Monday, October 30, 2006

Conservative Disinformation - IT WORKS!

Well done, Rush Limbaugh! Well done!

The conservative disinformation campaign against the science of global warming has succeeded. A new survey finds that less than half of American adults accept the idea that the earth is growing warmer due to human activity.

Only 41 percent of those polled last summer by the Washington-based Pew Research Center, however, accepted the argument that climate change is due primarily to human activities, such as burning fossil fuels in cars, trucks and factories.

The rest of the 1,501 adults in the survey either said there's no solid evidence that the Earth is warming, or that if there is, the extra heat is the result of natural climate patterns, such as fluctuations in the sun's radiation.

This public skepticism flies in the face of the most widely accepted scientific assessment of the cause of global warming, which lays the blame primarily on "greenhouse gases" generated by humans.
Let this be a lesson to us all as we enter a new age of Republican rhetorical warfare.

On November 8th, if all goes as expected, conservatives will ramp up the spin machine against Democrats, liberals and other practitioners of reason like never before. Remember the eight years of the Clinton administration? Republicans never failed for even one day to howl that Bill Clinton's presidency was illegitimate, and that America was being "held hostage" by liberals. Why do they behave this way? Because it works, that's why.

Nobody has articulated the theory behind it better than Shrubya himself:

As you -- as I mentioned to you earlier, we're going to redesign the current system. If you've retired, you don't have anything to worry about -- third time I've said that. (Laughter.) I'll probably say it three more times. See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.
That's how it works. You just gotta keep sayin it, and sayin it, and sayin it, and sayin it, and sayin it.

They kept sayin it, and they convinced the majority of American adults that there is no global warming. They kept sayin it, they convinced enough people that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction to gain popular support for an invasion. They convinced a significant number of Americans that Iraq was involved in 9/11. They convinced people supporting families on $25 thousand a year that permanent repeal of the estate tax was a national priority. They convinced millions of Americans that George W. Bush is a cowboy. Heck, they even made people believe that Bush won the presidential election of 2000. How did they do it? They just kept sayin it.

The most successful liars, after all, are the ones who never, ever, ever back off of their lies. That's their story, and they're stickin' to it.

Forget those medals! John Kerry was a coward!

The majority of those tax cuts benefit the middle class!

Stem-cell research is murder!

Private accounts will save social security!

We're winning in Iraq!

Even when it is screamingly obvious that the lies are lies, and that they are being rejected as lies, Republicans never back off of their story.

Michael J. Fox was exaggerating his symptoms. It is what I have found to be true.

The 9/11 widows are a bunch of whores!

I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees.

If you just keep sayin it, and sayin it, and sayin it, and sayin it, and sayin it, eventually, enough of it will stick so that it doesn't matter if it's true or not.

There's a war on Christmas!

Gay marriage will destroy America!

Intelligent Design is science!

And so, we approach the end of Republican dominance in congress. Well, what need has the GOP for a congressional majority when it has untruth on its side? Having failed utterly to govern, they will return to their natural state: that of an opposition movement, hiding behind trees, throwing rocks at Democrats as they work to undo the damage done during 12 years of conservative misrule.

If all goes as expected, on the morning of November 8th, Rush Limbaugh will resurrect the "America Held Hostage" intro with which he opened his show every single day of the eight years that Bill Clinton was president of these United States.

Fox "News" (We Distort, We Deride) will find itself positively reinvigorated, able to focus almost exclusively on what it does best: slandering Democrats. Ratings will soar, borne aloft on the wings of all those poor, disenfranchised conservatives looking for someone to join them in exile.

Even Newt Gingrich might find somebody willing to take him seriously again.

The key to keeping all of it together will be the Big Lie. It doesn't matter what, as long as it is:

    a) outrageous

    b) untrue
Democrats want to tax you after you're dead.

Democrats want big, scary black men to impregnate your white, virgin daughters.

Democrats want the terrorists to win.

And, make no mistake. It will be a long two years. The Republican noise machine will spend all of it running at capacity, picking apart every single utterance made by anybody with a (D) next to his or her name. They will have betting pools on how long it will be until the next terrorist attack. They will cry to the heavens about the injustice of all of those congressional investigations distracting the Commander in Chief while he's trying to protect America from the terrorists. After all, we're at war!

The question is, how to counter it?

The answer is, don't. Don't even pay attention to it. The answer is for the Democrats to go about their business as though they don't even hear it.

There will be those who say we need to tread lightly. We don't want the Republicans to say we're trying to get revenge. We don't want them to say we're bullies. We don't want them to say we're helping the terrorists, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Here's the thing to remember: they're going to say it, no matter what. If Democrats take over the majority and do nothing but genuflect before a picture of George W. Bush for two years, the Republicans will still spend those two years calling them terrorist-loving traitors. Nothing will stop them from saying it. It is what they do. Expecting them to do otherwise is like expecting sewage to flow uphill instead of down. It is like expecting fire not to burn. It is like waiting for Sean Hannity to start making sense.

There will always be those who are willing to accept GOP lies on faith. If Rush says it, it has to be true.

We do not torture!

Bush is only eavesdropping on Al Qaeda!

There is no global warming!

Right on, Rush!

GOP lies are infectious because they are crafted to sound exactly like what people want to hear. Nobody wants to hear that climate change threatens our lives. Nobody wants to hear that you can't cut taxes and keep getting all that good stuff from the government. Nobody wants to hear that they supported an unjust war based on a lie. The truth is too painful for some people to hear, so they will never hear it.

This is why the Democrats need to plow ahead as though they don't hear any of it. They need to make themselves deaf to the lies and the slander. It will be coming at them 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, for at least two years. And. Nothing. Will. Stop. It.

They must reject all suggestions about stepping lightly and making no waves. They must storm Capitol Hill on the first day of the 110th Congress with bulldozers and baseball bats, firehoses and sandblasters. The place needs to be cleared out and cleaned up. They must go after the corrupt and the incompetent with the ferocity of an Organized Crime task force. They must turn over every rock and pull up every floorboard. Pursue their mission as though their very lives depend on it.

The Republicans will howl. They will shriek. They will rage. They will find willing audiences for their lies, but in the end, they will only win if the Democrats allow themselves to be distracted.

Conservative disinformation is powerful because it tells the weak-minded what they want to hear. The Democrats must have the will to tell the American people what they need to hear. What we all need to hear, what we all deserve to know, is what crimes the Republicans have committed, and allowed to be committed, in our names.

Let the conservatives have their lies. We will comfort ourselves with the truth.


betmo said...

right on!!!! i initially started out to be an inclusive blog- all were welcomed right or left. now- i wish that the right would stay on their own blogs because they are annoying. they are still spewing rhetoric and nonsense from 3 months ago and i can't be bothered to rehash or be inclusive. if they want to come by fine- if they don't all of the better. why the change of heart? they have nothing to offer. nothing of value to say and no real ideas or insights. i know- i have come right out and asked and gotten nothing. i will not listen to the lies, slander, half truths and negativity anymore. i don't have time. we need to get rid of these people in power and be done with it. what was it they said? it is time for the adults to run things? well, if they are adults- i hope the kids do a better job.