Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Elections Media How Bad for Democrats? Michael Tomasky, NY Review of Books

Tags: Media Distortions Social Security Elections How Bad for Dems Repubs Know How to Win Elections

If the Republicans win control of the House, Impeachment of President Obama likely in spite of denials of some Republicans. They will shut down the government and try to roll back any laws that reduce the already massive power that corporations and the top one percent of Americans extracted from all of us.

The propaganda is hot and heavy from the corporate news channels. I have noted that just about all the news on the so-called liberal MSNBC has generally been negative towards the Democrats based on the type of questions they been asking of Democrats as guests. The slant is subtle, but the way propaganda works best is by which questions are asked and not asked.

EXTRA! October 2010, www.fair.org Excerpts: … For example, Jonathan Karl, a conservative groomed to join the so-called mainstream media has been criticizing the Obama administration about the stimulus bill on ABC’s Morning Show. 8/3/10 For example, he criticized giving money to revamp the closed visitor center to Mt. Helen volcano. He neglected to emphasize that the reason for the small grant is to fix it up for sale.

Another example was his criticism of the stimulus bill providing money for the study of one type of ant as if all scientific studies serve no purpose and a waste of money. He neglected to tell us that this new ant can devastate the food crops in California if not controlled!

Mike Anton of the Los Angeles Times 8/3/10 reported that the argument that Judge Vaughan used in his detailed ruling should not overturn the voters wish who passed Proposition 8 which stopped Gay marriages passed by the California legislature. Anton did note that the Constitution designed to protect the rights of individuals against the majority is one of the oldest conflicts in the nations. Anton “forgot” to make comments explaining why it is in the Constitution and it is the law of the land!

I have repeated many times that one sided anti-President Chavez reporting by Romero of the New York Times. The NY Times praised the short lived overthrown of a Democratic government in Venezuela as the Times praised many of our so-called legitimate “interventions” in Central and South America. The major reason is Oil and Minerals.

Extra! Criticized the reporting by Romero deceptively saying that Venezuela had four times more civilian deaths than Iraq in 2009. “Its more like comparing apples to alligators! Of course the deaths in Iraq are known to be at least three times this number, especially in more remote Western Iraq where we can kill with impunity. Many of the deaths in Venezuela is due to drug gang violence.

Not ever mentioned in the corporate news media is that Wall Street is really after the trillions of dollars in the Social Security USA Treasury Bonds by privatizing Social Security. Extra! Explains this clearly in the link below.

Extra! October 2010

‘Saving’ Social Security From Its Previous Rescue

The multi-trillion surplus that must never, ever be used

By Jim Naureckas http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=4161

Jim Kawakami, October 12, 2010, http://jimboguy.blogspot.com

Elections How Bad for Democrats? Michael Tomasky, NY Review of Books

Excerpt … My own answer to the question of how things got this bad has less to do with whether Obama should have been more liberal or more centrist than with his and his party’s apparent inability, or perhaps refusal, to offer broad and convincing arguments about their central beliefs that counter those of the Republicans. This problem goes back to the Reagan years. It is a failure that many Democrats and liberals hoped Obama could change—something he seemed capable of changing during the campaign but has addressed rather poorly once in office.

In American politics, Republicans routinely speak in broad themes and tend to blur the details, while Democrats typically ignore broad themes and focus on details. Republicans, for example, speak constantly of “liberty” and “freedom” and couch practically all their initiatives—tax cuts, deregulation, and so forth—within these large categories. Democrats, on the other hand, talk more about specific programs and policies and steer clear of big themes. There is a reason for this: Republican themes, like “liberty,” are popular, while Republican policies often are not; and Democratic themes (“community,” “compassion,” “justice”) are less popular, while many specific Democratic programs—Social Security, Medicare, even (in many polls) putting a price on carbon emissions—have majority support. This is why, when all else fails, Democrats try to scare people about the threat to Social Security if the GOP takes over, as indeed they are doing right now.

What Democrats have typically not done well since Reagan’s time is connect their policies to their larger beliefs. In fact they have usually tried to hide those beliefs, or change the conversation when the subject arose. The result has been that for many years Republicans have been able to present their philosophy as somehow truly “American,” while attacking the Democratic belief system as contrary to American values. “Putting us on the road to European-style socialism,” for example, is a rhetorical line of attack that long predates Obama’s ascendance—it was employed against the Clintons’ health care plan as well.

But now consider the specific problems facing Obama, a mixed-race (but visibly black) man with an exotic name and a highly atypical biography for a president. Add in also the greatest economic crisis in eight decades, and governmental responses to the crisis that, to an energized and organized right wing, seem to smack of socialism. One result is that we have a new faction, the well-financed Tea Party movement that has been able to arrogate to itself practically every symbol of Americanism and to paint the President, his ideas and policies, and his supporters as not merely un-American but actively anti-American. In a Newsweek poll released in late August, nearly a third of Americans actually agreed that it was “definitely” or “probably” true that Obama “sympathizes with the goals of Islamic fundamentalists who want to impose Islamic law around the world.”2

In the face of all this, it seems not to have occurred to a single prominent Democrat, from Obama on down, to say something like: We love our country every bit as much as they do, and we believe patriotism means expanding access to health care, protecting the environment, and imposing effective new rules on Wall Street. Democrats have thus crippled themselves by adapting comparatively limited ideas of legitimate political action, and by ceding to Republicans the strong claim of love of one’s country.

This is not the sort of thing that is measured by polls, but I believe the Democrats’ hesitance to tie their programs to larger beliefs has been demoralizing to liberals and confusing or off-putting to independents. The impression is left with voters that Republicans are fighting for the country, while Democrats are fighting for their special interests. The pre-presidential Obama powerfully made this kind of broad, patriotic appeal, both at his 2004 convention keynote address and in his stirring Jefferson-Jackson Day speech in Iowa in November 2007. But any sense that the Democrats are now making a coherent argument about what kind of country they want has vaporized. Underneath all the Democrats’ bickering about such issues as health care and the performance of Tim Geithner, that is their real problem.


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