I was driving to work the other day when I heard Glenn Beck on the radio going on and on about how Obama's trip to India was going to coast $200 Million dollars a day. He was to travel with 3,000 people and 34 US Navy warships would be diverted to protect his entourage.
I'm sure some of y'all heard it, for it went all over the news for some time. This meme was picked up by Michelle Bachmann, a sitting member of congress, as well as Rush Limbaugh and a host of other right-wing talk radio folks and bloggers.
No one ever fact-checked this information. Because if they had done so, they would have found out that it isn't true.
The only thing they got remotely right was that the President was, in fact, visiting India. They are a huge trading partner and strategic ally. In the international status of realpolitik, we're going to need them to balance an economically and culturally rising China. But you won't hear any of that.
You can't unring a bell, and there will be millions of people all over this country that think President Obama just blew $2 Billion dollars worth of taxpayer money, and put the lives of Secret Service and military personell in harms way to go on vacation.
This is all land-of-make-believe stuff. It. Is. Not. Real. Repeating over and over again that it is real is nothing more than lying. But why should these individuals care? No one ever challenges their credibility, because doing so might lead to charges of "bias."
People can scream "Credibility Gap" all they want to about the right-wing, and it doesn't matter. Why?
Because the narrative being employed here has been so long-running, and is so deep and ingrained, that information about this President is not considered on a basis of credibility. The accuracy of information is judged solely on how such information affects the perception of the President.
Ergo: If the information makes the President look bad, the information is true. If the information makes the President look good, that information is untrue. The veracity, truth or factual nature of the information no longer matters. The only thing that matters is what the political goals the information will accomplish.
This is leading us to a bad, bad place.