sym·bi·o·sis [sim-bee-oh-sis, -bahy-] –noun, 1. Biology. a. the living together of two dissimilar organisms, as in mutualism, commensalism, amensalism, or parasitism. 2. Psychiatry. a relationship between two people in which each person is dependent upon and receives reinforcement, whether beneficial or detrimental, from the other. 3. Psychoanalysis. the relationship between an infant and its mother in which the infant is dependent on the mother both physically and emotionally. 4. any interdependent or mutually beneficial relationship between two persons, groups, etc.
There are many examples of symbiosis in the natural world. There's the crocodile bird that eats parasites on the skin of the croc, and in turn the croc doesn't eat the bird. There's the clown fish which protects sea anemones from predators, and in turn the anemone provides shelter to the clown fish from its predators. There's the e-coli bacteria in our digestive tract that help us digest our food, while we provide them with a place to live and food to eat.
Within politics there are symbiotic relationships as well. The most obvious one is between political parties and news organizations.
The various political machines provide sensationlist fodder to the news organizations, and the news organizations provide an outlet for their talking points. This has served the Republicans well over the last number of years as political operatives essentially wrote the stories that the news reported. It seemed like the TV news channels never bothered to do any research. They never called Republicans on their outlandish assertions. They never verified the stories were true. If any dared step out of line, then they were dealt with (think: Dan Rather and the planted false documents). In turn, TV News became a profit center.
Slowly, however, the tables are turning. The news organizations are beginning to realize that they need to unhitch their wagon from the Republicans. With the Republicans increasingly becoming perona non grata within the populist political arena, the relationship has turned sour. We are seeing the news go after Republicans (and their apologists in talk radio) and call them on their bullshit more and more. A perfect example of this is this clip from Hardball (which Raine posted in the comments and on the board yesterday):
Two years ago you would never see a Republican talking point questioned. They would have let the "nazi" part slide, and discussed why Obama was "appeasing" Hamas. Now?... now they are being asked to put up or shut up. The crocodile has learned to clean itself. Let's hope it remains as self-sufficient when the Democrats take power so that we don't become the thing we've loathed - a parasite providing digestive gas to a fickle host.