Archive for May 22nd, 2006


So I was reading WaPo’s The Fix inside-baseball political blog, a post about Kerry’s new political advisor (some guy), and this happy little tidbit jumped out at me at the end:

One consultant who will not be back if Kerry runs again is Bob Shrum, who served as the lead strategist during the ’04 race. Shrum says he has retired from American politics and currently serves as a senior fellow at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service.

Oh God, I hope this is true. I’m sure the Republicans will do everything they can to entice this professional albatross to hang himself around the Democrats’ necks once again. I’m thinking maybe something like: “Prominent Republican spokesmen expressed confidence in their party’s ability to retain control of the White House with wily master tactician Bob Shrum out of the picture. ‘It will be a tough fight, but we will prevail as long as Shrum stays on the sidelines. Quite frankly, we’re all scared to death of him. The man’s a beast,’ said chief Republican strategist Karl Rove, unable to suppress a smirk of sheer animal terror.”

6 comments May 22nd, 2006 at 02:00pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Favorites,Politics,Wankers

Pay No Attention To The Elephant Behind The Curtain.

One of the most simultaneously comforting and frustrating notions held by us liberals is that if those salt-of-the-earth, heartland Middle America voters really knew what Democrats and Republicans stood for, or if they really knew what our Republican politicians and their supporters were getting up to, the GOP would end up like a right-wing version of the Green Party. And while I think this is true, I don’t think it goes far enough. American voters also need to understand the game that the Republicans and their corporate media are running on them: Campaigns that rely on smears, fears, homophobia and xenophobia; news and opinion that consistently advance Republican narratives.

Right now, Bush and the Republican party are wallowing in approval ratings in the 20s and 30s, based entirely on their actions and inactions, such as Iraq, Katrina, Plame, and all manner of illegal spying. But come election time, they will attempt to sweep it all away with “Ohmigod! Gays/immigrants/terrorists/abortions/activist judges/liberals are coming to take your bibles away!” And Democrats will dutifully engage them on that ground, and attempt to explain how they really are tough-on-terror Christians, and really not such a big threat to the American way of life after all, and oh-by-the-way, the war in Iraq was rather ill-considered, was it not?

This was pretty much the Democratic gameplan in 2004 (well, except for the part about Iraq being a bad idea), and it didn’t work. All the burgeoning dissastisfaction with Iraq was trumped by the ridiculous fear that Democrats would let terrorists and gay marriage destroy America unless they were stopped, and by bogus accusations that Kerry’s military honors were phony. I see no reason not to expect the same scenario to play out in November and 2008, although the dissatisfaction will be harder to overcome this time around. The Democrats will make gains, but not nearly as much as they should.

What I want to see the Democrats do this time is refuse to play the Republicans’ game, but call them on it instead. Rather than simply saying, “We do too hate terrorists and gay people just as much as the Republicans! More, even!”, call the Republicans on what they’re doing. Say, “The Republicans have failed and dishonored this country in every way imaginable, and all they can do is campaign on hate and fear. Do they think you’re that easy to distract? Is this all they think you care about?” Americans love to congratulate themselves on their bullshit-detecting abilities, and therefore hate being played. Unfortunately, they hate admitting that they’ve been played even more, which is why so many still cling to the idea that the Republicans actually want what’s best for America, and why the Democrats have to make it very explicit and impossible to dismiss or ignore.

Ultimately, what I want to see is the Republicans’ distraction-and-boogeyman strategy blow up in their faces. I believe that the day that Americans see it for the sham that it is and reject it, is the day that we finally start to get our country back.

8 comments May 22nd, 2006 at 12:40am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Democrats,Favorites,Politics,Republicans,Rove,Wankers

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