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Andrew Breitbart's ghost as a Nordic knight
Yes, this painting actually exists
In the 2008 campaign, many conservative activists were unhappy with the campaign of Republican nominee John McCain. It wasn't simply that these movement conservatives—the forerunners of the tea party—felt that Sen. McCain was too much of a moderate, though that certainly was a consideration. Rather, it was that McCain distanced himself from the more vile and virulent aspects of conservative hatred of then-Senator Obama. As Politico reported in the closing month of the 2008 campaign:
McCain passed his wireless microphone to one woman who said, "I can't trust Obama. I have read about him and he's not, he's not uh — he's an Arab. He's not — " before McCain retook the microphone and replied:

"No, ma'am. He's a decent family man [and] citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that's what this campaign's all about. He's not [an Arab]."

The public display of fear and unease over Obama comes at the end of a week in which other Republicans at McCain and Sarah Palin events expressed similar frustrations, a product of exasperation at the prospect of the Illinois senator becoming president and their own nominee not doing enough to prevent it.

McCain’s campaign manager, Rick Davis, sought to tamp down concerns about the audience outbursts on a conference call earlier Friday, saying they were not a “big deal.”

Sen. McCain may have wanted to go toe-to-toe with the junior senator from Illinois, but he did not define fighting the same way his conservative base did. He felt that while campaigns should show vehement disagreement on the issues of the day, catering to the extreme elements of the base that were motivated by xenophobia and racism were off-limits. Whether or not this ethos was a result of a sincere commitment to principle, or whether it was politically motivated by a fear of turning off the moderate voters who were sympathetic to Obama, is irrelevant. Whether strategy or conviction, McCain was laudably unafraid to express his feelings to his conservative base.
“The time has come and the Bible tells us you speak the truth and that the truth sets you free,” the man added.

Yet another voter implored McCain in plain terms: "The people here in Minnesota want to see a real fight."

McCain promised the audience he wouldn’t back down — but again sought to tamp down emotions.

"We want to fight, and I will fight," McCain said. "But I will be respectful. I admire Sen. Obama and his accomplishments, and I will respect him."

At which point he was booed again.

"I don't mean that has to reduce your ferocity," he added over the jeers. "I just mean to say you have to be respectful."

According to the current generation of conservative activists, being a "fighter" is not based on a clear ideological contrast. McCain's problem was not that he was perceived as a moderate, though that certainly did not help. Rather, inspiring the conservative base was dependent on something else entirely: being personally confrontational against against the opposing candidate, and embracing, rather than rejecting, the racism, othering, and xenophobic hate that was fueling the fire of the base.

Enter Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee about to square off against the very same Barack Obama, who is inspiring at least the same, if not much more, conspiracy theories and irrational hatred that he did during the 2008 campaign. One would assume that if McCain had trouble with the conservative activist base because of his moderation, Mitt Romney would be in even more severe trouble a fortiori, given Romney's previous support of abortion and his introduction of a health insurance mandate. And if conservative activists were motivated by ideology rather than by confrontation, that might be more of a problem.

Today's right-wing base places ideological agreement as a secondary consideration to vilifying and destroying its movement's designated bogeymen, regardless of veracity or consequence. Its icon is Andrew Breitbart, who had no problem with resorting to outright lying if it meant being able to score hard-hitting points against his chosen targets. During his lifetime, Breitbart was unapologetic about his outright vilification of those on the other side of the aisle. Mitt Romney has realized that he will never convince conservatives that he is one of them from an ideological point of view; instead, he has decided to gain their affection by doing the one thing that warms their hearts more than anything else: embracing extremist conspiracy theories and being a confrontational jerk.

Also part of this pattern has been the campaign's refusal — mystifying to liberals and the media that praised McCain — to stand up Trump's birther crusade. President Obama has even questioned the candidate's "moral leadership" as a result of his alliance with The Donald. But the Romney campaign sees instances like McCain's publicly rebuking a supporter who called Obama an "Arab" as moments of political weakness — the equivalent of throwing the base into an ice bath when he most needed them fired up.

His campaign's most recent muscle-flexing stunt came Thursday, when Romney pulled off the surprise visit to Solyndra in San Francisco, using the bankrupt company's headquarters as a backdrop to hammer the president for "picking winners and losers" in the economy. Meanwhile, 3,000 miles away, campaign aides, interns, and volunteers crashed a press conference scheduled by senior Obama adviser Axelrod on the steps of the Massachusetts Statehouse. The rowdy crowd drowned out the speakers at times with loud boos, blew bubbles at them when they were talking, and interrupted with chants of, "Five more months!"

Now, one might dismiss this strategy as dangerous: After all, embracing dead-end positions such as birtherism and engaging in renegade campaign tactics is supposed to turn off the middle-of-the-road voters upon which every election hinges. But Romney is past that point already: He figures that the centrist voters are irrelevant if he can't get the conservative base motivated to vote for him. And how is the conservative base motivated?
"My God, this is right out of Breitbart's playbook. I love it!" he said. "I swear to God, if he roller skates into the DNC convention, or hijacks an Obama press conference — if he does either one of those I’m going to give my kid’s college money to his Super PAC.”
But don't worry, everyone: The High Broderists will come along very soon to talk about how both sides are at fault.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Comparing McCain campaign with Romney campaign (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, basket, Black Max


    H U G E mistake.

    1).  McCain had to run against Obama AND GWB.

    2).  Obama now has a record to run AGAINST.

    V E R Y different scenario....and all of the pundits that try to compare state-by-state data with regard to how people voted for Obama vs. McCain in 2008 means absoutely squat.

    Good spin and rhetoric and innuendo...but, nothing more.

    I sense an uphill battle for "our side"...just IMO.

    - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

    by r2did2 on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 07:05:31 PM PDT

  •  I am glad that dude bit the biscuit. (6+ / 0-)

    promoting my ShelterBox diary.

  •  Maybe now, at long last, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Black Max

    President Obama will recognize what he's up against.  

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 07:29:03 PM PDT

  •  Regarding the "Arab" incident with the old lady. (17+ / 0-)

    I saw that live and instantly thought: "CYA. Pure CYA!"

    For weeks, at their rallies filled with carefully screened adorers, McCain and Palin had been grinning with glee as people screamed everything from "Kenyan!" to "Terrorist!" to "Baby Killer!"

    I heard those few sentences he spoke to that old lady and thought Someone in his campaign has pointed out to him that if a nutcase takes a potshot at Obama, he might come in for a tad bit of blame.

    So.....four or five sentences. After weeks of doing nothing to tamp down the hate.

    I used to respect McCain. Before I found out more about him. Dumping the wife who'd worked her heart out for five years trying to get him out of Vietnam. Using his influence to make sure Cindy wasn't prosecuted after her machinations to hide her drug addiction. The whole Keating savings and loan mess.  And his attitude during the debates, where he made it evident that it drove him crazy to even share a stage with "That One."

    Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

    by Sirenus on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 07:29:04 PM PDT

    •  Me, too (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wintergreen8694, Sharoney

      But even as low as McCain sank in his 2008 campaign, he's still miles above Mitt Romney today.

      I loathe Mitt even more than I detested George W. Bush. And that's saying a lot, believe me.

      It drives me bonkers to read progressives here carping and whining about Obama when someone like Mitt Romney could end up in the Oval Office. Unfuckingbelieveable.

      •  As I've said before, pick up knife,slice off nose. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elmo, Sharoney

        To spite face.

        One commenter actually said, on another diary, that  four years worth of a Romney presidency would maybe "teach" us how awful a GOP-run country could be.

        As though 2000-2008 wasn't lesson enough.  And are we willing to completely ruin the country on the mere hope that we'll learn that lesson?

        Drives me bonkers, too. To the point of wanting to bang my head against the nearest wall.

        Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

        by Sirenus on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 11:18:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's the theory that some on the left (0+ / 0-)

          have clung to for years...decades. That things only have to get bad enough, and then somehow a majority of people will "see the light."

          That somehow it hasn't happened yet doesn't seem to dent the theory. Reminds me of those folks walking around on streetcorners with "repent, the end is near!" signs. Any day now....

  •  we're all gonna have to be high to believe this (5+ / 0-)
    But don't worry, everyone: The High Broderists will come along very soon to talk about how both sides are at fault.

    slutty voter for a "dangerous president"; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Sciant terra viam monstrare." 政治委员, 政委!

    by annieli on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 07:34:27 PM PDT

  •  We already know Romney (16+ / 0-)

    Is a bully. So this disgusting behavior is almost predictable.

    We will see whether the media enables it or not. He already lies on a regular basis. His only chance of winning is to lie and try negative tactics. Romney has nothing else.

    In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

    by vcmvo2 on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 07:41:31 PM PDT

    •  The media will enable it... (5+ / 0-) continuing with the "presenting both sides" type of reporting.  In other words:  "today, Romney described Obama as being the second coming of Satan.  When asked for comment, an adminstration assistant denied that Obama was linked in any way to Satan".

      Yeah, once in a while the news media will do their jobs and report that a lie is a lie.  But not often enough to make much of a difference.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 08:31:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A truly appalling (8+ / 0-)

    painting of a truly appalling human being.

  •  Wasnt there another political party that harrassed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Black Max, sunbro

    and threatened other parties in the 1930s in Germany?

  •  like Lee Atwater, karmic justice prevails /nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    griffin459, SaintC

    slutty voter for a "dangerous president"; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Sciant terra viam monstrare." 政治委员, 政委!

    by annieli on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 07:53:11 PM PDT

  •  when you have a Romney, you make Romneyade (7+ / 0-)
    Romney aides, too, privately contrast their no-holds-barred approach to McCain apologizing for his party's rowdy base in 2008. And for now — while swing voters go on vacation, and activists stay tuned in — the campaign is welcoming the comparison to a confrontational icon of the conservative movement.
    Told that conservatives were comparing Romney’s tactics to Breitbart’s, one aide responded: "Oh great, that's what we were going for."

    slutty voter for a "dangerous president"; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Sciant terra viam monstrare." 政治委员, 政委!

    by annieli on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 07:59:28 PM PDT

  •  Limbaugh's part must must be included (6+ / 0-)

    And when I say lImbaugh I Mean talk radio in general.

    Limbaughs support for McCain had to be bought with Palin. The bride of Limbaugh.  Talk radio is the tool most effective for intimidating the moderates.

    Beirbart is a product of radio ignorance.  Like Palin and now Romney has been reacting to it and it will be used to push him. But his bunch own it so Team Limbaugh will fall in line and will sell Mitt to the ditto head tebaggers.

    50 mIl listeners a week must be factored.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 08:03:41 PM PDT

    •  certainot, thank you for your list. It's past time (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to contact these universities.  Are they for education are or they for ignorance and misinformation?  Not being a sports fan, I had no idea that actual "institutions of learning" indirectly supported Limbaugh.  

      "'s difficult to imagine what else Republicans can do to drive women away in 2012, unless they decide to bring back witch-hanging. And I wouldn't put it past them." James Wolcott

      by Mayfly on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 08:17:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A few universities will cascade into many. It is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        highacidity, Mayfly

        clearly something none of them can rationalize on the basis of bringing in a few more bucks and reaching a few more listeners.  That's more important ?  But they've never been called on it.

        How can they not be.

        This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

        by certainot on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 09:21:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I don't know, that painting makes Breitbart look.. (7+ / 0-) Vigo from Ghostbusters 2.

    Simple question: In the years since Republicans successfully urged the disempowering of workers and unions in the Midwest, what has happened to those states economies?

    by Stephen Daugherty on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 08:08:50 PM PDT

  •  The Chicago Way (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Black Max

    Malone: You said you wanted to get Capone. Do you really wanna get him? You see what I'm saying is, what are you prepared to do?
    Ness: Anything within the law.
    Malone: And then what are you prepared to do? If you open the can on these worms you must be prepared to go all the way. Because they're not gonna give up the fight, until one of you is dead.
    Ness: I want to get Capone! I don't know how to do it.
    Malone: You wanna know how to get Capone? They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That's the Chicago way! And that's how you get Capone. Now do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that? I'm offering you a deal. Do you want this deal?
    Ness: I have sworn to capture this man with all legal powers at my disposal and I will do so.
    Malone: Well, the Lord hates a coward.

    "Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative." - John Stuart Mill

    by smartone on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 08:12:48 PM PDT

    •  Yes, smartone, but notice that Capone was "got" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elmo, Sharoney

      not by a gun nor a knife, but by an accountant.  

      "'s difficult to imagine what else Republicans can do to drive women away in 2012, unless they decide to bring back witch-hanging. And I wouldn't put it past them." James Wolcott

      by Mayfly on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 08:21:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Try getting Romney that way and they will call it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        a railroad and miscarriage of justice and politically motivated, even if it's all true.

        -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

        by JPax on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 11:25:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I wish I could rec this comment a million times (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mayfly, Sharoney

        because it's exactly right.

        The Obama campaign is not going to resort to dirty tricks like the Romney campaign. There will be no organized whisper campaigns about Romney having multiple wives, etc.

        No. Romney will be taken down fair and square by smart, tough, and aboveboard tactics.

  •  well (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, Mayfly, Debby

    character attacks have been the bedrock of conservative campaigning since the 70s.  Why run away from what works?

    all morals are relative, but some are more relative than others.

    by happymisanthropy on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 08:15:02 PM PDT

  •  Check this out.Never heard of Zapple Doctrine (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  sidebar: rumors (0+ / 0-)



    Deficits are a terrible tragedy when a Democrat is President and a wonderful gift when a Republican is President. ~ Former Florida Congressman, Alan Grayson

    by anyname on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 08:20:53 PM PDT

  •  Acting like assholes is how they roll. (8+ / 0-)

    Stop thinking Lincoln-Douglas and start thinking Westboro Baptist Church-Patriot Guard Riders. Every press conference and event that seems likely to be crashed by brownshirts should have a contingent of guardians there to shield the speakers, drown out the assholes, and protect the crowd -- the "brownshirts" comparison isn't just for insult purposes, I expect the instances of manhandling and headstomping by the Breitbart Brigades to escalate dramatically from earlier elections.

  •  Disrupt, drown out, dissemble GOP SOP (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Black Max, sunbro, JPax, Matt Z

    If they were p*ssed off at Bill Clinton just because he won, what they feel about a person of color in the White House has unleashed n amazing level of vitriol in lieu of outright racism (mostly). Romney lies with impunity, his minions disrupt and drown out opposition. Given the citizens united covert funding of swift boaters...expect the worst. But despite all that, it's all going to come down to GOTV. Get people registered, make sure accurate information is available, make sure voters can jump thru the hoops in the GOP wing controlled states, get them to the polls. Volunteer to be a poll worker to make sure things are done correctly.

  •  change the link on the Brietbart painting (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Black Max, annieli, Matt Z, highacidity

    to the followup story on Wonkette, much more hilarious (although both are good)!

  •  The same idiot artist, David Bugnon, did a (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, Timaeus, Debby, elmo

    painting/Photoshop/wanker material showing Michele Bachmann displaying the severed head of Nancy Pelosi. No kidding. Not pretty.

  •  I see conservative lying as desperation (7+ / 0-)

    The Republican Party is a minority party to begin with, and the groups it consists of these days (especially old white men and their subservient women) are dying off faster than they are being replaced. These are people who deeply hate the social changes that have occurred during and since the Great Depression. Minorities who have been the beneficiaries are out-breeding them and the younger voters and potential voters are not becoming conservative rapidly enough to replace the losses.

    They got their upper class President in 2004 by stealing the Florida vote but it allowed them to implement their conservative economic policies centered on the massive tax cuts which should have resurrected the American economy to it's condition after WW II. They also got the short demonstration war against Iraq that was supposed to prove that America militarily dominated the globe again. Both failed badly. The economy did not improve and the war dragged on without no end in sight and clearly no American dominance.

    Then, as if to demonstrate that the problem was failed conservative leadership and policies, Bush botched the Katrina rescue. The collapse of Wall Street because of the failure of conservative the free market and refusal to regulate the too-big-to-fail banks simply proved that conservatism was a disaster. The fiction that Bush simply wasn't conservative enough is so threadbare as to be invisible to any thinking person.

    To top it off Bush was replaced by a Black man as President. Talk about unacceptable social change!

    So the changes keep coming and there are no new conservative policies to offer. But the bad economy has given them a way to win elections anyway. They changed the name from Republican to tea party and falsified a 'new' populist conservative movement with idiots like Michelle Bachman, Allen West, and one last Presidential candidate retread who can lie massively with no shame (McCain's alleged failure was failure to lie and try to destroy the Black man who replaced the incompetent Bush.)

    The half a century effort to destroy the judicial system through filling it with Federalist Society fools has paid off, first with Bush vs. Gore and then with the Citizens United decisions. But still no one really believes in the conservative economic proposals except whacked out libertarians like Paul Ryan, and most of America knows those ideas are primarily theft of tax money by the wealthiest families in America. What's left? Lies and fundamentalist religion, supported by the massive amounts of money being thrown into the battle by billionaires along with conservative control of the largest corporations - especially the mass media.

    That's where America is politically right now. The conservatives are desperate and they are throwing every possible rock into the gears to try to steal the 2012 elections. It's really analogous to the German winter offensive in 1944 which we call the Battle of the Bulge.

    The US Supreme Court has by its actions and rhetoric ceased to be legitimate. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - over

    by Rick B on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 08:36:32 PM PDT

    •  True, but I sorta disagree. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheGreatLeapForward, joe wobblie

      I think it's been building for the last 20-some years. After the fall of the USSR, they thought conservative capitalism would take over the world, but blamed Bush I for not taking advantage of the opening. After Desert Storm and the non-occupation of Iraq, conservatives starting doubting Republican Party leadership. They've always had a thing for character but Clinton's known issues really got them going but they felt the impeachment but failed conviction of Clinton was a sell-out by their leadership again. After the 2000 election with all the recounts and the constant doubt over the legitimacy of Bush II's election I think they went over the edge. They decided that anti-bush doubts about the election were attempts to delegitimize him and them and so that is now there modus operandi, to de-legitimize their opponents. And that gets us to the extremism today, since the assumption that an opponent is not legitimate means that no method of campaigning against those opponents can be non-legitimate, and that extends to whole parties by guilt-by-association.

      Of course, 9/11 contributed to that since our main strategy in the following conflicts has been to de-legitimize that enemy as well, getting people used to the idea of not-negotiating with an enemy. That's the historic intent of terrorism, to get the other side to over-react and violate their own principles. Al Qaeda succeeded, with the help of the current crop of republicans who treat political opponents as "terrorists" for disagreeing with them. I can't help but think this will only end in more bloodshed (Gabby Giffords is only a start), for only afterwards do people often realize how far off track their extremism has gone. The question is: will it end with a Selma March level of violence or a Spanish Civil War level of violence?

      -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

      by JPax on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 12:05:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We aren't disagreeing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe wobblie

        I agree that the conservatives saw the exposure of Bush's theft of the 2000 election as being an effort to delegitimize the Bush Presidency. The ability of conservatives to project onto their opponents their own worst motives has always amazed me.

        The problem for the conservatives who have taken control of the Republican Party is that conservatism is a totally failed set of political prescriptions, and the conservative prescription for dealing with their own failures is to blame someone else and double down on the effort. This has led to desperation and insanity and what is their response? They've doubled down on the idiocy yet again.

        Perhaps I shouldn't call this desperation, but I don't know a word for desperation taken to absurd lengths and then redoubled. That's where the modern political conservatives are.

        Sadly that only describes the rank-and-file. The leadership of the Republican conservatives has been taken over by conservative wealthy families and plutocrat wanna-bees along with executives in massive corporations who are demonstrating yet again the working out of Iron Law of Oligarchy. (I am delighted to see Chris Hayes write about the Iron Law in his new book coming out tomorrow.)

        These oligarchs (like Rupert Murdoch) provide the continuity and direction for the efforts of conservatives to take over the political system and turn it into a kleptocracy.

        The US Supreme Court has by its actions and rhetoric ceased to be legitimate. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - over

        by Rick B on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 09:02:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  quixotic? that is, "tilting at windmills" (0+ / 0-)

          wondering if that might be a word close to what you're looking for when you wrote this:

          Perhaps I shouldn't call this desperation, but I don't know a word for desperation taken to absurd lengths and then redoubled. That's where the modern political conservatives are.

          -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

          by JPax on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 01:21:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Andrew Breitbart, the villain in Ghostbusters 2? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Black Max, Matt Z

    Hide your babies!

    "...we can all shut-up and go back to our caves." - Leonard Bernstein

    by progdog on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 08:37:37 PM PDT

  •  There is absolutely no reason for them to stop (19+ / 0-)

    because it looks like if things go as they are they are just going to keep on winning more often than they lose being Rove/Atwater on steroids. 'In the longterm, they are doomed!" well, in the longterm, we are all dead. Waiting out Movement Conservatism is best replaced by tearing down Movement Conservatism.

    Mitt Romney could win and be our next President, doing all the shit George W. Bush did, and afterwards too few peope are going to care about how shitty and dishonorable and dishonest he was in the race to win it once he's in, he's the President. Hail to the Chief. The Versaille media will then cover him with the same double-standard that they do with every other GOP White House. Movement Conservatism is a failed experiment, it's such an epic fail that it's a national security threat to this nation, and it gets a pass as if it isn't a failed ideology by the only people who can discredit it.

    How many times do we come to Daily Kos after an asskicking and see people posting "no worries, demographically, they are doomed and this is the last harrah" and "we lost because of ___, so the status quo doesn't have to change because it can't be blamed" talk and then you come back two or four years later and the same shit is going down. The status quo isn't working. It hasn't been working.  I'm sick of hearing about how Texas is going to be a Blue State any second now, because the GOP is institutionally geared towards not letting all of those non-Republicans no matter what their race, religioun, or creed, vote freely or at all and bombarding those who do get to vote with lies. New friendlier demographics can get conned just like the old ones. I think we have too much faith in non-political people's political saavy and common sense causing them to get a clue by osmosis. There are Obama voters and union households that voted for Scott Walker in Wisconsin. That's a sign that both sides are making arguments from the same rulebook in terms of talking about what is possible and what is not to the point where one party now has a huge advantage, and its the party that has all the other huge advantages right now thanks to our media, it being the party of the rich and powerful, and their new toy in Citizen's United.

    It's not that suicide is apparently an option to enough non-rich non-conservative Americans that it can't be discounted, but that nobody is really making a strong argument against Movement Conservatism. Those that are, get marginalized as extremists or outliers. DC is a fucking veal pen for non-Rightwingers. The culture is so far gone now that it encourages batshit insane responses to obvious takedown opportunities. The Democratic Party has gotten conned into being bumfuzzled about letting all the Bush tax cuts expire. Like the GOP isn't the GOP. You can't get the cuts for the poor and middle class extended and just lose the cuts for the rich with this Republican Party because they have all the leverage with the Bush plan in place. You have to let them all go, and then, from scratch, renegotiate a tax cut package that isn't geared towards the 1%. How the fuck do you fuck up taking the gun out of the GOP's hand? Simple. Be in DC too long. Watch too much Sunday morning gasbaggery or watch too much basic cable news. Read the WaPo or the NYTimes. They got over nearly destroying the economy in less than five years with the status quo that has gotten the Democrats fearful of letting unpopular policy end because they fear backlash like they are talking about popular policy. The Right feels so confident and so comfortable with their hand as to offer the U.S. a second, and more intensely focused on the epic fail of the first, George W. Bush adiministration via Mitt Romney.

    They don't care that Sally Quinn has the vapors, or that people complain that they are being unfair or lying, and they certainly don't fear the Democratic Party. Not one bit.

    What is utterly mystifying to me is the number of people who seem to believe that there is a comeuppance coming without that being the actual goal and the strategy or without anybody making a really strong ideological counter-argument to Movement Conservatism. Just like it's mystifying to me that anyone might think that there is a bottom to Movement Conservative bad faith that will be reached eventually,  or that there are those who work and cover politics who still refuse to believe that the Right is even acting in bad faith at all and think they can cut deals and bargain with them at this point. I'm not talking about the Rox vs. Sux bullshit online, I'm talking about out in our system.

    Fighting is always a last resort of medium cool, but we are getting to the point where even the most cautious and deliberate political thinking should be demanding aggressive confrontation and the end of avoiding partisanship and ideological counter-arguments for fear of alienating low-information voters who choose their avatars based on their desire to have a beer with x, or y candidate for avatarhood. Tragically, our reaching this point after the Citizen's United decision is just par for the course with the incredible run that Movement Conservatism has had since nobody has ever really challenged it as a complete failure since Reagan's rise collectively bumfuzzled the center-left of Versaille.

    President Barack Obama has been a thoughtful careful moderate President. He has reached out a thousand times in good faith, and, after all he has done, he is more likely to get impeached by the GOP than achieve any painful Grand Bargain that is a great win for the Right and austerity.

    They hate us that much. They hate Obama that much.

    They hate us to the point where our giving them what they want is a pale substitute to their seeing our political heads on pikes. Wisconsin unions could agree to compromise on everything, and destroying all unions and ending collective bargaining forever was more gleefully important than actually winning a policy fight.

    You have to be willfully ignorant not to see the GOP as it is today. You have to choose to live wrapped in a shroud with blinders on. No problem. There are plenty of takers who have a good deal and can afford to pretend that the Right is not the Right because they are doing okay. Poor people are a hypothetical to a lot of establishment DC. News anchors don't need MediCare or Social Security. Establishment Washington is filled with courteseans and Versaille cocktail party fainting couch denizens who are moral and intellectual cowards who worry more about their public relations and waving the fan vigorously with the vapors about tone and civility than people getting mugged by inequality and inequity.

    Mitt Romney isn't getting his ass kicked for tolerating Birtherism, he's getting donations and the same kid-glove treatment the GOP candidate always gets from a fearful and compliant traditional news media.

    Look around, they are winning more than they are losing no matter how low they go. They are winning fights they should lose by dousing them with money, lying, ratfucking, purging voter rolls, and winning because the media has quit, journalism has become stenography to avoid Rightwing attacks for bias, and a lot of Democrats are trying to be civil and bipartisan no matter what the Right says or does, which is interpreted by the Right as cowardice and weakness, and a sign to double-down further on their bad behaviour.

    The only thing the Movement Conservative Right understands is the political bloody nose, and there aren't a lot of avenues or areas where they are facing situations where they risk that bloody nose these days.

    Any brief conversation with a Rightwinger and you figure out really quick that they think they are winning because of the bad faith, the ratfucks, and the "do anything to win" creedo. Movement Conservatism has never, ever been this powerful in American life. Conservatism hasn't been this in control of our lives since the Gilded Age. What non-Movement Conservatives have been doing for the last few decades, especially attempting to hijack Rightwing policy to achieve Progressive goals, has been a disasterous failure. The idea was to steal their policy thunder, humanize it, and in doing so create as close to a permanent majority as you can get by doing that. Instead, it has mainstreamed Movement Conservative outcomes that were once considered radical and unthinkable, and made the Right more powerful.

    One of the most frustrating things about being a non-Movement Conservative is watching people who would seemingly stand at a three card monte table set up in an alley who will keep playing as if, eventually, the rigged game will become fair over time. As if the crooks and conmen running the three card monte game will someday feel sorry for their suckers and suddenly convert to playing a fair game where the sucker can win.

    There is absolutely nothing in our politics and our discourse that would encourage the Movement Conservative Right to stop how they roll. Nothing. Citizen's United lets them come as close to buying outcomes without actually engaging in behaviour that low-information voters and idiot pundits would consider "real" corruption without consequence, They can lie, and it's a bigger sin to call them a liar than for them to lie. They can make shit up, and get "mostly true" from hacks like the morons at PolitiFact, and the stenographers are more concerned about their ratings than millions of old people living on catfood.

    Attack Movement Conservatism, undermine it completely, or keep watching the Right find new ways to keep coming back like Jason Vorhees or Freddie Kruger.

    I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party

    by LeftHandedMan on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 09:29:06 PM PDT

    •  This should be a rec list diary. (7+ / 0-)

      This should be the front page. Not on the front page, or one of the stories on the front page, it should be the front page.

      For weeks and weeks. Months, if it takes that long. I'm not sure we have years.

      If the try-hards in the system want to keep slugging it out for incremental change, Eris bless them, and I honor them for their work and what little they've managed to achieve in this climate.

      But there at least needs to be a concurrent movement - build perhaps on the framework of Occupy or the Wisconsin Recall, or anything - whose sole purpose is to give them a bloody nose, a black eye, a fat lip, and a boot in the ass on the way out the door (metaphorically speaking, my gentler friends - unless it's self-defense).

      Fear of repercussion is what keeps the bad people in line. There are far too many people out there who would gladly rob you, beat you, even kill you if they could get away with it. As you correctly point out, the Movement Conservatives have. No. Fear. Nothing is too far. There is no fear of repercussion, because there have been no repercussions.

      Thanks for the pep talk, LHM. It's always nice to know I'm not alone in thinking that it's way past time for some of us (at least) to beat those plowshares back into swords.

      The problem with going with your gut as opposed to your head is that the former is so often full of shit. - Randy Chestnut

      by lotusmaglite on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 11:48:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Please post as a diary n/t (5+ / 0-)
    •  Brilliant commentary. I particularly like (4+ / 0-)

      this clear analogy, which is right on the money:

      One of the most frustrating things about being a non-Movement Conservative is watching people who would seemingly stand at a three card monte table set up in an alley who will keep playing as if, eventually, the rigged game will become fair over time. As if the crooks and conmen running the three card monte game will someday feel sorry for their suckers and suddenly convert to playing a fair game where the sucker can win.
      Please take this comment and turn it into a diary.

      Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. --Mark Twain

      by SottoVoce on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 04:13:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  TBogg's photoshop Brietbart winner is up at FDL. (0+ / 0-)

    My choice, as well.

    Those who forget the pasta are doomed to reheat it.

    by CarolinNJ on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 10:42:26 PM PDT

  •  Dante, the moment I finished your post here (6+ / 0-)

    I had to take a walk to cool off.

    I'm back now, an hour later, and I'm still pissed.

    < /begin rant>

    I'm pissed off because I know exactly how the next five months are going to play out.

    For whatever reason, your post crystallized it for me. Not the "revelation" that Romney's going to spend the next five months throwing red meat to the Republican base and lying his ass off. (That falls in the "well, duh" category.) But rather the realization that there is only one way to counter Romney and that the Obama campaign is not going to employ it.

    Some random thoughts first:

    As noted in a comment upthread, this is NOT 2008. The campaign that worked brilliantly then is not going to fly this time around. Back in '08 Obama was the fresh, brilliant young man, who promised (dare I say, inspired hope) that he was going to change the way Washington worked; end the partisan gridlock; clamp down on the reckless Wall Street gambling that crashed the housing market and plunged us into a recession; make health care affordable and accessible to all; etcampaigncetera.

    (This is not an anti-Obama rant, so for the purposes of this comment I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that he actually wanted to challenge the status quo.)

    Now, that tiny minority of us Americans who are political junkies, who get their news from progressive internet reporters, who know how to access and evaluate unfiltered source material, KNOW what he was up against, and know why, no matter how well intentioned he may have been, there was not a prayer in hell of him actually accomplishing what he promised.

    Well, that tiny minority of us is exactly that - a tiny minority. MOST Americans get their news and analysis from a combination of the mainstream broadcast TV, FOX, CNN, AM radio and the church pulpit. And those sources, by a margin of probably 5 to 1, shape the news to reflect favorably upon the solutions touted by the Republicans.

    If Obama tries to run on his accomplishments, he's likely toast.

    For every American who's been helped by the ACA provisions that have already kicked in, there are more Americans beset by skyrocketing premiums and deductibles.

    For every American who's obtained some form of mortgage relief, there are more Americans losing or having lost their homes.

    For every American whose job in the auto industry (or in a dependent industry) was saved, there are more Americans whose jobs have disappeared or been cut back in hours or have been benefit-stripped.

    Most Americans today are living lives of financial insecurity and despair for their children's future. Obama can't run on his accomplishments when the number of Americans whose situations have improved is outnumbered by those Americans who are still treading water or sinking. And, Obama can't run on, "Hey, under McCain it would have been worse" or "Hey, under Romney it WILL be worse." You can't run on that when virtually the entire corporate media is conspiring to twist reality.

    When Americans are hurting, they want change. When Americans are really hurting, they want BIG CHANGE.

    Americans "know" that Obama has run up the biggest deficit in history. They "know" that Obama has enacted so many regulations that businesses can't survive and grow. They "know" that Obama's socialist tax and spend policies are going to destroy us, just like they've destroyed Europe.

    How do they "know" this? Because every fucking corporate media stenographer and pundit is dutifully parroting the lies of the Republican party.

    And if Americans "know" that Obama's policies are destroying the country, then, "logically," the solution is to elect Republicans, who stand against those policies.

    < /end rant>

    So, in light of this, what's the one, most effective thing the Obama campaign could do, but won't do?

    Turn this campaign on its heels. FORGET Romney, and run against the Koch brothers - by name. Run against all their front groups - and identify them. Run against ALEC, and call out their servants in the State legislatures and in the Congress, by NAME. Connect all the dots.

    And this will have to come directly from Obama - not just alluded to by campaign surrogates on dry-as-toast Sunday shows that nobody watches.

    The President still has the biggest microphone in the nation. He alone can counter the right wing media narrative.

    In every presser, at every rally, Obama needs to charge the multi-billionaire Koch brothers with attempting to buy this election, and make it crystal clear what they and their 1%er allies have to gain (and what the rest of us will lose) if they succeed.

    No-drama-Obama needs to morph into HIGH-drama-Obama. He needs to EXCITE the electorate. We are NOT a politically sophisticated culture. This needs to be a fight of good vs evil. Fuck the Ledbetter list. Fuck the "competing visions for America."

    The Obama campaign needs to be about one thing - the 1%ers are destroying Americans' security and their future well being to line their own pockets. They are turning Americans into wage slaves who will have no power to better their lives, nor the lives of their children.


    Whom am I kidding. Obama's not going to tell the truth about what's happening to America, and THAT's why this November is going to be a tossup.

    •  I'd rec this a thousand times over (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WisePiper, highacidity, Sharoney

      Too many people will look at the situation and think, well, Obama tried, but he didn't lead.  And frankly, looking at the campaign so far, I can't half blame them.

      Just look at the banner ad that surrounds this page, at least on my screen: "Mitt Romney claims: President Obama has gone on a spending binge"; "Fact: Federal spending growth is lower under President Obama."

      Our side's adwriters actually get paid to do this?  Repeat the opposition's framing twice in the same ad, and plaster it all over the Internet?

      Christ Jiminy.  I give up.  I'm practically ready to welcome my new corporate overlord at this point.

      •  Better to leave the lies out there dangling (0+ / 0-)

        not rebutted, eh?

        Then folks here can come back and whine that Obama is letting them "swift boat" him just like Kerry did.

        Yes, I see how the game is played. Whatever Obama does or doesn't do, there will be progressives to criticize him for it.

    •  I think Americans who are not tuned (0+ / 0-)

      in to politics would respond to an anti-Koch campaign with a resounding "huh?"

      When you're handed an unlikeable, flip flopping candidate who already easily reminds Americans of everything we hate about the Wall Street that dumped this country into a recession, you don't run against somebody else, somebody most people have never heard of in the first place.

      That would be political malpractice.

      •  How many Americans knew what the hell (0+ / 0-)

        Bain Capital was before the Republican primary contestants, and later (wisely, for a time) the Obama campaign harped on Romney's Bain Capital as vulture (not venture) capitalists?

        If Obama  were to inform the American people, at every opportunity, WHO the Koch Brothers are and WHAT they're doing with their hundreds of millions of dollars laundered through myriad front groups, the people would learn pretty quickly who the stakeholders are and  who is not acting in their interests.

  •  How'd Things Work Out For Breitbart? (6+ / 0-)

    He was gone at 43.  He left a widow & 4 young children.  His little wannabees Dana Loesh & Erick Erickson have run one dud campaign after another.  Nothing from Brietbart's Big Hollywood or Big Government web sites has really caught on.  He left no one to carry on his dreadful goals.

    Mitt Romney can knock himself out trying to be another Breitbart if he wants.  He can twist himself into a Mormon pretzel trying to please his base.

    They don't really trust him, &  they never will.  For once, they got one thing right.  He'll never be conservative enough for them.  They bought a pig in a poke, & they'll regret it.

    John McCain only stuck up for Mr. Obama, because Palin had done too good a job of riling up the base.  It was starting to look really, really bad.  Really hostile, really vulgar, really angry.

    McCain got orders to damp it down.  He did nothing heroic, he was just trying to put out a fire that promised to be a raging inferno.  

  •  Eight years ago, CNN aka Wolf Blitzer (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, wintergreen8694, Sharoney

    repeated over and over for days and weeks about the Swift Boat nonsense without doing any independent research he took RW talking points to attack Kerry's record.
    Now Romney lies about    EVERYTHING and nobody challenges him about anything he says or does, they just change the subject.

  •  I think it's time for Obama's people to use the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wintergreen8694, drmah, Sharoney

    "R" word for this kind of tactic.

    This is too extreme for our country.  This is radical.  Plain and simple.

    The conservatives might be itching for a fight, but America does not want radical, extremist, conservative politics in charge of our great country.  America does not want a radical in the White House.

    It's time to call these people radicals and extremists and to paint them for the incendiary flamethrowers they are.  And to point out that that's not how you run a country.

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 04:34:55 AM PDT

  •  Destroying to save??? (0+ / 0-)

    The rightwing (and some much smaller parts of the left) have adapted the Lombardi approach to politics: "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing."  Thus they are completely fine with using any legal or even mildly illegal means to win.  The first problem with this approach is the collateral damage it inflicts on our country; in effect, to save the country from their opponents they have no problem with destroying it.  The second problem is that when the ends justify the means there is no reason to accept any limits on the means especially when you dehumanize and demonize your opponents: the ends can easily be seen as justifying violence against your political opponents—pepper spray and cudgels first but there's no reason to stop there in support of the "greater good".  

    There will always be fringe elements on either side that need to be restrained in the interest of maintaining a civilized society.  When the leaders of a movement, such as Romney, begin to pander to the fringe rather than restrain it, things will go downhill fast.

    My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.—Carl Schurz
    Give 'em hell, Barry—Me

    by KingBolete on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 08:50:45 AM PDT

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