Hey, look a-yonder comin’
Comin’ down that railroad track
It’s the Turd Blossom Special
Bringin’ my trickle down back
Well, I’m going down to Florida
And get some sand in my shoes
I’ll ride that Turd Blossom Special
And lose these George Bush blues
(a paraphrase from Johnny Cash’s Orange Blossom Special)
Though there wasn’t much substance coming out of the Republic Convention in Tampa this last week, there was a clear signal that the Karl Rove style of politics was back in play for the Republican Party. Rove, who was the architect of George Bush’s presidential wins, has become the poster boy for deception and deviousness in contemporary politics.
Their message for themselves is that they are pro-business and that Democrats are anti-business. While positing the notion that the wealthy pay the greater share of taxes they portray Democrats as supporting freeloaders who pay no taxes. Romney asserted in his speech that rather than address global warming issues he promised to help “you and your family” even though the Tax Policy Center said Romney’s tax plan would increase the tax burden on middle- and low-income Americans. VP nominee Ryan promised that they would “protect the weak” and “make the safety net safe again” while implying that it was Obamacare that was threatening the soundness of Medicare. Yet data from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has demonstrated that Ryan’s voucher plan for Medicare will increase costs for the elderly poor.
It was a White Hat vs Black Hat comparison that Leni Riefenstahl and Joseph Goebbels would be envious of. This theme becomes enhanced by the pundits who serve as a megaphone for the GOP.
Bill O’Reilly attempts to portray the Republicans as thinking pragmatists and Democrats are still bleeding heart liberals.
Speakers at the Republican convention have largely been selected to negate Democratic propaganda, while the speakers at the Democratic convention next week in Charlotte are largely on stage to inflame the liberal base.
The strategy for the Republicans is persuade the mind, right here. The strategy for the Democrats seems to be to persuade the hearts. Hearts versus mind is the theme this year. SOURCE
In character as usual, O’Reilly says all of this after he has informed his viewing audience how truly objective he and those at the FOX network really are.
“As you may know, we cover politics a bit differently here. We are not much on party propaganda or political bloviating,” the guy who looks just like Bill O’Reilly explained.
[Our convention coverage] will not be the Republicans are good and Democrats are bad or vice versa. We are not in the business of promoting any political party.”
And though Rush Limbaugh is technically correct when he says, “I never once said that I want anybody at this convention to go out there and say Obama’s a bad guy” he has done nothing but portray the President as a bad guy since he was inaugurated. In terms of good and bad, what do you consider a person who has been characterized as one who “hates this country” and has been “indoctrinated as a child” by his “communist” father and his “leftist” mother. Does this imagery conjure up the word “good” for the majority of Americans?
When people like conservative columnist Walter Williams rehashes over and over again how “the top 10 percent of income earners pay 71 percent of the federal income tax burden while 47 percent of Americans pay absolutely nothing” they are implying that all incomes have risen equally. They haven’t. Like him or not, Paul Krugman is accurate when he says, “The Rich Are Paying More Taxes Because They’re Much Richer Than They Used To Be.”
CBO: “The Share Of Income Going To Higher-Income Households Rose, While the Share Going To Lower-Income Fell.” An October 25, 2011, Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report found that the top fifth of all earners saw their share of after-tax income increased by 10 percentage points – with almost the entire gain going to the top 1 percent – while the other four-fifths of earners saw their share of after-tax income fall. The report included this chart which depicts the gains made by the top fifth and the losses by the rest.
What ultimately evolves by design here is how the GOP turns victimization on its head. Casting the very wealthy and entrepreneurs as victims strikes at a perception that any ambitious American would find repugnant. And perhaps rightfully so. We all openly or secretly aspire to be financially secure and envision ourselves as masters of our fate by owning our own business. But what is getting downplayed and even omitted here is how the American Dream is being lost not through government spending aimed at easing economic hardships and providing federal jobs, but rather through economic globalization that takes jobs to cheaper labor markets abroad and policies that reduce taxes which deprives revenue for vital social services.
The long-held Libertarian notion that any form of wealth distribution is evil has risen its ugly head again and gained a foothold in the American conscience following the collapse of the financial markets and the government bailouts of those who played fast and loose with investments and savings of Americans aspiring to claim some of that ownership held almost exclusively by the top 1%. Free markets failed to live up to expectations but Libertarians were quick to redirect the focus on government actions aimed at offsetting the great recession of 2008. Poorly informed and frightened workers were captivated by the mantra of the Tea Party who voiced this discontent and who became quickly supported by Bush-era neo-conservatives in a thinly veiled attempt to regain the power they thought would never end prior to 2006 when they lost their House majority.
Profits are first and foremost at the heart of any business and if it requires evading taxes and sending jobs overseas, then so be it. Yet profits have never been higher for many businesses or taxes lower than they are today. And still we are led to believe that the free markets and the wealthy class are under siege. The Democrats are portrayed as those who support “people with miserable, meaningless lives” and “people who don’t count,” according to Rush Limbaugh, even though Paul Ryan wants everyone to see Republicans as champions trying to “protect the weak”.
If it all seems so confusing that’s because it is intended to be. The architect of this approach to circumvent fact and disorient voters is the person George Bush affectionately called “Turd Blossom” – Karl Rove. From the time “he founded a political consulting firm, Karl Rove & Company, in Austin, Texas in 1981 … Rove “earned a reputation for being a savage political strategist, willing to engage in dirty tricks.” The idiom of Rove can be seen in the brief Tweet from Romney pollster Neil Newhouse responding to the media’s objections to its welfare ad when Newhouse stated “we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact ckecckers”(sic)
Newt Gingrich has also contributed to a view that capitalizes on misinformation and deception through some of his earliest efforts in political office aimed at destroying the credibility of Congress in the hopes to achieve a majority of Republicans to further extreme right-wing goals.
“What was Gingrich’s strategy? He was both passionate about his goals and coldly analytical in his means. The core strategy was to destroy the institution to save it, to so intensify public hatred of Congress that voters would buy into the notion of the need for sweeping change and throw the majority bums out. His method? To unite his Republicans in refusing to cooperate with Democrats in committee and on the floor, while publicly attacking them as a permanent majority presiding over and benefitting from a thoroughly corrupt institution. (p.33)
It had taken Gingrich sixteen years to realize his objective of a House Republican majority (1994), but his original strategy to gain power by attacking the Congress left a lasting mark on American politics.”(p.40) – Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein’s, “It’s Even Worse Than it Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With The New Politics of Extremism
It’s true that you can’t fool everybody all of the time but it is also clear that the goal of the GOP has been a costly and passionate attempt to do as much “fooling” as they possibly can. It has after all been their “top political priority … to deny President Obama a second term.” To do that you have to distort the facts to make people forget what the policies were prior to Obama’s election that have resulted in one of the highest misery index ratings since Ronald Reagan.