Ever since the Gulf War Study, "The More You Watch, The Less You Know," the corporate news media has been an open, exposed fraud. Not only have they done nothing to remedy the situtation, they've done their darndest to make it worse.
There's no time to wait for paying attention to Lakoff. It's clear that Kerry has been paying some attention to Lakoff--his talking about values, for example.
But getting bits and pieces of Lakoff is a sure give-away that you've missed the main point--It's not about bits and pieces, it's about having a unified foundation, and consistent framing in line with that foundation.
If Kerry would just follow Lakoff's guidance, he could win in a landslide. This requires some of the tired old stuff--message discipline, for example--which "mainstream" Democrats (not Jesse Jackson, Paul Wellstone, Dennis Kucinich, etc.) seem to never do. It also requires Lakoff's insight into the moral foundations behind liberalism. And it requires his insight into why trying to pick off independents consumer-style issue-by-issue doesn't work. You've got to connect those swing issues to the moral core of your campaign. Otherwise, it just doesn't work.
Kerry's in a perfect position to do this with stem cell research, Medicare, job loss and the assault weapons ban, just to mention four examples that have high salience. Maybe replace one of these with something else, and keep hiting them over and over again--but hit them by connecting them to basic liberal values.
Throughout 1998, Pat Caddell was an almost-constant guest on Mark Cooper's local radio show on KPFK--a Pacifica Station. For those of you who don't know, Pacifica is the pacifist-founded network which invented public, non-profit radio as we know it. It has a long, proud, activist left-wing tradition--opposing McCarthy and supporting civil rights back in the 50s, opposing the Vietnam War in the 60s, etc.
So what did Cooper and Caddell spend 1998 doing? Bashing Clinton and all who supported him in opposition to the Rethugs' impeachment plot. They did not focus day after day on the material presented by Gene Lyons and others about the rightwing plotting against Clinton. Instead, they took the Joe Leiberman position--Clinton is morally bankrupt, and the left cannot defend him, or else we lose all moral authority.
Pat Caddell is worse than a Republican. They are brainwashed, and you can see them coming. I'd call him a snake, but that would be unfair to snakes.
This is a very illustrative document, IMHO. Most of the time the "th" in 111th is not superscripted, but it was superscripted in the earliest entry. This reinforces what those of us around at the time remember--though I had little first-hand experience--that there was significant variety in the sophistication of equipment and knowledge of electric typewriters.
I have a very simple position: The US should abide 100% with the Genocide Treaty and the US should remove all its overseas bases. Doing each of these makes doing the other easier, more effective, and more transparently moral.
The only reasons for overseas bases at this point are reasons of empire. We don't want any foreign power stationing their troops on our land, why should we expect them to feel any different? America leads best by setting an example--an example that includes how we ourselves would want to be treated. We were the first modern anti-imperialist power, and that is the identity we should cling to and cherish.
If we do so, then it immediately becomes far more easy for us to engage in genuine humanitarian interventions. Having voluntarily turned our back on force projection as national policy, our troops will be no more of a special red flag than those of Canada or the Netherlands.
Let's do like Eisenhower advised, and curb the power of the military-industrial complex once and for all. It's downright un-American.
It would make a lot of sense for these documents to be forged, since they aren't really needed to prove Bush's failure to serve, violation of his, failure to obey a direct order, and repeated pattern of lying and coverup. They are icing on the cake, not the cake itself. And since the cake itself can't be denied, what better way to fight back than by discrediting the icing?
We should remain on all that we DO know, which is utterly damning.
"W Stands for wrong" is great, and has been staring us in the face for a long time. Finally, I think, we are seeing its potential power.
It's just the sort of thing that's made lots of Democrats object--for a wide variety of reasons that reflect losing assumptions of the past. Some want something that's more clever. Or more biting. Or less biting--no slogan at all. "Make it about the issues." All the confusions that lead us astray--confusions, I should add, that contain strong elements of truth, but are confusions, nonetheless.
In contrast, "W Stands for wrong" has endless power to clarify--to highlight precisely what we want to highlight across a wide range of topics--character/leadership topics as well as issues, foreign and domestic. It's also bland enough that it can serve as a build up--"wrong" is not "evil," it's not a show-stopper. It's elastic--you can list one, two or ten things that Bush is wrong on, and it will work whichever way you do it. And, when the occassion calls for it, you can add something to it to make it more biting, or more clever.
In short: "W = Wrong" is A winner. Let's stick with it.
This may be premature, as others have noted. But the trend is unmistakeable. And not the least surprising. The cables are all style, no substance... and their style ain't that much to write home about. Blogs are increasingly information rich, and will only grow moreso over time.
This election may truly be a major turning point--not the cause, but the effect of a much deeper shift, of which the Dean campaign was only another prominent effect. The deeper shift is the maturing of the long-heralded lateral potential of the internet, finally connecting with a large enough slice of Americans from all different walks of life.
The wild card here is the media--which is quite different from how it was for most of the historical era reviewed here. It was the media's unremiting hostility to Gore in 2000 that cost him the election--as documented so well by the Daily Howler. Likewise, the way the media has spun the Swift Liars is indicative of a continuing pro-Bush bias, despite the fact they've been so badly burned.
As Ruy Teixeira argues, this particular incident hasn't cost Kerry as much as the media itself is claiming, but it's indicative of a hostile climate that we can expect to continue right up to eleciton day and beyond. (Remember Clinton's non-honeymoon? Expect a repeat.) We should be prepared for a repeat of the 2000 elections, only moreso. Kerry will probably trounce Bush in the debates, and the media will probably give it to Bush, or else somehow discount it. "How important is winning a debate, after all. You don't defeat Osama bin Laden by debating him."
Don't get me wrong. I've been smelling a Bush defeat since the Iraq invasion, when Ruy Teixeira pointed out that Bush's re-elect numbers still didn't break 50%. I'm just saying that, while history is a guide, we also have something historically new to consider. Can it be overcome? Yes, it can. How? Lots of different ways. Some old-fashioned, some new. There's this little thing called the internet...
I really do think it's realistic to work for a landslide victory. One that gives us both houses of Congress as well. But we've got to expect a campaign that wouold make Richard Nixon look like a choir boy, and a media that would make Pravda proud. We've got to expect it. We don't have to accept it.
"What I would like to see is a little more balance in the coverage of the 527 ads."
15 minutes after Hell freezes over!
Seriously, you're trying to be reasonable about this. This isn't reason territory. This is war territory.
A very good suggestion was made in the Daily Show comments over at Eschaton--Democrats should simply boycott the cables and all the "serious" news outlets. They are nowhere close to being interested in truth, balance or honesty. The Dems showing up just enables their charade. They're going to trash us mercilessly anyway. So why not just go on strike?
"We'll come back when you're willing to be as serious as Comedy Central."
How can anyone possibly think intelligently about the future with an attitude like that?
While it's certainly true that an avalanche of lies about the past is a distraction, it's fundamentaly no different than any other avalanche of lies these people feed us.
This post, however, was NOT about the avalanche of lies. It's about what the avalanche of lies is trying to bury. And your attitude is complicit with that burying. Only you say, in effect, "Don't even bother lying to me. I have no interest in the truth in the first place."
"I am simply appalled at the U.S.'s inability to fight -- let alone win -- this war. Our military leaders are either hamstrung by the Pentagon or incompetent."
is eerily reminiscent of right-wing charges during and after the Vietnam War. And it's equally mistaken--despite the fact of disastrous Administration leadership.
The fact is, war is ALWAYS a political struggle. You don't win a war on the battlefield--you win it in the minds of a people. A people can lose battle after battle, year after year, but so long as their minds are unconquered, you cannot defeat them in a war. This is why the Vietnam War was unwinnable. The Vietnamese had been fighting the Chinese for 1900 years. The French hund around for less than a century, and they were getting a lot out of Vietnam. The US? Come on! No way we were going to win. We had NO stake in the game.
Iraq is even worse. It's our very presence there that is intensifying the sense of identity and resistence. The more we resort to "winning" on the battlefield, the worse we make it for ourselves in the war. It is truly a no-win situation--as a number of anti-war observers warned before the war began.
Now, it's also true that Administration incompetence makes things worse. Not having body armor for troops is an obvious example of this. Not having enough troops when they went in is another. Then there's the dissolution of Iraq's own military/security forces--rather than systematic rehablitation. All these things and more could have made things much better. But none of them could have put a dent in the fundamental dilemma--by winning the battles there, you only turn more people against you in the war.