Hijacking Conservatism
February 12, 2006 9:31 AM   Subscribe

What unites hardliners like Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, and Rush Limbaugh -- their uncompromisingly conservative take on politics? In a provocative blog post titled Do Bush followers have a political ideology?, Glenn Greenwald persuasively argues otherwise. He believes that the conservative movement -- traditionally against big government, excessive spending, and federal intrusion into the private lives of Americans -- has been hijacked by something much more dangerous: an authoritarian cult of personality, or as Greenwald puts it, "a form of highly emotional mass theater masquerading as political debate."
posted by digaman (136 comments total)

 
A key ingredient to fascism.
posted by filchyboy at 9:33 AM on February 12, 2006


You know what they have in common? Lotsa lotsa $$$$$$$$$$$$$$
posted by billysumday at 9:37 AM on February 12, 2006


I don't know how anyone could burn so many words on something so self-evident.
posted by Kwantsar at 9:39 AM on February 12, 2006


Everybody got it? Dissent, fine; undermining, you're a traitor. Got it? So, all those clowns over at the liberal radio network, we could incarcerate them immediately. Will you have that done, please? Send over the FBI and just put them in chains, because they, you know, they're undermining everything and they don't care, couldn't care less.

-- "Conservative" Bill O'Reilly, June 20, 2005
posted by digaman at 9:39 AM on February 12, 2006


great post!
posted by clubfoote at 9:41 AM on February 12, 2006


I don't know how anyone could burn so many words on something so self-evident.

It is the Bush followers that need to recognize how dramatically they have turned away from their conservative roots.

Hopefully some will be given pause by critiques like this.
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:46 AM on February 12, 2006


Greenwald has been great lately. This piece on the NSA was excellent.

Good post, digaman.
posted by homunculus at 9:48 AM on February 12, 2006


The Trust Gap
posted by homunculus at 9:50 AM on February 12, 2006


Note this description of the "conservative" reaction to Republican true-believer Bob Barr, the former Congressman from Georgia who managed Clinton's impeachment and sponsored the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, when he dared question the legality of Bush's domestic-spying program --

"Are we losing our lodestar, which is the Bill of Rights?" Barr beseeched the several hundred conservatives at the Omni Shoreham in Woodley Park. "Are we in danger of putting allegiance to party ahead of allegiance to principle?"

Barr answered in the affirmative. "Do we truly remain a society that believes that . . . every president must abide by the law of this country?" he posed. "I, as a conservative, say yes. I hope you as conservatives say yes."

But nobody said anything in the deathly quiet audience. Barr merited only polite applause when he finished, and one man, Richard Sorcinelli, booed him loudly. "I can't believe I'm in a conservative hall listening to him say [Bush] is off course trying to defend the United States," Sorcinelli fumed.

posted by digaman at 9:51 AM on February 12, 2006


but this isn't really all that surprising. Why should politics be any different than anything else?
Look, take JFK.
While I have no doubt that many of his supporters were well versed in politics, how many just loved and followed because of the man?
How many people think about the party they support beyond the catch-phrases?
Sure, this may have now expanded into including various pundits, but the fact is that the average person does spend any real time learning a thing about politics and economics.
its not surprising that people like Ann and Bill have picked up on this and decided that fame and fortune are more important than an honest exchange of ideas.
Honest exchange of ideas doesn't put food on the table.
Headlines do.
posted by moleboy at 10:04 AM on February 12, 2006


Yes, moleboy, but saying that you think a certain presidential figure has charisma is not the same as insisting that the President is above the law, has been blessed by God, and that anyone who criticizes his policies should be imprisoned. The former is just an element of modern life in the media age; the latter is something that doesn't even resemble democracy.


COLMES: Are all the American people that don't support him [Bush] dumb?

COULTER: No. I think, as I indicated in my last book, they're traitors.

--Hannity & Colmes, June 23, 2004
posted by digaman at 10:10 AM on February 12, 2006


This " You are either with us, or with the terrorists" mentality has a stranglehold on our society. They keep beating the drums of fear, and those who lack critical thinking skills are willfully exploited. How long do you think it will take before that line of thinking will pervade the NSA...or has it already. It makes me sick to see the pandering that the neocons are getting away with. It really is time for someone to step up to the plate with a new vision, one of tolerance, fairness, and honesty.
posted by lobstah at 10:18 AM on February 12, 2006


If being conservative means being against utopian foreign adventures, as the author states, then why was Andrew Sullivan ever in favor of the Iraq invasion? Or is he partly conservative, partly liberal? Or is he just a dingbat? Or did he used to worship Bush himself, until he came upon a breaking point?
posted by raysmj at 10:22 AM on February 12, 2006


And how do "liberals" respond to this? They try to fight it with Randy Rhodes....
posted by beerbajay at 10:22 AM on February 12, 2006


I agree, digaman, I'm just saying that this is a logical result of the media-lifestyle.
Coulter talking trash and such, speaking angry, outrageous words puts us in a two-choice position.
with us
against us

so, yes, it is breaking down democracy.
but people don't like shades of grey anymmore, it seems.
Its pointless to try and change our little blond spitfire, it has to start with the viewers.
I'm hoping that this whole wiretapping thing, and the fact that people from both sides seem to be angry about it will bring around a bit of change.
You can support a president without making him king.
posted by moleboy at 10:26 AM on February 12, 2006


acctually, that brings up an unfortunate point. We are sort of only given two choices.
Conservative
vs
Liberal
or
Republican
vs
Democrat

Luckily, this does appear to be changing a bit. I know a surprisingly large number of people who are fiscally conservative but socially liberal.
posted by moleboy at 10:27 AM on February 12, 2006


You know, the "blogosphere" would be much better served if people would actually research something before they pull something out of their ass like this.

Something like Pekka Suvanto's Conservatism from the French Revolution to the 1990s perhaps.

Conservatism does mean something and it has a long tradition in that meaning.
posted by jmgorman at 10:28 AM on February 12, 2006


I think the cult of personality/fascism is a bogus explanation. It is about team politics and power. Anything to win.
posted by srboisvert at 10:30 AM on February 12, 2006


moleboy, I work in the media, and the aim of my work is precisely the opposite of the dumbed-down polarization of every issue that you're describing. You're overgeneralizing.

"Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth, and let me remind you they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyranny.

Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed. Their mistaken course stems from false notions, ladies and gentlemen, of equality. Equality, rightly understood as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences; wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism.

Fellow Republicans, it is the cause of Republicanism to resist concentrations of power, private or public, which enforce such conformity and inflict such despotism."

-- Barry Goldwater, 1964
posted by digaman at 10:31 AM on February 12, 2006


jmgorman: Greenwald isn't saying that conservatism doesn't mean anything. He's saying that Bush-supporters aren't conservative.

srboisvert: I think that's true of the pundits. But the grassroots stuff is clearly a cult of personality... encouraged by the pundits.
posted by brundlefly at 10:35 AM on February 12, 2006


digaman, you are right, I am overgeneralizing.
Not ALL media is like this.
Just the stuff that gets noticed.
Maybe I'm just feeling very pessimistic today (we got a ton of snow which always upsets me).

fantastic AuH2O quote, btw.
posted by moleboy at 10:39 AM on February 12, 2006


It is the Bush followers that need to recognize how dramatically they have turned away from their conservative roots

you're assuming that they had conservative roots to begin with. maybe they simply disliked those with darker skin, or less money, or better syntax. or a combination of thereof.
posted by matteo at 10:39 AM on February 12, 2006


Every time I bring this point up to my (rather intelligent) conservative/Republican friends, they clam up. They've never once been able to articulate a response to it. But they still support Bush & Co., still pooh-pooh every allegation and accusation against the administration no matter how clearly grounded in fact, and try to misdirect the discussion by pointing to the looniest people they can find on the Left and acting like the freaks define the entirety of the opposition.

Then they tell me something patronizing, like saying I'm an intelligent guy and a realist, and not a fuzzy-head, and I should be "careful" not to be taken in by the shrill loons on the Left.

Good post, digaman.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:41 AM on February 12, 2006


jmgorman: I think that is the whole point of this post. Conservatism does mean something but that something has less and less to do with why many people support the Republicans and the president
posted by octothorpe at 10:42 AM on February 12, 2006


I've been saying this since shortly after 9/11.

It may be self evident to Kwantsar, but it sure as hell ain't to most Republicans. And it's extraordinarily dangerous. It's not that it's just a cult of personality around Bush. It's not just that Republicans no longer represent any political ideology. It's not just that the modern Republican party is probably the most corrupt in history (or at least in the top 3).

It's that to the modern Republican, a "liberal" (another word which has no meaning, at least to a Republican -- if you don't support Bush, you are liberal) is a traitor.

To 30%-50% of this nation, there is little difference between liberals and terrorists. They're both non-human actors who must be destroyed. Luckily now the rhetoric of war, when it comes to liberals, remains rhetoric. But I wonder how long that will last.

When the Republicans created their propaganda effort called the "liberal media" 30 years ago, they also began the creation of a cult that has a convenient way to eliminate all non-Republican viewpoints. They have a dedicated apparatus to create reality for the Republican audience (in the form of think tanks, AM radio, newspaper, pundits, cable news channels, etc.). They've now signed up millions of people to the Republican version of reality. There are literally millions of Americans who have no idea what Bush's policies indicate he stands for; rather, they believe he stands for whatever their propaganda outlets say he stands for. This apparatus has almost no allegiance to truth; it's only goal is to create a voting base to support the Republican party. If that base comes at a price of extreme dishonest and hatred, so be it. And it does.

That is a recipe for fascism or some other form of Constitution-destroying authoritarianism. At the very least, we are guaranteed to get shitty government out of this party, until it is reclaimed by actual conservatives.

They wield extreme propaganda power. America is living through a very unique and very dangerous time. This is not just politics as usual.
posted by teece at 10:42 AM on February 12, 2006


This is a great point, and a great post. Thanks.
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 10:43 AM on February 12, 2006


They try to fight it with Randy Rhodes...

The solo from 'Crazy Train,' may just save us all after all.
posted by jonmc at 10:45 AM on February 12, 2006


Some conservative writer - I forget who - wrote that President Bush seemed to almost be a Manchurian Candidate, working to discredit real conservatism for a generation to come. He's certainly no kind of conservative that I can recognize. I suggest srboisvert has correctly identified the source of Presient Bush's support, at least amony media and political elites.
posted by mojohand at 10:46 AM on February 12, 2006



Then they tell me something patronizing, like saying I'm an intelligent guy and a realist, and not a fuzzy-head, and I should be "careful" not to be taken in by the shrill loons on the Left.


At that point, a fist to the face would seem appropriate.

I exaggerate, but there's no way in hell any friend of mine would be allowed a moment of patronizing behavior toward me - especially as it regards these subjects.

This brings me to a different point, that whole fairness, honesty-thing is done. Fighting the current crop of conservatives with facts and truth doesn't work. It just doesn't.

So, what's left? How do you (we) fight them? It's a sincere question.
posted by ryanhealy at 10:46 AM on February 12, 2006


moleboy: Ann, Bill and alikes have opinions exactly like everybody else and as opinionist propagate their own ideas ; unlike everybody else they know how to employ rethorical tricks and logical fallacies to obtain guest irritation, to humiliate or minize their points or to make the guest look bad.

They targets guest don't even remotely have their same visibility, their same practice with lawyeresque wordplay. Their guests can't "cut bill mike" at pleasure and are often ask to defend their argument from multiple position in a few words and to defend against arguments of blind faith.

Take, for instance, that quote from O'Reilly

And when he [Durbin] went out there, his intent was to whip up the American public against the Bush detainee policy. That's what his intent was.

This is an O'Reilly opinion, his point of view. He makes clear that no other interpretation of what Durbin says ..go read what Durbin said and you will see how many details O'Reilly consider not worthy.

His intent wasn't to undermine the war effort, because he never even thought about it.
Again he magically knows what his intents are and offers another opinion

He never even thought about it. But by not thinking about it, he made an egregious mistake
Here the inversion : O'R says Durbin didn't want to undermine, but is suggesting Durbin did undermine by mistake

because you must know the difference between dissent from the Iraq war and the war on terror and undermining it.
More opinon, because O'Reilly knows perfectly what the difference is ..and it is ? It is ?? IT IS ???

He doesn't tell ! And then

t. And any American that undermines that war, with our soldiers in the field, or undermines the war on terror, with 3,000 dead on 9-11, is a traitor.

Appeals to emotions (soldiers in field, 9/11) and again the undermine=traitor equation. The difference is still unknown..because he doesn't care to discover if there any, all O'Reilly wants is to reinforce the equation undermine=traitor

Everybody got it? Dissent, fine; undermining, you're a traitor. Got it?

Notice how dissent is forgot..there's no defence of dissenting, just saying "fine" ..all the attack is on "undermining" ..and no suggestion on how to tell dissent from undermining. More pounding on traitor traitor traitor.

So, all those clowns over at the liberal radio network, we could incarcerate them immediately.

An ad hominem equating anybody in "liberal" radio networks as clowns (thus ridicule) with a generalization error.

Send over the FBI and just put them in chains, because they, you know, they're undermining everything and they don't care, couldn't care less

And the final shot, accusation that "liberal" radio networks are traitors and are damaging america.

It's inflammatory opinion designed to inflame and outrage a target mass-audience, yet easily defendable as there is no clear cut accusation against somebody, no defamation (to avoid he said Durbin made a mistake with no intent to harm)

Also this is constantly done in defence of questionable government choice, I would like to see O'Reilly defending Clinton on the grounds he's the president how dare you criticize !
posted by elpapacito at 10:47 AM on February 12, 2006


Coulter, Limbaugh and the like, are much less than they are made out to be. I remember entities like this in high school. These are the kids that are only visible and fashionable because their parents have small town money. They were never nice, and played by rules of the moment, that gave them their perceived edge.

Coulter and Limbaugh are in reality jackals on the edge of conservative society. They are allowed in to feast only because there are leftovers. Those in power want to seem nicer than the jackals they unleash to perform on the political stage. They act out the dark scripts that the powerful write, but don't publicly perform.
posted by Oyéah at 10:48 AM on February 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


wish I could remember who it was, but there was a congressman on NPR on friday talking about something similar on this, on how politics has become more of an us vs them situation, even the internal politics in congress.
Instead of open debate, democrats (being out of power) are excluded from committees, etc (which, he admitted, would be happening in reverse if the dems were in power)
posted by moleboy at 10:52 AM on February 12, 2006


They wield extreme propaganda power. America is living through a very unique and very dangerous time. This is not just politics as usual.

Indeed. Igrew up with the weird stuff in politics. I was nine when Nixon resigned, but I have very vivid memories of it and how it shaped my view that politicians are eventually supposed to, well, do the right thing.

The scary part now is that you can hear the howls of laughter from Washington D.C. and various other places over that kind of ideaology. The right thing now it seems is to always be in control and never, ever, no matter how many puppies you've been filmed kicking or how many babies you've been caught eating, admit that you are wrong about anything. And if you're going to apologize for anything you've done, you may as well just pull out the gun and shoot yourself in head right there on camera.
posted by smallerdemon at 10:52 AM on February 12, 2006


If it's a cult of personality, it's really sad that George W. Bush isn't more personable. Sometimes I actually miss Ronald Reagan, who was somebody I could like personally even as I despised his Presidency.
posted by alumshubby at 10:53 AM on February 12, 2006


elpapacito, doesn't all this imply that liberals simply don't understand how to really work the media and, perhaps, they should be listening to at least some of what Lakoff says in Don't Think Of An Elephant?
posted by moleboy at 10:55 AM on February 12, 2006


Speaking as a non-American observer, it looks to me as if he nailed the situation ... but missed the most important aspect of it: the decay of a vital piece of political infrastructure, namely the concept of the Loyal Opposition.

The Loyal Opposition was a hard-won keystone of the English constitutional settlement, won at the cost of a vicious civil war (one that dwarfed the American civil war -- you didn't lose 10% of your population) and the trial and execution of a King, for crimes against his own people. In the wake of that execution, and the interregnum as a commonwealth, the English political system polarized around two factions, but the critical point of difference from the previous system was that both groups acknowledged that their rivals were basically loyal to the political system itself.

It looks from over here (the UK) as if a large part of the US population has now cut loose from this basic principle, without which democracy is in trouble. Glad I don't live over there ...
posted by cstross at 10:59 AM on February 12, 2006


(insert Hallelujah Chorus)

I'm so glad someone's finally saying this -- maybe people will start to understand. It makes it damn hard for me to describe my political affiliation; I have to resort to "small-r republican" or something, which always needs explanation. Yes, please, let's give the Republican party back to the real republicans. Jeffersonianism is pretty cool if you ask me.
posted by booksandlibretti at 11:00 AM on February 12, 2006


Blame the two party system.

Conservatives have no alternative to supporting Bush. Give conservatives a way to oppose Bush without supporting the Democratic Party and all the savages, degenerates and parasites which are its clients, and I think you'd see a lot less support for Bush.

And it's not like Bush can't deliver from time to time. I don't think that John Kerry would have apponited Sam Alito to the Supreme Court, nor would Al Gore have championed the investment tax relief which has been so important for our economy for the past several years.
posted by MattD at 11:05 AM on February 12, 2006


They act out the dark scripts that the powerful write, but don't publicly perform.
posted by Oyéah at 12:48 PM CST on February 12 [!]


Brilliant.
posted by interrobang at 11:05 AM on February 12, 2006


I'm not suggesting we live in a fascist state. But it is quite clear to anyone who's willing to make an honest appraisal that the driving ethos of governance in the US is shifting steadily toward fascism. It's also quite clear that the "conservative" Republicans are leadign teh way.

I think the cult of personality/fascism is a bogus explanation. It is about team politics and power. Anything to win.

Why would they be mutually exclusive? After all, fascism can be seen as the ultimate expression of "team politics and power".

Similarly, a shift toward fascism is consistent with the loss of teh "loyal opposition". Under a fascist ethos, the concept of a "loyal opposition" is nonsensical. If they oppose, they are by definition disloyal. Given a nuanced understanding of politics, the opposition may be permitted to persist as a way of distracting people from the intolerance of the root ethos of governance.
posted by lodurr at 11:10 AM on February 12, 2006


Democratic Party and all the savages, degenerates and parasites which are its clients, and I think you'd see a lot less support for Bush.

MattD has got the de-humanism thing down pat.
posted by teece at 11:11 AM on February 12, 2006


You forgot Reagan.
posted by b1tr0t at 11:16 AM on February 12, 2006


And for the record -- the two party system is not to blame.

That's a bullshit copout. We've had this system for a couple centuries. It sure be nice to get rid of it, but the absolute abandonment of principles and corruption in the Republican party is the fault of the Republican party.

Duh.
posted by teece at 11:19 AM on February 12, 2006


Conservatives have no alternative to supporting Bush. Give conservatives a way to oppose Bush without supporting the Democratic Party and all the savages, degenerates and parasites which are its clients, and I think you'd see a lot less support for Bush.

There's a way to do it. They're called the primaries.

Of course if you recognized that, it wouldn't give you an opening to randomly attack every single non-Republican on the planet.

Fuck you too, MattD.
posted by I Love Tacos at 11:22 AM on February 12, 2006


by the by, for more news on how fricking corrupt the current republicans are...

Bush and Abramoff met a number of times...
posted by moleboy at 11:37 AM on February 12, 2006




It's absolutely true; take a look at this (DailyKos-hosted) FreeRepublic post from 2000 on the evils of FISA. My, how the times have changed.
posted by greatgefilte at 11:45 AM on February 12, 2006


The word "cult" usually has religious connotations (and, in fact, the cultic Dear Leader worship in N. Korea has historic religious roots and current religious overtones). This religious element is also part of Bush's success as a charismatic figure. As many have pointed out, he is not a tall, affable man. (Well, Sun Myung Moon isn't tall either, but height has always helped US Presidential charisma.)

Believing Bush to be doing the work of JesusGod here in the endtime is a lot of his appeal for his supporters. ( I know: duh.)

The "going-to-heaven-or-hell" dichotomy might work for some people in their personal faith, but it sure doesn't mesh with what the (British?) chap up above pointed out about the concept of "a loyal opposition." Or a democracy.
posted by kozad at 11:47 AM on February 12, 2006


Sometimes I can't help thinking that Coulter, O'Reilly and Limbaugh are deliberately set up as extremists whose purpose is to make any other point of view seem reasonable. A bit like the Myers-Alito dynamic -- Myers' candidacy for SCOTUS served to make absolutely anyone with any legal background whatsoever seem qualified by comparison, and to steer the nature of the nomination discourse to qualification so that no matter what political views the next candidate has, those are largely ignored.

Ann Coulter serves her purpose by saying "All liberals are traitors" (which I wish I could say was an exxageration, but really isn't). It moves the "outrage goalpost" that much further out so that what Cheney says something to the effect that "some liberals are betraying their country" (not a quote) it seems like a reasonable and level-headed thing to say. I quote Coulter here because she's deliberately so incredibly extreme, practically in a cartoonish way; it's essentially the same process for O'Reilly and Limbaugh.

The scary part is how many true followers those people have -- people who don't perceive the extremism of what those three spout.
posted by clevershark at 11:52 AM on February 12, 2006


Give conservatives a way to oppose Bush without supporting opposing the Democratic Republican Party and all the savages, degenerates and parasites which are its clients, and I think you'd see a lot less support for Bush.


Fixed it for you! ;-)
posted by nofundy at 11:54 AM on February 12, 2006


MattD writes "Give conservatives a way to oppose Bush without supporting the Democratic Party..."

...and that candidate will get the McCain treatment. Make sure all your opponents know that you will not hesitate to stoop to any depths necessary to smear you and destroy your life in order to make you give up your foolish opposition to the choice of party leaders.

You've evidently no idea where "all the savages, degenerates and parasites" like to socialize -- it seems a good deal more likely that they can be found under the banner of the elephant than that of the donkey.
posted by clevershark at 11:58 AM on February 12, 2006


Anyone interested in this subject must read The Rise of Pseudo-Fascism: David Neiwert's six part series.
posted by edverb at 11:59 AM on February 12, 2006


doesn't all this imply that liberals simply don't understand how to really work the media and, perhaps, they should be listening to at least some of what Lakoff says in Don't Think Of An Elephant?

I guess this is a rethorical question so...pray link to whatever said what ?

My bet is one can't trust enough people to become educated quickly enough to see trought O'Reilly and acolytes bullshit. My bet is they need to be submerge by a ton of liberating, healthy laughter.

There are ways to riducule that don't necessarily pass trought belittling your opponent. Of course it's easier to belittle.
posted by elpapacito at 12:08 PM on February 12, 2006




without supporting the Democratic Party and all the savages, degenerates and parasites which are its clients

you forgot the wetbacks!
what unmitigated gall!
posted by matteo at 12:17 PM on February 12, 2006


There may be a few cracks forming in the wall.

You guys keep saying that...
posted by Kwantsar at 12:22 PM on February 12, 2006


elpapacito: Don't Think Of An Elephant
its basically a series of writings on Framing.
How to deal with the frames your opponants create and not fall prey to them
how to use language to frame your arguements, etc.
posted by moleboy at 12:23 PM on February 12, 2006


Ann Coulter serves her purpose by saying "All liberals are traitors" (which I wish I could say was an exxageration, but really isn't).

Either this was meant as a joke, or you're an idiot.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:23 PM on February 12, 2006


Oh, wait -- maybe you meant that you wish Coulter's purpose was an exaggeration, and not that liberals are traitors. In which case, sorry.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:25 PM on February 12, 2006


Well, at least MattD isn't some sort of uninvolved dick: he's willing to put his money where his mouth is.
posted by ltracey at 12:28 PM on February 12, 2006


Getting back to the FPP, it's important to mention that the Rovean media machine has encouraged the development of a cult of personality around Bush by dressing him in flight suits and other military garb and trotting him out to make partisan statements in front of military audiences -- two blatantly manipulative strategies that previous American presidents shied away from, but dictators all over the world embrace.

This strategy operates on various levels; many of them below the rational "political" mind. G. Gordon Liddy giddily ejaculated one of the most potent subtexts of this approach on Hardball on May 8, 2003:

MATTHEWS: What do you make of this broadside against the USS Abraham Lincoln and its chief visitor last week?

LIDDY: Well, I -- in the first place, I think it's envy. I mean, after all, Al Gore had to go get some woman to tell him how to be a man. And here comes George Bush. You know, he's in his flight suit, he's striding across the deck, and he's wearing his parachute harness, you know -- and I've worn those because I parachute -- and it makes the best of his manly characteristic.

You go run those -- run that stuff again of him walking across there with the parachute. He has just won every woman's vote in the United States of America. You know, all those women who say size doesn't count -- they're all liars. Check that out. I hope the Democrats keep ratting on him and all of this stuff so that they keep showing that tape.

MATTHEWS: You know, it's funny. I shouldn't talk about ratings. I don't always pay attention to them, but last night was a riot because, at the very time Henry Waxman was on -- and I do respect him on legislative issues -- he was on blasting away, and these pictures were showing last night, and everybody's tuning in to see these pictures again.

LIDDY: That's right.

MATTHEWS: And I've got to say why do the Democrats, as you say, want to keep advertising this guy's greatest moment?

LIDDY: Look, he's -- he's coming across as a -- well, as women would call in on my show saying, what a stud, you know, and then guy -- they're seeing him out there with his flight suit, and he's -- and they know he's an F-105 fighter jock. I mean it's just great.
posted by digaman at 12:34 PM on February 12, 2006


What unites hardliners like Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, and Rush Limbaugh -- their uncompromisingly conservative take on politics?

Money. There is an audience for the garbage they write and Limbaugh, et al. have learned what it takes to tap into it. They have no more political "philosophy" than the people who produce reality TV.
posted by three blind mice at 12:41 PM on February 12, 2006


I don't think that John Kerry would have apponited Sam Alito to the Supreme Court, nor would Al Gore have championed the investment tax relief which has been so important for our economy for the past several years.

yeah, that investment tax thing makes all the other economy destroyin' things bush has done worth it.
posted by mcsweetie at 12:42 PM on February 12, 2006


I mean, you really can't make this stuff up.
posted by digaman at 12:43 PM on February 12, 2006


And for the record -- the two party system is not to blame.

True. Once you get past the two party barrier, there seems to be an accelerating trend towards more and more special and regional interest parties. Politics then becomes less about core values and ideas and more about opportunistic alliances and triangulation. I wouldn't say that having more than two political parties has harmed Canada, necessarily, but it hasn't helped.
posted by slatternus at 12:44 PM on February 12, 2006


Excellent link, greatgefilte!
posted by JHarris at 12:45 PM on February 12, 2006


LIDDY: Well, I -- in the first place, I think it's envy. I mean, after all, Al Gore had to go get some woman to tell him how to be a man. And here comes George Bush. You know, he's in his flight suit, he's striding across the deck, and he's wearing his parachute harness, you know -- and I've worn those because I parachute -- and it makes the best of his manly characteristic.

(a theoretical, sharper) MATTHEWS: ...You're an idiot, aren't you?
posted by JHarris at 12:53 PM on February 12, 2006


I don't think that John Kerry would have apponited Sam Alito to the Supreme Court, nor would Al Gore have championed the investment tax relief which has been so important for our economy for the past several years.

Yeah, that investment tax relief has encouraged companies to pay out profits as dividends leaving little behind for re-investment.

The Republicans weren't satisifed with just looting the Treasury, they were dissatisfied that only Ken Lay and the CEOs were getting their hands on all that corporate loot, and the "investment tax relief" was the Republican's stratregy for looting the companies.

A short term gain for a few shareholders and a long term loss for economic growth. A more stupid investment incentive would be hard to conceive.

Alito? Who cares? The Democrats wasted their energy on abortion and failed the public. Miserably. Given the chance Kerry would have nominated someone who loves abortion and fails on everything else.

The two party system hasn't failed. It's just made it easy for the corporations to own both. A multi-party system might actually result in people getting elected who represent the public.
posted by three blind mice at 12:56 PM on February 12, 2006


Through all of this, I've managed to keep a basic optimism, a faith in Americans' innate independent streak--that, when push really comes to shove, we do the right thing.

I was heartened in this view sometime about a year ago, when corporate media finally began some visible, honest reporting about abuses of power, etc.

But lately, I've noticed a very scary change of tone in the corporate media--it seems as if, when the leak/wiretapping/lies-leading-us-to-Iraq stories started gaining traction in public opinion, they all backed off, and started towing the Bush party line more. That's been the first thing that's really shaken my fundamental trust in the ultimate character of my fellow Americans.

Am I imagining that, or has anybody else noticed that, lately, the corporate media--after a brief spell of 'waking up'--has pulled back and sort of circled the wagons?
posted by LooseFilter at 12:58 PM on February 12, 2006


Loosefilter, do you think that the major media circling the wagons is the result of political pressures and fear of the powers that be, or is it that declining readership/viewership is forcing the legacy media into an ever more craven position as they fight to keep the public from fleeing to online sources of information?
posted by slatternus at 1:04 PM on February 12, 2006


the Democratic Party and all the savages, degenerates and parasites which are its clients

Charming. Your mother must be proud. "Degenerates and parasites"? I wonder where you learned that sort of language from. It sounds familiar.
posted by deanc at 1:06 PM on February 12, 2006


I mean, you really can't make this stuff up.

Cheney accidentally shoots fellow hunter.

Texas lawyer 'alert and doing fine' in Corpus Christi hospital...after Cheney sprayed Whittington with shotgun pellets on Saturday at the Armstrong Ranch in south Texas, said property owner Katharine Armstrong.

~chuckle~
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 1:09 PM on February 12, 2006


LooseFilter, I have definitely noticed that too. Frankly, if Bush isn't eventually impeached or at least severely censured for his domestic-spying program, I think we're well on our way to American totalitarianism.
posted by digaman at 1:11 PM on February 12, 2006


slatternus, I wish I knew. I suspect that it's money--those running our (shockingly few) media corporations are not very many (see theyrule.net to see just how connected they are), and they have a perspective very few among us share.

It could be that they just want to consolidate power (and thus wealth, etc.); it could be that they see that, if American citizens really lose faith in what's going on, there could be massive economic consequences (which may happen anyway, given the policies of the past 5 years); it could be coercion by the political powers-that-be ("we've noticed increasingly negative coverage of our guys--you better change your tone or x and y will happen, and that would be very bad for your company, yes?"); could be something else entirely.

But I've no doubt that something has changed recently.
posted by LooseFilter at 1:14 PM on February 12, 2006




It was kind of after Katrina wasn't it? The sight of mousey Anderson Cooper getting all uppity live on the air made it seem like things were going to change. But right after that, a chill descended.

And don't forget that whole ugly Dan Rather thing. The thought that a swarm of conservative bloggers can topple a veteran journalist (or at least SEEM to, and it's the perception that matters) must've scared the shit out of a lot of people.
posted by slatternus at 1:17 PM on February 12, 2006


The two party system hasn't failed. It's just made it easy for the corporations to own both. A multi-party system might actually result in people getting elected who represent the public.

Er, so you're saying, it hasn't failed, instead, it's failed?
posted by JHarris at 1:17 PM on February 12, 2006


I mean, you really can't make this stuff up.
posted by digaman at 2:43 PM CST on February 12 [!]


The really scary thing about that bust is that it says "President of the United States 2001 -", as though his end-date is still uncertain....
posted by interrobang at 1:22 PM on February 12, 2006


Yeah, that investment tax relief has encouraged companies to pay out profits as dividends leaving little behind for re-investment.

I am so fucking sick of hearing this. Companies pay dividends, and they're "leaving little behind for re-investment." Companies don't pay dividends and the good-governance crowd (usually the very same people) pisses and moans about "corrupt management" increasing its power (while destroying value) by investing in negative NPV projects because it retains earnings. Damned if they do...

Of course, the money corporations pay out in dividends goes somewhere. In an efficient market, those dividends go to their most productive uses.
posted by Kwantsar at 1:26 PM on February 12, 2006


digaman, yes, I agree it would be astonishing if there were no eventual consequences for Bush. I really don't think, aside from some sort of extraordinary domestic military operation, we'll ever see totalitarianism--all Americans at least need to think that we're free.

(terrific post, btw)

slatternus, yep, that's what I'm talking about.
posted by LooseFilter at 1:28 PM on February 12, 2006


Off Topic:

Cheney just shot some guy in a hunting accident:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4707354.stm
posted by slatternus at 1:29 PM on February 12, 2006


Does anyone know when rhetoric and debate classes were phased out of the public primary/secondary school system?

Methinks that having a population without a well-exercised bullshit detector may have something* to do with the situation.

I acknowledge that there is a host of other factors.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 1:36 PM on February 12, 2006


interrobang: He could be impeached. Or his own major intestine, in a desparate effort to save all life and civilization, could leap straight up through his neck and throttle his brain.
posted by JHarris at 2:03 PM on February 12, 2006


I wouldn't say that having more than two political parties has harmed Canada, necessarily, but it hasn't helped.

It's worked a sight better than the binary system two party system-- we have a parliamentary democracy with checks and balances, last time I looked.
posted by jokeefe at 2:23 PM on February 12, 2006


And here comes George Bush. You know, he's in his flight suit, he's striding across the deck, and he's wearing his parachute harness, you know -- and I've worn those because I parachute -- and it makes the best of his manly characteristic.

You go run those -- run that stuff again of him walking across there with the parachute. He has just won every woman's vote in the United States of America. You know, all those women who say size doesn't count -- they're all liars. Check that out.


I always vote with my excited-by-uniformed-manliness vulva, don't you know.
posted by jokeefe at 2:28 PM on February 12, 2006


Does anyone know when rhetoric and debate classes were phased out of the public primary/secondary school system?

I'd be curious, too. I graduated from a very good public school in 1991. There was no requirement of rhetoric, debate, or logic. Nor was there such a requirement in the public college I graduated from -- the stuff I took was elective.
posted by teece at 2:30 PM on February 12, 2006


PurplePorpoise: Underground History of American Education

Rhetoric was never that widely taught in the American public school system. But it was pretty prevalent in Catholic schools up through the 50's, I think.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:39 PM on February 12, 2006


The really scary thing about that bust is that it says "President of the United States 2001 -", as though his end-date is still uncertain....

while this occurrred to me too, you have to remember how many pretzels there are out there.

... run that stuff again of him walking across there with the parachute. He has just won every woman's vote in the United States of America. You know, all those women who say size doesn't count -- they're all liars. Check that out.

this is fucking amazing. I am honestly stunned that someone said this in public.
posted by mdn at 2:39 PM on February 12, 2006


jokeefe, unfortunately, thats how alot of people do vote. they vote for who they identify with.
GW made himself out to be all manly, and that was attractive to many.
Kerry really didn't (although he could have if he'd played up his Viet Nam war hero thing more).
Kerry didn't make himself out to be anything other than 'the other guy'
posted by moleboy at 2:50 PM on February 12, 2006


from H.J. RES. 24:
JOINT RESOLUTION

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the 22nd amendment to the Constitution.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years after the date of its submission for ratification:

`Article --

`The twenty-second article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is repealed.'.

posted by swell at 2:51 PM on February 12, 2006


look, we all want to imagine that people vote based on logic and reason. Its obvious that they don't.
they vote based on identity.
Hence GW is in office.
Until liberals learn this lesson, its going to be a hard road.
Cons portray themselves as 'moral', libs can either say 'hey, we are moral too' which lacks power, or 'hey, we aren't moral' which is moronic.
so we have to drive the discussion away from that.
(for example)

image matters.
You have to say something that appeals to the emotional, not just the intellectual.
posted by moleboy at 2:55 PM on February 12, 2006


swell -
1) I am now ashamed to live in Maryland
2) wtf...this guy is a democrat???
posted by moleboy at 3:05 PM on February 12, 2006


Astro Zombie writes "Either this was meant as a joke, or you're an idiot."

You haven't got a fucking clue who Ann Coulter is, evidently
.
posted by clevershark at 3:11 PM on February 12, 2006


Well, I should have read a little further before resorting to invective. My bad.
posted by clevershark at 3:11 PM on February 12, 2006


The amount of homoeroticism in Liddy's vision of the President is, well, breathtaking.
posted by clevershark at 3:14 PM on February 12, 2006


HA! From clevershark's amazon.com link to Coulter's book:

151 used & new available from $0.85

That's an encouraging commentary.
posted by LooseFilter at 3:27 PM on February 12, 2006


clevershark :

which I wish I could say was an exxageration, but really isn't

No it is , all liberals including those not born the unborn the still born the born in the barnyard are traitors. Except Jane, she's the incarnation of love.

Coulter, O'Reilly and Limbaugh are deliberately set up as extremists whose purpose is to make any other point of view seem reasonable.

I would guess this is more of a casual then causal deliberate effect of their shouting, but one could compare and contrast this way. Yet this constrasting hypothesis does not seem to work with lefties , probably because the practical counterparts Franken and Moore aren't nearly as wacked out and hate-inducing as the triad above , they do make a lot more sense.
posted by elpapacito at 4:05 PM on February 12, 2006


The really scary thing about that bust is that it says 'President of the United States 2001 -',

The bust is in the National Guard Memorial Building. Maybe he's there making up for the National Guard service he skipped during the Vietnam War.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:06 PM on February 12, 2006


The amount of homoeroticism in Liddy's vision of the President is, well, breathtaking.

So true. And quite on topic, there's a strange swirl of eroticism about the Bush cabal in general, from Midge Decter's vulvic drooling over Rumsfeld as a "sex symbol" to Cheney's crotch-rocket of mass destruction to Condi Rice's Freudian gushing that Bush is "my husband" to Harriet Myers' pathetic declaration that Bush was "the best governor ever" to Karl Rove's pre-cum drenched first impression of the future president: "Huge amounts of charisma, swagger, cowboy boots, flight jacket, wonderful smile, just charisma - you know, wow."

I think Bush, as a man, traffics in this kind of freefloating erotic aura -- winking at the ladies in the audience, surrounding himself with tireless never-married female adulators like Rice and Myers, and christening his henchmen with demeaning nicknames so they always remember who's on top. His flirty-flirty personality complex (and yet so "abstinent"!) fits perfectly with the development of a cult of personality for political purposes.
posted by digaman at 4:16 PM on February 12, 2006


moleboy : dang! You're right, I didn't realize he's a (D) - Why's he out to get us 4 more years of this crap?!?
posted by swell at 4:36 PM on February 12, 2006


"Huge amounts of charisma, swagger, cowboy boots, flight jacket, wonderful smile, just charisma - you know, wow."

I tought I was reading a preview of Brokeback mountain ?
posted by elpapacito at 4:42 PM on February 12, 2006


swell
yah, I know!
I took a look at some of his other work and just found myself thinking "this looks funny for an (R)"
lo and behold...a (D)

(actually, I'd bet that this bill gets tossed up for a vote every couple of years, regardless of who is in office, and whether or not they are part of the same party...but still...)

4 more years? Without the term limit, it could be 16 more years
or 36 more years!
(or any multiple of 4)
posted by moleboy at 4:44 PM on February 12, 2006


you forgot all the closet cases around him too, diga. (and Chris Matthews basically cums whenever he talks about him too)
posted by amberglow at 4:47 PM on February 12, 2006


You're so right, Amber.
posted by digaman at 4:59 PM on February 12, 2006


People who self-identify as "conservatives" and have always been considered to be conservatives become liberal heathens the moment they dissent, even on the most non-ideological grounds, from a Bush decree.

Oh my frigg'n GAWD! This what I have been saying for four years. I used think I was fairly conservative... at least I was a foreign policy hawk. But under Bush II rules I'm a complete filthy commie. Basically the entire new GOP conservative credo boils down to this: "Liberals are fags. Heeeey. Your not a fag are you?"

BTW: Closet cases and toy-soldier fascism go hand in hand... see the Latin American Glitterarchies of the 1980's to 1930's National Socialism. Must be the outfits. Closet cases are attracted to the uniforms but not the actual work people in uniforms have to perform.
posted by tkchrist at 7:03 PM on February 12, 2006


This afternoon I went back and read the MeFi posts from 9/11 -- a harrowing experience, even more so to watch the early concerns for what the attack on the Twin Towers would mean for this country. Some responded to this concerns with scorn -- how dare you politicize this event, we must support our president at this time.

My God, in retrospect, the worst thing we could have done at that time was support Bush. This country has been shreeded by that man, and he politicized one of America's most horrific moments to the point that dissent itself is now considered hateful politicking. I suspect conservatives, with whom I can have honest but respectful disagreements, will one day point to that moment as the day true conservativism in this country was destroyed.

In any evemt, I miss my country, with its tradition of lively and informed debate, and would like it back at some point, please.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:14 PM on February 12, 2006


Shredded.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:15 PM on February 12, 2006


moleboy: (GW made himself out to be all manly, and that was attractive to many.
Kerry really didn't (although he could have if he'd played up his Viet Nam war hero thing more).

Are you kidding? That was his whole theme song in the convention. WAR HERO! If he'd have presented ideas that would've helped the average working guy/gal, he might have had a chance. Instead, he let his image-makers try to counteract his Kennedysque-liberal taint with his WAR HERO qualifications.
posted by kozad at 7:19 PM on February 12, 2006


the worst thing we could have done at that time was support Bush.

I 100% agree. On that day you could see the symptoms of what would turn into a plague of character flaws.

The man ran and hid like a cowardly little bitch on 9/11. I said so then and people on UseNet sent me death threats. I will not except that the Secret Service MADE him run. The executive can go where he wants. And Bush was scared shitless.

Bush skawkerred. Like craven fucking coward.

He SHOULD have flown back to DC instantly and planted his feet on the steps of the capitol, made every camera in the country focus on him and say "Come and get me you terrorist fuckers!" He should have demonstrated that HE is expendable. And that being the power of the republic that the man is merely another citizen - easily replaced. A citizen - one of millions - willing to DIE for the principles of the republic.

But no. He ran like the stinking little bitch he is and I will never forgive him. Ever.
posted by tkchrist at 7:29 PM on February 12, 2006


Re the demonization of liberals: a former co-worker of mine, a Nigerian, told me once that he knew something was wrong with this country when he learned that the word "Liberal", given its root, had become a slur to a large component of the population.
posted by hwestiii at 7:44 PM on February 12, 2006


In any evemt, I miss my country, with its tradition of lively and informed debate, and would like it back at some point, please.

Yeah, 'cause this thread is the epitome of lively and informed debate.
posted by fochsenhirt at 9:14 PM on February 12, 2006


Yeah, 'cause this thread is the epitome of lively and informed debate.

It could be if we would have even a single Republican show up and defend Bush in a coherent manner. All we have is MattD, doing it so badly that I'd guess he was trying to make Republicans look bad if I didn't know better.
posted by teece at 9:48 PM on February 12, 2006


tkchrist just summed up my own feelings perfectly. When the moment of truth came, Bush showed us exactly the kind of man he is. No amount of stage-managed "strong leader" type appearances is ever going to change that. I'm not exactly sure why the cravenness he showed that day gets a free pass from the "rugged individualist" crowd, but a P.T. Barnum quote comes to mind to explain it.
posted by psmealey at 4:21 AM on February 13, 2006


Yeah, 'cause this thread is the epitome of lively and informed debate.

I think he was saying that that was one of the things he missed, the implication being that it doesn't exist anymore, either in this thread or anywhere else.

If you're going to snark, at least try to get it right.
posted by psmealey at 4:53 AM on February 13, 2006


he knew something was wrong with this country when he learned that the word "Liberal", given its root, had become a slur to a large component of the population.
posted by hwestiii


Amen.
Can someone now play Taps for our country?
And please don't forget to turn out the lights as you leave.
posted by nofundy at 5:57 AM on February 13, 2006


The most worrying thing about the personality cult is that it's not only being encouraged in those around the President, but into Bush's own mind as well. He's surrounded by people who have a nearly mystical faith in the rightness of his gut instincts. They see him as the anti-Clinton, who was scorned by these anti-intellectuals as a wonky know-it-all. They flatter him into seeing himself as the second coming not of Christ but of Winston Churchill. Apparently the best way to ingratiate yourself with him is to give him a gift that has a connection to Churchill, either a bust or some personal keepsake of his. It's no wonder his head is swelled bigger than a watermelon from all the sycophants blowing hot air up his ass.

Here's a few examples I quickly dug up, I'm sure people can find others.

(scroll down for the money quote)
National Review is enticing its readers to fork over $24.95 for a book-length collection of Bush's post-September 11, 2001, speeches--any and all of which could be downloaded from the White House website for free. The collection recasts Bush as Winston Churchill, with even his most mundane pronouncements ("Excerpted Remarks by the President from Speech at the Lighting of the National Christmas Tree," "Excerpted Remarks by the President from Speech to the Missouri Farmers Association") deemed worthy of cherishing in bound form.

Bush sits in for Stalin at Yalta.

Is Bush the Churchill of the 21st Century?

Fleet Street vs. Churchill: Shades of Bush’s Battles with Media Elite

(scroll down again)
pierre, from california writes: i read on your website that Great Britian had lent a bust of winston churchill to Pres. Bush. Does the White House have any pieces out on loan to other governments? Or other places, for that matter?

Bill Allman Dear Pierre: When President Bush told British Prime Minister Tony Blair that he admired Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister lent a bust of Churchill by Sir Jacob Epstein for display in the Oval Office. We do not have any items similarly on loan to any other governments. In another reply earlier today, I explained a bit about our lending policy.


Jon Meacham: What Bush Could Learn from Churchill
posted by scalefree at 10:31 AM on February 13, 2006


“It could be if we would have even a single Republican show up and defend Bush in a coherent manner.”

Hi there!

...oh, defend Bush...oh. Yeah. I didn’t see that part.

from the article:
“ As much as any policy prescriptions, conservatism has always been based, more than anything else, on a fundamental distrust of the power of the federal government and a corresponding belief that that power ought to be as restrained as possible, particularly when it comes to its application by the Government to American citizens...accompanied by demands that the intrusion of the Federal Government in the lives of American citizens be minimized.”

And

“The blind faith placed in the Federal Government, and particularly in our Commander-in-Chief, by the contemporary "conservative" is the very opposite of all that which conservatism has stood for for the last four decades.”

Yep.

I liked the link to the Freeper article as well. I remember being pretty damned upset about Clinton’s use of the FISA court and having all sorts of “conservatives” backing me up.

Now Bush is doing worse power hungry crap and it’s nothing but wind and tumbleweeds behind me.

I’m just waiting for some of the “conservatives” here to start yelling about how horrible guns are when Bushco decides that it’s only terrorists that have guns.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:58 AM on February 13, 2006




I think the Democrat party would do well if they simply showed how their fundamental beliefs are those of the majority of Americans: that there should be a reasonable social support net to help those who have fallen get back on their feet; that there should be a reasonable military to provide a defensive role for the USA and peace-keeping role in the world; that the government should mind its own business about the things people do that concern only their own selves; that the government should be engaged in very long-term planning for the continued economic health of the country; and that the government should try to spend less money while simultaneously balancing the need for the aforementioned things.

i should hope most Americans are rational and compassionate sorts of people who would have little to no issues with those broad statements, even while they may disagree on the niggly details of implementation.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:21 PM on February 13, 2006


fff, there's no way to get anything thru to the mass of American people--the GOP sets the agenda and the media dutifully follows it. What they want to talk about is talked about, and what they don't want talked about isn't. There is absolutely no room for any discussion of anything that they haven't blastfaxed and already spread first.
posted by amberglow at 5:23 PM on February 13, 2006


this little Cheney thing is a perfect example...perfectly timed to push the Katrina report, Abramoff photos, and thousands of Katrina people being evicted right off the air completely, among everything else.
posted by amberglow at 5:25 PM on February 13, 2006


five fresh fish writes "I think the Democrat Democratic party would do well..."

Fixed it. Sorry. That "Democrat Party" thing is a Rebublican talking point that dates back to the Clinton era, and it drives me (a non-Dem) up the wall.

amberglow: I hadn't considered that angle, and now I can't avoid it. It's typical.
posted by brundlefly at 5:54 PM on February 13, 2006


hitler was considered very sexy too, or was sold that way.
posted by Miles Long at 6:21 PM on February 13, 2006


I know that little Chaplin mustache drove me wild.
posted by brundlefly at 6:29 PM on February 13, 2006


wish I could remember who it was, but there was a congressman on NPR on friday talking about something similar on this, on how politics has become more of an us vs them situation, even the internal politics in congress.

It was Joe Biden on Fresh Air, last Tuesday (2/7).
posted by harkin banks at 7:03 PM on February 13, 2006


this little Cheney thing is a perfect example...perfectly timed to push the Katrina report, Abramoff photos, and thousands of Katrina people being evicted right off the air completely, among everything else.

And this.
posted by homunculus at 7:06 PM on February 13, 2006


i know, it sounds totally crazy to me too, but that's how it was. Seen that painting of Adolf in the Teutonic Knight armor, looking all noble and strong? Bush in a flightsuit, baby.
posted by Miles Long at 7:06 PM on February 13, 2006


Oh, I'm not disagreeing with you, Miles. You're right. The techniques are the same.
posted by brundlefly at 7:12 PM on February 13, 2006


Sorry about the democrat/democratic thing. To me, the latter describes an electoral system, not a party.

"fff, there's no way to get anything thru to the mass of American people--the GOP sets the agenda and the media dutifully follows it. What they want to talk about is talked about, and what they don't want talked about isn't. There is absolutely no room for any discussion of anything that they haven't blastfaxed and already spread first."

With attitudes like that, there will be no way to talk about anything but what the GOP agenda sets.

However, what I'm suggesting is to completely bypass the Republican talking points. Quit taking their bait and address the important issues:
  • Responsible people make sure to vote, and vote with knowledge about their candidate.
  • It's important to have honest elections. There must be a paper trail. Being able to confirm vote numbers accurately is the foundation of democracy.
  • A wealthy, compassionate country should take care of its own.
  • It is important to run a balanced budget. It is possible to have a balanced budget and social programs.
  • America needs to focus on education, invention, and innovation.
    etcetera.

    Take careful note: these are not party issues. They're simply the important facts of life. It is more important that the Dems teach the public how to be responsible citizens in a functional society, than it is for the Dems to win seats. The former creates the latter.

    Put the money and effort into investing in the American voter, teaching and training them to be responsible, compassionate, sensible citizens, and endless benefit will flow from that.

  • posted by five fresh fish at 7:37 PM on February 13, 2006


    You need the media to teach the public things, and you need a media that listens to both sides of the aisle. It's not about the things, it's about getting anything heard. Look how the wonderful speeches at the King funeral were spun and dismissed. Look at the "outrageous" behavior of people who dared speak of peace and justice and equal opportunity.
    posted by amberglow at 7:59 PM on February 13, 2006




    You need the media to teach the public things, and you need a media that listens to both sides of the aisle.

    No. You need to put your Democratic advertising budget toward running commercials that educate people about the importance of democracy and their responsibility in maintaining democracy, instead of into slagging Republicans.

    In short, take the high road, take the long-term view, and take it to the people directly.

    Unless, of course, you believe the majority of Americans would watch such infomercials and conclude the Republican party represents the best interests of the nation.
    posted by five fresh fish at 10:01 AM on February 14, 2006


    no, commercials don't compare to what the anchors and the guests say all day long. Even when they create the commercials (as in the Swift Boat liars thing) they ensured that the right people were there to propagate it all. When our side does the same, there's no one to propagate it at all. We should never have heard about the slander and lies about Kerry--it was all bullshit. We should never have known about the blue dress. We should never have known about Gore getting advice about Earth tones. Again, look at the Cheney shooting thing--that knocked every single bad thing off the air, and they're ensuring they won't have to pay for it, even if he dies.
    posted by amberglow at 7:21 PM on February 14, 2006


    Then I guess you're fucked.
    posted by five fresh fish at 8:37 PM on February 14, 2006


    read it and weep, fff
    posted by amberglow at 8:01 PM on February 15, 2006


    [sobs]

    Isn't the whole point of having a megabucks war-chest for election advertising to, you know, control the media, get your message out there, etc?

    Democrats need better messages. I think their messages need to address the foundational aspects of healthy society. Things everyone can agree on: do unto others. Healthcare, education, social security: the stuff people need if they're going to have any chance of doing well.

    It can be wholly non-partisan. People are going to realize on their own that the Republicans have never been good to them.
    posted by five fresh fish at 8:59 PM on February 15, 2006


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