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The Politics of Posters
December 9, 2007 10:06 AM   Subscribe

Award-winning ad exec Rich Silverstein (Goodby, Silverstein, and Partners) who is known for creating the "Got Milk" campaign -- among many -- has created three posters designed with input from the public to depict "The Bush Years". The results - Events, Slogans and People. Of the project Silverstein said: "Here is my thinking. What if we could TiVo the last six-plus years and play them back - without comment -- for the American people, and let them connect the dots?"* Republicans respond with posters of their own: Posterizing the Democratic Party.
posted by ericb (141 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite

 
Those are pretty cool; the Republican copy-cats not so much.
posted by chunking express at 10:20 AM on December 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


The Silverstein posters just made me a bit faint with designlust. I'm such a sucker for Helvetica.

The "Republican Response" is just laughable. (Except for the Billy Joel one. That one's quality hilarity.)
posted by beaucoupkevin at 10:20 AM on December 9, 2007


Not a snark, really, but what good HAS come out of the last seven years of Bush/Cheney? I'm a liberal, and, as such, cursed to see both sides of everything, so I'm actually looking pretty hard to find the silver lining.

Anybody? Anything?
posted by John of Michigan at 10:20 AM on December 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


The Democrat's political indictment of this administration comes in the form of a tag cloud. (More observational than snarky there)

And looking at the first response photoshop, I'm not exactly sure how "chickenhawks", "Cindy Sheehan", and "Valerie Plame" would be an indictment of the left. But the left always had better ironists.
posted by Weebot at 10:22 AM on December 9, 2007


John of Michigan: Well, I don't get as many telemarketers calling me. That's got to count for something.
posted by Weebot at 10:24 AM on December 9, 2007


I wonder how Michelle Malkin knows about the Folsom Street Fair, let alone red staters. Still, an hilariously inept comeback.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:25 AM on December 9, 2007


Those are really, really good. If you actually read them, not just glance, you do get overwhelmed with a sense of "Oh, yeah, that.... oh god, right.... oh wow, I forgot about that..." over and over again. Which is the point.

It's very very easy to imagine these on bus shelters. They could very easily be the defining images of the next election. Of course, they're so good that I imagine the Dems won't actually USE them.

As proof that they're good, notice that the Republican copycat ones not only don't work the same way, they actually reinforce the originals.
posted by rokusan at 10:27 AM on December 9, 2007 [14 favorites]


I wish they were more effective than they appear to be on first reading.

I don't recognize all those buzz words and phrases and I'm pretty well informed.

What about concentrating on a few absolutely crucial, inarguable, "slam dunk" points instead of a core dump?
posted by cogneuro at 10:27 AM on December 9, 2007


Blazecock : I'll tell you where I learned about the Folsom Street Fair. Out of (morbid) curiosity, I asked a friend to forward me some of the right-wing pamphleteering e-mails he gets from his mom. Pictures from the fair were used in one. I'd bet that most knowledge of that comes from that and similar e-mails - maybe just that one.
posted by suckerpunch at 10:31 AM on December 9, 2007


Looks like they might use them after all.
posted by Weebot at 10:35 AM on December 9, 2007


Silverstein posters are comprised of real events.

Malkin blog posters are comprised of opinions.
posted by wfc123 at 10:36 AM on December 9, 2007


Cogneuro, I'm in the same boat but I think that makes it all the more effective. If you concentrate on a few phrases then they are only burdened with answering for (or providing reasonable-doubt about their motives or conclusions) those few.

Any single person can make individual mistakes, individual lapses in judgment or act on incomplete information, I think these do a good job of providing a sense of scale of real situations, events, people which demonstrates volume and thus a pattern of either neglect or incompetence (depending on your presumptions about motives). If you forgive half of them, there is still enough suck there to make you think "Maybe someone else can do better."

A hyperlinked version of these would be neat...
posted by abulafa at 10:36 AM on December 9, 2007


Interesting post.

Something that really gets me, though, in the "Posterizing the Democratic Party" link is the several references to the Soviet Union. Monitoring the books you borrow from the library... wiretapping... torturing people in secret prisons... but it's the Democrats that remind them of the Soviet Union? Because what Stalin was really infamous for was his healthcare agenda, of course.
posted by XMLicious at 10:39 AM on December 9, 2007 [41 favorites]


I love the idea, but the posters don't work well for me. Little moments that had resonance for me personally did sting (like seeing "Katrina" in such big letters) but then the volume of words kind of nullified the impact. Plus, I didn't know about everything on those lists (which surprised me because I follow the news every day), and I imagine most people wouldn't understand most of the references.
posted by serazin at 10:39 AM on December 9, 2007


As proof that they're good, notice that the Republican copycat ones not only don't work the same way, they actually reinforce the originals.
Yeah, I was struck by that. I think the difference is easy to spot, though: the ones on Malkin's site were made to be consumed by fellow true believers, while the original posters were designed (presumably) for swing voters and scandal-fatigued Republicans. The best example is the image of the VW beetle covered with anti-Bush slogans. The folks on Malkin's blog see it and laugh because, hey, what a deranged wacko! they're suffering from B.D.S.! A good marketer will look at it and say, "Um, guys? You just paid to print a poster covered with your opponent's slogans, and you didn't even bother with a rebuttal."
What about concentrating on a few absolutely crucial, inarguable, "slam dunk" points instead of a core dump?
Because the current republican political machine in one thing at this point: nitpicking individual 'slam dunk' points to death until people have forgotten what the point was. The cumulative effect of these posters is the sobering part: rather than obsessively deconstructing a particulr scandal, it relies on peoples' collective memories of those scandals, and the catchy taglines they were associated with. It stacks them up like cordwood and concludes with the implied question: why would you ever, ever vote for this again?

Agree or disagree with the meaning behind it, but it's great design.
posted by verb at 10:42 AM on December 9, 2007 [13 favorites]


How exactly would Haditha play against the Democrats? You'd think the Republicans would prefer not to talk about that.
posted by dilettante at 10:43 AM on December 9, 2007


er, "the current republican political machine IS GOOD AT one thing at this point..." Sorry 'bout that.
posted by verb at 10:44 AM on December 9, 2007


They forgot Poland.
posted by kalimotxero at 10:52 AM on December 9, 2007 [14 favorites]


My favorite official Got Milk picture: my neighbors
Second favorite: Van Halen (Always wanted to see ZZ Top do that)
posted by MtDewd at 10:53 AM on December 9, 2007


Not a snark, really, but what good HAS come out of the last seven years of Bush/Cheney?

Surely you haven't already forgotten the $300 Uncle Bush sent you for your birthday? Some people are so ungrateful.
posted by designbot at 10:55 AM on December 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


My favorite official Got Milk picture

Jerri Blank's version
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:58 AM on December 9, 2007


How exactly would Haditha play against the Democrats? You'd think the Republicans would prefer not to talk about that.
Because it's an example of brave marines being accused of horrible things by Democrats, who hate the troops. The troops were subsequently cleared of all wrongdoing by military investigators but Democrats continue to treat them like horrible people.

This is what I meant by 'posters meant for viewing by fellow true believers'. Haditha has a different meaning for those who aren't avid war supporters: even if the Marines didn't do it, the depressing fact remains that a girl and her family were violated and killed as a direct consequence of the chaos that our invasion caused. Malkin's readers probably believe that is horribly unfair and downright wrong, but it doesn't change the impact on the general public.
posted by verb at 10:58 AM on December 9, 2007


Not to belabor the point, but it would be like running a Hillary Clinton ad that focuses on Whitewater and Monica Lewinski. Because, obviously, those scandals are examples of how deranged conservatives attacked the President and gridlocked the country, right? Right?
posted by verb at 11:03 AM on December 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


The best example is the image of the VW beetle covered with anti-Bush slogans. The folks on Malkin's blog see it and laugh because, hey, what a deranged wacko! they're suffering from B.D.S.!

I thought the point of that was the single Che sticker above the mess of anti-Bush stickers?
posted by katillathehun at 11:05 AM on December 9, 2007


This ad is so effective precisely because there are so many items listed on each poster.

Every president could have a poster with a select few negative events. This one, on the other hand, has an endless and mind-boggling list. It's meant to be confusing and overwhelming.
posted by landedjentry at 11:09 AM on December 9, 2007


From the "Events" poster, what's "Triple Canopy"? It's the only thing that's not ringing even a faint bell for me.
posted by rtha at 11:11 AM on December 9, 2007


I liked the "cut-and-run" posters on Malkin's site. Specifically the "Saigon Embassy" ones. I think its funny because the purpose of the poster was to try and elicit shame ("Remember this?!?! You don't want this to happen again, do you!?!??!?!") yet most young Americans (and some older ones too, I suspect) probably wouldn't care how we get out of Iraq, as long as we do. If we have to send helicopters up to the Embassy again, so what? We ran away from Vietnam in a hurry, but look, we're still here and the world hasn't ended.

Thats one of the things that kills me about Republicans. They're still talking about Vietnam the same way that Weimar Germans were talking about World War 1, as if total victory was just hours away before the "stab in the back" was administered by the traitorous Jews liberals back home.

Part of me wants to stand up in front of the GOP National Convention and say, "Look folks, we lost Vietnam. It was a stupid war, started for illegitimate reasons and handled ineptly by both political and military leaders. But we didn't loose because of Jane Fonda. We lost because we never should have gone to war in the first place."

The problem, though, is that if Republicans accepted that premise, then they would be able to replace "Vietnam" with "Iraq" and find a surprising similarity. They'll never do that, which means we're going to be bombarded with "We lost Vietnam/Iraq because of the Liberals!" propaganda for roughly the next 50 years or so.
posted by Avenger at 11:12 AM on December 9, 2007 [15 favorites]


I love that the not-so-subtle subtext of many of the right-wing responses on Malkin's page is that democrats are secretly "commies". What is this, 1957? I'm neither a democrat or a republican, whatever those terms mean, because I think both parties are arms of the corporatocracy that actually governs this country and the world. That said, it's easy to understand the Silverstein posters as a comment on the disastrous policies of the Bush administration, whereas the Malkin posters distill what has always bugged me most about the partisanism of the right wing in America: all facts, all conversation is reduced to a question of allegiance or betrayal, xenophobic 'Americanism' or impotent 'Socialism'. This is obviously a relic of Cold War nationalism that probably won't go away any time soon, but it's so frustrating to see every important question of our time 'debated' in slogans that play to this imagined and archaic division.
posted by inoculatedcities at 11:14 AM on December 9, 2007 [14 favorites]


I liked the "cut-and-run" posters on Malkin's site. Specifically the "Saigon Embassy" ones.

That one really cracked me up. I mean, who was president at the time? Could it have been...a Republican? Why yes! The last line - "We're Democrats in office" - may have been trying to make a point about who held power in Congress at that point in time, but for me, it simply introduced a moment of cognitive dissonance, because all I could think was, But Ford was president then!
posted by rtha at 11:21 AM on December 9, 2007


From the "Events" poster, what's "Triple Canopy"?

Like Blackwater, Triple Canopy is a private mercenary company with folks in Iraq. They
posted by ericb at 11:21 AM on December 9, 2007


Oops.

...have been subject to scrutiny and some controversy.
posted by ericb at 11:23 AM on December 9, 2007


Rokusan's right: These are a bit too good for the Democrats to actually run them. (I can imagine the DNC running an ad built around the top five entries... which would of course miss the point completely.)

What I found quite interesting was the GOP response poster with "They think we're stupid" marked out as an embedded message.

GOP 08: We Hate the Fact That They Probably Think We're Stupid.

(Nothing like a little ressentiment with one's election.)
posted by darth_tedious at 11:23 AM on December 9, 2007 [4 favorites]


January 20, 2009: The End of An Error.
posted by ericb at 11:27 AM on December 9, 2007 [13 favorites]


they do realize who was in office when Saigon fell, right?
posted by TrialByMedia at 11:28 AM on December 9, 2007


It doesn't matter who was in office when Saigon fell. That was When America Showed Weakness.

And many on the right never want to show weakness again, even if that means turning on what makes us strong.
posted by suckerpunch at 11:33 AM on December 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


"Triple Canopy" is another of the mercenary outfits that the Bush junta has hired to provide security in Iraq. (Like Blackwater, only smaller.)

Several of their employees have also been accused of randomly shooting Iraqi bystanders.

And Triple Canopy cuts corners by hiring Latin American mercenaries, who they pay much less than their American employees. So we have not just private armies running around, but non-English-speaking mercenaries running around over there. Clearly, another well-thought-out policy to ensure peace and international understanding.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 11:36 AM on December 9, 2007


Oops, ericb beat me. Preview is my friend.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 11:37 AM on December 9, 2007


I really like these ... they remind of the punctuated political messaging you see in the UK, in a good way.

Of course, they're so good that I imagine the Dems won't actually USE them.

Sadly true. The Dems will likely move away from this because of a piecemeal reaction ("Well, I can't come out against Terri Schiavo...") and absolutely miss the forest for the trees.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:38 AM on December 9, 2007


Not a snark, really, but what good HAS come out of the last seven years of Bush/Cheney?

Well, if you ignore Bin Laden's escape and the ensuing cock-up over the past several years, Afghanistan was handled fairly well. But your final grade =! your mid-term exam.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:41 AM on December 9, 2007


Afghanistan was handled fairly well.

With the Taliban resurgence and the opium trade running full-tilt, I'd say any previous progress in Afghanistan has taken quite a slide.
posted by ericb at 11:51 AM on December 9, 2007 [6 favorites]


Afghan Opium Trade Hits New Peak
"Opium production in Afghanistan has increased by 34 percent over the past year, and the country is now the source of 93 percent of the heroin, morphine and other opiates on the world market, according to a report by the United Nations' anti-drug agency.

'Afghanistan's opium production has thus reached a frighteningly new level, twice the amount produced just two years ago,' says the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime's annual opium survey, released Monday [August 27, 2007] in Kabul.

'Leaving aside 19th-century China . . ., no country in the world has ever produced narcotics on such a deadly scale,' the report notes.

...The surge in opium production has frustrated U.S. and NATO military commanders, who believe that the trade plays a major role in funding a Taliban insurgency that has become increasingly deadly over the past two years. Commanders also believe that the involvement of public officials in the drug trade has undermined Afghans' confidence in their government.

...Seven years ago, the Taliban leader Mohammad Omar banned the cultivation of opium poppies -- but not their export -- on the grounds that growing them violated the principles of Islam. But the report says that Taliban leaders have reversed their position and are now using drug profits to buy weapons and logistical equipment and to pay the salaries of their militia."
posted by ericb at 11:54 AM on December 9, 2007


I'd say any previous progress in Afghanistan has taken quite a slide.

What are you, some kinda commie? Get on the Winning Team.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:55 AM on December 9, 2007 [1 favorite]




what good HAS come out of the last seven years of Bush/Cheney?

I don't know what good they've done themselves. I'm sure there's something.

If you want to talk about what good has come out of the period of time itself, the end of 'the end of history', perhaps? It's not the doing of the Bush administration, of course, but they're involved.

I think their rule has forced a greater political awareness on people. That's what the Silverstein ads are supposed to awaken, you know. And the rejoinders? Most of them seem to be an attempt to avoid that awareness, which is why they aren't funny, clever or good.
posted by topynate at 11:59 AM on December 9, 2007


I thought the point of that was the single Che sticker above the mess of anti-Bush stickers?
Right, but it's not very effective from a marketing/communications perspective. Why? For it to make sense you have to understand that Che was an ugly, brutal figure in Cuban history who became a weird, inexplicably popular folk-icon among the college polsci hippie set. Then you have to contrast that with all the Bush bumper stickers and say, "Oh, wait, this person is angry about Bush's disastrous policies, but they have a Che bumper sticker. That must mean I should ignore all those anti-Bush bumper stickers..."

You can make a case that it's an effective criticism of the hypocrisy of some Che-loving Bush-haters, but... again, it fails the glance test. Our political culture is full of people who remember catchily named scandals, but only know Che Guevera as "That guy with the beret on the T-shirts." Whether that is just the way things work, or a sad testament to the slide of our particular culture is a question for someone else to tackle. I don't think that someone as skilled as Rove or Atwater would make that kind of basic mistake; the dKos crowd makes plenty of preaching-to-the-choir imagery when similar challenges float around.
posted by verb at 12:00 PM on December 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


I'd say any previous progress in Afghanistan has taken quite a slide.

Hence the "and the ensuing cock-up" qualifier. ;-)
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:00 PM on December 9, 2007


I thought the posters were too wordy and were rather preaching to the (well-informed) choir. Oddly, they miss what made "Got Milk" so effective - a strong image with a repeatable, snappy punchline. Ideally, you want something that crystallises people's feelings of worry or discontent, like the famous "Labour isn't working" posters from the 1979 election in the UK.
posted by athenian at 12:00 PM on December 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


I'll tell you where I learned about the Folsom Street Fair. Out of (morbid) curiosity, I asked a friend to forward me some of the right-wing pamphleteering e-mails he gets from his mom. Pictures from the fair were used in one.

Is there any person remaining in America who does not believe that when the right circulates pictures of the Folsom Street Fair, they are doing so as a masturbation aid?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:07 PM on December 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


For it to make sense you have to understand that Che was an ugly, brutal figure in Cuban history...

It may simultaneously be a simpler message attempting to link anti-Bush sentiment with Marxism and Communism.
posted by XMLicious at 12:11 PM on December 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


The Republicans seem to really wish that the Soviet Union were still around.
posted by sudasana at 12:11 PM on December 9, 2007 [6 favorites]


I don't understand Malkin's responses. I read the professional adverts, and I'm horrified by the things those names and actions bring to mind. I read Malkin's and, on the whole, I draw a blank. Those people and actions weren't evil, society-breaking, world-threatening; they were mostly ineffective twits. Nothing for the democrats to be proud of, that's for sure, but not nearly as offensive and threatening as all the republican links.

Party of Evil versus Party of Inaction. Gosh, that's really some come-back, Malkin.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:15 PM on December 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Like Blackwater, Triple Canopy is a private mercenary company with folks in Iraq.

Ah, yes. The bell, she is finally ringing. Thanks, ericb.
posted by rtha at 12:17 PM on December 9, 2007


The Republicans seem to really wish that the Soviet Union were still around.

Ah, so that's why they're trying to build their own right here at home.
posted by dilettante at 12:26 PM on December 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


It may simultaneously be a simpler message attempting to link anti-Bush sentiment with Marxism and Communism.
Oh, I think you're right. I'm just not sure that it would be very effective. The problem is that Che at this point is less a signifier of Communism and Marxism and more an icon of idealistic college revolutionary fervor. The implication that Bush-haters are silly hippie kids, and all that, seems to go nicely with the car and all the plastered bumper stickers. The other posters -- the sickle and hammer images, etc., did a better (?) job of drawing the marxism/communism parallel.

Advertising is a tricky thing; none of these things are essays, and they're not supposed to be nuanced. The original posters are a tricky thing: text-heavy and imposing. But they work by leveraging our media culture's obsession with giving political scandals quick-and-easy taglines. Many of the words and phrases on the posters have a logo-like association at this point, IMO at least. The impact of seeing them all together in a single image is not unlike the 500-logo poster visualizing the brands that are recognized by the average toddler.
posted by verb at 12:34 PM on December 9, 2007


but what good HAS come out of the last seven years of Bush/Cheney?

There's been some good policies the last 7 seven years: The Do Not Call List and The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument. That's about it.
posted by ALongDecember at 12:37 PM on December 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I just can't wait to read "The rise and fall of the American Reich".
posted by tehloki at 12:38 PM on December 9, 2007


The reason the Democratic ones work so well and the Malkin ones don't is that the Dem ones don't resort to name-calling or even really to opinion. The Slogans poster, for example, is just a list of catchphrases actually used by the Bush administration. The posters on Malkin's site, meanwhile, includes a lot of words that Dems have never actually used to explain themselves: "cut and run," "nanny state," "socialist policy" are words the Republicans throw at us. You aren't going to see a Democratic candidate using these phrases in a speech or putting them on a banner. It's a pretty poor match for "Heckuva job, Brownie," "Mission Accomplished," or "I'm the decider."

Then again, the Democratic ones are made by a professional advertiser, and the Malkin ones are made by...a bunch of Michelle Malkin readers. It's not exactly a fair contest.
posted by naoko at 12:38 PM on December 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


That poster is a hoot, flashman. I especially like "TAX HIKES ON THE RICH - redistribution of wealth," which should only scare you if you're, you know, rich.

Wealth's getting redistributed, all right, but not in the direction the powers that be would have you believe.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:47 PM on December 9, 2007


I just can't wait to read "The rise and fall of the American Reich".

A nice touch in Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age was that, a few hundred years in the future, the U.S. is simply remembered as "the Second British Empire."

I don't think that will happen, or at least I think it would take more than a few hundred years, but it's an interesting angle.
posted by XMLicious at 12:56 PM on December 9, 2007


I take verb's point. (I meant to put "slam dunk" in quotes, since it's a Bushism). Somehow the ads don't work for me and i'm trying to put a finger on why. Maybe edit out some of the weaker (less memorable) ones. They detract from the impact (for me) if you have to stop and try to remember who or what they were (fuzzy math, what was that again?). But, I hope this, or something, works.
posted by cogneuro at 1:01 PM on December 9, 2007


What if...
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:06 PM on December 9, 2007


from the malkin site, a poster the road ahead: it's easier just to deed it to iran then walk it ourselves

the party of the semiliterate part strikes again!
posted by bruce at 1:08 PM on December 9, 2007


I really like the Silverstein ones. The Republican ones really show how lost the American right is, how few ideas it has. It's like it doesn't really understand what is going on, what is happening to it, and is reduced to kneejerk references to obsolete fears.

Minor point: that's not the US Embassy in Saigon. It is a building in Saigon, though.
posted by WPW at 1:14 PM on December 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's interesting how selective it is. Several of the most notable events of the last seven years are completely absent from the "Events" poster: World Trade Center, Bali, Madrid, London. Odd, isn't it? It's almost as if those things never happened.

Or didn't matter.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 1:18 PM on December 9, 2007


Odd, isn't it?

Unless the Republicans were secretly behind all of those things, then no. Or do you not get the point of the posters?

Also absent were my birthday and Christmas. What the fuck?
posted by chunking express at 1:20 PM on December 9, 2007 [9 favorites]


It's almost as if those things never happened.

Or didn't matter.


Or didn't have anything to do with the behavior of the U.S. government. Note that "Return of the Spice Girls Tour" is also not listed.
posted by XMLicious at 1:25 PM on December 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


Well, they *did* have something to do with our government - reactions to it, ostensibly. But yeah, none of the 4 things SCdB mentioned were directly effected by Bush et all.

(honestly, I didn't figure SCdB was that clueless)
posted by notsnot at 1:30 PM on December 9, 2007


Wait-a-hold-your horses right there.

Bush and his lackeys were indeed behind the collapse of the Twin Towers. Despite what the 9-11 Commission reported Bush, Cheney and Runsfeld needed the disaster in order to shore up Executive Power and insure Republican Rule .

C'mon, get with The Program!
posted by ericb at 1:36 PM on December 9, 2007


Bush and his lackeys were indeed behind the collapse of the Twin Towers.

Oh please no. These are cool posters. Let's not screw the online discussion pooch now.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:42 PM on December 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Not a snark, really, but what good HAS come out of the last seven years of Bush/Cheney?

Besides the above-mentioned possble consciousness raising this period of Right-Wing hegemony (just wanted to use that word for the first time, doubtless incorrectly) may have brought about, my only hope for some good coming out of this is my firm belief in the role of Unintended Consequences as the Prime Mover. Of course, if that realy is the motivating priciple in the universe, then putting progressives in power this election will only hurt all that we hold dear. Do you follow my twisted reasoning?
posted by Hobgoblin at 1:44 PM on December 9, 2007


World Trade Center, Bali, Madrid, London.

One of those things is not like the others. (I'll give you a clue; three of them still exist.)
posted by wendell at 1:45 PM on December 9, 2007


Bush and his lackeys were indeed behind the collapse of the Twin Towers. Oh please no. These are cool posters. Let's not screw the online discussion pooch now.

I hope you realize that was a joke aimed at the worldview of some wackos who believe 9-11 was all a conspiracy.
posted by ericb at 1:46 PM on December 9, 2007


Anybody? Anything?

I got to go bankrupt! It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience! I hope. This economy -- I'm lovin' it!
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:05 PM on December 9, 2007


Well, if you ignore Bin Laden's escape and the ensuing cock-up over the past several years, Afghanistan was handled fairly well.

Iraq was handled fairly well if you ignore everything that happened after Baghdad fell. Also, Bush handled the Presidency fairly well if you ignore everything that happened after his first inauguration.
posted by psmealey at 2:17 PM on December 9, 2007


"World Trade Center, Bali, Madrid, London"

Yes, they should be on there.

WTC: Bush and Rice asleep at the wheel. (BIN LADEN DETERMINED TO STRIKE AT US).

Bali, Madrid, London: assaults on allies in Bush's Iraq war.

None of those events provide reasons to support Bush or the Republican party.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 2:20 PM on December 9, 2007



It's interesting how selective it is. Several of the most notable events of the last seven years are completely absent from the "Events" poster: World Trade Center, Bali, Madrid, London. Odd, isn't it? It's almost as if those things never happened.


Stephen C. Den Beste! HONESTLY!

How on earth does 9/11 excuse Abu Gharib? How did it cause Brown's handling of Katrina? Or Mark Foley? Or THE DOZENS OF THE OTHER THINGS ON THESE LISTS YOU RARR ARRGH MRGGH---

Okay. Calm down. This is the guy who, on his own site, when a post of his gets pointed out as being unusually wingnutty on a "real blog," he deletes it. He uses the referral field to block incoming links from people pointing out his lameness. It's not worth getting worked up about....

...but it IS worth getting worked up about!

SCDB, you are cool in a lot of ways. Your non-political posts prove that. So why is it that, when it comes to Bush and company, who even the infamous dios doesn't seem to be defending these days, it seems like you're blind? Do none of the sixty-eight things on even the first poster find purchase in that brain of yours? Do you not even make an attempt to see the world objectively?
posted by JHarris at 2:50 PM on December 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Oh my god those three posters are like a 2007 version of "We Didn't Start The Fire"!

I wonder if someone would take those three posters and actually use them to cover it?
posted by Talez at 3:02 PM on December 9, 2007


There's been some good policies the last 7 seven years: The Do Not Call List and The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument. That's about it.

Given that the Do Not Call List was a Congressional mandate, I think you've only got one thing on there.
posted by grouse at 3:09 PM on December 9, 2007


The best example is the image of the VW beetle covered with anti-Bush slogans. The folks on Malkin's blog see it and laugh because, hey, what a deranged wacko! they're suffering from B.D.S.! A good marketer will look at it and say, "Um, guys? You just paid to print a poster covered with your opponent's slogans, and you didn't even bother with a rebuttal."

I think this is the only one that DOES work. The rest are just regurgitations of GOP talking points crossed with this Dems = Commies meme the True Believers on the Right have deluded themselves into.

This one, though, perfectly represents the last eight years. Lots of anti-Bush rhetoric plastered on the backs of cars, and that's all we have to show for what the Left's been able to do the last eight years. It's all knee-jerk anti-Dubya sentiment combined with an ineffectual Democratic Party that has done little with the power they do have -- other than do things that look nice on bumper stickers.

It's the one response that does work, because it's the one response the GOP could make -- at least they have been doing something, anything, the last eight years besides whine about the current administration.

I give that poster creator a lot of credit, because it's a simple, subtle response alongside the lot of whining, mouth foaming, inane, hammering-the-point-home-with-a-crowbar Cold War bloody shirt posters created by people who can't proofread.

It would work even better if some of the Silverstein poster lines were plastered on the car alongside the anti-Bush stickers, but since I really want the Dubya administration to wrap it up and get out of here ASAP I'm not going to suggest it out loud.
posted by dw at 3:12 PM on December 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Maybe there's a logic to those right wing posters, though. If the real criticism is that the Democrats have been utterly ineffective in opposition, then the one thing you don't want is for them to stake out a solid position on the left. So you frighten them with undead hammer and sickles to keep them where you want them, in the 'centre'.

I take it back, Malkin's buddies are geniuses. It's the only logical conclusion!
posted by topynate at 3:18 PM on December 9, 2007


It's interesting how selective it is.

Not like, say, a blow job. That was a campaign fought on a *real* issue, right? That was a blow job that lead to economic meltdown and massive international instability, right? So nobody could accuse the right wing and the US media of being selective when they spent two years going on and on about a blow job, could they?

These posters, though. Definitely selective.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:19 PM on December 9, 2007 [4 favorites]


I 01.20.09
posted by ericb at 3:20 PM on December 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


If only politics and the world were as black and white as these posters. These are silly and serve only to validate our sometimes misinformed, closed-minded beliefs. I know MeFi leans left, but there are members here who can see both sides of an issue.
posted by Avenger50 at 3:22 PM on December 9, 2007


01.20.09: "My Fellow Americans, Our National Nightmare is Over."
posted by ericb at 3:23 PM on December 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I know MeFi leans left, but there are members here who can see both sides of an issue.

Okay. So what's the "other side" of Abu Ghrab, Katrina, Waterboarding, Alberto Gonzalez, Scooter Libby, Mike Brown, "Mission Accomplished," and "Last Throes?"
posted by ericb at 3:30 PM on December 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


These are silly and serve only to validate our sometimes misinformed, closed-minded beliefs.

"Sounds like a lazy generalization to me."
posted by ericb at 3:33 PM on December 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


If the Democrats don't run with these - and they really, really, really should - can we maybe petition those concerned to grant permission for the rest of us to print them and run them everywhere? Newspapers, magazines, bus shelters, anywhere we can get it across? I'm not sure about We Didn't Start The Fire, as suggested above, but they also sure would make a great script for a TV commercial.
posted by bwerdmuller at 3:35 PM on December 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


dw: Interesting point -- I can definitely see that. I think you're right that it's the strongest of the posters, in that it's one of the only ones that's both original and well-executed. I still think the message is a little too subtle when compared to the barrage of screwups in the original posters. "They didn't manage to stop us!" isn't exactly a resounding endorsement of your own policies.

But I think I'm splitting hairs at this point. The originals are very powerful, no matter how you cut it, and they're clearly made by a pro. I'll stop fawning. Thanks for the thoughts. ;)
posted by verb at 3:39 PM on December 9, 2007


Those are really, really good. If you actually read them ... you do get overwhelmed (...). Which is the point.

I thought the posters were too wordy ... Oddly, they miss what made "Got Milk" so effective - a strong image with a repeatable, snappy punchline.

First commenter, well, yeah, it is about being overwhelmed, but in order to grok that, you must invest the time required to, y'know, read the words. Which is utterly counter to the spirit and objective of effective posters, in my opinion. One image, three words or less (which must be legible from a speeding train car and lodge in your mind for reflection).

Second commenter, exactly right. These posters actually would make better radio or TV ads. I can see the TV version now: the words pile up on the screen until the screen is utterly black, and the crime show dun-dun noise plays and the words 'got milk?' pop up in clean, hopeful white.

Well, except for the dun-dun part.

And the 'got milk?' part.

Try 'Enough already' or 'Fire these chumps' or something.
posted by mwhybark at 3:55 PM on December 9, 2007


So what's the "other side" of Abu Ghrab, Katrina, Waterboarding, Alberto Gonzalez, Scooter Libby, Mike Brown, "Mission Accomplished," and "Last Throes?"

the other side is ineffective noise and do nothingism

if the democrats really want to be effective they have to tell us what they're going to DO - not tell us what they don't like - and all these posters do is remind us of what we don't like
posted by pyramid termite at 3:58 PM on December 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Shortened versions of the posters are for sale here. I really wish they printed them full-length, though. The impact is much greater when it looks like something unfurled, a scroll that comically hits the ground as it unrolls when the actor starts to read from it.
posted by wemayfreeze at 4:13 PM on December 9, 2007


I ♥ 01.20.09

Here you go. PDF here for printing or what have you.

Not perfect, but good enough. Like whatever democrat gets the nomination, amirite?!
posted by wemayfreeze at 4:43 PM on December 9, 2007


the other side is ineffective noise and do nothingism

I disagree. This is a sharply polarized nation. The dems have been in pushed back on their heels since they first lost the Senate in the 80s. They/we have an agenda, eg. Howard Dean's campaign platform, but, unfortunately, that didn't play in Peoria.

The system is ba-ro-ken. It is not our politicians who are defective, it is us.

Metafilter: (honestly, I didn't figure SCdB was that clueless)
posted by panamax at 4:54 PM on December 9, 2007


It is not our politicians who are defective, it is us.

sometimes the only thing that can fix that is leadership - but i'm not seeing much of that these days
posted by pyramid termite at 5:07 PM on December 9, 2007


01.20.09: "My Fellow Americans, as I come to you on the eve of my Emergency Third Term, our Nation faces grave peril from the evil-doers..."

Sorry in advance for the nightmares.
posted by rokusan at 5:09 PM on December 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


"Sounds like a lazy generalization to me."

What a cutting, cutting, way of using my own words against me. I'm cut. Really, I am.

No actually, really though, it doesn't apply. My argument against the posters is that it's Republicans did THIS and Democrats did THIS. Republicans bad, Democrats good. That's the lazy generalization.
posted by Avenger50 at 5:53 PM on December 9, 2007


My argument against the posters is that it's Republicans did THIS and Democrats did THIS. Republicans bad, Democrats good.

I don't think what the posters are communicating is quite that. Certainly some people reading them will already think every one of those things is entirely the fault of the Republicans. But I think that the message of the posters is "Here's a list of things that have occurred under a Republican administration. These are reasons to vote for a Democratic candidate." "But the Democrats were around for this stuff too!" isn't a reason for a Republican to hold office.

In one way I sort of agree with you though: in a two-party state the message "Vote for the opposition and things will be substantially different!" is ridiculous.
posted by XMLicious at 6:36 PM on December 9, 2007


I love the design of these posters, but I look at the "Haven't we had enough?" slogan at the bottom and the first thing that comes to mind is "Well, yes, -I- have. But where were you when all this crap was going down?" Because if my vote depended on how good a job the Dems did actually -opposing- when they were in the opposition, they wouldn't be getting my vote next Nov. Lucky for them, it doesn't. Hope enough people feel the same way.
posted by longdaysjourney at 6:50 PM on December 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I love that the not-so-subtle subtext of many of the right-wing responses on Malkin's page is that democrats are secretly "commies".

Hilarious in light of the thing history will probably judge Bush MOST harshly on. If there's one things Regan conservatives can legitimately be proud, it's that we won the Cold War.

And now, amazingly, mind-bogglingly, these supposed Conservatives SUPPORT Putin in his effort to restore dictatorship to Russia. These people seem to give no thought whatsoever to legitimate issues of national security. None.
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:18 PM on December 9, 2007


in a two-party state the message "Vote for the opposition and things will be substantially different!" is ridiculous.

Yes, if Gore was president I'm sure things would be exactly the same.
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:19 PM on December 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Yes, if Gore was president I'm sure things would be exactly the same.

I doubt that a Gore United States would be substantially different from that of any given Republican candidate that ran in the same election. Bush has been heinous and jingoistic, yes, but it was under a Democratic White House that we went from 16,000 soldiers in Vietnam to 550,000 and had the Gulf of Tonkin incident. The "choice" between Republican and Democrat is Orwellian newspeak.
posted by XMLicious at 7:50 PM on December 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


But drjimmy11, if we really did win the Cold War...

No, we did (that Reagan was responsible is an article of faith). Communism is dead (hence the ridiculousness of the right wing ads). Russia is far more similar to the US than it was 25 years ago. The threat is no longer from Russia; it's from terrorism! Thank you, Steven C. Den Beste, for pointing that out. This is what the right believe. This is what they want everyone to believe. Russia may become a backer of terrorists, in another few years, but it will be terror, not the autocracy of Russia or its ideology, that will be what makes it an enemy of the US.

Is that any kind of poster material?
posted by topynate at 7:56 PM on December 9, 2007


The US is also far more similar to the USSR than it was 25 years ago.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:11 PM on December 9, 2007


XMLicious, under Gore, would we have gone to Iraq? Or focussed on Afghanistan and bin Laden? Engaged more effectively with Pakistan, maybe?

Even if a push was made to go to Iraq, would we have overruled Hans Blix? Or listened to the inspections results?

Would "enemy combattants" be locked up & tortured in Guantanamo or secret CIA prisons in eastern Europe?

Gore, you may recall, served in Vietnam, for one thing, and is likely to have learned something from the experience, unlike our current President, who found better things to do than serve out his National Guard tour at home.

There often aren't substantial differences between centerist Democrats and centerist Republicans, but between Gore & Bush? Plenty of room.
posted by galtr at 8:39 PM on December 9, 2007 [4 favorites]


pyramid termite, I have to admit that I'm pretty tired of the argument that the Dems are losers 'cuz they don't articulate an alternative. The fact of the matter is that the current administration (and the Repubs when they held both houses of Congresses) displayed a startlingly high degree of incompetence at best and flat-out criminal behavior at worst. And that in and of itself is absolutely enough reason to throw them out on their asses. I'm by no means saying that the Dems are blameless or perfect, but accountability calls for the Repubs taking the hit. Period.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 9:18 PM on December 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


galtr, I think you missed the part where I said "Bush has been heinous and jingoistic".

Those things probably wouldn't have happened under Gore but they probably wouldn't have happened if another Republican candidate besides Bush had been elected either.

The idea that one party is the party of just principle and the other party is a bunch of underhanded politicians is just false and it's false when espoused by either side. A Democrat can also start a war under false pretenses when it serves his purpose - it has been proven.
posted by XMLicious at 10:22 PM on December 9, 2007


All these years later and you STILL can't listen to a consecutive 5-minutes of Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity without them somehow invoking and scapegoating Clinton for something ... and they have to audacity to mock Dems with "But, Bush ... But, Bush ... " Project, much, wingnutz?
posted by RavinDave at 1:17 AM on December 10, 2007


And as is typical of the talentless automatons of the right wing, they've chosen a shitty typeface, disproportional resizing, and hideous typesetting. Say what you will about the left wing, but at least some of us know how to make a poster with something other than a copy of Microsoft Works.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:21 AM on December 10, 2007 [6 favorites]


"Well, if you ignore Bin Laden's escape and the ensuing cock-up over the past several years, Afghanistan was handled fairly well. But your final grade =! your mid-term exam." I'd agree. For the Afghans and particularly the minority ethnicities and the city dwellers the situation is much better than it was in August 01. For the Uzbeks, Tajiks and Hazaras there's an end to the bloody civil war. That's a great thing. OK, so the drugs have increased and the international community isn't getting what it wanted, but then, when it comes to Afghanistan, when does it ever?

But they're great posters.
posted by YouRebelScum at 7:25 AM on December 10, 2007


Yes, if Gore was president I'm sure things would be exactly the same.

That's sarcasm, rite?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:57 AM on December 10, 2007


what's "Triple Canopy"?

When I read the list I assumed that this was a sly way suggesting the following: Triple Canopy = Three Tents = Three ringed circus, thus implying that the current administration is a bunch of clowns, etc.

Then I discovered that it is yet another poorly named mercenary group.

So now we have a circus, and a company named for shitty wastewater acting as our cultural ambassadors abroad?

Great.
posted by quin at 10:30 AM on December 10, 2007


Not to belabor the point, but it would be like running a Hillary Clinton ad that focuses on Whitewater and Monica Lewinski. Because, obviously, those scandals are examples of how deranged conservatives attacked the President and gridlocked the country, right?

Could you remind me, again, what came out of the Whitewater thing, in the way of proven wrong-doing by the Clintons?

Thank you.
posted by Danf at 10:50 AM on December 10, 2007


Oh my god those three posters are like a 2007 version of "We Didn't Start The Fire"! I wonder if someone would take those three posters and actually use them to cover it?

One of my secret talents is knowing all of the words to "We Didn't Start The Fire." I would so do a cover version somehow, had I a lick of songwriting talent.

On a more serious note: All of the allusions to 1.20.09 kind of bother me because yes, Bush will be out of the White House, but who will be in it? There's no guarantee that Bush leaving means that there will be a Democrat elected, and even if the Dems do take over, are they really going to effect positive change? Will we really have affordable health care and a pony in every home? It's one thing to talk about change, but another thing entirely to actually create it.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:42 AM on December 10, 2007


World Trade Center, Bali, Madrid, London.

You left out anthrax, which President Bush repeatedly described as a terrorist attack.

For the Afghans and particularly the minority ethnicities and the city dwellers the situation is much better than it was in August 01.

Over Half of Afghanistan under Taliban Control, November 22, 2007: "Six years ago coalition forces headed into Afghanistan to eradicate the Taliban. Now an international think tank says more than half of the country is under the Taliban's thumb."

Not perfect, but good enough. Like whatever democrat gets the nomination, amirite?!

Considering that all of the liberal justices on the Supreme Court are over retirement age, yes.

Could you remind me, again, what came out of the Whitewater thing, in the way of proven wrong-doing by the Clintons?

Whitewater investigation Six-plus years, $60 million. "This office determined that the evidence was insufficient to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that either President or Mrs. Clinton knowingly participated in any criminal conduct."

9/11 Commission: A year and eight months, $3 million.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:00 PM on December 10, 2007 [3 favorites]


I like the posters. They speak well to all my biases. But they are not very effective AS posters.

Jesus, this is depressing.

People know all that stuff and have for over three years. And still Bush and Cheney sit unmolested, fat and happy, awaiting 8 figure post administration consultant salaries.

OVER 50% of US citizens are utterly disgusted with their executive leadership and KNOW that the administration has done egregious illegal acts. Acts including starting and losing an immoral and illegal war to unemployed Arab teenagers. And we do essentially nothing.

That this president can successfully stump for MORE war to his moron die hard 20% "base" and KEEP his job, let alone stay out of jail, tells me all I need to know about the dominant charachter of this Republic. It's rotten. Rotten to it's core. I do not know if it can be saved. This is the first time in my adult life I have even entertained such a thought. But there it is.

I will now take this time earn my next ten thousand dollar prediction. And you can blame exclusively the Democratic party.

Here it is: If there is not a major sea change in American malaise or a huge obvious reversal of the "surge" in Iraq the Republicans will win in 2008. Learn to say it: President Huckabee.

There I said it. And I so hope I am wrong. Because kiss good bye to America if that happens.
posted by tkchrist at 12:10 PM on December 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Republicans bad, Democrats good. That's the lazy generalization.

What country have you been living in for the last six years? I can only guess it's been a third world country without radio, TV or an internet (That's this thing we are on right now. It brings you information!).

If this was the Dems and Republicans of 15 years ago I might agree with you. But now? No way.

The Republicans had it all. The Legislative branch. The Judicial Branch. The Executive branch - TWICE. It was THEIR country for over five years. And look what they have done? The systematically dismantled ALL our institutions from defense, education to emergency management. And you must have been asleep during the results of this Stewardship. So let me fill you in. They fucked it all up.

We are discussing if torture is okay or not. And it appears that a MAJORITY seem to think it's just fine.

Lazy?

If you want to argue weather the Democrats are effective at getting elected... you got a case. And I would agree.

If you want argue if the Democrats are principled? Okay you got a case. But "good?" I read that as "competent" and governing.

Remember those "elites" that Bush successfully demonized during the 2000 and 2004 campaign? Well they knew how to RUN things. They had 50 years of experience. They were left in place by the democrats and the GOP for YEARS.

And then Bush surgically removed ALL our elites. From State. From Interior. From the AG office. From defense. And he replaced them with glare-eyed ideologue Liberty U nut bags who did not know shit.

Say what you will about the "Elite" bureaucracy and the pussification of liberals but one thing is for god damned sure. They knew how to GOVERN without destroying the systems they supposedly have sworn to protect.

Yes. In terms of REAL governing. Democrats Good. Republicans BAAAAAAAD.

Lazy? It's just an observable fact.
posted by tkchrist at 12:32 PM on December 10, 2007 [5 favorites]


When typesetting is implemented well, the result is fierceness.
posted by humannaire at 12:45 PM on December 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


If you can't decide which poster to give the swing voter in your life, there is always this apropos political tshirt from Threadless!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 12:48 PM on December 10, 2007


Nice shirt, but to be accurate in all ways, there should've been a lot more elephant poop.
posted by wendell at 12:55 PM on December 10, 2007


if the democrats really want to be effective they have to tell us what they're going to DO


Since when has telling a public what you're going to do get you elected? Bush BUILT his 2000 presidency on "Not Clinton!" and "I hate Gays, too!" and "Libruls are teh dumb, amirite!?". Reagan built his run on anger and hate. Hate for communism. Anger over Carter and Iran.

No new taxes? No nation building? All of that shit was blatant pandering and complaining.

And look how THOSE pledges turned out.

Attacking Bush is what they should be doing. They shouldn't even be saying "The Iraq War." They should be saying "Bush's debacle in Iraq." The Democrats are targeting Bush too little too late. That's the problem. Largely because they voted for the war and becuase they are terrified of being called pussies.

Bush IS the GOPs Achilles Heel. That's why Rove left. That's why it's like rats deserting a sinking ship in DC right now. If anything they should be blaming Bush for everything. From Battlestar Galactica being delayed until March to the price of cable TV. That is if they actually want to win. Which I don't think they do.
posted by tkchrist at 1:03 PM on December 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


“And still Bush and Cheney sit unmolested, fat and happy, awaiting 8 figure post administration consultant salaries.”

Well, not unmolested.

...y’know, considering the Jeff Gannon thing.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:37 PM on December 10, 2007


"Six years ago coalition forces headed into Afghanistan to eradicate the Taliban. Now an international think tank says more than half of the country is under the Taliban's thumb." The Taliban had absolute control of all but a very small proportion of Afghanistan in August 01, not 54%. The remaining part was experiencing full scale ethnically oriented civil war. Second, the Senlis Council cannot claim 'under the thumb' according to their data. They can claim the ability to mount a serious attack. This, in Afghan terms, is nowhere near the same as control. Third, the attacks are mostly on security and the foreign troops, less so ethnic violence. I have worked on former front line Tajik communities in Parwan and Takhar Provinces and this is a serious improvement. The US invasion of Afghanistan improved - and for the ethnic minorities and, I think, the Pashtun too - has still improved the situation.
posted by YouRebelScum at 3:14 PM on December 10, 2007


dw: Interesting point -- I can definitely see that. I think you're right that it's the strongest of the posters, in that it's one of the only ones that's both original and well-executed. I still think the message is a little too subtle when compared to the barrage of screwups in the original posters.

One more point on this one: The Che sticker.

For some on the Right, there's this knee-jerk reaction to Che, that he's this eevl commie and Castro fellator. But what it represents here is the fad of Che. And the connection the poster creator is making here is between the faddishness of Bush hatred to the faddish hero worship of Che, in effect suggesting that Bush hatred is just the empty idealism of youth.

And that just drives home the "nothing to show for it" motif even more.

I don't think you could put that poster up and get the sorts of reaction that the brilliant and beautiful Silverstein posters can, but that doesn't detract from this being brilliant in its own right. It's thoughtful, works on many levels, and is incredibly sophisticated. That right-wing designer has real talent. The rest have unlicensed copies of Photoshop.
posted by dw at 3:34 PM on December 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


pyramid termite, I have to admit that I'm pretty tired of the argument that the Dems are losers 'cuz they don't articulate an alternative.

your fatigue is not a rebuttal

Since when has telling a public what you're going to do get you elected?

it's always been a sign of leadership - and that's what the american people want

the republicans are willing to simulate it - or to provide it going in the wrong direction - the democrats simply haven't shown their leadership - they STILL are reacting to what bush and the republicans do and STILL are following them, not leading them

the republicans have figured out that the people prefer wrong-headed, lying, incompetent leadership to "we're going to do something different, whatever it is, um, it'll be better than them, and uh, we're honest"

NOT good enough

the dems MUST articulate an alternative to look like leaders - period
posted by pyramid termite at 4:52 PM on December 10, 2007


Lazy? It's just an observable fact.



Super dramatic. Lovin' it, tkchrist.



All I'm saying, and I'm sure reasonable people will agree, is that this situation is hardly entirely the fault of one political party in the United States. Or one man.



Faulty intelligence? The costliest and one of five deadliest hurricanes in the country? Acts committed by some personnel of the 372nd? Yes there are two sides to all of this. It doesn't make it right, pretty, or justifiable. It just makes it so much more than a few posters, snarky one-liners, and smug self-satisfaction.



And I have no faith in Democrats either. Those who think Gore would have done so much better, or that a new Democratic administration, are in la-la-land.



La.
posted by Avenger50 at 4:52 PM on December 10, 2007


Y'know, besides the "Get Milk" campaign, I really liked Where The Sidewalk Ends.
posted by XMLicious at 4:54 PM on December 10, 2007


Those who think Gore would have done so much better, or that a new Democratic administration, are in la-la-land.

Avenger50, I grant you the other events, but there are very few possible presidents of either party for whom faulty intelligence would have led to an invading-Sudetenland-style preemptive war. This wasn't just a miscalculation, it was a major evil. Whether he was cravenly gunning for it himself or let himself be led into it through weakness, Bush is the one with the keys to the kingdom. We do have to accept blame as a nation in the greater global community but as the President he was either the author of this war or the one who should have stopped it.
posted by XMLicious at 5:32 PM on December 10, 2007


Those who think Gore would have done so much better, or that a new Democratic administration, are in la-la-land.

Avenger I want you to tell me everything you have eaten, drank and/or smoked for the last 72 hours. What ever it is it has left your memory hazy and the hangover has left you so cynical that I think you could make Bill Hicks cry. Even though he is dead.

Then I want you to eat some good healthy protein, maybe drink one of them B12 Acai berry drinks and then carefully read over the highlights of the last six years. You can't possibly come to the same conclusion. Your a smart guy. So I know it's not that. It must be nutritional.

Gore most certainly WOULD have done a better job. In fact it wold be near impossible for him to a worse job than Bush. you telling me seriously that Madeline Albright is on PAR with Condoliza Rice? Rice may have been a protegé of Albrights father but she was a very poor student obviously. Rice has been wrong and Albright RIGHT about everything that has happened.

Look. One of the principle tenets of Neo Con Bible pre 9/11 was this:

The threat of Terrorism does not matter in any strategic sense. The only thing that matters is nation states. And nation sates respect only raw military power. Not diplomacy. Once you take out a nation state with overt military action every other actor will step into line.

Now in a way they were right about the "threat" of terrorism. Bin Laden, even WITH a nuke cannot destroy the republic. No.

Our reaction to him CAN, though. And it this what the GOP still fails to understand.

And there is your big difference. Gore fully recognized the threat terrorism posed. It is INTERNAL. He talked about it during his campaign.

Did Bush even mention terrorism? Fuck no. No Bush talked about Clinton's anti-terrorism attempts as "nation-building." Remember?

The neocons not only didn't take terrorism or Bin Laden seriously AT ALL in the first place but the GOP ran around like chicken with their head cut off after 9/11 because they had removed or sent to bureaucratic gulags ALL our counter-terrorism experts in preparation for invading Iraq. A war which they had planned from day one. All they had left were neocon DIPSHITS in charge installed by other neo con dipshits like Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz. The fact we tackled Afghanistan AT ALL is a miracle.

In fact Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and Cheney all wanted to invade Iraq and are on the record as dead set against going after Bin Laden. They had to resort to CLINTON'S plan to invade Afghanistan drawn up by Richard Clarke.

The people Bush carefully excised as ideologically impure from the decision making and analyst positions ALL turned out to be right. And for this "surge" — otherwise known as re-fucking-enforcements — the Bushites have literally begged borrowed and stolen to get those same guys they humiliated and blamed BACK into the intelligence loop.

And what does Bush do once he gets some smart people back into the State department? He fucking tells the country they are liars when the actual facts they produce contradict his hype to bomb Iran.

There is no way gore would have invaded Iraq like Bush. Simply no fucking way. All his former State and Intel people were dead set against it.
posted by tkchrist at 6:03 PM on December 10, 2007 [4 favorites]


Don't know if anyone is still in this thread but I got permission from huffington post to use these posters for an interactive website. Basically each name or event will be a link to info about the subject. You can see my work in progress here.

I've already got an image map for each poster, but now I've gotten to the hard part.

There are over 250 potential links here

Anyway check out what i've got. If you think you might be interested in helping please contact me through the info in my profile.
posted by sourbrew at 9:02 PM on December 10, 2007 [6 favorites]




The intelligence wasn't faulty, it was misrepresented. Vice President Cheney said, "We do know, with absolute certainty, that he is using his procurement system to acquire the equipment he needs in order to enrich uranium to build a nuclear weapon." In fact, the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq contained doubts that Iraq was trying to develop nuclear weapons and said the equipment could be used for centrifuges. There were significant differences between the classified and declassified versions of the NIE. Caveats and qualifiers in the classified version were edited out of the declassified version.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:41 PM on December 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Man. Apologies for that mess. I seriously need a proof reader. Anybody reading my posts from now on just assume I am a fairly well read Australopithecus dictating my thoughts to a monkey who then passes them in shorthand to Tarzan to type into a browser.
posted by tkchrist at 3:10 PM on December 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


sourbrew, thanks for posting the link. I'll be happily tracking the progress!
posted by iamkimiam at 2:46 PM on December 12, 2007


Anybody reading my posts from now on just assume I am a fairly well read Australopithecus dictating my thoughts to a monkey who then passes them in shorthand to Tarzan to type into a browser.

As ever, I will vouch for for tkchrist.
posted by mwhybark at 6:16 PM on December 12, 2007


[scratches self, throws feces] Ook! ook-ook!
posted by five fresh fish at 8:42 PM on December 12, 2007


avenger: We ran away from Vietnam in a hurry, but look, we're still here and the world hasn't ended.

Not to mention that we're back in Vietnam in an increasingly large way.

Where by "we", of course, I mean the corporations who own the American government.
posted by lodurr at 1:49 PM on December 16, 2007


The Card Cheat: I especially like "TAX HIKES ON THE RICH - redistribution of wealth," which should only scare you if you're, you know, rich.

It's not the rich they're aiming it.

It's the people who fantasize about someday becoming rich.

They see progressive taxation (and especially "death taxes") as taking away something that they've been promised. It's like cutting a haunch off the mule and taking back three of your 40 acres in advance.
posted by lodurr at 2:00 PM on December 16, 2007


It's the people who fantasize about someday becoming rich.

It's an imaginary tax on the stupid, as opposed to the Lottery, which is a real tax on the stupid.
posted by wendell at 3:39 PM on December 16, 2007


hey everyone,

The link up thread i posted is to my home dev server. The project is now live at itsournation.com, which will be its permanent residence. You can register and help add info to any of the 221 subjects using the register link on the site.

thanks in advance.
posted by sourbrew at 8:56 PM on December 16, 2007


Is it just me or does the "they think we're stupid" poster read "They Think We Re Stupid"? missing an a.
posted by divabat at 10:37 PM on December 16, 2007


... imaginary tax on the stupid ...

Stupid? I don't think so. Perfectly normal. Not the best way to approach analyzing a particular situation, but perfectly normal.

On the venal, perhaps. I could go for that.

But then, we're all venal. That's why we can all be conned.
posted by lodurr at 3:42 AM on December 17, 2007


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