particularly notable when those in power upset their pundit constituency. Whilst it is necessary to revolt against the party to change a wrongheaded course, it also fractures the party's power. Its particularly confusing for voters when the pundit class are divided themselves. The Republicans are facing such a dilemma now with immigration. The right wing pundits and the GOP have not always been together on a united front, notably during the Harriet Miers nomination and the Dubai Ports scandal. This issue has particular impact this time around however as the Republicans are no longer in power.
Below is a sample of the right wing pundit class unhappy with their leaders. Pay particular note to references to Trent Lott, the Republican party's No. 2 in leadership. Senator Lott feeling the pressure has taken to bad mouthing the right wing pundit class, raising their ire.
Listen to Mark Levin mad at the GOP and Smacking down Trent Lott.
Read and Listen to Rush's take on Lott and his slur against talk radio
Listen to Laura Ingraham lay the smackdown on White House spokesperson Tony Snow
Listen to Hugh Hewitt praising Laura's smackdown
Listen to Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin in solidarity against their wrongheaded representatives