Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The GOP's Anti-Obama Propaganda

By Robert Parry
February 25, 2009

Today’s Republicans are thumbing through Newt Gingrich’s worn playbook of 1993 looking for tips on how to blunt President Barack Obama’s political momentum and flip it to their advantage. In doing so, they also appear to have dug in to what might be called the secret appendix.

Read on.


Anonymous said...

The Republican's are a thorn in the Democrat's side. They are not realizing in the last eight years under Bush they have caused the largest deficit America has ever know. They keep supporting the wealthy few to the tone of draining the middle class into poverty. Obama is stenthening America with his drastic changes. the Rebublican's want the same o same o that defeats Democratic beliefs. THE REPUBLICAN'S WANT TO KEEP POWER AT ALL COSTS.

Anonymous said...

Rarely do I feel outside the choir when reading a Bob Parry article and this occasion is only a slight exception to the rule.

I don't question the psy-ops black arts practiced against the Clintons, though I'm not sure what we know for certain about Vince Foster's death. Whatever the dirty pool antics of the Republicans, I think it fair to say that Bill and Hillary Clinton provided much raw material for use in questioning their integrity and priming their enemies to accept the worst libels as likely true.

I think the Clintons bear their own responsibility for the degree to which their tarnished reputations have harmed the causes that they seem to have embraced.

It is true, I'll grant, that the Republicans are once again dusting off their old and proven trickery and resorting to hypocritical caricature.

Yet, once again Obama, in this instance, gives much ammunition. On the economy issue complex, his choice of Treasury Secretary seems little more competent to navigate the current tsunami than he was, to give him doubtful benefit, in handling his personal tax reporting. Worse, Obama has an apparent yen to appoint/consult with people who knew/should have known we were headed south in a hand basket and either did nothing or gave the basket a push along.

Arguably, many of the GOP assaults on the stimulus plan adopted to the tune of $787,000,000,000.00, are in fact apt and many non-partisan experts as well as a core of Progressives doubt the wisdom of the Obama Stimulus.

It is pandering for Obama to divide the world into his stimulus proponents and those who wish to do nothing. It was also disgraceful for the Democrats to cram the larder with piggy preferences.

What's more distressing than these domestic antics is Obama's foreign policy moves: Dennis Timorese Massacre Blair, Czar of Intelligence, Leon Formerly Respectable Panetta, CIA chief who will "render" for Obama, if asked, and will seek expanded repertoire of truth serum for reluctant "alleged" terrorists...., add to this denigration of human rights optimism the D of J policies to use state secrets to bar meritorious inquiry.... and Obama, though wonderful vis-a-vis Bush II, is a deplorable disappointment given that he's a constitutional law professor who once acted as if he were a better man than the one now trivializing the lives of those in the way of drones, stranded in Bhagram or seeking redress frokm Boeing subsidiaries for their rendering holidays in Syria and elsewhere.

The Reverend Wright apparently had it right when he said when: Obama speaks, he speaks as a politician (read "not a statesman).

George Collins
Goffstown NH

Bob Locke said...

I hate to add paranoia on top of paranoia, but the NY Post's cartoon about the ape being shot by police with the comment about the stimulus package--not only intrinsically unfunny but unmistakable as anything but a suggestion that the President be assassinated--ranks right up there at the top of Republican treachery, even sedition.

We must point it out every time we see it and deplore them as unAmerican.

"I hope the President fails to rescue us"????????

Anonymous said...

The smear machine is indeed alive. I suppose their theory is that if a lie is repeated often enough, it becomes the truth. For example:

This past Friday or Saturday night at a gathering in Cullman, AL, Richard Shelby (D turned R-AL) responded to a remark about President Obama’s American citizenship with words designed to keep the stupid idea in the public’s mind that the President is not an American citizen, because his father was from Kenya. This comes from a United States Senator who knows the facts but chooses to perpetuate the gossip. Shelby’s office issued a “clarification” the next day. This writer dashed off a “tell it like you know it is in the first place, you buffoon” email to Shelby as soon as I heard about that incident. The people who heard him are highly unlikely to read his clarification, so his words had their desired effect.

The Republicans have nothing to offer but to sow seeds of division, cynicism and hate. They depend on that to keep the rednecks here in the South behind them—after all, telling these fools the truth: “We don’t give a damn about you except for your loud voices and your votes; we exist to take care of the rich” would eventually not go over very well even in these parts.

I did find it interesting that during President Obama’s entrance into Congress last night, Shelby’s gladhanding of the President was so enthusiastic that it could have easily pulled him up into Shelby’s seat. Hypocrisy in action.

Call them out on every lie or misrepresentation. What we are facing in this country should transcend politics but the bottom line is that they just do not care about this country as a whole.


blogadoccio said...

Obama vs. The Right = Road Runner vs. Wile E. Coyote

Millions of people are concerned about The Right and it's monomaniacal focus on eating Obama's lunch and -- in honor of my analogy in this blog -- perhaps eating Obama himself. There's no doubt they have a lot of weapons at their disposal: a captive media establishment, tons of money for think tanks and for rewarding those who spout the right talking points, a well-trained and loyal strata of American society willing to swallow whatever swill is on offer at the moment, and a simplistic worldview that boils down to a single goal: get The Road Runner Obama.

But Obama is not without his own resources. First of all, he's smart. He's very smart. He has a quick mind, a strong memory, a penetrating analysis, and -- if past successes are any guide -- a gift for politics. That might be enough for him to prevail in this epic struggle for the heart and mind (and future) of America. But he's got something perhaps even more useful and important: He's calm and rational. He doesn't come to his goals from a place of fevered, highly emotional, neurotic or psychotic personal need. His values -- fairness, the long view, Liberalism, perhaps even a touch of Progressivism -- are woven deeply throughout his character. When he faces an obstacle or experiences a setback, he simply reassesses his new situation, takes a deep breath, and continues to work toward what he wants.

That's why the analogy strikes me as so apt. The fanatical Coyote could stop anytime, but doesn't. He is compelled to go after the Road Runner. Smug and overconfident, he is quick to trot out an endless array of powerful devices -- spring loaded launchers, earthquake pills, rocket sleds, catapults, missiles, dehydrated boulders, jet-powered roller skates, and of course painted images of tunnels and caves on rock walls -- that invariably foster exciting expectations of his overwhelming and inevitable victory by force over the naive and frail-looking Road Runner. But we all know how these things always turn out.

Look how the Right has immolated itself so far:

* Refused to bargain in good faith on the stimulus package, withheld all support for it, and so guaranteed they'll get no credit for any good it does

* Stepped up to the openly treasonous and poisonous admission that they're hoping Obama fails

* Positioned themselves as publicly disbelieving facts that are easily and demonstrably true:

1. Obama was born an American and has a valid birth certificate to prove it,
2. Obama is not a Muslim or a Socialist and is not actively destroying capitalism,
3. Obama has not raised taxes on 95% of Americans and in fact already enacted the largest tax cut ever for working Americans,
4. Obama has not inserted the federal government between you and your doctor,

... can you offer other examples? ...

If my analogy proves true, over the next few years we're going to witness a series of humiliating and catastrophic failures for The Right as it flings itself into battle against a cagey and cunningly superior foe, time after time after time.

* They'll paint a train tunnel on the face of a rock wall, and later be run over by a fast train streaming out from it.
* They'll rig a pitfall or a spring-loaded trap for the Road Runner that will freeze inexplicably for the moment he passes through the danger zone, then function perfectly against themselves when they step in to try and figure out why it didn't work.

My favorite, though, will be when they unwittingly ingest the very same earthquake pills they had hoped to get Obama to swallow, and later dejectedly walk off into the sunset, jarred to the bone by an unending series of devasting inner explosions their single-minded hard-heartedness has inadvertently brought upon themselves.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget how the media is also undercutting Obama in a big way. Here’s a headline from CNN:
"68% Give Obama Speech a Thumbs-Up"
If 68 percent liked it, then I guess 32 percent didn’t, right? Wrong. Actually, almost everyone liked it. Sixty-eight percent of speech-watchers questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey had a very positive action, with 24 percent indicating that they had a somewhat positive response and 8 percent indicating that they had a negative reaction.
Hold on, 68 percent were very positive, while another 24 percent were somewhat positive? So 92 percent were positive? But the headline says only 68 percent gave the speech a “thumbs-up.” In fact, only 8 percent gave it a thumbs-down. But wait, there’s more.
Eighty-five percent of those polled said the president’s speech made them more optimistic about the direction the country is headed in over the next few years, with 11 percent indicating that the speech made them more pessimistic. Eighty-two percent of speech-watchers say they support the economic plan Obama outlined in his prime-time address, with 17 percent opposing the proposal. Yes, 85 percent said the speech made them feel more optimistic and 82 percent said they support it. And yet, we were told that only 68 percent give it a “thumbs-up.” If that was the liberal media, I guess we can expect worse from FOX. Yes? No! CNN has lead all media in an effort to play down Obama's success. Wolf Blitzer (The Create A Situation Room) is the worst. He always questions Obama's motives, liberalism, race and plans. Then, there are those pictures. Did you see the two pictures of Obama relatives (they were coal black in color - - no offense intended to Blacks). One was being thrown out of the country; the other was arrested in Africa for drug use. The truth? Obama had never met either one of them. Day in and day out (24/7) CNN dishes out controversy and information to chip away at Obama's popularity with cleverly designed polling questions with equally clever interpretations. Obama is going too fast. Obama is going too slow. Obama is being too ambitious. Obama is not being ambitious enough. Obama is too smart. Obama is not as smart as we though he was when we elected him. Obama is too liberal. Obama is leaning to far to the right. Obama is misleading us about bipartisanship. Obama is being too soft on the Republicans. On and on it goes, while the public gets confused and questions its loyalty to the president. I have a message to CNN. Would CNN and Blitzer please shut the hell up and go away and leave us alone. We do not need your arrogant brand of duplicity and opinion making.

Bill from Saginaw said...

Now that MSNBC has cornered the cable TV niche for political progressives who like hard news coverage to go with Comedy Central's late night lineup, it appears to me that CNN is migrating more and more towards the Faux News model of right wing propaganda masquerading as serious journalism.

This is a tragic tradeoff. Don't forget, CNN originally came into prominence by positioning itself as a refreshing alternative to traditional commercial television perspectives - a more open, more diverse source of regular news coverage than the fare offered up by the habitually centrist (and often dull) CBS, ABC and NBC conglomerates. In my opinion, what the US media market gained with the recent emergence of MSNBC has been more than offset by CNN's slide from the center towards the hard partisan right.

I agree with Robert Parry's major theme - that there indeed was a concentrated smear effort to villify Bill Clinton from the moment he took office by linking the Clintons to nonexistent scandals - the more outlandish and scurrilous the gossip, the better.

Eventually, that right wing smear campaign did take its toll. Kenneth Starr wouldn't have had a mission, multi-million dollar budget, and investigative subpoena power in the first place without this well orchestrated propaganda groundwork having been developed first. That's how lying about a shallow tryst with Monica became an impeachable high crime.

I'm not so ready to tie Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombing to this incessant partisan skullduggery however. There were and are real mental health issues in play where right wing violence is concerned. Also, in terms of the surprize 1992 GOP takeover of Congress, I feel credit should be given to one positive conservative tactic - Newt's infamous Contract with America.

Even though the substance of that platform was shallow, many voters were drawn towards it because there was at least some content there. The Clinton presidency embraced triangulation, issue cooptation, and bipartisan compromise to the extreme. The GOP's vicious, personalized anti-Clinton propaganda campaign was adroitly complemented by an appeal to genuine ideological substance.

The effects of the Newt Gingerich approach still linger inside the DC beltway today. The Republican Congressional caucus and the RNC maintain rigid internal party discipline, and they do articulate a discernable set of core philosophical principles about how government should operate (even though a majority of voters now have had a belly full of it).

The Democrats, in contrast, have neither discipline nor ideological coherence. If you live by charisma and expediency alone, then you're perpetually vulnerable to fall fast and fall hard.

Bill from Saginaw