She Committed No Wrong—So Why Did Melissa Harris-Perry Apologize to Mitt Romney’s Family?

Only liberals and progressives feel compelled to take the high road, never conservatives.

The lie that is the myth of the “liberal media” is exposed again.

Martin Bashir was fired from his show on MSNBC for telling the truth about Sarah Palin’s gross and disgusting ahistorical and offensive comparison of “Obamacare” to black chattel slavery.

MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry has suffered a week of heckling criticism from conservatives and the Right-wing noise machine because one of her guests made an observation about how seemingly out of place Mitt Romney’s adopted black grandchild is in the sea of waspy Whiteness that is the Romney clan.

Moreover, the brief discussion of Romney’s adopted grandchild was benign. No one pointed out the reasonable (and obvious) questions that could be asked about why a family of white Mormons, who are among their religion’s “elect” and elite families, would adopt a person of color when black people are supposedly stained by the Curse of Ham and not allowed (until a recent “revelation”) access to white Mormon heaven? Nor did anyone highlight how the racial diversity in the one time Republican Party presidential nominee’s family is seemingly at odds with the Tea Party GOP’s white identity politics of racial resentment.

In the United States, politician’s families are supposedly “off limits” for sniping and dart throwing by one’s ideological foes. Of course, this is not true. Obama’s family and children have suffered vicious racial taunts and insults from conservatives and their media apparatus. The Clinton family was also not considered as being on neutral ground and above the political fray.

Apparently, the above rules of decency only apply to conservatives. From the “War on Christmas”, to the myth of the “liberal media”, and a belief in “reverse racism” and other assorted fictions, the Right-wing has created an alternative reality where “good people” like them, i.e. white conservatives, are perennial victims in post civil rights era America. Such a crippling persistent state of unfairness and oppression extends upward from the rank-and-file low information Fox News viewer, to their heroes and darlings such as Sarah Palin and Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson, and even to the Romney clan, the Kochs, and Rupert Murdoch.

I have little use for the pop psychology offered up on daytime television by people such as Dr. Phil or Oprah. However, I did take away two gems of knowledge and wisdom from their respective shows that could be of use in understanding the need by “progressives” and “liberals” to always apologize for the purpose of soothing Right-wingers’ supposedly hurt feelings.

One, we teach people how to treat us. Two, people will tell and show you who they really are. Very often nice people are very naive and stupid in how they do not apply such rules in their lives. Thus, they perpetuate the conditions of their own abuse. To point. The Republican Party uses political thuggery and bullying to get its way. Like all bullies, they then cry and complain that they are the real victims when their former prey stands up to them.

In this scenario, the Republican Party is the equivalent of a domestic batterer who beats the hell out of their partners or other family members. The victim stands up for him or herself and retaliates in self-defense. The domestic abuser is shocked and hurt by this defiance. Somehow they imagine themselves as being abused, and then try to convince the police of said “fact”.

And guess who gets to spend the night in jail as the abuser gins of some manufactured tears and halting breath as they explain to anyone who will listen that they are the “real victim” in the relationship?

The Democratic Party, its media spokespeople and personalities, as well as many folks who identify as “liberals” or “progressives” have taught Republicans that it is okay to mistreat them. A broken government and political circus on basic matters such as the debt ceiling, extending unemployment benefits, and other related matters are the result of a codependent, political Stockholm Syndrome-like, abusive relationship between Republicans and Democrats. The latter keeps trying to get things done and to have a good relationship; the former hates the very idea of government, and the country’s first black president becomes the focus of their defiance.

Professional wrestling is one of the most illuminating and sharp frameworks for understanding American political culture. Professional wrestling is scripted theater where the outcomes of a given match are, for the most part, predetermined. In the language of professional wrestling the “loser” has to do what is called “the job”. There are many ways to lose and retain credibility. A great loss can even propel a wrestler’s career forward (see Steve Austin’s legendary “I quit” match against Brett Hart). A pattern of “jobbing” can also signal the end of a person’s wrestling career or that their time with a given promotion is coming to an end.

Doing the job properly is an art; it is essential to the business and spectacle that is professional wrestling.

I have no doubt that Melissa Harris-Perry’s apology to the Romney family was sincere. I doubt that Melissa Harris-Perry would have apologized if she did not want to do so.

Her apology was also great television. It was also practical. In the language of pro wrestling, Harris-Perry had to “do the job” in order to move past this distraction so that she could go on to other far more important discussions/matches.

Melissa’s doing the job was also good business for all parties involved. Now, the question is will those who run the show (i.e. “hold the book” and run the “territory” in professional language speak) at MSNBC realize the great storyline and mileage they could get out of her doing the job for Romney?

Some suggestions. Melissa Harris-Perry could talk about her family, do a show about race and Mormonism, or have a special on her family’s genealogy.

As a point of comparison, the white trash Duck Dynasty human zoo was able to leverage their faux-controversy about racism and homophobia for big bucks. A&E will now have more viewers for Duck Dynasty–not fewer. Is MSNBC that smart?

Do help me understand. I see no substantive offense by anything said or done by Melissa Harris-Perry, or her guests, to the Romney clan. Why do liberals and progressive so embrace taking the “high road” and being “classy” when their opposition has no such limits or conscience?

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Source: Alternet