Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Why Being a "Divider" Was Better Strategy Than a "Uniter" & Other Regrets of the Left

I'm almost embarrassed that I didn't put two and two together like Matt Bastard has. Of course, I didn't have the funds that the Rethugs had for research, but this reasoning rings so true in that logical chord in my psyche that anyone not considering his essay seriously will feel like he/she is sleepwalking through the rest of his term. And only one term to be sure. (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)

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In late 2000, even as the result of the presidential election was still being contested in court, George W. Bush’s chief pollster Matt Dowd was writing a memo for Rove that would reach a surprising conclusion. Based on a detailed examination of poll data from the previous two decades, Dowd’s memo argued that the percentage of swing voters had shrunk to a tiny fraction of the electorate. Most self-described “independent” voters “are independent in name only” . . . .

Republicans know that investing in polarization, not aisle-crossing bipartisan capitulation, pays dividends — it’s why they haven’t been afraid to break out barely-muted racist dog whistles and fall back on appeals to naked fear of all-powerful government intervention (Death panels! FEMA camps! ACORN!) Rather than moving to the (constantly shifting) centre, which some talking heads have suggested is key to a return from the wilderness, the GOP has instead gone hard right, doing its goddamndest to engage/fire up its conservative base, especially those wayward souls who last year stopped publicly identifying as Republicans and, in some cases, voted for Obama or, more often than not, simply stayed home (and, most importantly, didn’t donate to the RNC). What the GOP is trying to do with their seemingly self-destructive obstruction uber alles strategy is simple: work the base into a free-spending fever pitch while simultaneously demoralizing Democrats and disengaging skeptical independents (an effort aided quite handily by ineffectual leadership in both Congress and the White House, both deeply in thrall with the oracular advice imparted by those self-appointed soothsayers of Byzantine Washington protocol, the DC punditocracy and press).

And should “Obama . . . have seen it coming” like Hendrik Hertzberg says in The New Yorker?

Perhaps it was naïve, and obviously it was optimistic, to hope that once Obama—having been elected by a large and undisputed majority, unlike his two predecessors—took office the nastiness of the assault against him would subside. And so it did, briefly. But as the reality sank in that this temperamentally conservative President intends to make good on his substantively progressive promises, the fury returned, uglier than before and no longer subject to the minimal restraints inherent in a national electoral campaign aimed at persuading a plurality of voters. Lies and fantasies about health-care reform swirled together with lies and fantasies about the chief executive himself.

So much for all the Bush/Chenegang's screams (although they knew they would be found out too late, clever monkeys they) that the French were not being smart when they questioned their response to 9/11, but were "cheese-eating, surrender monkeys." (I really admire Mark Crispin Miller.)

“We’re Number 37!” (France is No. 1)

And why would anyone be surprised that the CIA-implicated would like to shut down the investigation? Was your mouth open wide enough when you read this one?

Seven former directors of the Central Intelligence Agency asked President Obama on Friday to shut down the new Justice Department inquiry into past abuses during interrogations of terrorism suspects, arguing that it “will seriously damage” the nation’s ability to protect itself.

Suzan _______________________

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