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BobcatJH Donating Member (504 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 09:48 AM
Original message
Projecting strength isn't being strong
In a political climate where the loudest, most brash assertions are often given the most credence, it's easy to get knocked off track. What's really the truth is often lost amidst a torrent of spin, obfuscation and misdirection. Who's really who and what's really what disappear. Confusion reigns.

What's more, phony shows of strength have come to be synonymous with actually being strong. Case in point: The Republican Party. Never has a weaker group of abject failures succeeded more at being portrayed as possessing political strength. Never has a party been aided more by a servile media in appearing in charge and in control. Never has the case been further from the truth. And never have the stakes been higher.

It's an open secret that Karl Rove's plan for the fall elections is to turn the Democrats' greatest strength - the Republican Party's massive incompetence and failure in Iraq - into its greatest weakness. Rove's tactics, which were already on display in his recent denunciations of John Kerry and Jack Murtha, represent a shameful return to the petty politics of fear, smear, division and distraction. Rove's goal, accordingly, is to trick the Democrats into avoiding the war. If his plan works, he will have steered the Democratic Party away from their strongest selling point. And if it works, it will have done so built on a foundation of lies and panic.

More often than not, over-the-top shows of strength like this mask the fact that the displays are coming from places of absolute weakness. Such, of course, is the case here, as it's easy to recognize that the Republican Party is in full-on panic mode. One day they're crowing over the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and the next they're mourning the brutal mutilation and murder of two American soldiers. One day the president is dropping in on Iraq for an impromptu visit and the next he's using rhetoric that his closest advisers can't back up. One day Republicans in the Senate are accusing the Democrats of not supporting the troops and the next they themselves are voting to support the torture, mutilation and murder of our troops.

It got so bad for the Republicans that some have even resorted to trotting out already proven-wrong claims that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. Rick Santorum, down big in his re-election race and headed to near-certain defeat, breathlessly reported that we had, in fact, found WMD in Iraq. Too bad he was proven wrong nearly instantaneously. By the administration. And you know it's bad when Santorum was embarrassed on live television by the likes of Alan Colmes, who surprisingly took a turn embarrassing someone other than himself or liberals for a change.

Of course, the Republicans have been getting a massive assist in Campaign Confusion 2006 by the Beltway media, a group as out-of-touch with America as the Republican Party itself. Listening to the likes of Norah O'Donnell this week has been a nauseating experience. Watching the Washington press corps largely try to salvage anything from this nose-diving administration is an exercise in insanity. O'Donnell has spent the week on "Hardball" lobbing softball questions to Republican guests and accusing Democratic guests of nothing short of being terrorist-emboldening surrender advocates. Joining O'Donnell in buying into the right-wing spin have been several other reporters, who've made false assertions about Americans' hesitation to support the Democrats' Iraq policy, specifically calls for phased redeployment.

But the complicit media, like the Republicans they're so dutifully protecting, are wrong. Dead wrong. Contrary to what the O'Donnells of the world would have you believe, the polls aren't on the Republicans' side. They're on our side. More than two-thirds of Americans feel the nation is headed on the wrong track. Those polled recently by the Washington Post are pessimistic in the policies Bush will pursue in the coming year and now trust Democrats over Republicans on each of the 10 issues pollsters queried. Specific to Iraq and the war on terror, a majority and plurality of Americans, respectively, support the Democrats. People are personally optimistic for their future but remain distrustful of the president and his party and are pessimistic for a Bush-led future.

What does this all mean? It means the facts are on our side. So, too, is the American sentiment, which may be more accurately described as being ahead or our side, at least as far as elected Democrats go. Now isn't the time to buy into Rove's head fake, hook, like and sinker. It's the time to attack the Republicans. Attack them hard. Exploit their weaknesses. Exploit their panic. Exploit their failures. America has already made its mind up about this incompetent administration and its accomplices in Congress. The door is open and it's up to us to kick it in.

Congressional Democrats, there's nothing to fear but fear itself. Rove isn't a mastermind. He's a petty criminal and a walking national security threat. The Republicans' failures in Iraq are theirs and theirs alone. America wants out of Iraq, sooner rather than later. They see through the right-wing rhetoric and are ready, willing and waiting for our next move. They're waiting to see Democratic leadership on the issues, especially this one, the most important issue of our time. They recognize that projecting strength isn't the same thing as actually being strong. But it's up to us to capitalize on the Republicans' weakness. The move is ours.
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BOSSHOG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 09:54 AM
Response to Original message
1. Excellent post and to compound the felony that is the gop
they know their audience. Religiously insane flag waving lunatics who have no clue to what being strong is all about. And they have no idea what "stay the course" means except that is constantly spewed by their heroes. Our kids continue to die because of the policies of a "strong war" president so it must be alright. Fuck a bunch of liberals and their cut and run policies. Ignorant masses being played by puppetmasters. Makes for great theater and a disastrous government.
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thoughttheater Donating Member (71 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 03:08 PM
Response to Original message
2. The Makings of an October Surprise?
While many have focused on the opposing choices of whether we should remain in Iraq without a deadline for withdrawal vs. whether we should establish some deadline to withdraw...there may be something else at play. Read an analysis that explains how Iraq may be the focal point of a Republican October surprise...here:

www.thoughttheater.com

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lvx35 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. a more direct link:
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lvx35 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 03:13 PM
Response to Original message
3. "the facts are on our side"
This statement really sums it all up to me: The Republicans have been running on the shock value of the absurd...You can get in an intelligent argument about why the sky is blue, but the minute somebody starts screaming "the sky is green" rational minds tend to shut up, they have no idea how to argue with total absurdity. This strategy of loudly proclaiming the absurd is what the Republicans have been running on, but ultimately all that it will take to defeat this is for rational minds to loudly, clearly proclaim the obvious. Al Gore demonstrates this well in his latest movie, speaking the truth in simple terms everybody can understand. Pay attention, because I believe this is how we will win.
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alvarezadams Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 07:52 AM
Response to Reply #3
13. I'm not so sanguine
"This strategy of loudly proclaiming the absurd is what the Republicans have been running on, but ultimately all that it will take to defeat this is for rational minds to loudly, clearly proclaim the obvious."

The support of the GOP is very much like cognitive dissonance. Like some Dems, they "vote the shirt" and don't care if it's clean, pressed or indeed the right size. Cognitive dissonance will find solutions - "it's the liberal media" and not the truth, "it's better than cut 'n run" as opposed to the truth.

You mention Gore and his flick. He is indeed good at preaching to the choir. Yet - visit some pubic boards sometime - his flick is despised by the typical cogdised GOPer and the "middle-of-the-road" folks value it as much as they value the corporate-funded (and utterly ridiculous) PR spin that is being advertised by the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

The GOP is full of (and massively supported) by pros that know what they're doing. The right spends around $1 billion per year, every year, election or no election (and not counting campaign funds) in indoctrination. So when they do this (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/22/washington/22capital.... ), you can bet on them knowing that it has a pretty good chance of success.

What memes work? The shorter the better, and those that appeal to emotion. Look this up, it's an eye-opener: http://www.wam.umd.edu/%7Ehannahk/bulletin.pdf
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Child_Of_Isis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 04:06 PM
Response to Original message
5. Rove isn't a mastermind. He's a petty criminal...
Somebody had to say it. :toast:
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Monkeyman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 05:02 PM
Response to Original message
6. Rove trying again
The attack on sears tower is fake its Rove pushing what he said we will win on the Terror issue
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Up2Late Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. Hey Monkeyman, the comma is your friend here. Without at least some...
...sort of punctuation, it's impossible to know what you are talking about.

Throw a few commas in that last post, and maybe folks here will understand what you are talking about. As is, I haven't a clue what you mean. :shrug:
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Blutodog Donating Member (291 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 08:19 PM
Response to Original message
7. Rove
Who the fuck is this fat turd think he is anyway calling Murtha a coward? He gets away with this nonsense because the GOP owns the MIKE and the D's get no chance to reply unless they pay out the ass for time. The Rethugs can frame every issue, lie repeatedly and Russert, "Tweety", Wolf and the rest of the whore MSM media repeat all of it over and over as if it's gospel truth. It's going to be a cakewalk for Rove and his gang of hired assissians and media thugs to work the hapless D's over from now till Nov. I expect by then we'll all be rooting for the D's because their the underdogs in the polls and everyone will be saying how did this shit happen when we thought in march-June we had the GOP and the Preznit on the ropes?
The GOP is developing a strong solid frame and simple pitches to repeat over and over all summer conditioning the voters and the media to their reality. My guess barring some disaster the GOP will end up holding on to both houses of Congress with out breaking a sweat this fall.
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 12:19 AM
Response to Original message
8. a lot has happened since 2004
i don`t think the american public is scared anymore.they are just pissed off...if the democrats don`t stick to the issue that all we have to fear is fear itself then we are screwed.
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Up2Late Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 02:34 AM
Response to Original message
10. I'd like to add, we should try to avoid playing Defense. It's the GOP...
..who should be made to defend their policies and stupidity, don't take their bate when they nit-pick your argument.
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Tellurian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 07:09 AM
Response to Original message
11. Sound bytes for the GOP? Try Schizophrenic behavior..
these words should be part of the Democratic Platform when referring to the opposition.
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alvarezadams Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 07:36 AM
Response to Original message
12. The DNC's greatest weakness:
is that it's trying to be all things to all people. This DLC "strategy" of hic haec hoc cannot work - at best it leaves some people lukewarm while driving away the party base.

The DNC's stance on the war is neither here nor there. Ultimately, and as Kerry has had the balls to admit, the DNC overwhelming voted for the war powers that made the war possible. Only a handful have protested the abuse of said powers. The DNC tries to show that it is against the war yet cannot take the bull by the horns and do something about it - ANYTHING about it - because to do so it will have to admit that it was wrong in abdicating Congressional authority to the warmongers.

The political situation today with regards to the next elections is quite similar to that of 1864 - when the Democrats running against Lincoln were split between Copperheads, war democrats, etc.. In early 1864 Lincoln's goose was cooked and the GOP was certain that it was going to lose and to lose BIG. Yet:

"They must nominate a Peace Democrat on a war platform. or a War Democrat on a peace platform"
Abraham Lincoln to a friend

Of course, the pro-PNAC DLC has a lot to do with this; under no circumstance CAN they claim that they were wrong for supporting the war because they still DO. Pelosi et al have denied that they will call for any political responsibility amongst the admin and its supporters.

So indeed, as you say, the initiative is ours. But the willingness to actually take it seems highly unlikely.
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