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“Trussssst in me…”

KaaWarning! The following post is written by a half-mad, conspiracy theorist.

No, I’m not going near 9/11. You wanna know what happened that day? Go rent United 93 and watch Nova.

I’m going to talk about infiltration of the blogosphere by Republican operatives. Ok, yeah, I’m nuts. Not so much, actually. Think about it. If you were Karl Rove and you wanted to keep Republicans in the WH indefinitely, what is the easiest way to do it? Well, first, you have to take out your competition’s strongest candidate. No matter how you slice it, that’s Hillary Clinton. And the reason she’s the strongest is because she started the race with certain built in advantages. The media is forced to cover her because she is a former first lady, the wife of a popular former president and a woman. She’s the best thing we have to an incumbent. She’s also intelligent, knowledgeable and knows executive branch ins and outs. She’s also had her life turned inside out and all that was ever found were some stray pieces of lint. She is the killer candidate and Karl knows it. Therefore, she must go.

But since the last election, the media has been joined by the lefty blogosphere. Now, the blogs are neonates but the Republicans figured out long ago how to trigger a message cascade through their own top down blogs, in conjunction with their media collaborators. Lefty blogs are a little trickier because they are more democratic. There’s no one person in charge whipping the others into line. There are diverse voices. Nevertheless, they are all united in one goal: kick the republicans out of power.

Hmmm, what to do, what to do. Well, there are at least two main modes of attack. But first, Karl and his droogs would have studied us carefully. Because, we don’t respond well to authoritarian tactics. So, the focus of Karl’s attention would have been the ideas that flipped our triggers. Words like “corporation”. “triangulation”, “lobbyist”. John Edwards campaign has also been doing some online focus group studies. He and Karl had the same goals, after all.

Then, the lefty coalition has to be broken. This is easy. As soon as the topic gets personal, the issues get ditched and infighting ensues. Keep repeating the trigger words about Clinton. Use negative affect techniques. Count on Hillary’s campaign to completely ignore Peter Daou and focus its resources on traditional media. Pretty soon, pro-Clinton voices are a tiny minority on the lefty blogs.

But that’s not enough. These tiny voices must be humiliated and thrown out of the tribe. Use bait “ball frenzy techniques” and overwhelm the opposing voices with negativity and viciousness. Use group dynamics to isolate your target’s supporters and reward the supporters of your chosen candidate. Your target’s supporters are “older women” and “high school dropouts with limited skills”; your chosen candidate’s supporters are “young”, “successful” and “college educated”. The goal is to unite the blogosphere around the champion of the Republicans choosing, someone who will be very vulnerable when they start beating the national security tom-toms.

Make it look like the Republican’s choice for Democratic nominee is preferable to the stronger candidate by alarming the target about Hillary’s electability. Flood the lefty blogosphere’s comment threads with so-called Democrats who vow to vote for John McCain. The number of voices must be of a critical threshhold value so that blog owners and nascent pundits take notice.

Further weaken the strong candidate by going after her strongest asset. Again, flood the blogosphere with commenters complaining about the Big Dawg’s “attacks” on the candidate of choice. Make this number of commenters very high so that, once again, the bloggy pundits start to take notice and become uneasy. They can’t quite put their finger on why the Big Dawg’s presence in the race bothers them but it does. Well, all of their readers are saying it, right? It must be true among the voters and Democrats in general. And those bloggy pundits have staff to pay and servers to buy and children to feed and who wants to piss off their audience? They will ignore the readers who go elsewhere to post because they seem small in number.

The media is already in your hands. The lefty blogs are reluctantly jumping on your preferred bandwagon even though in the back of their minds, there is a disquieting sense that all is not kosher.

The message is out of their hands. They are listening to the hypnotic suggestions you’ve planted in their subconscious. That weekend course in psy-ops thrity years ago really paid off. The blogs are firmly in your grip as you apply pressure to squeeze the life out of them and your job is done. Turn your attention to suppressing the vote.

Laugh evilly and slither away.

6 Responses

  1. Goldberry,
    I agree with your take. I have always felt that republicans would be mad not to use the ready-made place of blogs. They divide the opposition, produce media narratives about the strongest candidate, test media narratives for use, all in one go. I also think it’s possible that some candidates have barely sanctioned volunteers in there.

    I am alerted to this by those who repeat talking points. For example, the race baiting tactics that recently was used. Suddenly 10 diaries appear on the topic. Everyone pretends to be mad about some very fine parsing which doesn’t make sense. Reminds me of how narrative on Gore was set through the media, and remember the letters to the editors (back then astroturfing could be done, b/c web wasn’t sufficiently advanced so identical letters to local papers could be spotted.) so these kinds of tactics has precedent.

    But you are missing something. In May2006, Markos wrote an opinion for Washingtonpost peddling talking points about Hillary, such as ‘electability problem’, ”polarizing’, ‘clinton machine’. Well, he quoted his own straw polls, and how she is unpopular with netroots! (there you have the power of spamming a site, and what you said). He, huffingtonpost, Josh Marshall pushed other candidates, and they are too smart (I think) to just fall for spamming of their sites. There is lots of misogeny on their parts (Arianna proves the old quote: you don’t have to be a male to be a male chauvaunist.) Blogs also wanted to be a kingmaker, that to me is at least part of their motivation.

    The first time I became vaguely aware of this was when the famous 1984 video came about. The first reference to it that I saw was on a blog (don’t remember whether it was washingtonmonthy or talkingpointsmemo, a link with a snippet, “what do you think?”). It was before that video went viral. When I checked the link, I was utterly disgusted. I felt that no democratic site worth its salt should have given that video the time of the day. Instead, I felt they were a huge reason that video became much viewed (them and perhaps other campaigns.) Believe me, a video doesn’t get 1 million hits out of nowehre.

  2. oops, sorry for the long comment. May you add a review button if you could?

  3. I’ll see what I can do about the review buttons but I am not troubled by long comments.
    To be perfectly honest, I was like Markos in 2006. If you go back through my diaries on Dkos even into February and April of 2007, I was anti-Hillary. But then I saw her at YK07 and compared her to the others and she won hands down. If she had been *just* the wife of a former president, she couldn’t have pulled it off with me. Markos, Arianna and the others *know* she’s the more qualified candidate but for some reason that we are not aware of, they have been unable to advocate for her. Maybe it has to do with their distate for professional class political consultants, Maybe it’s the rumormongering about the arrogance of the Clintons themselves. But none of that should matter when she *is* the one candidate who has the right stuff to run the country.
    Markos did indeed want to be kingmaker but Clinton, probably as a stupid move on her part, completely spurned the blogs. She’s never been to Dkos and Peter Daou posts there rarely. She has no coordinated SWAT team on the blogs at all. And yet, that’s where public opinion germniates nowadays.
    But the other stuff? The viciousness, tribal identities, groupthink and assertions by a large part of the Democratic blogging commenters that they will vote for McCain over Hillary? Oh, I have no doubt that GOP operatives are behind some of it. When Paul Krugman and Matt Stoller also start to say that something strange is going on, then it’s not just a conspiracy theory anymore.

  4. depressing thought of the day:

    What if American press had covered the run-up to the Iraq war with the skeptism and scrutiny they give to Hillary Clinton’s campain?

    What if Democratic establishment had shown so much unity passion, and stirring speeches in opposing Bush as they have shown for opposing Hillary Clinton? If democratic senator had shown as much spine in defending the constitution and oppsing rotten bills pushed by Bush?

    Like Bush before him, the unity Obama brings is of a peccular and ironic kind. It’s unifying blogs, MSM, Kerry, and Kennedy in opposition to Hillary Clinton. Just when you think American press and its leaders can’t be any more absurd, and will actually try to solve the problems facing the nation, you learn that a leopard can’t change its spots.

  5. that would make a great post.

  6. Thanks. If you want to, use it whichever way you want.

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