Much has been made of Karl Rove's strangely worded statements on Fox News that Obama's team won because they “succeeded in suppressing the vote.” Note, though, that Rove is not using the word in the classic use of actual "voter suppression" of the sort he's employed. Maybe it's a Freudian slip. He's using it in a broader context to mean suppressing enthusiasm, of a character assassin whispering in the ear of white America. Karl Rove sees things quite literally in black and white.
But even at that, he's wrong. Republicans got the same percentage of the white vote as they got in the last election. What Turdblossom is really grousing about is his failed math based on a racial strategy.
From the start of the whole contrived billionaire-backed Tea Party campaigns, the bet the Rovian confederates made was that they could subtly use economic arguments to reflect underlying racial resentment in order to increase white turnout for them. ("They want stuff. We work for it.")
> Itemize 1) because putting things in a fake numerical order makes inattentive people think you have a substantive plan 2) because counting off a list creates a belief that you are a leader of action 3) simplicity creates a mental road map of an achievable solution in the minds of simple people when they are confronted with complex problems. They will believe that you've given an answer instead of sidestepping the question.
> Lie but lie like you believe it. Make it about conviction not about truth. People who are susceptible to authority perceive conviction as truth.
> Remove the target. Counter all arguments against your stated positions and policies with denial. You never said it. That is not the outcome. There's another study that says the opposite therefore nothing is clear. You're making it up, you big fibber you. (You won't have to answer for anything!)
> Take the side of those whose lives you want to ruin. Use personal anecdotes to empathize with their plight because you honestly want to make their lives better (by totally undermining their safety nets, their savings, their protections, their health care, their wages, their retirement, their children's chance at college...) All they will hear is the empathy, albeit false empathy, because all they really want is the feeling that someone cares.
> Have pep because energy exhibits confidence and confidence is associated with leadership. You know, the kind of inner thrill you get when you march in to some industry you've harvested to put people out of work and in their rightful place. Think of the fortune you'll make off of them -- it will give you a little extra bounce in your step.
Randism is a cult, the political equal of Marxism. Cults and ideologies always begin from a naming of the primary center of reality. This center then becomes the prescription for every ill, every wrong, every modern failing, every Utopian hope, and structures every sphere surrounding its heartbeat from the walk of one's own life to the will of government. Religious ideologies name this center as God (as proxy for the Church hierarchy), Clan ideologies name the center as one's heredity and are closely related to Nationalist ideologies who name the center as the state and its dictatorial head, Marxist and communist ideologies name the center as the collective organism, and Rand simply took Marx's center of the collective organism and shifted it to the singular (self-centered) organism.
This cult-like prescription of the renamed center is present in the spread of Randism, but there is something yet more troublesome in the context of its 'populist' rise on the Right. Paul Ryan's version of Rand's ideology emerges in the context of America's transition to a multi-ethnic society. This is important to note for it lays bare the confounding problem how a populist movement could proliferate whose end result is seemingly counter to the interests of the commoners. A good portion of White America fears the change brought about to their familiar way by the new multi-ethnic community. They fear this just as they feared integration in the 60's and school desegregation in the 70's and the ongoing influx of minorities into their suburbs.
For those who post the mangled MLK quote in reference to Bin Laden's death, I respect the general sentiment against violence, but there are exceptions when one has committed oneself to purposeful and callous mass murder. Such a person cannot be stopped by understanding or embrace, and to believe that one who relentlessly pursues the blood of innocent people should be spared is a kind of spiritual narcissism at the expense of future victims, human lives more deserving of our empathy. There may well have been a reason that the operation was originally scheduled for 4-30 but was postponed a day due to weather. 4-30 is the date of Hitler's departure from planet Earth.
In the midst of what is becoming the hottest year on record, what remained of an already compromised address to climate change was stripped from the Obama administration's energy bill. The climate legislation could not pass intact because the administration was not willing to fight for it in the smirking face of climate change deniers, deregulators, and politicians in the pocket of polluters. The will to act for tomorrow, even as the warming daylight breaks our collective sleep, is more fragile than the sheen of atmosphere wisping over this small rock in space. Politicians it seems fear the deniers, fear that they may be accused of foresight in the face of the blind march of corporatism as if allegiance to its ideology trumps all else in its wake. So they make a devil's bargain while the planet cooks and pundits rook. If this administration is incapable of fueling change instead of carbon tycoons, can we ever again hope that climate change will be addressed before the inevitable?
"All I know is I’m not a Marxist."
"Libertarians are a monstrous, disgusting bunch of people."
Late in their lives, both Karl Marx and Ayn Rand bristled at the movements that advanced their ideas. The ideologies that they had spawned from ideal representations in their minds had become real actors in the world, driven by the principles they set down yet unpenned and autonomous of their architects. Purity of vision had been compromised by its implementation. If mere implementation brought about unsupportable consequences, then it must be due to the failings of the faithful and not to the faulty logic of its founders. And when that transformation confronted the ideological champion of unrestrained capitalism, Ayn Rand felt a peculiar resonance with the father of all-consuming communism, Karl Marx.
Defining moments of history are elusive and fleeting. They come upon us rarely, seemingly by accident, tragedy, or at turning points of national identity that threaten the democratic republic. Barack Obama was presented with the weight of a national moment, a moment pivoting on the very differences that thread through him, and he began to sew.
The screaming noise machine pried open the can on black anger and gave the country an ugly look inside. They tried to pour someone else's words out of that can into Obama's mouth and tried to snuff out a movement by using his own loyalty and respect for a person who is flawed and yet was an important, formative presence in his life. The Green Mile tactic. Kill them with their love for each other.
As the country, the Constitution, the checks and balances seemed on their deathbed, a last breath away from tyranny, from the institutionalization of fear and propaganda as an accepted means of governance, our Democratic Republic exhaled what might have been its final breath and said instead, "Thomas Jefferson lives."
The force behind the dam was too great, the yearning for accountability too acute to stem the attempts to divert us, the people, from reclaiming our American history, our American principles, and our country's future. Those that stood waiting in the dark to poison us against each other for their gain or to steal away ballots in the night could not find their footing when the flood gates opened. Try to make up the math as they might, the waters washed away the ink of their funny numbers as much as it was freed to wash away the stain of their phony virtue.
Despite David Kuo's recent book "Tempting Faith" that exposes the Bush Administration's and RNC's disingenuous, contemptuous exploitation of evangelicals, the same foul church-state smoothie is being blended in churches ahead of the 2006 elections. An overlooked story as America goes to the polls for a hard self-examination over the next week is the Rove-Mehlman strategy to target not only close battleground races with their theocratic believers but also to employ them to pick off vulnerable Democratic or gerrymandered districts in their own stomping ground, the Bible Belt. In Georgia and Alabama, for instance, where local polls run contrary to the rest of the country in support of Bush and the Iraq War, the focus is to balance House losses in other areas with gains against Democratic incumbents in rural districts. Indeed, while Bush is shunned by all but the most desperate Republicans running for office nationwide, he has made several stops on behalf of rural Republican candidates in the South. The target audience -- the evangelical flock.
Imagine if you will that we had a sitting Democratic president whose staff had served up a covert CIA agent to the world's bad-asses in political payback for her husband's contradiction of official lies. What would the Right Wing be saying today? What would the politicians, the pundits, and the planted press be saying today?
The screaming dried-up shell of Ann Coulter would need an emergency spittle transfusion. Rush Limbaugh would be so disc-slipping hippity-hopping mad that supplies of Oxycontin would have to be air-lifted in by a suddenly responsive FEMA. Sean Hannity would be so indignant that he would rip out and force Colmes' to eat his own still-beating heart on the air just to provide some solace to average Joe's of America who work hard, go to church on Sunday, live right, and expect their government to do the same.