Archive for the ‘Propaganda’ Tag
David Stockman (Reagan’s first Budeget Director, and himself a Private Equity pioneer) explains Mitt Romney’s fabulous (or is it “fabled”?) business experience.
Governor Romney calling Obama’s “… campaign tactics “disgusting” and “demeaning,” adding: “It’s something which I think the president should take responsibility for and stop.” This regarding questioning the practices of Bain Capital, Romney’s main claim to business expertise.
This from a party and campaign saying that the current President is “taking away our Freedoms” and “Attacking the Constitution”, and the usual “Taking away our Guns”.
Funny and sad…
Look – I am convinced that Mr. Romney had no operational role at Bain after he left for the Olympics in SLC. But that’s not the point. Romney wants to distance himself from what Bain did after 1999, because that’s when most of the deals were done that had “politically unpalatable content and consequences” (read as increased use of outsourcing/offshoring and other such US job losing tactics). Understandable – but does he want us to belive that Bain ‘suddenly’ changed tactics after he left? Did they begin operating in a way that was objectionable – to Romney? If so, he should say so. If not, he should explain why their tactics were ok. After all, he helped found the company.
Is Romney proud of the company he started, or not?
“Citizens United” – what’s the stupidest thing about that decision? For me, it’s the twin concepts of ‘Corporate Personhood’ and ‘Money = Speech’.
Wow. I have to think that our Founders and Framers would be a little bit disappointed in us. For me, it’s pretty self-evident, but let’s see if we can walk thru this slowly.
Corporations are legal relationships amongst people gathered for a profitable enterprise – the people running the enterprise and the people they’ve asked to give them money for a reasonable rate of return (their shareholders). Want it even more simple? PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE. CORPORATIONS ARE AGREEMENTS BETWEEN PEOPLE. Corporations are what’s called abstract – drawn up, basically (bear with me etymologically). It’s a form of financial partnership (hear the money words? that’s why these are twin concepts!).
Now let’s take money (yeah, lots of it ha ha ha). Money is a method of exchange for value given (or taken). More simply – money is what we use to buy stuff.
Speech – that’s people talking, writing. Talking and writing to each other, about each other, with each other. Sometimes you can use money to get someone to talk. These are usually called speeches. You can use money to get someone to write. These are called (among other things) ‘books’.
With me so far? No? Let’s try this: MONEY IS FOR PURCHASING. SPEECH IS TALKING and WRITING. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING. Political money is spent to buy things. When one gives money to someone, some form of performance or value is expected in return. Now many (including a majority on the Supreme Court, unfortunately) seem to think that money is simply part of our public discourse. But what does your conscience tell you? What does the evidence of what is happening to our public discourse tell you? Is money speech, or is it (still and always) for buying stuff?
Does anyone really think that this will shut up the crazies? Please. There is a large sub-species/population that simply cannot stand having that n****r in the White House as President. They will find some other ‘obvious flaws’ that inauthenticate even this document.
Why have these folks not been satisfied by a legal process that worked fine for at least one Senator (Inouye) and one actor (Keanu Reeves)…? If the answer isn’t obvious by now, then you must have your head up your ass.
Further: the first person to try to compare this to the criticisms of George W. Bush (e.g., the facts of his privileged “Play Army” avoidance of real service in Vietnam, and the Supreme Court’s decision to tell a State Government (FL – remember) that it had to stop its own election process, including recounts and verifications) should be slapped in the face with the largest fish locally available.
With so much of the rest of the world struggling to establish real democracy – based on what we once were – we give the world a circus.
David Stockman has of late been a strong voice of dissent over both how our financial markets have been allowed to run (and to have accumulated the bulk of the nation’s wealth – rather than ‘producers’) and how our government handled and is handling the ‘Financial Crisis’ and its aftermath.
Boiled down into my own street language, this recent article says that what we did starting in October 2008 was to take up shovels to cover up the utter bullshit the financial markets had created, and which threatened not the country, but them – just them.
It’s a good read. Like Buckley, Brooks, and a few others, I understand his point even if I disagree with parts – his reasoning is sound.
First, let me get the other side of this out of the way: the Democratic Party is incompetent, at both campaigning and governing.
The Republican Party (the self-proclaimed Right) has an outstandingly organized message machine – nationwide in scope, covering every media that influences votes, money, and all of the ‘voices’ of Power. They work with discipline to hone the most effective words (especially by working with Frank Luntz) to associate ‘bad’ with all of their opposition. While this may be what opposing parties/organizations have always tried to do, no organization has had this much machinery, operating so effectively, ever before. They have, though, become the Liberals they hated in the 60s and 70s: claiming not only that their opposition is wrong – their opposition does not even know how to think!
Think about what they’ve accomplished… The GOP can successfully badger the press into the following:
- Pooh-pooh-ing any talk of –
- Right-wing media ‘machinery’
- Concerns about right-wing government policies leading to government-control concerns
- Tax-cutting as a cause of deficits
- Yet, paradoxically, condoning & promulgating talk of –
- Left-wing government ‘takeovers’ of industries & other parts of our daily life
- Left-wing conspiracies, even to the point of such conspiracies ‘planting’ right-wing actions and fomentation of dissent
- The oxymoronic proposition that (a) Democrats are incompetent, yet (b) Democrats control the media, have taken control of major businesses – and Are Trying to Control YOU!!!
The media has been so successfully cowed by the GOP’s accusations of “Liberal Bias” that they are afraid to call out bullshit when they encounter it – from whatever source. They have become barely better than gossip-mongers, focusing mostly on repeating what other people have said – without any attempt to uncover the Bullshit Percentage.
To me, the GOP is more like Mister Softee (and my deep apologies to Mister Softee for the analogy). They are salespeople, primarily, but they sell fluff: air-filled facsimiles of real wholesomeness. Sure, it looks like ice cream, but it’s full of air – cheap. But EVERYONE loves ice cream!! That’s how the GOP is – they pick the easy, childish ‘sell’ – who doesn’t want “Lower taxes”, a “Stronger America”, and who would argue with the “Sanctity of Life”…?
But they are empty, full of air. They are very well-organized, but what they are after is power. And they are after power so they can line their own pockets, making sure they ‘get theirs’.
Any time public figures try to tell us they are Just Like Us, or are Looking Out for Us, warning bells should sound in our heads. I may not know a lot – but I know when I smell crap.
And the GOP is selling crap.
The GOP’s new Pledge to America is ready, and it’s a lot like their 1994 “Contract with America” – focus group driven and a pure political advertising device. It’s got Frank Luntz’s mark all over it… emotionally charged words to demonize the opposition, paired with phrases to evoke the GOP as the only ones able to “Restore America’s Greatness”.
Restore?? Gee, I thought America could confidently stride into its own future, continuing to grow and change and improve. Exactly what mythical state or previous era are these salesmen referring to?
Shame on us if we fall for it again. And even more shame on us of we don’t know enough history to recognize this demagoguery for what it is.
Just had to add the latest on this from The Daily Show – enjoy.
These folks are great. Perhaps not as consistently brilliant as the teams at Colbert or The Daily Show, but wonderful when they’re “on”… and you can’t beat their titles when they hit it well…
Don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Guess I’ll do both.
I have to say that I agree with Josh Marshall (and others) – on the wanna-be Apostle in Florida… It’s always disappointing (tho unsurprising) to see demagogues on the so-called Right feigning surprise and distance from nitwits like this, when it’s their rhetoric that encourages them.
Poor WFB – I miss him terribly. He was one of those clear thinkers who, even if you disagreed with him, made it easy for his readers to understand his reasoning -because he was reasoning. Today’s so-called ‘conservatives’ don’t. They use fear and rumor in an attempt to simply ruin any opposition. The most pathetic irony is that they are using tired old Red Scare tactics in an age where they try to convince Us that ‘they’ are the ones who understand the “post-9/11 world” and way of thinking. George W. Bush and Sarah Palin are their ideal candidates – willfully ignorant, intellectually lazy, they are ‘gut-based’ actors parading as leaders. This movement’s ‘orators’ are ignorant talking heads, more concerned and pleased with their own fame and perceived power than they are concerned with the future of our Country and our World. They are Ronald Reagan’s worst nightmare – demagogues pretending to be his standard-bearers. [Note: For those of us who actually remember President Reagan, the word ‘demagogue’ was his worst insult.]
I fear for the Conservative movement. The current parade of idiots – both in the party and in the media – is driving the GOP and the Conservative label off a cliff.
Mr. Buckley must be spinning in his proverbial grave – or observing sadly from Heaven… as the “cretins and crazies” he was always fending off appear to have taken over the movement he helped define and elevate.