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The collective jaw of what's left of responsible journalism is agape at the unfettered, unprecedented mendacity of the Romney/Ryan campaign.

middlegirl did a great job yesterday of collecting links to document the pushback.

The Romney/Ryan campaign has come right out and said that fact-checking won't make a difference in what they do, so long as their data says their lying messages are resonating:

The Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” awarded Romney’s [welfare] ad “four Pinocchios,” a measure Romney pollster Neil Newhouse dismissed.

“Fact checkers come to this with their own sets of thoughts and beliefs, and we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers,” he said.

How in the world do they think they're going to get away with this?

From my vantage point here in Madison, I'm wondering if the Romney campaign, with Wisconsin's Paul Ryan on the ticket, has been emboldened to this astonishing approach by the ugly success of Scott Walker's triumph in the Wisconsin Recall.

More beyond the jump.

The propaganda machine behind Scott Walker was powerful.  It was immense.  Due to a loophole in Wisconsin's recall law, he was able to raise unlimited funds for his actual campaign just as soon as signature collecting started, not to mention the tsunami of funding from outside groups.  The Walker propaganda started months before there was a candidate chosen to oppose him, setting the narrative early and with minimal pushback.

There were two main propaganda messages in the Scott Walker's campaign.

Message #1 - The Big Lie: It's Working!  The Wisconsin economy is on the right track!

Message #2 - The Big Convince: Recalls should only be used in cases of criminal malfeasance, not for political disagreements.

Message #1, The Big Lie, came directly from the Walker campaign, aided and abetted by the state Department of Workforce Development, as they spun the numbers, ducking and weaving and occasionally lying outright.

The second message came from the Republican Governors' Association, with a gush of money and a carefully coordinated strategy.

Both messages started early and created measurable public-opinion swing.  Neither message was effectively countered.

In general, Wisconsin has had a major media FAIL when it comes to pushback on the Big Lie about Walker's job creation record.

As Jake's Economic TA Funhouse reports, the Walker Jobs Deficit -- the difference between the number of jobs Wisconsin has and the number we SHOULD have if we'd managed to keep pace with national job growth -- is 86,500 jobs overall.  We've  lost 17,300 jobs just since the June recall!  No matter what they say in Tampa, it still ain't working in Wisconsin.

But the propaganda blitz?  That did work.

According to the Marquette Law School Poll, here's how they moved the needle on the jobs/economy claim.

Thinking about the state as a whole, do you think there are more jobs compared to a year ago, fewer jobs, or about the same?

Feb. 16-19
More jobs          22%
Fewer jobs         30%
About the same  45%

June 13-16, 2012
More jobs           35%
Fewer jobs          24%
About the same   39%

And here's how they moved the needle on convincing Wisconsin not to approve of recalls in general:
Do you think the recall process should be changed to allow recalls only in the case of criminal wrongdoing, or should it be kept as it is currently, with no restrictions?
Jan 19-22, 2012
Allow only in cases of criminal wrongdoing          43%
Kept as it is currently with no such restrictions   53%

June 13-16, 2012
Allow only in cases of criminal wrongdoing          50%
Kept as it is currently with no such restrictions   44%

When it comes to the propagandizing of public opinion on the recall itself, they snookered us altogether.  Post-recall conventional wisdom, from pundits to Dem luminaries to Kos commenters, have declared "Wisconsinites just don't like recalls."  Even Russ Feingold has publicly rolled over on that point ("I wouldn't have won either... [Voters] didn't think a recall was appropriate").  But there's some almost-unnoticed reporting that lays the anti-recall propaganda bare, from a piece in The Progressive by Elizabeth diNovella.  She describes a recall post-mortem public panel presentation.
Matt Gagnon, the digital director for the Republican Governors Association (RGA), represented the conservative voice on the panel. Gagnon is a hired gun who previously worked for a union, the NFL’s Player Association.
As Gagnon reported on the panel,
In February, the RGA had a “high level strategy meeting.” First, it came up with a message: a recall should happen only if there was criminal behavior or malfeasance.
They pumped that message via the ads, the right-wing echo chamber amplified the anti-recall propaganda and the "it's working" lie -- and by the time the recall actually came around, those two "opinions" among the electorate could easily account for the difference by which Scott Walker beat Tom Barrett.

And that, I submit, is a major factor in why they think they can get away with this on a national basis.

If facts don't matter in Wisconsin, why in the world should they matter nationwide?

If enough money can bend enough public opinion in Wisconsin, and people don't even realize they've been manipulated, why not from coast to coast?

= = = = = = = = = = = =

Update: I've changed the title from "They Know" to "Why They Think" to better capture what I really think.  Houses in Motion points out some of the good signs of hope that the nation WILL be different than Wisconsin.  I agree -- it's certainly my hope -- please feel free to continue to point out similarities & differences in the comments, everyone!

Originally posted to AnnieJo on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 04:51 AM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I know this is part of a bigger picture. (93+ / 0-)

    But the story of Wisconsin's propagandizing is one that I've been pondering for a while.  And it fits too well not to tell it, what with the GOP's full-fledged public abandonment of truth this week.

    If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. - Bishop Desmond Tutu

    by AnnieJo on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 04:48:36 AM PDT

    •  I think you tell the WI story very well here, and (33+ / 0-)

      I also believe the WI recall experience has been a factor in helping Mittco decide to go with an entirely post-truth campaign.  

      But to me, the details of your WI story make it clear why they can't and won't replicate the WI recall in this national presidential campaign.  Mitt doesn't have a 5-to-1 or 10-to-1 dollar advantage; he certainly hasn't gotten any kind of head start in the air war (on the contrary).  He faces a very aggressive opponent who is more skilled at nearly all facets of the game.  Also in stark contrast to WI, Mitt faces an MSM that is more skeptical of the gopper candidate (at this stage) than anyone since Dole -- they've already demonstrated their willingness to call out Ryan.  I think you're right that they believe they can overwhelm this with their paid media, but they're wrong.  

      •  These are all good signs, indeed. (9+ / 0-)

        I hope the skepticism, in particular, snowballs like crazy.

        Thanks for a hopeful comment!

        If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. - Bishop Desmond Tutu

        by AnnieJo on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 05:46:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry, but I'm not confident, at all. (21+ / 0-)

          Thank goodness for Sally Kohn. If a Fox News journalist hadn't published that remarkable piece, I'm not at all confident that the flood of MSM criticism of Ryan's speech would have happened.

          To wit: Mitt told some of those same lies (e.g. the stolen Medicare funds, Obama raising taxes on the middle class) last night. Where's the pushback from the MSM today?

          Romney, like Walker, knows that he can't win a campaign based on the truth. So, there's a 3 pronged strategy:

          1. Never back down from lies, bigger lies, and even bigger lies -- while relentlessly accusing Obama of running a negative campaign based on lies.

          2. Racism, more racism, and even more racism -- all while accusing Obama of playing the race card.

          3. Suppress the Democratic vote. Steal as many states as possible, especially the vital swing states like PA and FL.

          Am I worried? Yes. There is way too much billionaire $$$ backing this strategy of lies, appeals to hate, and stealing the election.

          The Big Lie works.

          Appeals to racism and hate will motivate the scared, the ignorant, and the bigoted.

          The echo chamber works.

          And stealing always works, unless we stop it.

          "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

          by flitedocnm on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 09:20:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The whole thing with Sally Kohn is so interesting. (20+ / 0-)

            If you click on her byline, you see that she's a token Dem, who is allowed to write a piece at FOX online every now and again, only to have it sink like a stone.

            This one time, all of a sudden her work broke out in a big way.

            I've heard a lot of criticism about how Democrats should never lower themselves to FOX News tokenism.  But this time it worked in our favor.

            I'm worried too.  I'm in Wisconsin after all, where we're living the reality of what happens when they win with this strategy.  Our household income dropped by nearly $500 per month in the wake of Act 10.

            But I appreciate voices of hope.  And it's good to see some of the lies actually, finally, being called out.  If that continues, then so does the hope.

            If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. - Bishop Desmond Tutu

            by AnnieJo on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 09:34:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Sally definitely added to it. There was (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OldGrammy, ranton, Creosote

            already a lot going on, especially by Greg Sargent at WaPo, the LA Times and other outlets. Among other things, the journalists were reporting conversations amongst themselves on using frank words (lie) and putting them in headlines.

            Sort of a critical mass event.

            My issue with some of this is as an echo chamber escalated even more than we have had, as bad as it was. The repetition, especially for such a long period, probably affects the brain's ability to pay attention after awhile. Do the words go into the mind essentially unchallenged, after a certain number of repetitions within a window of time? Mute buttons are very prevalent, TIVO is not real widespread but  hopefully diminishes a little. I don't think they can overcome how many times most voters hear the ads.

            Then there is the election fraud elephant. What’s wrong with Wisconsin? The discrepancy between the exit polls and  the polls going into the race being very close, and the count having a 7% difference cannot be verified by recount because of the system Wisconsin uses.

            The article is at Free Press and there are more to link to on the Ohio situation. The obstacles are really intimidating, which we cannot give in to.

            As soon as this last push for campaign donations is over for the month or quarter, folks might check into the organizations, especially legal, that are working to get the laws overturned to see if they could use a Lincoln or two.

            "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

            by Ginny in CO on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 08:43:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Dollar advantage and Lies and more lies... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ...worked in WI because of timing. Wisconsin law gave Governor power to name the date for recall election (his recall).  That date coincided with schools closing for summer...meaning thousands of out of state college students and many high school seniors easily 100,000 plus. Many of the college students move back home out of WI. Many looking for jobs etc...but of big concern is communication lines get muddled goes on. Add that to the incredible volume of political media ads easily 70-30 ratio in favor of republicans.  And yet WE had some success...against overwhelming odds.  Add more will come as many of the Walker campaign lies come home to roost. Always forward...speak truth to power.

            Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of its people.

            by kalihikane on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 09:11:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Republicans know how to become entrenched. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Democrats do, too, but as an hisorical artifact of old, crumbling "big city machines".

              Ultra-conservatives have been base-building for two decades. Even where they don't have local, county or state governments under their visible control, they have a LOT of functionaries, such as local officials who bounce registration packets back, and refuse to count absentee ballots, and use their personal computers to tally votes ostensibly to guard against vote fraud, and steer voters to the wrong precincts, and recommend provisional ballots which may some day be tallied. Voter suppression can work in many ways, some so small as to be nowhere near any radar, literally beneath notice.

              Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

              by TRPChicago on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 06:32:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  The "air war" has a 24/7, 365 infrastructure (18+ / 0-)

        that plays day in and day out on right wing radio, on Fox News, and, sadly, in national broadcast news and the local affiliates.

        It's much worse in Wisconsin because there are fewer local media outlets and they are consistently conservative. The local market is much easier to manipulate.

        So while nationally there is more push-back, all the local media in swing states needs to do is keep on with what worked so nicely for Walker here in Wisconsin. It isn't a national fight.

        •  9 states (9+ / 0-)

          that's all that will decide this.  You are correct.. this is not a national fight.

        •  The day after Ryan's speech, the headline of my (9+ / 0-)

          WI local rag was "Ryan: Romney won't duck tough issues." The accompanying 2+ page article did not mention the lies or the controversy surrounding his statements.  The Milwaukee Journal's headline was "America needs a turnaround."  Buried in the article on page 6 was one sentence that said Ryan did not mention that the Janesville plant closed in Dec. 2008. These are perfect examples of what WI media consists of and helps explain why someone who ONLY reads those newspapers accused ME of lying and spouting propaganda when I said Ryan told multiple lies in his speech  

          Additionally, on the same day, Journal readers were treated to an editorial staff article entitled " Ann Romney does her job with warmth, conviction.  Just this week my local paper ran an editorial by our in-the-tank Attorney General titled "Wisconsin must enact voter ID laws before the fall election."  I have never seen an editorial by a leading Liberal in my local rag.  

          This is the same paper that ran 3 editorial staff opinion pieces that not only denounced Walker's Recall but also the Right of Recall itself.  A common theme has been to plant in public perception that the Right to Recall that LaFollette (a Republican) and other Progressives fought decades to enact be eliminated.  We will see if Wisconsin Lemmings are THAT gullible.

          I have thought for a long time that the only way to reach the Lemmings is to mount a massive billboard campaign with messages of "Truth"!

          Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

          by ranton on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 09:27:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  post-truth (7+ / 0-)

        Yes, that's good.  The simplest and most accurate descriptive of our manufactured reality since 2000.  It covers the whole sprectrum of today's society in a way that anyone can understand and identify with.

        Our campaigns and activism need to built around the post-truth era designation.

        Chief neoconservative/fundamentalist allied belief: All things are possible if only you lie.

        by blueoasis on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 11:33:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Tipped, recced and republished to (10+ / 0-)

      I started with nothing and still have most of it left. - Seasick Steve

      by ruleoflaw on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 05:51:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've been saying the same thing (16+ / 0-)

      since the recall:  huge piles of money, RW hate radio that saturates everywhere, and a lazy and compliant media that doesn't fact check or expose someones record and/or lies.

      Add to that the typical voter suppression methods and new Voter ID law (the only thing subject to the injunction was Voter ID - the rest of it's still intact) as well as a continuation of "irregularities" with voting machines and vote counting and you have the recipe for Republican success.

      Wisconsin was the test case for their new 2012 strategy.  They're rolling it out nationwide.

      The only reason Obama was elected in 2008 was that GOP election fraud couldn't overcome the massive Democatic votes.  In a closer election (or with a more massive voter suppression or election fraud system), they'll overwhelm the vote.

      For them, the ends (power) justify the means.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 10:44:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  GOTV... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Creosote, AnnieJo, dragonlady

      ...and if it is to be it's up to show up!

      Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of its people.

      by kalihikane on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 08:45:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  When they say (15+ / 0-)
    Fact checkers come to this with their own sets of thoughts and beliefs, and we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers
    it's another way of crying "liberal bias". After I first saw that comment I googled and found more than a few articles stating fact checking is a sham, a ruse for people who are really in the tank for liberals.

    Once again, the right feels entitled to have its beliefs validated.

    liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

    by RockyMtnLib on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 05:06:51 AM PDT

  •  Walker rigged the recall. (10+ / 0-)

    I diaried this in depth:

    Timeline of An Election Beyond Credulity

    I don't anticipate a repeat on a national level, but we should be prepared nonetheless.

    Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

    by Troubadour on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 05:20:22 AM PDT

    •  Why bother to take the risk of lying, though (11+ / 0-)

      if rigging with take you over the top?

      Rigging is an (as-yet) unproven charge.  Lying, we KNOW is going on.

      If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. - Bishop Desmond Tutu

      by AnnieJo on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 05:26:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There was no rigging, and you have no proof (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Altoid77, exterris, killjoy

      except your sour grapes.

      GOP turnout was very heavy.
      Many Dem voters decided a recall was not proper in this instance - possibly due to what the diarist calls "propaganda".

      As far as exit polls go, the heavy GOP counties reported late.. duh.

      And Marquette Law School pegged the almost exact percentage each candidate would get 2 weeks in advance.  Not suprisingly, the partisan polls showed their candidate much further ahead..  once again.. no duh.

      Wisconsin Recall Polls: Why Did The Partisan Surveys Get It Wrong?

      Celinda Lake, whose automated poll conducted over the Memorial Day weekend showed a tied race, told The Huffington Post that her poll had modeled turnout to match the 2010 electorate, but she believes "there was a surge of Republican voters even beyond 2010." She also said that swing voters "broke to Walker over the last days because they were just sick of the recall and didn't think there were grounds for firing him."
      •  Actually, numerous problems with (12+ / 0-)

        vote count, ballots, and voting were found during the Lehman-van Wanggaard recount (the only one done).  While the recount didn't change the outcome (the Demcrat still won), it did raise enough red flags to have the Wisconsin Wave try to raise funds for a statewide recount.

        Yes, there was a large Republican turnout, but also a very large Democratic turnout.

        And yet another election where the official results were DIFFERENT from the exit polls.  Exit polling is used by outside observers in countries where, shall we say, democracy is questionable, to verify the official results.  When results vary from the exit polls, the entire election is considered highly suspicious.

        There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

        by Puddytat on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 10:51:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Anyone using early exit polls to predict the race (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Altoid77, madcitysailor

          doesn't understand exit polling.  They are not designed for that purpose.

          Early exit polls were wrong as far as predicting the end result.

          Take a look at this article:

          What Was the Problem With the Wisconsin Exit Polls?

          It turned out that the only thing the early exit polls showed was that the early exit polls were wrong -- as they have been so many times before.
          But in seizing on exit polls to sate our desperate curiosity about who has won the election, we're using them for exactly what they're not supposed to tell us. "The exit poll is ultimately designed to provide answers about who voted and why, not to call the election," notes Mark Blumenthal, a former Democratic campaign pollster who's now the senior polling editor at the Huffington Post, and who spent nearly a year puzzling over and blogging about the mystery of the flawed Kerry exits post-2004.
      •  You didn't even read the diary I cited. (6+ / 0-)

        I completely demolished the arguments in the link you provide.  Stop spreading idiotic GOP "sour grapes" memes and just deal with the facts.

        Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

        by Troubadour on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 07:21:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Because the Free Press Concept Doesn't Work. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joy of Fishes, NoMoreLies, Musial

    It never has, which a number of the framers themselves discovered when they began to run and serve under their creation.

    The foundation of civilization is the communication and information sphere, and our system cedes it totally to warlords.

    Nobody in 1760 could've imagined the 1789 Consitution. Right now nobody can conceive of a civilized info/communication sphere, but if any remotely participatory society is to survive long term, we have to figure out how to make the mainstream public square accurate and pertinent.

    --Something we at least have never even attempted to think about.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 05:50:48 AM PDT

    •  oh yeah.. cuz no one reads that internet thingy.. (0+ / 0-)

      The concept of a Free Press seems to be working perfectly to me..

      Online news revenue has surpassed print newspaper revenue.

      •  If it's working perfectly (5+ / 0-)

        how come there are so many grossly ignorant voters out there?

        "Public square" in Gooserock's comment, I think, means something more akin to what the network evening news was in the 60's -- a common base of information that everyone is exposed to. While it was undoubtedly partial and inconsistent truth, everyone agreed on that information as a foundation for public discourse.

        The internet doesn't provide anything approaching that. Everyone hunkers down into their own ideological corner, finding the echo chamber version of online reality that will jibe with their own pre-existing beliefs. We now live in a country where something as clearly, objectively and verifiably true as "the stimulus created jobs" is rejected by half of the electorate.

        I think the proliferation of informational sites is a good thing, and I for one am extremely grateful for the existence of Daily Kos. But nothing on the internet provides a mainstream public square.

        "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

        by NWTerriD on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 02:34:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There are "so many grossly ignorant voters out (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ozsea1, pengiep

          there" because the average IQ is 100 and that average person isn't interested in policy or politics. Giving the average voter a political IQ of, oh, about 80. A thousand  public square Cronkites aren't going to make people smarter or more interested than they are now. The electorate is stupid, always has been, always will be.

          Two hundred million Americans, and there ain't two good catchers among 'em. --Casey Stengel

          by LongTom on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 07:41:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Because they don't care about details (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          and refuse to work from them.

          People take select information and get a sense from it whether they want/need a change or not in who's running the show.  

          No average person thinks they know everything- they figure that everyone has partial knowledge of the relevant facts and a sense of what they need.

          It is believed that as an aggregate, the result of everyone acting on partial knowledge and individual perceived need at the ballot box comes out statistically to the same as if everyone acted on complete knowledge.  The specific evidence becomes fairly irrelevant; people will act on their perceived needs from the understanding they have of the condition of things around them- locally and at large.

          If that isn't true, then it's better for your ability to sleep at night that it is, or at least close enough most of the time.  Otherwise you have to give up on this representative democracy thing.  Looking around, though, it does seem to work in an empirical sense.  At least over the course of multiple elections.

          This is definitely true where there are very large numbers of voters, e.g. Presidential voting.  It's generally less so the smaller the scale of the electorate, but that is countered by the smaller the number of voters the weaker the office at stake for the most part.  And thus mostly a reduced ability of the officeholder to affect what is more specifically understood by the voter.  

    •  Hmmm. We need trusted institutionalized versions (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NWTerriD, RockyMtnLib, ranton

      of fact-checkers:  places where people can go to determine what is clearly known as opposed to what is a matter of interpretation or debate.

      We also need vigorous and varied interpretation, analysis, reactions, visions, and debate.  So, we need the free press.

      Re-instituting limits on how many sources can be owned by any one entity would help.

      --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

      by Fiona West on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 09:26:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have been thinking the exact same thing Annie Jo (11+ / 0-)

    I remember when I first heard the "recalls are only for criminal offenses" idea and I thought, "People won't go for this, Walker himself benefited from a recall election when he ran for Count Supervisor".

    Then come June 5th, we find out that everyone did fall for that.

    I am sorry to say this, but I agree with you.  I do believe it is a bad sign that I was surprised that the national press questioned Ryan's claims.  

    Maybe it is just in Wisconsin?

     I noticed that yesterday, at 5:00 pm, much after Ryan had made his statement about the Janesville plant being Obama's fault, the Jsonline finally ran an article with the Democrats rebuttals. But why not just publish an article telling the truth? What is the newspaper for, if not to inform people of the truth? And it would be one thing if it were a half-truth, but this was pretty blatant. It makes the paper look bad.

    The Wisconsin State Journal first ran an article praising Ryan. Later, in the evening there was an article calling into question his statement and how it effected his credibility.

    A friend of mine,from another state, assured me that even if there were a lot of ads, people knew the truth and would vote the way they felt was right. We are to believe that the recall was a special case and it was the nature of the recall itself that made people vote as they did.  I wish I were as sure. I feel it was the propaganda. Time will tell.

    •  The unrebutted recall-argument (15+ / 0-)

      was such a lost opportunity.  The pushback ad should have practically written itself... documenting Walker's previous enthusiasm for recalls when they were against Democrats and particularly that County Executive race.  Quote from a Nichols article in The Nation:

      Speaking of the Milwaukee County fight, Walker said: “You know the folks that were angry about this started a recall and they were told they needed to collect 73,000 signatures in sixty days. Well, not hundreds, not thousands, but tens of thousands of ordinary people did an extraordinary thing. They stood up and took their government back. In less than thirty days they collected more than 150,000 signatures. It was at that moment I realized the real emotion on display in my county wasn’t just about anger. You see, if it had been about anger, it would have been about people checking out and moving out or giving up. But instead what happened was really amazing. You saw people standing up shoulder to shoulder, neighbor to neighbor and saying ‘we want our government back’ And in doing so the real emotion on display was about hope.”
      Yep, he was mighty enthusiastic about recalls back in the day... If we'd had, say, the Democratic Governor's Association (or ANYONE) running the counter-attack on the RGA message right away, might it have made a difference?

      If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. - Bishop Desmond Tutu

      by AnnieJo on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 06:49:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It worked in both OH and FL where lies and (17+ / 0-)

    propaganda led to narrow victories in the election of governors Kaisch and Scott who both went on to govern as if they had been elected with 100% of the vote.

    “when Democrats don’t vote, Democrats don’t win.” Alan Grayson

    by ahumbleopinion on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 06:22:14 AM PDT

  •  Mitt's strategy mirrors Walker's ORIGINAL election (12+ / 0-)

    Not the recall.

    Walker (and Ron Johnson, for that matter) got elected on a mantra of "jobs, jobs, jobs--but I'm not going to tell you specifically how until after the election." Of course we soon saw how that played out.  And how well "it's working" for the state even today.  Wisconsinites took a leap of faith, in the context of a crappy economy and Walker-proclaimed "budget emergency," even ignoring or outright backing Walker's petty, negative campaign tactics.

    Mitt's obviously figuring on the rest of the country falling for the EXACT same thing.  The existence of this parallel, along with Walker's utter failure, HAS to be a talking point of the Obama campaign.  There are too many people around the country who have drunk the kool-aid of the media's free pass and actually think Walker's getting it done in Wisconsin.  

    Hate to sell out my home, but the badger state's in freefall right now, and that needs to be revealed to the entire country, especially given all the ties between the state (Walker, Ryan, and Priebus) and the national GOP platform that the Romney campaign is trumpeting.

  •  Welcome to 2010 Wisconsin, everyone. (11+ / 0-)

    Welcome to Wisconsin, two years ago today, just before the election that gave us Scott Walker.

    Where photogenic guys run for office as republicans on nice, feel-good platitudes, religious piety, and a few dog-whistles.

    Where the truth is something that can just be brushed aside, a collection of inconvenient facts to be ignored.

    Where the agenda is set behind closed doors by the wealthiest of the wealthy.

    Where the press looks the other way and doesn't report what's REALLY going to happen when these people get elected.

    Where the very essence of our Democracy is at stake, but most of our citizenry shrugs their shoulders and say, "nah, they couldn't be THAT bad". (That was me, two years ago.)

    Will we learn from Wisconsin's lesson? I hope so, but I'm getting a really bad sense of deja vu. We're all Badgers right now.

    •  Yes, that 12 million jobs had a 250,000 jobs ring (6+ / 0-)

      to it, didn't it?

      I wonder what they will choose to be a boondoggle this time?

    •  "nah, they couldn't be THAT bad" (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      flitedocnm, rosarugosa, AnnieJo, Woody, ranton

      Is a concept embraced by liberals in far greater numbers than every other group.   That was exactly what Obama's first two years were, and year three was worse.

      I'm hopeful that recent examples show that Obama (and the democratic party) have realized they can't sit around letting the GOP lie and scream (like the baggers in 2010) and think that by revealing themselves the American people will see it.  They won't.

      Let's hope the last two months strategy continues and gets amped-up with more funding.  Rebutting and going on the offensive will work.

      "Wall Street expertise, an industry in which anything not explicitly illegal is fair game, and the illegal things are fair game too if you think you won't get caught." — Hunter

      by Back In Blue on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 09:47:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent, scary comment. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AnnieJo, Mike Kahlow, ozsea1

      But I have to disagree with you on one point. Scott Walker is NOT photogenic. He looks soulless in every photograph I've ever seen of him, and in most of them he looks stupid as well.

      "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

      by NWTerriD on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 02:40:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There are also other similarities (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mike Kahlow

      such as a state Democratic Party that was/is dominated by its centrist-conservatives and had no real motivation left to pass any significant additional measures to improve life in the state.  If they'd kept state legislature majorities and the governor office, for what inherent good?  Nobody could say.  But Wisconsin Democrats thought they could simply paint Republicans as extremists and recovery as a fragile flower requiring benign centrist government.

      I think what Democrats also don't grasp about the 2010/12 voting is how deeply despair driven Republican voting is.

      In retrospect, this economic despair vote went to Democrats in 2006 and 2008- Obama got surprising margins in the Central Northern states where white working class people were willing to believe that he would be able to get them out of the economic crapper.  Much as the Clinton Presidency got the Coasts and much of the South out of it in the Nineties, just without Clinton and his (or their) 'immorality'  (or whatever they call their aesthetic objection).   This made for the weird unrealistic atmosphere around the Obama victory.  And then drove Obama's economic centrism.

      Americans vote in economic cannibals like Walker, and now Romney/Ryan, when they have no true expectation of older style economic recovery left.   The socialization of the misery and social downscaling is almost deliberate.  The idea is for the sickest, oldest, and least able people to fall down hardest and go away.  The financial side is that this isn't really cheaper despite lying that it is- it' generates high costs but defers them down the road or pushes them, along with people, out of the state (and onto other states).

  •  Democratic messaging must be concise and pointed.. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AnnieJo, Fiona West, NWTerriD

    ...due to the money advantage the Repukes have.

    The case against Assange debunked:

    by expatjourno on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 08:48:09 AM PDT

  •  You misunderstand the job numbers (5+ / 0-)

    Walker gets credit for every job created while blaming Obama for every job lost. It's a win win.

  •  Reince Preibus is RNC chair (7+ / 0-)

    Certainly the WI model is being replayed. Reince Preibus is dumb as a box of dung. He's not capable of embracing two campaign strategies.

    Look at Romney's 12 million jobs claim. That's 250,000 times 50. They took Walker's 250,000 jobs claim and scaled it nationally.

    The other similarity is, in both examples the projections say those jobs will appear already per the existing status quo. these are the least impressive promises ever. they are saying "I will do nothing!"

    Lying, inability to see reality, insitence on being as confrontational as possible ... they all have Reencie Peensie's fingerprints all over them.

    Reencie lives a few miles fro me. I think I will hold a Glad You Got Fired parade for the schmuck. Because the GOP is going to fire his ass so hard after Nov. It will be the squeal heard 'round the world.

    •  Dems/Obama need to jump on this fact -- (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rosarugosa, AnnieJo, ranton, Milhawkee

      that 12 million jobs is what's being projected regardless of who's elected -- YESTERDAY.

      "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

      by NWTerriD on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 02:43:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  As a Wisconsinite, I am thoroughly embarrassed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AnnieJo, Jake formerly of the LP

      that Walker, Preibus, and Ryan are on the national stage. That they are should tell the nation just what a corrupt, sniveling, malignancy the WISGOP is thanks to the influence of the Koch Bros and the Bradley Foundation.

      Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

      by ranton on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 08:44:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  But a lie can be rebutted very effectively (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

    by RMForbes on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 09:30:49 AM PDT

  •  It's been going on for decades. It isn't new. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miss Jones, Woody, ozsea1, ranton

    It goes back to Reagan's first inaugural in 1981 when he proclaimed, "Government isn't the solution to our problem.  Government is the problem."  Now wasn't that an odd thing for him to say when he was being sworn in to lead the government.  Voodoo Economics, Reaganomics, Supply Side Economics, Trickle Down.  It had many names but it was one high stakes con job.  

    Without even knowing it, the Republicans indoctrinated a large segment of the American people adopt nihilism.  Slowly and steadily the US was diminished.  The consumer classes were bled.  So that the rich could have more and trickle it back down?  

    Listen to what the Republicans say about Obama and the Democrats.  Ask yourself when they make their accusations if they don't apply more accurately to themselves.  People don't have an inkling of the magnitude of the lies they've been told.  But they're beginning to gather a hint here and there.

    "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

    by leftreborn on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 09:43:50 AM PDT

    •  I never understood how Trickle Down became (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AnnieJo, leftreborn, dragonlady

      an acceptable catchphrase. A trickle is a very small amount of water. "Downstream" would have been better and at least make it seem like there is some money coming. Trickle Down is almost too accurate.

      Oust Walker May 8th - Vote Arthur Kohl-Riggs

      by Milhawkee on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 01:40:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In the era of robber barons, trusts, and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        monopolies (approx 1880-1907) it was called "Horse and Sparrow."  The label is derived from the idea that the Horse that pulls the wagon needs a generous amount of oats to eat and it will also leave some behind in its droppings for the Sparrows.  So we've basically progressed from eating bits of oats plucked from horse shit, to getting pissed on.

        "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

        by leftreborn on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 06:55:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I like your original title better. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Its just the reality - right now - IT IS working.   Didn't Wisconsin prove that?  We need people to wake up to that reality.

    Everyone keeps saying you cant counter lies by dispelling them because in the course of repeating them, even as false, they get ingrained for some people even deeper.

    Not sure how we reach those people because I haven't heard anyone come up with a plan.  The only strategy has been to change the topic so that everyones talking about one of your criticisms rather than theirs.

    People, not corporations. Democracy, not totalitarian capitalism.

    by democracy is coming on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 10:14:21 AM PDT

    •  How to counter the lies - that's my question, too (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rosarugosa, AnnieJo, ozsea1

      It's very frustrating, because a lot of people seem like they don't really believe the lies, they just pretend to as a way of being loyal to their "side."  And so whatever you argue about, whatever lie you try to counter, doesn't seem to be the real issue at all.  

      I haven't seen an effective strategy yet, except the kind of mockery that Jon Stewart does, and I suspect that doesn't reach everyone.  One of the most effective arguments in support of the big lie is, "the other side does it too, that's just how the sausage is made."  

      I wonder if maybe it would work to ignore the other side and just push our own message as hard as we can.  Let them live in their own reality, don't engage, and see which reality more people prefer?  

      Walker, your pink slip is coming, unless the orange jumpsuit gets you first.

      by non acquiescer on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 12:33:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is the angle we need: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, ranton

    "What's to stop someone getting elected with criminal intent and changing the law to make their intended crime legal before committing it?"

    We need to make sure that people understand that elected officials are not as restrained as we'd like to believe.

    Everybody got to elevate from the norm....

    by Icicle68 on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 10:32:57 AM PDT

  •  I suspect it's because (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, NWTerriD, ranton, pengiep

    the Republicans fervently believe that, one way or another (with voter ID rules, rigged voting machines, etc.) they'll steal this election like they did in 2000 & 2004.

    There are two types of Republicans: millionaires and suckers.

    by Phil T Duck on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 11:10:40 AM PDT

  •  Excellent points in an excellent diary. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rosarugosa, AnnieJo, Woody

    Thank you for making this connection and for making it clearly and rationally. Tipped and rec'd.

    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 Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 01:01:59 PM PDT

  •  But who is going to push back? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miss Jones, ranton

    I agree that the lies can be countered.  But who is going to do it.  The point made by one of the commenters above was that the media has abducted its responsibility.  I am not sure I agree with this.  We dont so much have a free press as a corporate press.  And if people dont like what is being reported viewership numbers go down.  So they try to straddle the fence  a bit and say "he said..." then she said... back"  By regurgitating instead of reporting, they can keep their ad profits.  We wouldnt want CNN to lose their chick - fila dollars.  And the fact is that the Romney's etc. can push other buttons as well. Like Bachman and Huckster, they can lead boycotts, etc.  They attack girl scouts, threaten NPR, and attack planned parenthood.  Remember the Dixie Chicks, even members of congress get in on the act - to try and hurt anyone that might disagree.  The game is different with the Dems.  They think telling the truth and arguing the point is how you push.  But as the Rush Limbaugh thing shows, hitting them in the pocketbook is what works and we so rarely do this that FOX doesnt worry.  

    •  Had this argument with my sister recently: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ranton, ozsea1, AnnieJo

      It doesn't matter if their viewership goes down -- they should be informing the electorate of the truth. That's why they were given control of slices of our public airwaves. And that's why the free press clause of the First Amendment exists.

      If their purpose in existing is to make a profit, they are no different than any other business and are not entitled to any special rights or protections. If they want to claim the status of "the press," then they should be embracing, and carrying out, the responsibilities of the press.

      "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

      by NWTerriD on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 02:48:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Outstanding analysis and projection out to the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AnnieJo, rosarugosa, ozsea1

    General Election end of the cycle.

    I agree with you entirely, that Citizen United vs FEC money has unleashed (as many here at DailyKos noted starting directly after the SCOTUS finding) a Kraken of undefinable campaign rhetoric wrapped neatly throughout various non-campaign-coordinated (yeah, sure) media buys, from TV to Internet to Social Media.

    I also agree that what it amounts to, due to LACK of Regulation on factual requirements for claims, is nationalized brainwashing via propaganda not-so-cleverly disguised as political pap.

    Which is also why, since the 2010 results came in, I've been supporting less cash donating and more time and labor donating. Encouraging Progressives and Liberals to contact their PCO (precinct committee officer, also known as Precinct Captain) and start Walking-n-Knocking in their very own precinct.

    Talking to your neighbors, as a neighbor, is much more influential than any mass-marketing advertising.

    The RNC/GOP know it too. It's how they got where they are today, they started out building a national canvassing crew that spanned the nation down to the precinct level before Ronald Reagan won the White House in 1980.

    A Massive Feets-on-the-Streets Gameplan is what is going to be required to defeat the GOP #moneymachine in 2012.

    "Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.''
    -- SCOTUS Justice O.W. Holmes Jr
    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"
    -- Angie in WA State

    by Angie in WA State on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 04:27:12 PM PDT

  •  To me his biggest lie, and one the corporate media (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody, ranton, AnnieJo

    refused to call him out on or even mention, was that he didn't do anything after first being elected that he didn't campaign on in regard to collective bargaining. Politicians like him and Rmoney/Ryan lie through their teeth every day and the media let them get away with it. Maybe that's changing on the national level but it can't change fast enough.
    Thanks for this very good diary.

    I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night, alive as you and me.

    by plankbob on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 06:21:34 PM PDT

  •  Duh. Facts have NEVER mattered anywhere, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    anytime, in any election, ever. Elections are ALL ABOUT MARKETING, BRANDING, AND MESSAGING. That's why republicans think propaganda will work this time, because it always has and always will. Even if the facts are on your side, they're worthless if you don't package them properly or use them at the right time in the right way (Swift boats, anyone?). Fact is, Dukakis had a great record on law and order; fact is Kerry was no more of a flip-flopper than Bush; fact is, John Quincy Adams did not pimp American women to the Czar's court when he was ambassador to Russia (as Andrew Jackson accused him of doing). FACTS MEAN NOTHING IN ELECTORAL POLITICS. Only the quality of your propaganda matters. Just seeing a diary this naive floods me with despair over dems' chances.

    Two hundred million Americans, and there ain't two good catchers among 'em. --Casey Stengel

    by LongTom on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 07:30:37 PM PDT

    •  Don't despair. We are normal people who are (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      motivated to help out. We are not professionals here.

    •  I don't find it naive to point out the details (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      madcitysailor, Nova Land

      in an example of something important that not enough people have wrapped their minds around yet.

      Your comment would have been a helpful contribution if you hadn't seen fit to start it with a "duh" and end it with a slam on the diary.  You've undercut your point with the condescension.  Not appreciated.

      If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. - Bishop Desmond Tutu

      by AnnieJo on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 04:31:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  it's more than just the Wisconsin recall... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ranton, AnnieJo, isewquilts2

    ...though that was a major test for Republicans. In my opinion, it's all about Citizens United. Once five of the most corrupt Supreme Court Injustices in American history (Scalia, Thomas, Alito, Kennedy & Roberts) decided to allow corporations to spend unlimited amounts of secret corporate money for political purposes, all bets have been off with Republicans. They seem to have decided that they can simply purchase themselves power and no longer have to care about what anyone thinks about them, their abhorrently horrid policies, their filth politics or quaint little things like telling the truth.

    It seems to me that the Republican Party has decided that, with unlimited amounts of secret corporate cash at their backs, they can now simply and opening just go about doing the bidding of filthy rich billionaires and to heck with everyone else. Those Grand Old Prostitutes have become even more high-priced than ever before. They no longer have to pretend to be anything but.

  •  I thought part of the problem w the recall was ... (0+ / 0-)

    Tom Barrett; he didn't seem to inspire the voters. He came across as the guy who wouldn't take away collective bargaining rights, but he wouldn't restore them either (Obama wouldn't try to take way the liberties that Bush did, but notice how he wasn't too keen on reversing many of them.)

    Given how the state Senate is back in Dem hands, it seems that the voters of Wisconsin are OK with a recall if they believe in the alternative. To someone in Wisconsin who doesn't believe that things would change much under Barrett then I can see those voters thinking "hey, things will suck under both, so might as well give the guy who win last year a chance to turn things around in his first term."  

  •  What disgusts me is not their marketing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ranton, pengiep

    but that so many Americans FALL FOR IT every single time!

    Santorum/Bachmann 2012

    by sujigu on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 08:28:54 PM PDT

    •  But...if it is the ONLY thing those people hear, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AnnieJo, DownstateDemocrat

      of course, they fall for it.  The ReTHUGs have spent decades and unlimited amounts of money making sure that the sources of information THEY control are the "legitimate" vehicles of information for Americans.

      Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

      by ranton on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 08:34:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ryan needs to explain why he lobbied the WH (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AnnieJo, DownstateDemocrat

    on the Janesville plant and yet runs on a platform of extreme free market capitalism and small government that does not play a role in the market.  Which is it?  You can't have it both ways anymore.  We have to insist that these people take a stand and live with the consequences.  This nation cannot go forward otherwise.

  •  And as you say - the "jobs reports" were (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AnnieJo, dragonlady

    pieces of total fiction.


  •  Texas is a better example. (0+ / 0-)

    Perry was facing reelection with a terrible problem, he wasn't even liked by Republicans.  He went to the pros and after focus-grouping they had a strategy - lie and run against the media and Obama, not his opponents.  Do not debate, do not due media interviews except with the MOST boot-licking cretins.   One surprising conclusion: the Republican base thinks the more the media likes you the worse you are and reality based media endorsements are the kiss of death.  Use social media and TV ads, work through church groups.  No matter how reality-free always tie inflammatory issues to your opponent in constant political advertisements.

    In a year he went from being written-off for reelection to winning the primary and then the general elections in cake-walks.

    Asking his supporters why they voted for him afterwards and they said 1) because of Obama and Washington, not his opponent in a governors race; 2) the Democrat from Houston was soft on illegal immigrants (Houston had much tougher status checking and deportation than the state of Texas which Perry was in charge of) 3) the Democrat couldn't balance Houston's budget and left a fiscal mess (Houston was rated best in financial shape of large cities and Perry had Texas in the largest state deficit hole - over $20 billion) and 4) all my friends and church-going neighbors are voting for him.  

    There were no debates and no interviews with the press except for a few hard-right radio blowhards.  Perry won easily.

    Howard Dean is my man.

    by eleming on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 01:14:09 PM PDT

  •  We are ALL Wisconsin! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    isewquilts2, AnnieJo

    I'm from Illinois, and I've lived in Illinois all my life, but the big money right-wing groups are out to make a fifty-state strategy out of what they've done in Wisconsin.

    As a political hero of mine once said, "we don't have government anymore, we have an auction."

    Joe Lieberman, Mike Madigan, Andrew Cuomo, and Tim Cullen...why are they Democrats?

    by DownstateDemocrat on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 05:16:03 PM PDT

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