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The Apparat
March 19, 2004 10:58 AM   Subscribe

The Apparat: George W. Bush's back-door political machine -- "It's anti-democratic, anti-Constitutional, and is working to create a one-party America"

Consider this article from Media Transparency regarding how "hundreds of tax-exempt organizations of the far right have been exploiting the twilight zone of campaign and IRS regulations for three decades -- receiving billions of dollars in grants and contributions to wage ideo-political warfare for far-right ideas, causes, and Republican candidates."

Might it already be too late to stop this juggernaut?
posted by mooncrow (34 comments total)

 
Damn! Long article with far more information than I can digest in one sitting but more than enough to call the entire Republican party a bunch of lying crooks.

Its not too late to stop them. But it will mean more than blogging about the election, it'll mean getting up and going out to get people to vote.

Its truly frightening to see just how focused and driven by hate and corruption the right is.
posted by fenriq at 11:51 AM on March 19, 2004


I find it extremely hard to believe that this kind of behavior only happens to a large extent on behalf of the Republican party.

My guess is that if there's a loophole, both sides know damn well about it, and both are exploiting it as much as they can.
posted by rocketman at 11:56 AM on March 19, 2004


Why no mention of this guy? If the Left really wants to nail the right-wing attack machine, they should stop harping on crusty old Scaife and point to this simple fact: One of Bush's biggest and most powerful supporters is a bizarre cult leader whose values run contrary to most Americans'.

Ahmanson and Scaife aren't going to shock most voters. But I'm talking about White House officials and powerful Republicans openly in the pocket of an anti-Christian, anti-gay, anti-American demagogue best known for stealing people's children in the '70s.

Oh, and he does business with North Korea, and is a recipient of abstinence-only money -- the kind of back-door grant this article is talking about.

So cheer up, it's never too late to let people in on just how corrupt the Bush Administration and its backers are. I'm trying to get Howard Stern interested.

Hope I'm not threadjacking.
posted by inksyndicate at 11:56 AM on March 19, 2004


Meanwhile, Bush's campaign store is selling clothing from Burma, even though Bush banned Burma's products from being sold in the U.S.
posted by homunculus at 12:53 PM on March 19, 2004


Kerry is still going to lose because he's a Yankee.
posted by kablam at 2:03 PM on March 19, 2004


My guess is that if there's a loophole, both sides know damn well about it, and both are exploiting it as much as they can.

Well, I guess it depends on who writes the loophole, doesn't it? The way new legislations are being written, they amend earlier laws, replacing key words here and there, which can serve a direct purpose, though it may not be easily discernable to the poor shlub trying to interpret it.

Never mind that that's their job.

And no, I don't think that the Democrats are above writing in such loopholes, and exploiting it themselves, they just haven't had as much opportunity in the last decade.
posted by Busithoth at 2:13 PM on March 19, 2004


Might it already be too late to stop this juggernaut?

If you're referring to the relentless parade of "Bush is baaaad" posts, then yes, I'm afraid it is too late.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:20 PM on March 19, 2004


dude.

nobody cares.

republicans think this sort of thing is "far out."
posted by tsarfan at 2:41 PM on March 19, 2004


i've got them subterannean baghdad blues:

Hey Mister President,
messing up the pig pen
Better watch out
Cause you know you're never gonna win
When you tell us all the time
that your lies were always true -
If you're gonna keep on singing
Better learn a better tune.

You sang:

Don't care
Be fair
Don't share
Medicare -

Look straight
It's fate
Nominate
Murdercate -

Iraq
Chirac
Messing up our
Lilacs -
Better sign quick
Before this offer passes by,
Don't read the fine print;
You can trust the government.

Now I've been up and down
Your twisted rodeo;
I don't need a weatherman
To know which way the wind blows.
posted by kaibutsu at 2:42 PM on March 19, 2004


rocketman - My guess is that if there's a loophole, both sides know damn well about it, and both are exploiting it as much as they can.

You know, I've just spent two hours of my life doing a variety of Google searches trying to find a Democratic equivalent to the Apparat, and I'm not finding JackShit. Rather than just claim that the Democrats are doing it too, why don't you, or any RNC apologist, just pony up some proof? If its really that big a loophole, then obviously the proof of Democratic malfeasance can't be that hard to find, for those oh so better versed in political reality than myself.

Or maybe we shouldn't care about the manipulation of our democracy because this is just a "Bush is baaaad" post. After all, if someone smacks you down and rapes you up the butt, its only the "gay agenda" that caused it right? pardonyou? What you've posted here is the worst of apologetics. You blame people concerned over the loss of fair democracy, because they have an agenda on MetaFilter, and excuse those whose agenda is flaunting the law. That's pathetic, and shows you to be the true Republican toadie you claim not to be.
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:19 PM on March 19, 2004


You know, I've just spent two hours of my life doing a variety of Google searches trying to find a Democratic equivalent to the Apparat, and I'm not finding JackShit

So if Google can't find it, it doesn't exist?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 3:26 PM on March 19, 2004


Okay, you tell us where to find it.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 3:32 PM on March 19, 2004


I find it extremely hard to believe that this kind of behavior only happens to a large extent on behalf of the Republican party.

One suggestion: Stop sniffing the rocket fuel and start smelling the coffee.
posted by Bag Man at 3:34 PM on March 19, 2004


Ignatius, I'm not saying they do exist... Just seems like a lame argument, that if you can't find it via Google, then it must not exist.

There are still a lot of groups and organizations that do not have websites, especially if they are doing such diabolical things.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 3:36 PM on March 19, 2004


Ignatius, I'm not saying they do exist.

Okay, then.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 3:43 PM on March 19, 2004


No, Steve, the lame argument is that since one side is provably doing it, then the other must be too. Evidence. You do know what that is don't you? That's all I was trying to find. I made no claim, other than I couldn't find any evidence to support the claim exposed before me. So, if you have evidence to support the claim that both parties are at fault here, present it. If not, then the lameness present is your weak attempt to show that something probably exists even though the most utile engine for finding it fails. Sounds like a WMD hunt to me, alluding to the fact that something can't be found, as if that's evidence of its existance.

That's just sad, Steve. Surely you can come up with better?
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:46 PM on March 19, 2004


And for the record, Steve@apologies, political candidates have to declare where their funding comes from. That's how MT was able to document the Apparat. If the DNC, or Democratic candidates are benefiting from such funds, why haven't Rove's minions been all over it? Why can't records be found online?

I will happily admit that the Democrats are as bad as the Republicans at garnering improper campaign funds ... as soon as I'm shown that they are.
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:55 PM on March 19, 2004


The overtness of the Apparat is appalling, its as if they don't care if they get caught stealing all the cookies from the cookie jar. Are they stupid or do they assume everyone else is stupid?

homunculus, selling illegal goods is just another stupid and easily avoided clusterfuck by the Bush camp. And shows just how little regard they have for the law.

On Preview: Wulfgar!, you rock! Well said and well defended!
posted by fenriq at 4:09 PM on March 19, 2004


Are they stupid or do they assume everyone else is stupid?

No, just willfully obtuse and mildly predisposed to fantasy. See steve's comments above.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 4:13 PM on March 19, 2004


From the linked article:

Much of what has ensued is reminiscent of Richard Nixon's infamous "plumbers" unit, the dirty-tricks squad that operated out of the White House that destroyed his presidency.

The opening salvo of the 2004 plumbing season was to distribute photographs faked to show Jane Fonda and Kerry ostensibly appearing at the same peace rally.

Another mudslinging campaign was designed to entrap Kerry in a fabricated sex scandal. It began with a planted "story" on the Drudge Report, designed to be picked up by the British press, with the intention that it would "bounce back" into the American media. Ironically, the US media wouldn't touch the story, but neither did it expose the right's failed methods.

As if on cue, a bevy of conservative-front columnists from the Washington Post to the Champaign News-Gazette opened a coordinated attack against Kerry and his key supporters.

Leading the way was a website operated by the Heritage Foundation, Townhall.com, which prominently displays the work of the venomous Ann Coulter.

Coulter had earlier upbraided former Senator Max Cleland of Georgia, a war hero and paraplegic who lost three limbs in the Vietnam War.

Cleland had committed the sin (to Coulter) of publicly questioning the military record of George W. Bush. Coulter attacked with characteristic malice and hyperbole. She wrote that Cleland was "lucky" to have had his limbs blown off. She went on to assault liberals who "have suddenly become jock-sniffers for war veterans."

Cleland was already aware of how the right's attack machine works. He had lost his Senate seat in Georgia in 2002 after the Republicans ran ads juxtaposing his face with those of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.

Also, the chairman of the GOP faxed doctored Congressional testimony to the press to create the false impression that Wesley Clark had supported the Iraqi war.

A "tidal wave of sewage," indeed.


I'm just curious. You Republicans....are you proud of this kind of noble behavior on your behalf?

If you're referring to the relentless parade of "Bush is baaaad" posts, then yes, I'm afraid it is too late.

So true. Sorry. We keep forgetting there are those who fear criticism in a democracy (or who just want the criticism to just go away because the criticism is valid).

Is there something like the "United Appeal for the Politically Sensitive" to which we can contribute to help these folks? Isn't there some way to get American flag decals pasted all over MetaFilter's front page to REALLY make cogent political and philosophical points, and to give our friends on the right the soft, bland, milky- warm kind of blog they need?
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 4:31 PM on March 19, 2004


I'm not Kerry's no. 1 fan or anything but, damn, I'm going to vote for him. I have no desire to live in a place where we all have to obey made-up invisible people who live in the sky and transmit their thought through the leading CEOs.
posted by maggie at 4:55 PM on March 19, 2004


You know, I've just spent two hours of my life doing a variety of Google searches trying to find a Democratic equivalent to the Apparat, and I'm not finding JackShit.

That just proves how effective the Democratic conspiracy is!
posted by kindall at 5:20 PM on March 19, 2004


So true. Sorry. We keep forgetting there are those who fear criticism in a democracy (or who just want the criticism to just go away because the criticism is valid).

Woah there, turbo. Even you have to admit that the concetration on certain subjects seems a bit. . . overexposed. I personally don't mind a Bush is bad thread, but could we, say, store up all the links over a day or two and just release them in one batch? It's like if ever day, there was two or three posts about kittens. Everyone of them could be a great thread in their own right, but I think metafilter would be better if the best of the best of those links were saved and released together.

And because of those who disagree with you and make fun of the thread, doesn't mean you should make fun of them. But then, I'm a softy and would rather come to a consensus with my enemies rather than berate them.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 7:30 PM on March 19, 2004


I have no desire to live in a place where we all have to obey made-up invisible people who live in the sky and transmit their thought through the leading CEOs. - maggie

Amen, sister. ;)


Kerry is still going to lose because he's a Yankee. -- kablam


Normally, I'd agree. Admitted Yankees haven't done well in national elections of late. But I think the theocracy of the current regime will actually motivate people to replace the current yankee with a new yankee.

I'll also throw out another wild bet...I bet that the current theocracy scares the poop out of most rational Christians...and that they will turn away from the fundies...and that those very voters could swing the election to Kerry.
posted by dejah420 at 8:23 PM on March 19, 2004


After a couple of minutes Googling... Democratic 527s. 527 is the tax code these groups fall under and both sides make use of them, in fact the Republicans/Rove even used them to take out one of their own, McCain when he was campaigning against Bush.
posted by zeoslap at 2:02 AM on March 20, 2004


"Might it already be too late to stop this juggernaut?" - Yesss, yessss, too late, too late my preshussss, much too late......run and hide, nasty little democratic hobbits preshussss, yes run and hide in nasty little holeses in the ground!
posted by troutfishing at 7:15 AM on March 20, 2004


Well, this little hobbit isn't going to run and hide. I'm sick of this bullshit.

For anyone who needs a bit more background to this story, the genesis of this republican attack machine began with the Powell Memo, which delineated a strategy - over 30 years ago - that has been largely implemented. The Democrats are now, belatedly, playing catch up. And there's a hell of a lot of catch up to do. Let's get crackin' boys and girls.

"There are still a lot of groups and organizations that do not have websites, especially if they are doing such diabolical things." posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 3:36 PM PST on March 19 - Why look for conspiracies so well hidden that one can find virtually no trace of them, whatsoever? There are numerous sprawling, sloppy, arrogant, lawless, loose conspiracies - with abundant empirical evidence attesting to their existence - out there : all republican.
posted by troutfishing at 7:23 AM on March 20, 2004


Well, I should have said there - "...the vast majority are republican", to be strictly accurate.
posted by troutfishing at 7:26 AM on March 20, 2004


The day those 527s have people planted in newspapers, magazines, and tv outlets all over the country--or own those outlets--is the day they'll start to have the influence the Repub attack dogs/orgs do.
posted by amberglow at 8:32 AM on March 20, 2004


It's good to see that progressives and liberals are, at long last, beginning to understand the nature of the Civil Cold War in which the Right has been engaged for three decades. In general, the Left fights for consensus, assuming that its political opponents are doing the same. The Right, assuming no such thing, fights to destroy the Left.
posted by Ty Webb at 11:15 AM on March 20, 2004


this same principle with a twist: World Journalism Institute
posted by amberglow at 12:39 PM on March 20, 2004


Let's change things the Republican way!

A hit list of the worst offenders from the right wing crazies?

1)Rush Limbaugh
2)Ann Coulter
3)Man, this could be a looong list!

Naaa! We're better than them, let's just ridicule and antagonize the willfully ignorant fundies and Defenders Of All Things Dubya with never ending posts on the evils of their heroes and let them sputter trying to defend the indefensible.
posted by nofundy at 4:19 PM on March 20, 2004


Thanks for the great responses. Your debate and lively exchange give me hope.
posted by mooncrow at 7:52 PM on March 20, 2004


It's like if ever day, there was two or three posts about kittens. Everyone of them could be a great thread in their own right, but I think metafilter would be better if the best of the best of those links were saved and released together.


Beautiful, I wish I weren't so busy or I'd write something like that for MeFi.
posted by rudyfink at 4:51 PM on March 22, 2004


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