Pay No Attention To The Elephant Behind The Curtain.

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

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.

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

8 Comments

  • 1. The Heretik  |  May 22nd, 2006 at 5:37 pm

    Exactly.

  • 2. Ol' Froth  |  May 22nd, 2006 at 5:49 pm

    They just gave us “English as Official Language”

    And a debate on the flag burning amendment is scheduled

  • 3. Nora  |  May 22nd, 2006 at 8:38 pm

    One encouraging sign is the recent e-mail from Harry Reid in which he talks about the “Federal Marriage Amendment” with scorn, basically saying, “With all America’s problems, with all the important issues to deal with, this is what they think we should focus on?”

    If he just keeps pushing that and gets the other Democrats to follow his lead, we may have something there.

  • 4. Eli  |  May 22nd, 2006 at 8:46 pm

    I hope so. I can’t get a good, er, read on Harry. Sometimes he very clearly gets it and kicks ass, and other times he folds like an origami Spock head.

  • 5. Blue Gal  |  May 23rd, 2006 at 2:40 pm

    excellent post. It’s gonna take a real gutsy player to call them repeatedly without sounding shrill. Harry and Russ do an admirable job.

  • 6. Multi Medium » I Go&hellip  |  January 22nd, 2007 at 8:10 pm

    […] As I continue to luxuriate in the post-election afterglow, I think back to a post I wrote almost six months ago: 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. […]

  • 7. Multi Medium » The &hellip  |  January 27th, 2007 at 3:52 pm

    […] 2.5. The Democrats must start calling the Republicans on their strategy of using smears, fear, and hate every single election. They must make voters realize just how stupid, cowardly, bigoted, and easily distracted the Republicans think they are. When the American people finally reject these tactics, the Republicans will have nothing left – it’s not like they can run on their record or their policy positions. […]

  • 8. Multi Medium » Gay-&hellip  |  January 28th, 2007 at 6:14 pm

    […] Of course, there’s still a lot of time left until the election, and I always take any claims of conservative dissent with a grain of salt, but if this kind of skepticism holds up, it’s a huge, huge deal. This is exactly what I’ve said we need in order to finally reclaim this country and Constitution from the GOP stranglehold. If in November, Republicans (and everyone else) says “Yeah, right.” instead of “OMG! Gay terrorist marriage is going to kill my unborn baby!!!”, the spell would truly be broken, and the Republicans would have to win on their actual merits. Buh-bye. […]


Contact Eli





Feeds

Linkedelia!

Most Recent Posts

Archives

Categories

Calendar

May 2006
M T W T F S S
« Apr   Jun »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  


Thinking Blogger

Pittsburgh Webloggers

Site Meter


View My Stats *