republicans are brilliant

This past week or so has confirmed my belief that, as despicable as they are, Republicans are also brilliant. Brilliant in the ways the Democrats continually fail to be, namely by being brilliantly ruthless in their political strategizing. The Republicans ridiculous, but seemingly highly effective, tactics against Herr Obama’s Health Care Reform is a good case in point because it captures three of the Republicans most brilliant strategies (developed largely by Karl Rove and Grover Norquist).

First, repeat the lies and they gain more substance than facts. When Palin started talking about ‘Death Panels’, there was absolutely no truth to what she was saying. Yet, it quickly caught on and the right-wing bobbleheads all started mouthing off about Obama’s ‘death panels’ as if they were a real possibility. It was the Iraq=Al Qaeda=WMD mantra all over again. And it works. Obama even had to stand up and address the rumors as if they were true, putting him on the defensive when he should be beating the crap out of the Right on this issue.

Second, act like your biggest weakness is actually a strength. This is the brilliance of Rove. When he sensed that his candidate or party was vulnerable on an issue, he would go on the offensive over it. This effectively defanged his opponents and put them on the defensive. The Health Care issue is a good example of this. Republicans were generally seen as weak on this issue, given their perceived connections with the rich lobbyists and corporations tied to the current failed system. But they are recasting the debate into a discussion of American ideological values and patriotism. Brilliant. Democrats still don’t know how to respond to this move, except to get flustered and flummoxed.

Third, appropriate your opponents tactics. Mock the charges made by your opponents and then turn around and recycle them as your own. This is a Norquist move, in which he explicitly steals the tactics used by the Left (political and cultural) and turns them around on themselves. McCain did that during the 2008 campaign with some success, but he just didn’t do it enough. We now see the Right doing it by appropriating all the various charges made by the Democrats against George W. Bush, and aiming them at Obama. They are recycling the charges of fascism, an intrusive Big Brother government, and so forth. Forget that such charges were more appropriate for the Cheney years, the Right is far more adept at slinging such charges. The Democrats came across as whiners while the Republicans somehow manage to come across as passionate patriots.

Of course, I am currently in the Christian Heartland of the American South, where hatred of Obama is palpable almost everywhere. Maybe when I get back to my liberal enclave in the North I’ll feel better and less out-gunned (literally).

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24 Responses to republicans are brilliant

  1. Timmy K says:

    Death Panels… It is funny how people can see the same issue and see two different things. I believe I can see both sides and while certainly the conservatives are being deceptive the democrats and obama are hardly being candid.

    What I find so funny is that Obama unprovoked wanted to squash these “rumors”. Thats fine but he did a terrible job explaining the concern and even lied about who put the provision in. ( i will look that up for you and cite it)

    Then a few minutes later he turned around and explained the death panels and why he wants them. This is the part where he said doctors and patients are performing wrong tests and redundant tests. Instead of you and your doctor deciding what is best the new program will call for a group (not panel) doctors and experts to decide what avenue is best for you.

    I can see where this group may be advantageous with information but i can also see the bureaucracy and the road it could lead to when these decisions are forced on you.

  2. chartreuseviolet says:

    Nevermind the fact that the insurance companies already fucking have and INSTITUTE death panels of their own- and this is considered completely fucking legitimate, especially under the guise of supposed cost control. Well, I can tell you from personal experience, my mothers life as a quadraplegic woman is not subject to cost/benefit analysis for me. Bluecross bs told her that the cost to “maintain” her life at home was not worth the price (according to insurance bureaucrats, not licensed healthcare practitioners) and so she was sentenced to die slowly in a nursing home (that costs more) because the agent in that department makes money every time someone is disenrolled from their coverage.
    Even funnier, she was told this because they thought she was a paying client. When they researched their documents, they found she is actually Medicaid and had to reinstate her home health care pending review. So if she had been a PAYING client, she would have been summarily executed by the technocrats in a home. So much for fear of bureaucracy. A fascist is a fascist, whether they work for the govmt or a multinational. I fear them all.

    “How can the cost of living be so high when the price of life is so cheap?”

  3. Timmy K says:

    Mack settle down and let me know what is being regurgitated.

    • MacGregor says:

      Mack, decent name but stupid post. How does one foment such anger? One of these days you will realize that the Heritage Foundation, Fox News and the likes actually represent the American people to a large degree.
      Can i take it that you are whole-heartedly in support of the public option in its current bill form, or do you want a single payer system?

  4. Timmy K says:

    chart… your right there already is rationing of care. not panels but rationing of care to people with preexisting conditions, loopholes in the policy, cant afford it. Not sure what your getting at with your example but there is no doubt that private companies can take care of you better than the government can. Yes there will be screw ups and mistake but it will still be much more efficient than a government run program. If you dont believe me take a look at medicare, amtrak, nasa, social security, irs , usps….. all of which are run by the government and terribly in efficient. I do believe those preexisting conditions and lifetime caps could be changed, as well as prescription drug prices….and this is where i think regulation can help.

    • chartreuseviolet says:

      umm, no. this is the insurance companies administering managed care programs for both private and government programs. not loopholes, not preexisting conditions- disenrolling people from longtime coverage because it makes the system money. it’s a no-brainer she would die because her care is not affordable (unless you’re a trustfunder wanting to go into bankruptcy) and her pre-exisiting conditions would make her completley ineligible for private insurance.

      i am not saying the govmt plan is ideal, i have huge misgivings about it. but the insurance companies are not going to submit to the kind of regulation neccesary to protect clients like my mother, and the invisible hand of the market is holding a gun. the market does not care about those who do not present enough of a collective threat to publically bargain for their needed resources. and here’s a radical idea- insurance companies are effectively practicing medicine without a license by subjecting clients to health decisions made by middle managers- up to and including death. it’s like letting kindergarten teachers decide domestic agricultural policies. many would starve, others would bankrupt themselves, all for the sake of a class of misplaced workers and the fat cats they work for. yes, what i am saying is gross simplification and based on anecdote, but would anyone listen if i started quoting stats? no, they never fucking do. when my mother dies and i pay a friendly visit to bluecross, then they will listen. nothing short of that fantasy would register in the minds of those that enrich themselves on others misfortune.

      i agree with mack. and while i am not a fan of the govmt rationing care, as i’m well aware of waiting lists and having to proceed through logistical nightmares to eventually receive specialized care that a condition may warrant- at least that would be an option with a govmt system. they will be highly regulated and very responsive to lawfare. when this is no longer hypothetical for people they will become much more open to revising their financial principles. i know i am, even if it means compromising my political principles for the greater good.

  5. Timmy K says:

    http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/08/heres-johnny-isakson-pushes-back-on-death-panels-but-also-on-house-democrats-bill.html

    Here is the Georgia senator saying it wasn’t him…. tough to find out who sponsored each specific provision… but this is petty and besides the point.

    • Timmy K says:

      simple point is obama lied about who put the provision in the bill. That wasnt tough to figure out.

    • Timmy K says:

      Senate amendment in committee…. if you know anything about government you know that there is a difference between the senate and the house. The senate bill which he added an amendment to (different than the provision in the house bill) was in committee and not public. The death panels discussed have to do with HR 3200 nothing to do with Izakson.

    • Timmy K says:

      you couldn’t possibly know what is in the senate bill… it is not even formed yet. (in committee!) Obama wants to kill your grandma the same way you think(wrongly) the republicans want to kill you grandma.

  6. Timmy K says:

    Mack again…. i cant defend idiots and im sure we can come to some common ground. Please dont generalize everybody because of a couple misleading statements… there are legitimate arguments to be made. If you know of some ridiculous stuff being said please cite it … if not please educate yourself on the real discussion.

  7. MacGregor says:

    K,
    is there any level ground that people like you and people like me can come down on regarding the inequities of our current healthcare system? Or would you rather lay your arguments down in a land of strawmen like libs always seem to do. I assure you any “rational” conservative has a myriad of ideas regarding potential changes/upgrades/fixes etc that we can and SHOULD do to our current system.
    In regards to your second point of acting like your weakeness is a strength, you said yourself, “Republicans were generally seen as weak on this issue, given their perceived connections with the rich lobbyists and corporations tied to the current failed system. But they are recasting the debate into a discussion of American ideological values and patriotism.”
    Who exactly is doing this? Rush, and his couple million listeners per day? Do you not realize that small goverment and less control actually is an american value? I suspect you used the phrase GENERALLY SEEN as weak, and PERCEIVED CONNECTIONS because you dont have much of a leg to stand on.
    Third, the so-called attacks against Obama, compared with the unprecendented hatred exhibited towards GW were not even remotely similar. Leftists hated the man, hated his values, hated his friends, hated his religion and hated everything he did, even to the point that when OBAMA offers a solution they fall in love with it even though it may be something Bush tried in the past only to be shouted down by your liberal cohorts.
    Take a break from Olbermann for a second and realize that this Govt intrustion was wrong under GW and IS wrong under Obama. People are showing up at townhalls to exert their displeasure for elected officials, not only because they have fears regarding the Healthcare issue, but also because they feel they have lost their voice in an increasingly corrupt political system. Liberals like Krugman and possibly yourself just cant seem to grasp that..

    • MacGregor says:

      We use it becuz 90% of arguments against us are based on them. Lets see..
      One, assuming there is some kind of right wing conspiracy that adheres to any tactic Karl Rove approves of or initiates. Two, constanly saying Repubs have no answer to Healthcare reform which is absolutely wrong. Three, assuming all Repubs listen to and follow Rush or Oreilly. Four, assuming conservatives constantly use the Patriotism argument which is false. Five, thinking all repubs/conservatives are in line with GW’s decisions, absolutely false. Six, believing opposition to Obama’s massive Govt policies are hatred of the man or somehow racially motivated, couldnt be further from the truth.

    • k- says:

      MacGregor and other trolling sacks of shit, I have no interest in finding ‘common ground’ with you. I am not one of the wussy liberals I was backhandedly berating in the original post. I am the rock-throwing, car-torching leftist of your dreams/nightmares. I wasn’t addressing you when I posted my original post and I have no interest in wasting time and energy ‘debating’ you online.

  8. kristof says:

    I am baffled. I thought only morally degenerated vermin still uses “mongoloid” or “retarded” in a pejorative way? That´s not what xou are, right?

  9. MacGregor says:

    How deep. Then what are you writing this for, to impress your equally arrogant and condescending buddies?
    The sad thing is that real progress could probably be made on this issue and on issues as complex as “healthcare” reform if real people didnt have to constantly fight against the radical folks like yourself who will not even engage in a rational debate of ideas.

    • Steevo says:

      How deep. Then what are you writing this for, to impress your equally arrogant and condescending buddies?
      The sad thing is that real progress could probably be made on this issue and on issues as complex as “healthcare” reform if real people didnt have to constantly fight against the radical folks like yourself who will not even engage in a rational debate of ideas.

      What’s that you were saying about “arrogant/condescending” and please, do clarify what you mean by “real people”?

      ps

      something tells me you’re not referring to this beloved tv show from my childhood are you? 😉

  10. Daisy Anne says:

    The right-wing in America is more focused, more vocal, and more dedicated than the left-wing. But this is not the key to their success. There is but one key to this, and that is that they can press the one button that will motivate any human being more than any other button: fear.

    Fear of socialism, fear of a black president, fear of God, fear of big government, fear of taxes. What better way to improve the ratings of these right-wing pundits, than to throw fear into the ring at every opportunity. Man is motivated most strongly by fear, and it is fear that gives the right-wing the upper hand in any debate. It will crush any rational thought, and turn people into the shouting, incoherent fools that have been showing up at the town hall meetings.

    Back in the Bush Jr. days, they used fear to tell people that questioning the President was unpatriotic. Now they are using fear to tell people that agreeing with the President is unpatriotic. A convenient change of positions.

    I also find it amusing that the people who are taken in by the increasingly rabid and farcical antics of the pundits don’t seem to realize that these boys do it all for the money. They are not up all night worrying about healthcare, about looking out for you and your family. They are worrying about their fat paycheque.

    They really should be cutting the President a royalty cheque. If they couldn’t inflame all these rednecks by making him out to be the big black African bogeyman, where would their ratings be?

  11. Great Southern Steve says:

    “Then what are you writing this for?”

    Much as I am suspiscious of Captain America up there, he has a point in asking this.

    The initial post was pretty provocative in tone and is likley to attract this sort of posting in response. I am inclined to keep ‘allowing’ these sort of comments on political posts, and I hope others would too – just so long as the hostilities don’t spill over into other posts about poetry or whatnot.

    Captain America / Mr President: people post stuff like this because they want to share their views with others who think similarly, it’s true, but they also do it to reach other people who might not have formed solid opinions. And there’s nothing you can do about that.

    ‘Rational debate’ is a concept that you have mentioned enough times to warrant an explanation. The same with ‘progress on this issue.’ Do you mean debate in which people agree with you? Progress towards your agenda? Or do you mean a situation in which people do not attack you intellectually, morally and personally?

    The thing you have to accept is that a lot of really left-wing people do not want “progress” on this issue that involves input from people like you. They don’t want you at the table, much the same way a primary school does not want drunk, single middle-aged men turning up to their curriculum planning day. Becuase of your views, you are considered the wrong sort of person to be having an input into that kind of social policy. See?

    So your attempt to find consensus and common ground is quite meaningless here. It would involve a weakening of strongly-held positions simply so that we could accomodate your viewpoints. Why would people do this? Are you actually prepared to do this yourself?

    And who said there is any progressive value in finding common ground, anyway? People ‘reaching an agreement’ with you isn’t actually going to change policy or make progress. It’s just a facile attempt to make it appear that there are commonalities when in fact there are huge differences.

    And it is in the differences where the real debate lies, not in the common ground. Commonsense is dumb sense.

    In terms of the abuse – you’ll probably keep getting that. It’s clear that people feel strongly enough about the behaviour of conservative governments to actively hate and deride conservative voters.

    I think that’s the real thing you don’t like here, and that’s why most of your posts have been about how you are “not like that”, and about how all those sterotypes of conservatives are wrong.

    Basically, this is what I suspect is behind your desire to have a “rational debate towards progress” on this website: so you can pretend that your country isn’t full of people that despise you.

  12. Steevo says:

    After my last snafu with private insurance I’m willing to try my luck with a state run entity. check this out:

    Gain acceptance to culinary school
    -culinary school requires a physical exam, hepatitis vaccine and various other vaccines for highly communicable diseases and various tests (HIV, etc).
    —-call insurer for which doctor I should see and to make sure all the required tests/vaccines are covered
    ——-make appointment with doctor they ordered me to see
    ———-one month after the appointment, I receive a bill for my approved tests/vaccines all of which were administered by the doctor they told me to see.
    ——fought the bill for over a year until they finally relented and paid off.

    And don’t even get me started on my various “worker’s comp” insurance cases over the years.

    On a side note: one of my housemates is a Veteran of the USAF and he has never had any problems with getting treatment at the local VA clinic. If anything gets passed, I hope it works as fabulously as what my housemate has dealt with.

    Frankly, I’m tired of all the BS from both sides of the aisle, and from the shit slung by highly paid perfectly coiffed pundits.

  13. k- says:

    Don’t get me started. Maybe I should have titled this post ‘Democrats are stupid and spineless.’

  14. Great Southern Steve says:

    The failure of the left wing to actually do anything is, in a way, worse than the success of the right wing in being horrible.

    DIY is all very well and good but I can’t build a hospital with my friends.

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