Monday, June 04, 2007

Preview on the Republican Candidates' Debate Tomorrow Night

Few Variations on their Theme of Terror: Then & Now

I want to offer up a couple of references to serve as a preview of the Republicans' debate tomorrow night at St. Anselm College, featuring 10 of their top presidential contenders. I don't expect it is going to provide a very complex discussion of the myriad problems that face this country. Instead, I'll go out on a limb and predict that all of these issues will continue to be seen and addressed through the GOP's standard 9-11 lens.

I recall that GOP strategist/pollster Frank Luntz compiled a loose-leaf notebook after the 2004 re-election of George Bush as sort of a post-mortem "lessons learned" going forward to 2006. Needless to say, this publication was not intended for general circulation, which makes it all the more interesting.

"Key Finding 4" (of 5) for Luntz reads as follows (Underscoring was in the original):
September 11th changed everything. So start with 9/11.This is the context which explains and justifies why we have 500 billion dollar deficits, why the stock market tanked, why unemployment climbed to 6% and why we are still in a rebuilding mode. Much of the public anger can be immediately pacified if they are reminded that we would not be in this situation today if 9/11 had not happened, and that it is unfair to blame the current political leadership or corporate America for the consequences of that day.

Without the context of 9-11, you will be blamed for the deficit. The deficit is a touchy subject for both Republicans and Democrats - your supporters are inherently turned off to the idea of fiscal irresponsibility, and Democrats see nothing but hypocrisy. The trick then is to contextualize the deficit inside of 9-11 and the war in Iraq, which Republicans some times do, but not early enough in the answer.
"Answer" applies to prescribed directions as to how Republicans are to respond to questions or compose attacks.

That was then (2005). This is now (2007).

Dennis Milligan, owner of a water treatment company, was elected chairman of the Arkansas State Republican Party two weeks ago. In his first interview, Milligan told a reporter from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that America needs to be attacked by terrorists so that people will appreciate the work that President Bush has done to protect the country:
At the end of the day, I believe fully the president is doing the right thing, and I think all we need is some attacks on American soil like we had on Sept. 11, 2001 and the naysayers will come around very quickly to appreciate not only the commitment for President Bush, but the sacrifice that has been made by men and women to protect this country.
Not surprisingly, Milligan says he is “150 percent” behind Bush in the occupation in Iraq.

Al Gore speaks eloquently of his exasperation at how the Bush administration has been able to pose continually and convincingly as hard and tough on terrorism when it was on their negligent watch that Americans sustained the most devastating attack since Pearl Harbor. It's not that complicated: the industry of fear-mongering is not rocket science and it has been around for a long time.

If an owner of a water treatment company has been able to put it together, the main street (public works!) media should be able to take it apart.

20 Moderated Comments:

Blogger Pink Liberty said...

Great focus. It is amazing that there is no skepticism left among the media elites. That Republicans can just say "lie like this" and get away with it says more about us (the corporations, press and public) than them.

6/05/2007 08:15:00 AM  
Blogger TomCat said...

I'm ready for it. I'm stocked with barf bags, have a clothes pin for my nose, and my ka-sh*t detector it tuned up. Good insight.

6/05/2007 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger Edgar Newt said...

Well done, sir.

6/05/2007 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Stella by Starlight said...

I watched some of the Democratic debate on CNN Sunday. CNN might as well be Fux.

They kept Mike Gravel at the far end of the stage, well out of camera range, and avoided his comments whenever possible. When he tried to make a point, CNN couldn't cut him off fast enough.

And, actually, they didn't. The camera caught Gravel, cut off again by Wolfie, as he threw his hands in the air in disgust and frustration.

“When a true genius appears in this world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.”

6/05/2007 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger Boris said...

It's universally acknowledged that the Wolfster is a GOP conduit.

6/05/2007 06:54:00 PM  
Blogger J.C. said...

How a former Israeli Lobbyist becomes a CNN anchor and an "unbiased" moderator for a Presidential debate is further proof of the virtual Coup d'état the lobby has executed on the government of this nation.

There is an online petition to remove Blitzer from CNN:

As a free and unbiased press is of vital interest to the peace and progress of the world, we demand that CNN remove Wolf Blitzer from his influential position in its corporation.

Mr. Blitzer cannot be expected to report the news as it pertains to Jews, Israel, and the Middle East in an unbiased and honest way. As a former writer for the extreme pro-Israel organization and lobby group, American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and as a former employee of the Israeli
newspaper the Jerusalem Post, Blitzer’s biases are obvious. Would CNN hire a Palestinian with these same strong connections to Palestinian causes?

In the interest of a truly free unbiased press, we petition CNN to remove Wolf Blitzer from his position as a CNN anchor.

6/05/2007 07:23:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

I haveto confess that I watched the L.A. Dodgers through a half dozen scoreless innings instead of the GOP dodgers debating.... It was a better use of time. (I'll read about both in the morning.)

6/05/2007 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger Not Your Mama said...

S'alright, here's what they said:

9/11, terror, terror, Ronald Reagan, illegal immigrants, 9/11, say no to gay people, Ronald Reagan, terror, terror, 9/11

6/05/2007 09:58:00 PM  
Blogger J.C. said...

This one will fall on deaf ears.
America is controlled by Globalism special interests.
There is a fraternity of thugs that have as their basis Political and Religious bullshit that is designed to maintain the status quo.
Money controls these thugs.
As long as America has the current method of ordering our dysfunctional society, it is not expected that Americans will know or hear the 'truth'
Our news is propaganda, and that is all it is.
Wolf Blitzer here is a good example.
I will give another... How about Andrea Mitchell of N.B.C. The 'chief white house correspondent' for many years, and rabid pro-Israel person. Married to another scam artist by the name of Greenspan, who is a thinly disguised Neo-con in the guise of an Ayn Rand libertarian flunky.

6/06/2007 05:22:00 AM  
Blogger Blogging4Food said...

I watched it, too, Mama, and you're right.

Vigil, Last night more runs were scored in San Diego between the Dodgers and the Padres than points were scored in Manchester (NH). The Dodgers lost 1-0.

6/06/2007 06:27:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Dennis Milligan is totally bonkers, gone starking mad!

6/06/2007 06:42:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

There are more than a handful of Milligans, Hills. Their candidate is John McCain. Mark Shields says McCain is the Hubert Humphrey of 2008.

6/06/2007 06:56:00 AM  
Blogger J.C. said...

This chatter is a good indication of 'deaf ears' Ha ha.
Hello suckers~!~

6/06/2007 07:12:00 AM  
Blogger DB Cooper said...


How often was the B-(ush)word mentioned?

6/06/2007 07:35:00 AM  
Blogger Not Your Mama said...

How often was the B-(ush)word mentioned?

Not very. Most noteworthy mention was when Blitzer asked Thompson how he'd use Bush in his administration. Thompson responded "well I wouldn't send him to the UN".

That met with audience silence mostly and a few gasps. Thompson tried to play it off by continuing on with how he'd have him travel around the country talking to young people.

6/06/2007 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger Kentucky Rain said...

I for one appreciated Thompson's remark! I wouldn't send Bush to the UN either but there are a few places I would like to send him:-)

6/06/2007 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger Kentucky Rain said...

P.S Completely off topic but does anyone know where Beach Bum went? I just clicked the link and it wasn't his site anymore, although it bore his blog (Lexington Parrothead) name.

6/06/2007 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger Stella by Starlight said...

Bravo, not your mama! 9/11, terror, terror, Ronald Reagan.... Sums up the debate, I assume. I could only stand to watch about 5 minutes. Blecch!

Did anyone hear about this?
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Call it bad timing.

When former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was asked to respond to recent comments from a religious leader likening him to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor who condemned Jesus to be crucified, lightning from outside the debate site briefly cut off his microphone.

Giuliani couldn’t pass up commenting on the strange coincidence, joking, “For someone who went to parochial schools all his life, this is a frightening thing that’s happening right now.”

Giuliani then defended his religious beliefs and his position on abortion.
“My view on abortion is that it’s wrong but that ultimately, government should not be enforcing that decision on a woman.”
Well, I can't argue with his abortion; but I defiantly question his truthiness.

Mike, there's a June 2nd post from Lexington Parrothead. Hopefully, he just revamped his blog.

6/06/2007 02:46:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

To find Beach Bum, find "parrot head" in my links in the right hand column, click, and adjust your bookmarks accordingly.

6/06/2007 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger LTE said...

JRE is the RFK of 2008.

The GOP noise machine perpetuates the myth that a self-made rich man, Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, cannot represent the poor and the middle class. So what's the other option? Only a poor man can represent the poor?

If it weren't for Senator Edwards, the biggest arguments and obstacles to eliminating poverty will probably not be mentioned in this campaign, namely that people will not yield power and status to elevate those beneath them, and there are far too many people making money by keeping people poor.

Any Democratic candidate who speaks to these issues with passion and clarity will do just fine, whoever he or she is. Who would be alienated? As best I can see, only those who've been benefiting from the status quo.

6/08/2007 08:19:00 PM  

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