A lot of people who don't believe GOP scandal allegations believe the claims are propaganda ploys. That is undoubtedly a large part of it. Darrel Issa and GOP TV, Fox News, selectively disclose innuendos and suppress more credible findings that contradict their accusations of wrong doing by Democrats. Getting to the truth doesn't appear to be a goal. Discrediting Democrats with false charges and getting out the vote by working their wing nut base into a mouth foaming frenzy do. The GOP can rely on the public being uninformed, especially among their base, and the media being either inept or purposely deceitful. CBS and ABC were also caught reporting false stories and while there were retractions, ABC still hasn't identified the "Republican congressional sources" who lied to them about the content of Administration Benghazi email. ABC didn't do much to discourage sources from lying to the media in the future. Lying is protected as free speech. Fox News won the right to lie to you for the entire media, not just for themselves.
Still, there could also be some more honest intentions involved. Are they lying to themselves? Perhaps that is a question for Stephen Colbert. I can't think of anyone who has more insight in to the conservative mind than he does. If his parody of the CBS Benghazi story had a serious message, it seemed to be that the media just makes stuff up and they believe whatever they want to believe. His concept of truthiness and his complaint that reality has a liberal bias might also be arguments for the view that conservatives genuinely do believe their false beliefs
Psychological studies have also shed light on this subject. A study by Yale political scientists Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler showed that conservatives cling all the harder to their false beliefs when they are confronted with evidence that disproves them. Other studies have linked conservatism to low-effort thinking. In one, the answers to questions people in bars gave became more conservative as they drank more. To the extent that conservative beliefs are attributable to an inability to think critically, their beliefs would be honestly held beliefs.
History has shown that conservatives believe the end justifies the means. On the surface this supports the argument that conservative misinformation is nothing but purposely deceitful. Declassified LBJ tapes indicate that Nixon may have undermined the Paris Peace Talks during his campaign against Humphrey, by promising a better deal if he is elected. Although it was vastly under reported by the media, more evidence has surfaced that Reagan made a deal with Khomeini to hold Americans hostage while Carter was president. The Republicans on the Supreme Court decided that there wasn't time to recount the Florida votes and they appointed Bush. The media consortium recount found that the four counties Al Gore selected for a recount, in accordance with Florida's original recount rules, wouldn't have changed enough to justify a state wide recount. The counts in the heavily populated Democratic counties he chose were almost spot on. The consortium also found that the counts in less populated rural Republican counties were skewed to favor Bush. Maybe the need for Republicans to con people into voting against their own interests is a root cause of their dishonesty. Sort of an evolutionary process. Candidates who didn't lie enough, or well enough, didn't get elected. But Romney might have been an exception, and a case of overdoing it. Hopefully his loss meant that they at least have to tell the truth once in awhile. (continued below the fold)
The Obama Administration didn't only not prosecute Bush Administration war crimes, they squashed Spain's attempt to prosecute them and represented Rumsfeld in court against torture charges. The Obama Administration left the door wide open for us to be lied into war again.
"Look forward, not backward" doesn't apply to the rest of us. Ask Chelsea Manning. Does it mean that we should only arrest people if we can catch them before they commit a crime? Obama saying that nobody should be above the law in his "look forward" statement was at best complete and blatantly obvious hypocrisy. I believe it was an outright lie and he really does believe presidents are above the law. Why did Obama doom us to be lied into war again?
There are some more obvious possible explanations. I for one was surprised at the veracity of anti Obama derangement syndrome. Right away, conservatives cheered that we didn't get the Olympics. They or their kids might be stuck in low paying jobs, or not have jobs at all, but they still vote for politicians who block jobs bills. Imagine what the backlash would have been if Obama had prosecuted Bush Administration officials? Even if you can't imagine division being any worse than it is, it is understandable that Obama wouldn't try to make it worse. Presidents try to unite the country, especially soon after elections, which is when he made his "look forward" statement.
Fear of the power of the elite and the military industrial complex is another possibility. And Obama might not want to set a precedent that could someday end up being used against him. But I want to speculate on a more theoretical rational. Those in charge believe starting wars is in the realm of presidential responsibilities.They consider it to be part of the job description. At worst they see the war crimes as a bad decisions, but they were the types of decisions that Bush was responsible for making. Wars can gain territory or resources. Some people think that's justified. Maybe a war only keeps us armed for the next war that we really do need to fight. The Gulf of Tonkin false flag and Vietnam War escalation that followed it might have slowed the spread of communism. The domino theory was the conventional wisdom at the time. Maybe it would have come true if less had been done to fight the spread of communism.
But the best example I can think of is Pearl Harbor. Overwhelmingly, Americans didn't want to get in to WWII before Pearl Harbor was attacked. If we hadn't, we'd be speaking German now. Some people believe Roosevelt knew Japan would attack Pearl Harbor. I personally lean toward a belief that there was too much false information mixed in with the intelligence for him to know. But I'm nowhere near positive about that. If Roosevelt did let Japan attack, and maybe even egg them on, it was the historically correct decision. It got us into the war while there were still allies in the fight. If we hadn't helped gang up on the axis countries there wouldn't have been anybody else left when they came for us. Roosevelt might not have know it at the time, but Germany very likely would have developed the atomic bomb instead of us. A lot more people would have died and we would have been taken over by the Nazis. Roosevelt sacrificed a relatively few people to save the whole country. Roosevelt didn't know it would turn out to be the right decision. Just like Bush didn't know attacking Iraq (against international law) would turn out to be the wrong decision. At least I think that might be how people like Obama rationalize not prosecuting war crimes. Too them, it wasn't criminal. It was a bad decision.
One way to hide the truth is to camouflage it with a bunch of untruths. There is a great scene in that old "Roswell" movie where one of the Joint Chiefs of Staffs suggests giving the true information about the aliens to the crackpot radio hosts and disreputable reporters of the day, while giving their fake story to reputable news organizations. A real false flag conspiracy can be disguised by calling everything a conspiracy.
Alex Jones claims that the Las Vegas murders by two Cliven Bundy supporters was a false flag staged by Harry Reid. If Alex Jones ever did say something true, what better way could there be to cover that up than to completely destroy his credibility by having him say a bunch of stupid things?
No doubt other factors played a role. There was a low turn out aggravated by rain and a lack of enthusiasm for Cantor. His reelection was taken for granted. He isn't especially likeable and he is detached from the district. There were cross over votes by Democrats who wanted to get rid of him. There was a grass roots push for Dave Brat, and a push by extremist right wing radio personalities for him.
However, there is a reason for Democrats to downplay the importance of the voter opposition to immigration reform. They want to minimize the flight of scared Republicans away from any hint of compromise. Fear of the Tea Party will also solidify the already obsessive opposition to anything else Obama supports in addition to immigration reform. Not all Democrats downplay the importance of immigration in the primary. Others do. Perhaps intentionally for strategic purposes, or perhaps they rationalize what they want to believe. Many probably do genuinely believe it wasn't as important as I believe it was.
There are some rational arguments against immigration reform. Why bring more people in when there aren't enough jobs for the people who are already here? Why should people who came illegally jump ahead of people who are following the legal immigration procedures? There are also arguments against these positions. My point isn't whether the positions are valid or not. My point is that someone doesn't have to be racist to oppose immigration reform. I'm establishing that qualifier before I elaborate on the role that racism does play. Racist Americans are obviously going to oppose immigration reform. It is likely to be a very important issue to them. An issue that motivates them to go out and vote when other people stay home.
Tea Party types are the most racist white Republicans. Robert D. Putnam of Harvard and David E. Campbell of Notre Dame documented the evidence for this in their book, American Grace. There was a survey of more than 3,000 people's social and racial views before the Tea Party began. They went back and questioned as many of the same people as they could again, after the Tea Party was established. Not all Republicans had joined the Tea Party. Democrats and Independents hadn't joined the Tea Party as the Tea Party liked to claim. The people who joined the Tea Party were the most conservative and most racist white Republicans before the Tea Party started.
In the study everyone ranked twenty four groups and individuals, Catholics, Jews, atheists, Muslims, etc. Most people liked the Tea Party and the Christian Right (another trait of people who joined the Tea Party) least, but the Tea Party members liked blacks and Mexicans the least. Their most common answer for why they don't like Obama amounted to, "I don't know, I just don't like him." The study also supported the case that government spending was less important to them than protesting that the president is black.
I think Roger Ailes made Sean Hannity denounce Cliven Bundy. Hannity didn't object when the "patriots" aimed guns at federal agents. Hannity only objected after Bundy's racist rant. Most people probably saw the short version of the rant that Media Matters and the NY Times publicized. Some of the right wing media later released a longer version. It included footage of what Bundy said before and after he told us what he knows about "the Negro", and he wondered if blacks were better off as slaves. Some right wingers tried to argue that the longer version shows Bundy isn't racist, and that the liberal media edited the video to be misleading. In fact, the long version does portray Bundy's racism as more of the result of ignorance, and less due to animosity, than it appears to be in the short version. But Klannity, of all people, didn't pick up that ball and run. Somebody ordered Hannity to not fight that battle. If you also consider how micromanaged Fox News talking points are, there is little room to doubt that Hannity was ordered to denounce Bundy, in no uncertain terms.
Another aspect of the right wing's reversal of their support for Bundy, is how could anybody have been surprised by Bundy's racism? Some right wingers even said that Bundy just wasn't media savvy enough to word his statements well. As if there was nothing wrong with what Bundy said, just how he said it. In an alternate reality where Bundy and his armed militia friends are heroes, and a POW and his family are villains, how can anyone not see that the irrational extreme knee jerk Obama derangement syndrome isn't based in racism? Who do they think they are trying to "take our country back" from? The politicians who supported Bundy, and then dumped him when Fox News told them to, know.
If Bundy hadn't made such a fool out of himself, the right wing would still publicly back him and his supporters. It wouldn't be hard to wiggle out of blame for the Las Vegas murders though. The white supremacist gun nut Bundy supporter killers of two law enforcement officials and a citizen who got in their way, would be denounced as a few bad apples. Two bad apples in with the bunch of good apple white supremacist gun nut Bundy supporters who pointed guns at law enforcement officials.
I'm new to commenting on the Daily Kos and I'm not used to all aspects of it yet.
I'm not sure why it has taken me so long to come here. I've always been a fan of Markos Maoulitsas. By contrast I know why I haven't tried Mother Jones. David Korn is probably the worst fake liberal I can think of. I don't know if he does it intentionally or by accident but so much of what he says downplays how bad Republicans are. I didn't read his Hubris book, and I don't care to. But the MSNBC documentary version of it might have just as well been written by Dick Cheney. According to the documentary, Curveball was a chemical engineer, instead of an an unemployed drunken taxi driver who Germany told us is a liar. There was nothing about extorting the false aluminum tube intelligence. It was just a mistake. There were no details about how badly forged the yellow cake uranium documents were. Nothing about surrounding Osama bin Laden on three sides at Tora Bora. The documentary just said he escaped. No mention of Bush warning the U.N. inspectors to leave. The documentary just gave the misleading explanation that the U.N. pulled them out. The last time I saw him he was praising the Democrats for working with Republicans on the Iran/Contra and 9/11 Commission investigations. My belief is if the true extent of Iran/Contra hadn't been covered up, 9/11 wouldn't have even happened. To me, David Corn is about as complicit in cover ups as anyone. And it is especially offensive that he pretends to be exposing the things he only tells you half of the story about.
So far my impression of the Daily Kos commenting system is that at least one purpose of diaries is let you start a conversation about any topic you choose. That is a great function to have. And the comment function is used to comment on a particular article or dairy. And of course, reply is used to reply to a specific comment. If anyone has any clarifications, corrections, or additional insights, I'll be glad to hear them. But if I am wrong about dairies, I really don't want to know. I like my concept of them.
As I mentioned in my last dairy, it got so very few of my comments were allowed on the Huffington Post. So far, I've been allowed to write everything I've wanted here. Media Matters has allowed everything I've written there, but they don't have a diary function as far as I know, so very few subjects are on topic. I only remember trying to comment on the consortiumnews website once. They deleted my comment and threatened to block me. My comment wasn't offensive, it just wasn't the same as their opinion. A long time ago I used to comment on the newshounds website. Then one day, they published parts of a comment and used the parts they didn't publish to write their own article. I think editing people's comments like that is the worst. The websites have the write to allow or censor whatever they want, and of course us users have the right to patronize what we want. A newspaper changed what I had written quite a bit once. But their motivation didn't seem to be to change or censor the most important points I made. I didn't mind that, but for the most part I'd rather have all of something published or none of it.
I used to comment on the Huffington Post regularly, but their censorship went out of control. It is a waste of time to write things that will never be seen. Once I wrote and asked the moderators why a particular comment wasn't published. They wrote back that they don't have time to look at it to see.
There always seemed to be certain topics they didn't allow, and that didn't bother me much. You can't write "Sunni Awakening". I could never get any comment that mentioned Dick Cheney causing deaths through. What I thought were pretty insightful comments about the psychology of racism weren't allowed. And I couldn't write about 9/11. It is very common for websites not to allow questions like "How did a furniture fire melt all 84 steel columns of a skyscraper at the same time?" or "How did a commercial airliner disappear in to a hole the size of my garage door?" but the Huffington Post won't even allow jokes about Fema camps. Today they had an article about a reporter getting kicked out of the 9/11 Memorial for asking a question. My comment that there are Fema camps for people who ask questions didn't get posted, and that wasn't the first time. Maybe they even allow the word "Fema" or something. They have automated checks and AOL employee moderators.
As time went on their censorship got more and more ridiculous. Conservatives have complained about their comments not getting published too, but when I can't even reply to an insult, I suspect the moderation has a conservative bias. But for the most part there just doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the censorship. I think the moderators just think it easier to censor something than to give it any thought.
Corporate control of the media is the root of all evil