So it is written and so it shall be done

Just to follow up on Anne Laurie’s piece on the GOP platform, I’ve noticed that its crazier/more politically suicidal elements are beginning to get some play in establishment media. Here’s Politico on the no-exemptions abortion plank and on the sharks-with-frickin’-lasers-on-the-Mexican-border plank.

Both are bad politically. Republicans usually win on reproductive rights issues but Slutgate and Akingate change that. And everyone knows the anti-immigration stuff is toxic.

We’ve got to fight to make sure that the craziness of the Republican platform is THE story in Tampa. Because it should be. The Republicans’ plan is to hide their crazy, unpopular views from a bored, distracted, heavily propagandized nation. They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with that.

50 replies
  1. 1
    Urza says:

    So now is the time we all have to figure out how to convince the willfully uninformed that yes, they really are that crazy and we’re not just making stuff up like they do.

  2. 2

    Of course they shouldn’t be able to get away with that, but they will,because stupid fucking voters will vote against their own best interests, every single time.

  3. 3
    mclaren says:

    Agreed, not that it’ll make much difference. I’ve never seen a festival of lunacy and dementia more extreme than the 2004 Republican National Convention — and the Repubs won the presidency that year.

  4. 4
    Anya says:

    If all voters voted for their own interest like AA voters we wouldn’t be in this mess.

    Where is Sarah, Proud and Tall? I want this awesome video front paged.

  5. 5
    mclaren says:

    @Urza:

    So now is the time we all have to figure out how to convince the willfully uninformed that yes, they really are that crazy and we’re not just making stuff up like they do.

    That’s a dangerous strategy because America is a nation of cowardly bully worshipers who love craziness. The more sadistic and insane the policy, the more Americans adore it. The Guardian has reported that America is now the first nation in history with more reported rapes of men than of women, courtesy of our barbaric prison system. Americanos love prison rape. They joke about it. They dote on violent prison rape.

    As the United Snakes of Amnesia descends into barbarism and savagery, cruel meaningless insanity becomes increasingly prized and applauded by our degraded public.

    Once an electorate gets a taste for human flesh, it can’t be reformed: it must be put down. The evidence suggests we’ve reached that point.

  6. 6
    👽 Martin says:

    I’m thinking there are a fair number of uncertain Republicans also praying for a hurricane to hit.

  7. 7
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    In the interests of this thread not turning into another woe-is-us-we’re-doomed fest, I propose a brainstorm session about ideas on how to get that message out. A few of my own thoughts.

    It seems to me that even fairly apolitical people know when someone’s trying to sell them something, or trying to get inside their head, and a lot of efforts to broach the topic directly will backfire, such as bringing it up out of nowhere, shoving it into a place where it doesn’t belong, and the like. I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of stuff like “I was reading the news and I saw something interesting.” Above all, be subtle.

    Be willing to debate them, hear them out, and NEVER lose your temper. Cede them some points even if you don’t agree with them, but decide beforehand on what the salient thing you’re trying to tell them is and don’t cede ground on that.

    I’d say don’t use political buzzwords that people are sick of hearing. Find alternate ways to describe, say, the ACA or the War on Women. And definitely don’t use Inside Blogball crap. No one but us cares what a ‘totebagger’ is, and letting it slip out and then having to describe it would seem to be a deal-killer.

    Don’t appear partisan. Not be, just appear. I think if relatively non political people get the sense that you’re only going to stump for one party, they tune you out, and why wouldn’t they? That’s what most sane people do when they run into somebody trying to sell them something. Focus on the relevant facts and how they affect the person you’re talking to. Don’t get caught up in rhetoric or minutiae.

    Ugh, I feel like Dale Carnegie. Is this all manipulative and sleazy, a little bit? Sure. Republicans are masters of manipulation and sleaze, and everyone here is always talking about bringing a gun to a gunfight, right? I’m personally tired of the “Wait for everyone to start reading the right blogs and get the real scoop about the GOP, then hue and cry and call them blind followers when they don’t” voter strategy.

  8. 8
    Jewish Steel says:

    That Beyers fellow @ Politico had a short piece re Jake Tapper shrugging his broad, handsome shoulders and going all, “What’s the big deal with Mitt’s taxes? Gosh, I’m sorry the media made a big deal out of it.” Total fucking tool.

  9. 9

    Bunch of people in Romney or Ryan masks holding signs that read “I support the personhood amendment because it will deny abortions in cases of rape and incest”.

    Or something pithier, maybe. But along those lines.

  10. 10
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @mclaren:

    Honest question, McL: When have Americans not been barbarous savages? I know that sounds sarcastic, but given our national history what with Indian genocide, slaves, lynchings, Pinkertons, etc., I think it’s fair to say that violence has always been a part of our politics, and not some recent thing. So were we doomed from the beginning and it just happened to take until now to realize it, or is there something that changed in the last 50 years or so?

  11. 11
    DougJ says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    Ugh, that was bad.

  12. 12
    kay says:

    August 26 is the anniversary of womens right to vote. Sunday.

    Perhaps Democrats could work that into this theme this week.

    Obama would be good at that.

    Weary, yet respectful. A little saddened that Republicans chose this week to go insane on women, again, what with the anniversary and all :)

  13. 13
    jl says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: The problem is that your line of thinking is not easily ‘rantable’.

  14. 14
    Anya says:

    @Jewish Steel: This little episode illustrates the difference between our side and the wingers. The wingers would’ve made a HUGE deal about this and cried: LBERAL MEDIA BIAS. Our side just shrugs about stuff like that. Why aren’t we harassing Tapper and making his life miserable, at least for couple of hours?

  15. 15
    mclaren says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    This suggestion offers a classic example of the liberal fallacy of trying to use reason and logic to defeat Republicans in politics.

    That doesn’t work. George Lakoff explains why, using recent results from research in cognitive neuroscience.

    Indeed, one of the major findings of real reason is that negating a frame activates that frame in the brain and reinforces it — like Nixon saying that he was not a crook. Dan Pfeiffer, writing on the White House blog, posted an article called “Still not a ‘Government Takeover’,” which activates the conservative idea of a government takeover and hence reinforces the idea. Every time a liberal goes over a conservative proposal giving evidence negating conservative ideas one by one, he or she is activating the conservative ideas in the brains of his audience. The proper response is to start with your own ideas, framed to fit what you really believe. Facts matter. But they have to be framed properly and their moral significance must be made manifest.

    You foolishly imagine that merely by reiterating the Republicans’ insane proposals and by pointing out how insane they are, you will discourage voters from voting for them. But, as cognitive neuroscience shows, the more you reiterate Republicans’ insane ideas, the more you activate their frames in voters’ minds, and thus the more likely you make voters to vote for them.

    You must change the frame. That requires an emotional not a rational, response from liberals. Pointing out that Republicans’ policies are insane is useless — instead, you must point out that Republicans’ policies are evil. Point out that Republicans are baby-killers and terrorists who glory in torture and the murder of innocent women and children. That might work.

    Alas, the American electorate is probably so far gone into the deepest shadows of barbarism that they will become excited and delighted by hearing about torture and the murder of innocent women and children…

  16. 16
    jl says:

    Was Spaghetti Lee addressing Republicans? I did not know that.

  17. 17
    eldorado says:

    get them in the crosshairs, and take them down

  18. 18
    Roger Moore says:

    One of the problems with this approach is that party platforms are almost always written in jargon that hides their real meaning. That’s why they talk about a Personhood Amendment rather than banning all abortions or increasing border security rather than shooting Mexicans on sight. The insiders who really care will know what they’re talking about while the rest of us are mystified.

  19. 19
    David in NY says:

    @kay:

    August 26 is the anniversary of womens right to vote. Sunday.

    Perhaps Democrats could work that into this theme this week.

    Obama would be good at that.

    Oooh, I like that.

    Can we get a Facebook and other social media celebration going?

  20. 20
    Brian R. says:

    I can’t wait for the inevitable whining that we’re being unfair to them for quoting their platform verbatim.

    Maybe Newt can work the media again, telling them anyone who quotes the RNC platform is a dirty liar.

    Fuck them. This is what they believe in. They need to own it.

  21. 21
    Roger Moore says:

    @Brian R.:

    I can’t wait for the inevitable whining that we’re being unfair to them for quoting their platform verbatim.

    I don’t know how damaging verbatim quotes from the platform are likely to be. Most people are going to find it a bunch of incomprehensible gibberish and jargon. It’s only when somebody interprets it- which the Republicans will try to cast as misinterpreting it- that the real crazy will become clear.

  22. 22
    TS says:

    Ryan is sure working up the crazy – He seems to be using Sarah Palin speak – that didn’t take long – it seems Sarah defined the role of a GOP VP candidate – work the hatred into the base.

  23. 23
    pragmatism says:

    @TS: But Ryan is so wonky and serious about whipping up the hatred. Why today he invoked a leading conservative mind, Joe the plumber.

  24. 24
    waratah says:

    @DougJ: I have started reading Michael Grunwald’s the New New Deal.
    He writes how the Republicans started from day one to bring President Obama down. Our country was in dire need with the recession and they did not care if we all went down as then Obama would get the blame. He says the Republicans won the messaging on the recovery bill and puts some blame on the Whitehouse messaging.
    We could not depend on our reporters then so I do not see how we can depend on them now.

    This is a must read book for Balloon Juicers.

  25. 25
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    Wait, what, they went full culture war all the time?

  26. 26
    mclaren says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Assuming your question isn’t facetious, American history shows clear examples of ups and downs in barbarism.

    Let me give you some specific examples:

    From the 1820s to the 1850s signs in America commonly read NO NIGGERS, CHINKS OR IRISH NEED APPLY. People with Irish ancestry were treated as badly as blacks — the same epithets were applied: Irish are animals, they smell, they’re subhuman, they try to rape our women, they’re addicted to drink, they’re lazy and unable to do anything but the most menial kind of work…and so on.

    After the 1850s that kind of discrimination against the Irish gradually vanished.

    Immediately after the Civil War, slavery was abolished by law and the southern sharecropper system not yet established. From the 1860s to the 1890s Americans didn’t lynch blacks or send guys in white sheets to burn black people out of their homes.

    The rise of the Klan started in the 1890s, when trains were actually chartered to carry trainloads full of white southerners to lynchings. The lynching fever reached its peak in the 1920s with the gigantic Klan march down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. (see these unbelievable pictures here) and the race riot in Oklahoma City, during which “the bodies of black people were piled up like cordwood and buried in mass graves.”

    After the 1930s, lynchings tailed off and by the 1950s an increasing number of civil rights laws turned the tide against mass racial violence against blacks in America. Today, a single non-black killing a black kid is national news: 70 years ago, George Zimmerman would have been given a parade and a medal rather than being put on trial. He would’ve marched down Pennsylvania Avenue proudly carrying a Klan banner.

    So things have gotten slowly better for blacks over the past 70 years.

    Asian-Americans weren’t allowed to vote in the 1890s and were regularly lynched and murdered. As recently as the 1940s, FDR ordered all Japanese-Americans interned in concentration camps without charging them with a crime. Today, that’s unthinkable. Things have gotten slowly better for Asian-Americans over the past 100 years.

    Americans didn’t always glory in torture and the murder of children and innocent women. In WW I and WW II torture was considered beyond the pale. American soldiers were explicitly forbidden from deliberately murdering noncombatants if possible. Today, by comparison polls show that 60% of the American public approves of torture, and of course most of the sick twisted commenters on this forum delight in Barack Obama’s barbaric “double tap” policy of using drones to deliberately murder first responder paramedics and aid workers who go in after an initial U.S. drone strike to help the wounded.

    The reason for the silence about such matters, and the reason commentary of this sort sparks such anger and hostility, is two-fold: first, the US likes to think of terror as something only “others” engage in, not itself, and more so; second, supporters of Barack Obama, the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, simply do not want to think about him as someone who orders attacks on those rescuing his victims or funeral attendees gathered to mourn them.

    Source: “US drone strikes target rescuers in Pakistan – and the west stays silent: Attacking rescuers – a tactic long deemed by the US a hallmark of terrorism – is now routinely used by the Obama administration,” Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian, 20 August 2012.

    Deliberately using your military to murder first aid workers who rush into an area after you’ve innocent bombed women and children is the ultimate in barbarism. This is what terrorists do. It’s what Obama does. It’s what the people on this forum applaud and cheer until their throats are raw.

    This kind of barbarism by an American president, and this kind of enthusiasm approving response by Democrats, truly is something new in American culture. Once upon a time, Americans shuddered with horror at the idea of bombing hospital ships or murdered red cross workers who tried to rescue innocent noncombatants. Once upon a time, Americans regarded such savagery as beyond the pale, something only a monster like Pol Pot or Reinhard Heydrich would stoop to.

    Today these kinds of atrocities are everyday standard policy ordered by Barack Obama in the Oval Office, and the loud approval of such atrocities is something we see from seemingly sane sensible people like John Cole, who gushes that he’s “delighted” that Barack Obama is president — presumably so that Obama can order the murder of more aid workers as they try to save children and women wounded by our drone strikes.

    So that truly is something that has changed in American culture over the last 50 years.

    Since American culture has changed, this suggests that it is not immutable. If Americans have become delighted with torture and atrocities, Americans can learn to become disgusted with torture and appalled by atrocities. That gives us hope.

    We’re not going to change the American electorate, however, by reasoning with them. Pointing out that Republican policies are insane accomplishes nothing. We’re going to have to jam the full horror of America’s current degradation into the voters’ faces until they recognize and recoil from the monstrousness of what American society has become.

    Evil in its rawest form confronts us when we witness George W. Bush lying America into an illegal war of aggression that murders a million Iraqi women and children. Evil in its more virulent form confronts us when we observe Barack Obama calmly sifting through pictures of 17-year-old noncombatant girls and choosing which ones to murder with drone strikes, then sending in more drones to murder the first aid responders who try to save the survivors.

    If sane people of conscience can make the American electorate fully aware of the evil of such atrocities, we have a chance to turn this country away from the dark road down which it is currently traveling.

    It’s too easy and too simple merely to throw up your hands and whimper “But American has always been evil!” There have been ups and downs. During the Philippines campaign, American soldiers routinely engaged in water torture (waterboarding, we call it today). By WW I and WW II that was outlawed. Now it has come back. We’re in a particularly dark patch of American hstory right now, but I believe the words of Thomas Jefferson in this letter to John Taylor are as applicable today as they were in 1798:

    A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to it’s true principles. It is true that in the mean time we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war & long oppressions of enormous public debt. (…) If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, & then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are the stake.

  27. 27
    Fluke bucket says:

    @👽 Martin: Will pat robertson be in Tampa?

  28. 28
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @Urza: So just finished telephone canvassing nearly 200 voters. Here are the kinds of things I heard over and over:

    LIV*: “Whut? Who’s he? I never heard of him?” Me: “He’s your congressman, sir.” LIV: “Who cares. He’s probably a dips hit.”

    And then there was this: “I ain’t votin’ for neither of ‘um. They’re dingbats, do yuh hear me? Dingbats!!”

    And finally – LIV: “I ain’t gonna vote ’cause I don’t believe in votin’ cause it doesn’t do anythin’.”

    Me: “Well, one reason I’m calling you is because it says here you are, indeed, a voter.”

    LIV: “Don’t you get smart with me, missy.”

    *Low Information Voter

  29. 29
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @The Fat Kate Middleton: BTW – I also made about fifty calls for Obama, from a voters’ list of both political parties. I don’t even want to talk about that. The story above was about calls made to supposed Democratic voters!

  30. 30
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Anya: Ha! 0% for Romney. No wonder Repubs are killing themselves to stop Blacks from voting.

  31. 31
    mclaren says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Yes, simplify the language. If the Republican platform says “cuts to medicare” translate it as “they want to murder your grandmother.” If the Republican platform says “increase military spending” translate it as “they want to bankrupt us in so they can burn more babies with napalm in their cribs.”

    Republicans will shriek in disblief and anger. The louder they shriek, the more you need to rip their genitals off with a rusty cheesegrater, metaphorically speaking.

  32. 32
    hells littlest angel says:

    I’m counting on the armed, angry teabaggers milling outside the convention center to provide some excitement, and bring contemporary Republicanism into focus.

  33. 33
    kay says:

    @David in NY:

    Well, now they’ll know it’s the anniversary, so our plan is ruined :)

    I have a new OFA organizer staying at the house. His name is Joe which is also my son’s name and they’ll be sharing the upstairs, so that should be confusing because I never go up there, I just call from the bottom of the stairs. He’s from the UP (upper peninsula of MI). I like that accent they have up there. I think he’ll fit in well with Democrats here.
    Anyway, his boss was here for a bit earlier and they feel pretty good about the state.
    They’re worried about 1. being outspent, and 2. Voter suppression.

  34. 34
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @mclaren: Like. And I think I have rusty cheese grater, maybe even a rusty pitchfork, lying somewhere around.

  35. 35
    mclaren says:

    @The Fat Kate Middleton:

    I’ve also done phone canvassing of low information voters. When people responded with “He’s a dipshit” I used to tell them, “Well, sir, there are better dipshits and worse dipshits, and one of these dipshits is going to get elected and write laws that affect so, so you might want to consider the consequences if you don’t elect [Democratic candidate]…”

    Or, if the voter snarled, “I’m not voting for either one of those assholes,” I came back with, “Sir, that means you’re going to let someone else elect the asshole who writes laws that affect you. Now here’s what the Democratic candidate stands for…”

    It certainly didn’t always work, but at least it did get the Low Information Voters to stop and think.

  36. 36
    Steve says:

    @mclaren:

    Deliberately using your military to murder first aid workers who rush into an area after you’ve innocent bombed women and children is the ultimate in barbarism. This is what terrorists do. It’s what Obama does. It’s what the people on this forum applaud and cheer until their throats are raw.

    Can you name one person on this forum who (1) believes that Obama is using some kind of “double tap” policy to murder first aid workers, and (2) applauds that fact? Just one will do.

  37. 37
    mainmati says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: You’re not Dale Carnegie, thank God. Your advice is eminently sensible, especially with people not politically ware. (Though frankly, it amazes me that so many people are so profoundly ignorant of their political manipulation.) I guess the real question is whether your retail method will make any difference compared to the blaring wholesale blasts coming from the multiple extremist right-wing propaganda organs. I’m skeptical but also not willing to give up on the body politic.

  38. 38
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @mclaren: Well, I certainly wished I’d had a neat little response ready for them, but I don’t think it would have mattered. They usually just slammed the phone down (all landline numbers) at the end of their little rant.

  39. 39
    mainmati says:

    @mclaren: First part of your essay I completely agree with but using Glenn Greenwald as a source to allege that Obama is a cynical mass murderer seems to be a real stretch. I don’t like the Predator drones and think we should be so out of Afghanistan and Pakistan altogether but your allegations need a lot more substantiation for me.

  40. 40
    Chris says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Honest question, McL: When have Americans not been barbarous savages? I know that sounds sarcastic, but given our national history what with Indian genocide, slaves, lynchings, Pinkertons, etc., I think it’s fair to say that violence has always been a part of our politics, and not some recent thing. So were we doomed from the beginning and it just happened to take until now to realize it, or is there something that changed in the last 50 years or so?

    And it’s not just America, either. The so-called “developed” or “free” world isn’t nearly as far from third world brutality and anarchy as it likes to believe.

  41. 41
    Cacti says:

    The Presidency of the ni-CLANG has sent the GOP completely off the rails.

    They’re gonna let their freak flag fly at the convention.

    You dirty sluts are gonna carry those rape babies! It’s your own damn fault for leaving your God-appointed place in the kitchen!

  42. 42
    Valdivia says:

    @kay:

    hearing your on the ground reports always makes me feel better.

    I would rec the Sargent piece DougJ linked to. I read it in the morning and it’s the best antidote to the Tapper idiocy.

  43. 43
    Lawnguylander says:

    @mclaren:

    That’s a dangerous strategy because America is a nation of cowardly bully worshipers who love craziness.

    Yeah, but not your kind of craziness which you’re just going to have to accept. Now call your sponsor.

  44. 44

    @Spaghetti Lee: That’s not being underhanded and manipulative, that’s simply connecting with your audience.

    Manipulative is what folks like Luntz do, find the right programmed phrases to wrap around a lie, and repeat them over and over and over. “Death tax” anyone?

  45. 45
    xian says:

    @mclaren: have you ever convinced anybody of anything?

  46. 46
    nastybrutishntall says:

    @mclaren: The “double-tap” nonsense: please explain what its tactical / strategic advantage would be in order for us to possibly believe that the President had crafted it into be an actual policy, as opposed to it being, say, a battlefield accident. Because it makes no sense to blow up rescuers, as policy. For any reason whatsoever. Unless the reason is “the Blah Presidint is Evul and that’s what he does!” In which case, just say that.

  47. 47
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @mclaren:

    Once an electorate gets a taste for human flesh, it can’t be reformed: it must be put down. The evidence suggests we’ve reached that point.

    So congrats on proving yet again that by going far enough Left you can end up on the hard Right.

  48. 48
    notoriousJRT says:

    Amen

  49. 49
    Privatize the Profits! Socialize the Costs! says:

    I just went to the Politico link and found this

    It [the GOP platform] urges Congress to strengthen the Born Alive Infant Protection Act of 2002 by adding civil and criminal penalties for doctors who don’t adequately care for newborn babies.

    Maybe I’m wrong about this, but it seems to me that Rick and Karen Santorum specifically and deliberately thumbed their noses at the idiotic “Born Alive Infant Protection Act of 2002” when they made the CHOICE to end the life of their fetus… the one that ended up in a jar in sicko Santorum’s office.

  50. 50
    El Cid says:

    @nastybrutishntall: Actually, this used to be our policy back in the wars against Central American civilians — our logistical and intelligence info would be shared with Salvadoran death squads.

    So when humanitarian aid was parachuted in to rural locations suffering the slaughters of our close allies, the Salvadoran military would be able to quickly respond and bomb those assembling to collect the aid — under the assumption that they were probably just Marxist rebels or their allies showing up, anyway.

    But then in these cases, there was an intentional US-backed and advised war directly against the civilian populations, since they tended to oppose the governments continually slaughtering them. So it’s not a direct parallel.

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