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Last night we saw the President of the United States give a coherent, intelligent, thoughtful, intellectually sound speech.  

And what did we get from the GOP?  Signs waved, shouts of 'Lies' and later spinning that sinks so low it's hard to know where they'll hit the bottom, if ever.

It may be that they're scared or they've simply lost the plot - or it may be that this is a deliberate attempt to change the nature of the game.  Follow the flip for thoughts on why.

There is no doubt that the White House lost the media battle for August.  As someone put it somewhere (I read too many blogs and can't remember where), even an amateur blogger could have wargamed this and seen where it was going back in July when the first teabaggers were becoming Town Hall screamers.  

The President's speech was magnificent, but it was aimed at heads and hearts rather than the gut/spleen which is where the GOP aims and where it most frequently hits target.

We expect that on Fox news, on hate radio, on CNN and the other so-called 'news' channels who have become an increasing mouthpiece for the GOP, even while they make out they're running scared from accusations of belonging to a 'liberal media elite'.  

We don't expect it in the House, where supposedly intelligent men and women listen with respect to each others' point of view.  Admittedly, that's been a fantasy for a while, but there has always been a vestige of respect for the positions of high office - if not for the office bearers themselves, then at least for the office.  If you insult the President as he's speaking (and in the UK, to call someone a liar in the House of Commons is considered such a massive insult as to be reason enough to be summarily ejected), then you insult the Office of the Presidency, as much as the man who currently holds it.

This may be an oversight, but I am inclined to think it's part of a strategic plan - the GOP, after all, are entirely capable of war-gaming this and they know where they want to go.

so - the steps are this:

  1. rouse the racist base against a less-than-perfectly-white President (forget that he's mixed race, his white mother doesn't count, his upbringing doesn't count, nothing counts but his colour  - and his supposed marxist, atheist, muslim facism)
  1. begin routinely to undermine any sense of respect for the Office of POTUS.  There was a time when this was held in high esteem, but then there was a time, too, when journalists and newsreaders were held in high esteem - when they were respectful and respected.  This is being steadily undermined and last night we saw one of the last barriers broken.
  1. when the Office is no longer respected, then the position becomes one of game show host rather than leader of the free world - it is tacitly acknowledged, if not in public, that the men (rarely women) who hold the strings of power are not those holding the office.
  1. at this point, the likes of Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin become electable - it is no longer impossible to imagine them in a post that requires dignity and gravitas, that prefers a thinker to a media gloss - because that is no longer the case.
  1. roll on Armageddon

(I've missed a phase or two here - they need to take over the military and completely undermine the police, but that can be done once nobody takes the political classes seriously any more)

Seems like an obvious tactic to me.  The only question is, if we were to wargame it, what would we do?

Originally posted to Airmid on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 07:11 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tomephil, Gordon20024, luckylizard

    "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" Mary Oliver, 'The Summer Day'

    by Airmid on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 07:11:58 AM PDT

  •  They have no respect for government, (4+ / 0-)

    remember? All of government. They are authoritarians. They want a dictator, but not a liberal benevolent dictator, either.

    The GOP strategy is to demolish government and take over in a military/christianist coup, to install a corporate oligarchy, once and for all.

    They know the gig is up for the GOP as a party that can get enough votes to win elections, fair and square. So they don't even try any more. It's all about destruction and stealing what's left of the commons.

  •  Did he jump or was he pushed? (7+ / 0-)

    There's the question I haven't seen anyone asking today... was Joe Wilson's outburst an individual decision, or was it a planned diversion by people smarter and more far-thinking than him? Is Wilson a moron, or a patsy?

    Yes, what he did was straight-up Screamer tactics. We've been seeing this all summer. It's quite possible that a dufus like Wilson could get the idea that it's okay to shout down the President on his own. But on the other hand... Wilson's "LIE" has sucked up at least half the media-coverage oxygen, taking away from any detailed discussion of Obama's proposals, or even the general substance of his speech. That's the sort of deliberate undermining of an opponent's message that Karl Rove perfected. Not saying Karl Rove did it, but he had plenty of understudies over the years.

    And if someone asked Wilson to do it, who asked? If they did, they singled out an irrelevant nobody like Wilson for a reason... no name-brand Congressman or Senator would be caught dead insulting the President of the United States to his face in a Joint Session of Congress like that.

    Sadly, we'll probably never know for sure. Sometimes, I hate politics.

    Stop saying "can't" when you mean "won't".

    by Orbital Mind Control Lasers on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 07:20:39 AM PDT

    •  This is largely (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      luckylizard, litoralis

      what I was trying to say...

      but put more eloquently

      thank you

      "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" Mary Oliver, 'The Summer Day'

      by Airmid on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 07:26:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It sounds like Wilson has a habit of confrontatio (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zzyzx, luckylizard

      Up on Yahoo right now:

      House Majority Whip James Clyburn, a South Carolina Democrat, said the remark was the latest in a long line of political attacks by Wilson.

      . . .

      "Joe is very confrontational," he added. "He held his first town hall meeting three blocks from my house at my kid's high school. Now why would he have this town hall meeting in my congressional district, three blocks from my house in my kid's high school? It's not in his district.

      That's the kind of guy Joe Wilson is. He loves confronting people. So he was confronting the president, just as he was confronting me."  

    •  My thought exactly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Orbital Mind Control Lasers

      I wonder if this was a put up job so that people would be talking about THIS instead of the speech and plan. It worked here, there were 4 diaries on the rec list talking about Wilson last night...

      "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

      by zenbassoon on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 08:03:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  you can not win (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tomephil

    when you play their game. but it is so easy to win
    drag all those warcriminals infront of dennhaage and then watch fox how to spin a warcriminal into an patriotic american.you have to make clear that the rule of law is back. and dick CH. will be draged out from the darkside.no other tactic will work.

  •  the Rethugs are trying to move the line of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gordon20024, luckylizard

    respect for the office now, because they have nothing and are nothing except evil ciphers.  Every time some thing happens--bringing a gun to a Presidential speech (because it's legal, after all), boycotting a school address, barking some insult during an official addess---lowers the bar and it starts to become okay, just because it's been done before.  Unless Obama starts handling these people like the creeps they are, they will keep moving that line.  

    I love my President! Who'da thought THAT was possible?

    by livjack on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 07:43:50 AM PDT

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