Who Hijacked Our Country

Monday, September 20, 2010

Trying to Compete Against the Rightwing Noise Machine

This article is about Sarah Palin, but it applies to the teabaggers, Fox News, talk radio shouters and rightwing nutjob candidates in general. Logic and intellect aren’t stopping them. Rational discussion? Good luck.

Sarah Palin talks like a hyperactive 8-year-old, can’t name a single news publication she reads, and only talks to pre-selected audiences. She’s been the butt of more jokes than Dan Quayle and Michael Dukakis put together. And yet she has more influence than ever.

Sure, it’s entertaining to make fun of crazed rightwing demagogues and the millions of inbred dunces who hang on their every word. It’s a guilty pleasure. But it hasn’t accomplished a F$&#in’ thing.

Millions of vapid TV watchers and radio listeners are unable to think any deeper than “Ugh! Taxes! Bad!” “Ugh! Want! More! Beer!” And rightwing demagogues have the perfect soundbites for these people: “Lock and load!” “Take Back Our Country!” “Not ‘no’ but Hell No!” “He’s a MUSLIM!”

And Democrats are supposed to counter this by, what, using logic? Reasoning? Talking about the economy using complete sentences with multi-syllable words?

It’s a long-running cliché that the public usually agrees with the Democratic candidate on the issues, but they vote for the Republican because the Republican campaign has better slogans, and/or the Republican candidate is somebody you’d like to go have a beer with.

Whatever you’d call that syndrome, it’s worse now than ever. Rightwing soundbites are getting sharper and more focused, and the Democrats try to counter them with long dry speeches about how the economy is gradually improving.

What to do?


Blogger Lew Scannon said...

The worse part is, even after the Republicans drive the economy into the ground, and people get tired of the suffering at the hands of deregulation and tax cuts for the wealthy, and vote the Democrats back in control, they fail to capitalize on it, and the next election cycle vote the GOP back in, like they forgot what a crappy job they did before as stewards of our economy.

September 20, 2010 at 7:01 PM  
Anonymous Jess said...

If I knew the answer to this question, I would be making some serious coin as a democratic strategist. It's the one thing I envy the pubbies, when they get a message they can all stick to it and get it out there.

That has more to do with that "liberal media" we have, than anything else though. If they did not do the whole, both sides are equally guilty or this side is better thing, it would be so different. You know, 200 teabaggers a little while ago got more media coverage than about 50k anti war people. Or the Beckture that just happened, with the Tundra twit who I think I might start calling Swinderella for grunts and giggles. They scream the loudest and take away the oxygen in the room, so nothing else can be heard through it.

We saw it with the town halls last year and the Beckture this year, that was oh not political. Yeah with Swinderella not political PLEASE, give me a break. Fox news promoting it day in and day out, Freedomworks and the Dick Armey bussing people in to get crowds. That is not what democracy is all about. We keep hearing about the Tea Party, it's a movement. No it isn't it's the pubbies dressed up in tri cornered hats, calling themselves something else. How many of these supposed Tea Party candidates have aligned themself with dems? Hint, none but they are all diverse with dems, reps and indies in the "grassroots movement"

September 20, 2010 at 8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to say Dan Quayle with legs but now I have to apologize to Quayle. Palin is actually much smarter then he ever was. Now I call her Ronald Reagan with legs because no matter how much he fumbled, now matter much you called him out for being straight out wrong, he came out smelling like roses, just like she does (no I don't know her fragrance).

Quayle's fuck-ups eventually bought him down to where I'm expecting him to do one of those "G" class reality shows.

But Palin is surviving and strong!

I mean I know why the men like her but why the women, when she represents every woman that ever antagonized them?


September 21, 2010 at 12:13 AM  
Blogger Robert Rouse said...

Let's not forget that "we" re-elected George W. Bush, even after most of America started viewing him as a boob. The biggest problem with some voters is their inability to distinguish between "I'd sure like to have a few drinks with that person" from "is this person really qualified to get the job done".

I wish Americans were required to demonstrate some knowledge of civics before they were allowed to vote. I realize that hearkens back to the days of Jim Crow and poll taxes, but by now, most people over 18 can read and write, and even if they can't they can still learn and take an oral exam to get their voter I.D.

September 21, 2010 at 6:19 AM  
Blogger Demeur said...

Tom they're hoping you'll buy into the BS but if you don't they hope you'll be so discouraged that you'll just stay home on election day.

As for me I'm hoping for another FDR type trouncing. The Dems back then gained over 60% of the congress.

September 21, 2010 at 8:43 AM  
Anonymous Thomas said...

The Democrats' consistent problem seems to be that they think the voting public is like they are, intelligent, considerate and informed.

What they need to do is come up with challenges that are as easy to digest as Republican talking points.

Maybe "Prove It," should be the next Progressive slogan, as in "Dear GOP, Prove It."

September 21, 2010 at 1:58 PM  
Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Maybe W.B. Yeats explained it best:

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

September 21, 2010 at 3:35 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Lew: When Democrats are in control, they're more like just a figurehead, or a substitute teacher who can't control the class.

Jess: Maybe Republicans have the right answer. Maybe it's more fun to just march around spouting off simpleminded slogans.

Erik: Palin certainly inherited Reagan's teflon. I have no idea why so many women like her.

Robert: I agree, there has to be a way to disqualify voters who are too gullible. Some sort of simple test that would measure gullibility. If the person showed too high a gullibility level, "sorry, go home now and study the issues."

Demeur: No doubt, conservatives love it when they hear about low voter turnouts. Conservatives ALWAYS vote (gotta give them credit for that), so when voters get discouraged and don't vote, the conservative candidate wins.

Thomas: I think that's exactly the mistake Democratic politicians make, assuming that most voters are informed and able to discuss things intelligently. If only...

Dave: Excellent summary. Yeats was ahead of his time.

September 21, 2010 at 6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well at least this post is not filled with the right is fascist hitler loving Nazis who I hate with every fiber of my being and want them all to die.

But for starters lets try a little history lesson.

During the Carter presidency, the Community Reinvestment Act was passed. To summarize, it was an act of liberal “feelgoodery” than mandated that banks make loans within a radius of their branch offices. It was designed to fight the practice of “redlining,” in which banks would avoid making loans to people in low-income neighborhoods. Of course, there were all sorts of class warfare and racial connotations to redlining, so no one stood against this.

The legislation was upgraded at times during the intervening years, but during the Clinton administration, it received a major overhaul. Regulations were removed, criteria and targets were added, and the sub-prime mortgage became a major factor in the home lending business. These were not a consequence of the reforms; they were FEATURES.

Now of course Under the Clinton administration degregulation accelerated and the economy went into overdrive. The best economy in forever. When Bush took office the economy was of course going into a recession. He cut taxes and it took off.

But the die was cast. The democrats will forever blame the GOP for deregulation when in fact it was as much the fault of the Democrats as it was the Republicans. I wont even bother to go into fannie and freddie, because to do so would simply invite a yeah but your a liar and them Republicans suck moment.

Noise machine?

Friends stop for just a second and think. How loud was the noise coming from the left during Bush's presidency? It was deafening.

What goes around comes around. The Dems wanted the power. They got it and they have failed with a super majority.

With a super majority they solved nothing.

to do so would have made them irrelevant and we all know its about power. Not solutions.

September 21, 2010 at 7:19 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

I agree that the Community Reinvestment Act played a role in the housing crisis. Something had to be done about redlining, but maybe the solution was too heavy handed and too bureaucratic.

But it's a popular conservative talking point to keep bringing up the Community Reinvestment Act and pretend it's the main culprit, and Wall Street excesses were just a minor thing.

I also agree that "The Dems wanted the power. They got it and they have failed with a super majority. With a super majority they solved nothing."

No argument there. Not that I agree with the Republicans or anything; I just want the Democrats to be stronger leaders.

Both sides are more interested in power than solutions. The Democrats are just the lesser of two evils, IMHO.

September 21, 2010 at 8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Clinton's deregulation bills were all gravy handed to him by the republican majority, and I won't forgive him for bending over so often. He also had the "pay as you go!" plan which kept the budget balanced and gave us a large surplus.

If you are a Conservative, this is were they always get quiet, the fact that Bush Jr. didn't renew it, and spent the surplus and everything else going into deficient spending, which he bragged about.

If there was a recessionary cycle, he could have rode it through very quickly with some responsible spending, but he went and spent, leaving us in a predictable situation after 8 years of deficient.

Of there is his Medicare plan which will be the biggest budgetary drain as it was never tied to any sort of budget and basically charged on a nation credit card of sort.

Credit Obama for actually tying some money to that plan to stop some of the bleeding.

But you don't sound like the type to give him any credit.


September 21, 2010 at 10:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its actually a pleasure to come to a left site and not be called a racist, Hitler loving bigot for even opening my mouth.

The Democrats are out of ideas.

The Republicans are out of ideas.

There are just so many good ideas. There are billions of bad ideas. Neither party has a lock on good ideas and both parties share a whole host of bad ideas.

If you look at the make up of congress for the last century you can see that the democrats have had super majorities for literally decades at a time.

They have passed literally millions of regulations aimed at addressing the working classes and the poor. Some of those ideas were good ideas. Good programs but in the end we still have the poor and we still have classes.

Its all about hearts and minds. The GOP just conceded that point decades ago. The democrats just refuse to give up on the poor while spending trillions trying to fix something that is unfixable.

There are many great people who come from the projects. But their are millions who have never left them.

For that do not point the finger at the GOP. Point it at the Democrats who have had SUPER MAJORITIES for decades at a time and did almost nothing to cure poverty. They only have worked hard at making poverty comfortable. Meanwhile the poor are still rotting away in the projects.

Why? Hearts and minds. When there is no hope there is hopelessness. Just go hang around with your most depressing, down and out buddy long enough and pretty soon you will find yourself down and out and pretty bummed out.

There is enough blame for both sides. But right now blogs are about hopelessness and anger. If you get a bunch of readers and commenters saying Amen to every hopeless post you or anyone else posts pretty soon you have all worked yourselves into a lather and nothing the other side could do or say has any merit.

Both sides do it. Both sides want power. They just both step on the people in different ways to attain it.

September 22, 2010 at 3:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You might find that interesting. Barak Obama sponsored a bill to pay for the worlds poverty.

UNITED NATIONS, Sept 20 (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pressed debt-ridden donor countries on Monday not to cut aid to the poor despite their budgetary woes.

“We should not balance budgets on the backs of the poor,” Ban told 140 leaders at the start of a three-day summit to review progress in meeting U.N. poverty goals by 2015.

Both he and French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for some form of financial tax to raise money to combat poverty, an idea already rejected by the International Monetary Fund and many Group of 20 major developed and developing nations.

end cut and paste.

Do you folks not understand why the Right...Teabaggers...are so frustrated with tax, tax, tax?

Everywhere we turn the government is wanting taxes for something else. Yet its been proven time and time again in America that throwing money at poverty solves nothing.

September 22, 2010 at 4:14 AM  
Blogger Dave Dubya said...

I think I recognize you. No matter. Yes I remember the "noise machine" during the Bush years. 24/7 FOX cheeleading, WMD lies dutifully regurgitated by the NY Times, "With us or against us", etc.

Cheney in particular used the corporate media fiddle to play his tune...until "Mission Accomplished" wasn't...until the lies were exposed, until the torture was exposed, until the warrantless surveillance was...eventulally exposed, since the NY Times conveniently withheld the story until AFTER the 2004 election.

Corprate media always suck up to power, while pretending to be objective.

September 22, 2010 at 8:41 AM  
Blogger Beekeepers Apprentice said...

Go vote?

Hell, I don't know...you got me there, Tom.

September 22, 2010 at 3:52 PM  

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