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When fooling “enough of the people, most of the time” stops working

There comes a point in every relationship when the oxytocin level starts to decline and the number of verbal inconsistencies increase to the point where the object of your affection is no longer the greatest thing since sliced bread.  When this happens, you can either reject or accept what you’ve got to work with and move on.  But one thing is for sure: the blinders are gone and it’s no use trying to put them back on again.

I reached that point back in the nineties when it comes to the news media.  After awhile, familiarity with its propaganda techniques bred contempt.  I was always an inconsistent student, something I have apparently passed onto my children.  But one thing I’ve always done well is analyze literature.  Add to that the experience that comes from reading tons of scientific papers and asking whether the authors proved their points and for me, the media lost its charm waaaaay too quickly.  It helps that like myiq, I wouldn’t drink the fundie juice and saw through the glazed eyed craziness of the religious right early in life. Anyway, you get the point.  Sadly, the honeymoon was over for me a long time ago.  The Clinton scandals never made much sense, I wasn’t surprised by 9/11 and the Iraq War was stupid at its inception.

That’s why I was a bit dismayed to read Paul Krugman’s piece yesterday about the Teabagger riots at various congressional rep appearances.  I love Paul Krugman.  He ranks right up there with Al Franken for me as one of those little flickering points of light that didn’t go out during the dark ages of the Bush administration.  Paul *mostly* sees what’s going on with the astroturfers and the birther nut jobs (no, don’t even go there.  I don’t care if Obama hasn’t answered all of your questions.  It’s a stupid, pointless, irrelevant distraction)  But he has a huge blind spot when it comes to the reason why the people who should be on Obama’s side are sitting it out.  I’m talking about people like us.  So. once again, I will try to spell it out for him.

We don’t support a man whose surrogates call lifelong advocates for civil rights and equality racists.  We don’t support a man who considers legitimate criticism of him racism.  We don’t appreciate the insinuation that because we don’t support Obama’s ill-conceived health care policy we might be racists.  To us, that doesn’t seem to be a very logical way to gain our support.  In fact, it hasn’t worked since Obama’s campaign rolled it out last year and it is still not working.  Really, Paul, don’t fall into this trap.  Not everyone who dislikes the way the Obama administration has handled things is a racist. Yes, there are plenty of people who are but there is a huge group of us out here who aren’t and never have been.  That peer pressure $#@% doesn’t work on those of us who know our own minds.

We’re not birthers.  Sorry, birthers, we don’t care about the birth certificate.  In fact, the birth certificate issue works brilliantly for both parties.  For the GOP, whipping up a frenzy about it helps them establish a new base of supporters.  For the Obama administration, keeping the issue alive makes its detractors look like irrational nutjobs.  Take this as a warning, former PUMAs: drop the birther thing before you lose all credibility.  You are not going to dislodge Obama with the birth certificate question.  For good or ill, he’s the president for the next four years.  Which brings me to my next point:

There is no divine law that says that Barack Obama is entitled to a second term.  We have had one term presidents before.  The last two were Jimmy Carter and George Bush I.  It can happen again.  And if Obama succeeds in redefining the American experience not forward but backwards to a new era of Robber Barons, I believe we still have just enough power to oust him.  It is up to the Democratic Party if it wants to risk this.  Sarah Palin could siphon away the part of the base that the Democrats left on the table during the 2008 primary season.  Palin could be the Republicans’ stealth weapon, even if she chose to run as an independent.  Keep it up Democrats and Obama will be a one term wonder. Which brings me to why we are different from the birthers and Palin supporters and GOP teabaggers.

We never bought the party unity thing.

Remember party unity?  Harold Ickes Jr. told the RBC hearing that what they were about to do was not in the interest of party unity.  Oh, you could engineer an illusion at the convention that everyone was behind Obama but that left a lot of Democrats deeply dissatisfied and feeling like they had no choice but to go along.  And so many of them did because the only alternative was another Republican president.

The reason that Obama’s health insurance reform policy is going down in flames with no support from his own party is because we don’t trust him.  We watched the way his campaign operated last year and we never bought the product. We saw how he allowed his supporters and the media to trash women.  We see that his wife has had to pretend to embrace a traditional female role to pacify the old white guys and snotty women who run the DC political press corps and punditry.  We saw how he lobbied for the first TARP bill without much concern for hapless homeowners.  We saw how he stuffed a sock into the mouths of single payer advocates during the public debate on the issue.  Even those of us who are open to plans other than single payer think they should have been at the table.

The Obama administration has a lot of nerve complaining about teabaggers now when they’ve eliminated a significant number of voices from the initial debate.  As for cries of “no fair with the astroturf!”, Obama’s team can hardly expect those of us who were bombarded by Axlerod’s campaign astroturf, destructive peer pressure, marketing and psychological manipulation techniques to have any sympathy whatsoever for it now.  It was only a matter of time before the media and GOP started to turn agains the Democrat.  Would that we had a President in the White House who had the character and intestinal fortitude to withstand it.  Karma’s a bitch.

We always said that if the Democrats decided to ditch us, half of its base, for Obama when they had an alternative who was winning in spite of intensely negative media coverage, that it was on its own.  The Obama Era began by squashing and insulting people.  It used unethical and in some cases possibly illegal tactics to get the nomination.  Obama and the Democrats erased everything it stood in order to get power last year and in the process cut out its most vital base. In fact, the Democrats in Congress have wasted a perfectly good opportunity to come out like gangbusters with a revolutionary new health care mandate that covers everyone, lowers costs and encourages real innovation by regulating the middle man.  It blew it.  Royally.

The Democratic party did not elect a leader.  His PR guys can keep saying it but it doesn’t make it true and more and more voters are starting to realize this.  Leadership is not the capacity to fool enough of the people, most of the time.  A leader has vision.  A leader has a philosophy.  A leader has courage to take on his or her opponents.  Obama is not a leader.  We knew this last year but the party forced him on us anyway.  Obama is good at one thing and one thing only: promoting Obama.  He can charm the pants off of people to promote him but he is incompetent in taking on the GOP message machine, the media and the entrenched establishment of neo-feudalists who can never get enough power. Obama made pacts with the devils in these power establishments.  But for what?  What did we, the voters, get for this exchange?  How did the voters benefit from Obama’s election and his subservience and obedience to the powers that got him into office?  There are quite a few bloggers who should be telling us what we got in exchange for this media darling.  I’m waiting.

But don’t blame us for seeing through him and standing back to watch the carnage between the GOP’s astroturf mobs and the Obama campaign’s astroturf mobs.  It is our prerogative to disagree with truly crappy finance industry and health “insurance” reform policies that don’t benefit voters. Without a major media outlet like a cable news station or a major newspaper like the Times, we have to hope that enough people read us and pass our site along as a refuge for rational, liberals whose minds are wide open but not so wide that our brains have fallen out.  When there are enough of us who are in agreement most of the time, then maybe we can turn this country around.

Let this be a lesson to the Democratic party.  If you decide to launch a war against your own side, don’t be surprised later if the refugees don’t regard you as liberators.  When it comes to Obama, we’re not stupid, Republican, birther or racists.  We’re just not that into him.

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90 Responses

  1. They wanted us to choose between tea or Kool-aid when we coulda had a V-8

  2. Right on, RD. You always start my day off right.

  3. RD, thanks so much for saying so eloquently what those of us who see through obama are feeling.

    I am presently having to push back those of my friends who are still dillusional about obama and who are actually believing the MSM’s definition of citizens participating in the townhall meetings as mobs and manufactured outrage. I’m certain they would rather believe I’m nuts than admit to themselves that they were bamboozled by obama and bought brand obama without checking the ingredients first!

    Thanks for helping keep me sane.

    • {{snort!}} That’s brilliant. They really should have checked the ingredients for fillers, artificial sweeteners, preservatives and empty calories.
      Obama is like a box of Chololate Frosted Sugar Bombs.
      (disclaimer: chololate frosted sugar bombs refers to the breakfast cereal of Calvin and Hobbes and does not refer to Obama’s skin color in any way)

      • RD,

        As I said when I met you in Denver at the PUMA house, you are my hero!

        If we can ever figure out how to put elections back into the hands of citizens instead of leaving it up to the party leaders and machines to count our votes, maybe we will be able to take back our country and stop what obama is unleashing.

        That’s my hope. In the meantime, keep doing what you’re doing in keeping the truth out there.

        • Publicly funded elections!!!!! There’s no hope as long as those elected need to dance with the ones that brung’em.

          • I’m not sure what you mean by publicly funded elections. I’m talking about citizens overseeing a transparency process of the actual counting of the votes, which is not possible with machines, which now count almost 80% of the votes.

            as long as elections are secret and controlled by the party leaders, with the votes counted out of site of citizens, we may as well not have them.

            what America has forgotten is that the government belongs to us, not the other way around and the only way that we, the people, can ever be the stewards of the government is through our elections. It’s the only real power citizens have in making change. I just can’t figure out why this concept is so difficult for the majority of citizens to understand. Do we really think we can sham our leaders into doing the right thing, who know that we can’t vote them out because we didn’t vote them in, in the first place? Think about it.

            if we give up on taking our elections back, then we’ve already lost our democracy and all our protesting and anger is the same as spitting in the wind.

          • I agree with you completely that all the high-tech wizardry offers way too many options for boondogglery. I’m a proponent of X marks the spot, then real eyeballs (under the scrutiny of reps from each party) count and tally the votes. ADDITIONALLY, candidate funding should be equal, as should be exposure via public airways.
            What we have now is private election funding by special interests. Other countries employ systems that ensure that each qualifying candidate receives the same base funding from the public purse, and have much stricter rules for who and how much can top up the base funding.

      • Kristin Breitweister wrote a good blog during the primaries about how Clinton voters read the labels.

      • Good thing you clarified that, or I would have had to report you. :))

    • “contents may have settled during shipping”

  4. RD this is so good and I am so gonna pass it around!

    Even in my little corner of the world I’m sure this thing with the effect of butterflies’ wings applies! 😉

  5. The media has given the Obama’s some real stand-out moments during their first 6 months: the search and selection of the swingset, MO’s fashion shows and extmely expensive tennis shoes for the food bank photo-op, a date in NY, a trip to Camp David their first weekend in power, the planning of their vacation to Martha’s Vineyard(?), BO checking out the bootie of a 15 year old, the beer fest Superbowl party, Wednesday night cocktail gatherings, MO’s mother having such an active social calendar she’s not able to help with the girls, the teaching moment over a cold beer. It’s hard to believe this media likes him with the kind of ridiculous coverage they throw in.

    This is major change, in reality. A POTUS who is treated more as a celebrity than a leader. I know things about him I don’t want or need to know, and I’m completely in the dark over what the democratic party stands for anymore.

  6. “And so many of them did because the only alternative was another Republican president.”

    We got a Republican president anyway.

  7. If he’s half the man the media wanted people to believe he was, they do him an incredible injustice with the kind of coverage they give him now.

  8. http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/columnists/chi-sun-phil-rosenthal-0809aug09,0,4285440.column

    This article says a lot about the use of the media.



  9. What attracted me to a progressive and liberal stance in politics when I was at university 50 years ago, was the thinking, research, fact perspective and human caring of those I met who were progressive/liberals. It was the era of “city managers” trained to be effective and apolitical. And we know how that worked out. It is hard to find that perspective today. Too often and especially in blogland (not here) progressive/liberal “thought” is more bloviating and so much less thinking.

    Thanks for taking this directly to Krugman RD. You have such a way of going straight at the core and speaking plainly.

  10. terrific post RD, thanks !

  11. “There are quite a few bloggers who should be telling us what we got in exchange for this media darling. I’m waiting.”–RD

    Exactly. For instance, I am sure all those anti-war Hillary haters must feel wonderful since 0 ended the war (s). oh wait

    ‘member? That was his whole shtick before the “economic crisis”–he was a one man anti-war revolution…heh. Now he doesn’t even talk about it. And neither do they.

  12. Hi all – Great to see the familiar names still here.
    This is off-topic, but I wanted to ask you what you had heard about Hurricane Ike and Galveston. The reason I’m asking is that I just came back yesterday from a biz trip in Houston and saw the damage first-hand.
    Here in the northeast, we’ve heard zip about it. But, after a year, the place still looks like a battlefield. The locals told us that the only evidence of fed help has been the Coast Guard trucks, which carted out the bodies that weren’t washed out to sea. No one knows the actual death count.
    We were outraged about all this. Some are trying to rebuild with their own funds and insurance proceeds. The local media is promoting tourism and some of the stores are reopening. But where are the feds?
    Told hubby about it, who immediately went into a rant about how the neo-cons were responsible. Wrong, I replied. They’re gone. What about now? He hasn’t talked to me since.

    • Wow! I’d forgotten all about Ike, which, I suppose proves your point. Do you have any recent links from Galveston? Any blogs we can point to?

    • That is outrageous! It is like W and now W Redux figure the voters there are dead or gone so why bother? Same for Katrina. Hey, damaged areas are still part of the country and they actually need more help than the rest, Dear Leaders!

    • Hurricane Andrew took 5 years to rebuild. And you will probably never get an accurate body count. The Dade Co. Medical Examiner steadfastly places the count at 28, but the Homestead area had many labor camps which blew away with most of the occupants. Also my BFF’s family lives in the area and when he was going down on his days off to nhelp them he came across the National Guard lifting bodies into a refrigerated truck that he swears had many more than the 28 admitted demises. Don’t hold your breath waiting for the feds. Recovery is in your own hands or through the kindness of strangers.

    • The “plan” of the GWB administration was to ignore any disasters — and send the message — you guys take care of yourself.

      The Seattle area was the FIRST hit with a disaster of the GWB Administration — a medium sized earth quake which did damage and there were a few deaths from falling buildings or pieces of buildings. There was NO help — the GWB admin demanded that any help come with the promise of NO UNIONS. This area is very pro union — so there was NO FED help at all.

      When there was flooding — the GWB admin again lectured the “stupid” people.

      The pattern of response for disasters was set at the beginning of the GWB admin and it continues into the the bush clone administration.

      States be damned — take care of yourselves — but the citizens of the states must support the excesses of the feds.

      • I can see Barry’s” the need for personal responsibility ” rant fitting in nicely whenever there’s a disaster for an area. It’s part of the top .999% drive for the privatization of public services. Boils down to : If you can’t pay a company to do it , then FU

  13. This lays everything out brilliantly, thanks. Here’s the thing, I’ve been arguing with people about health care since birth, practically, and now it’s racism? WTF? They’re really under the impression that if not for racism, everyone would agree here, did they sleep through the 90’s? If they did, how amazing they would miraculously stumble on the Harry and Louise concept they used in the primaries, what visionaries. They’re in a bind, they can’t educate about health care reform because they’re not committed to it and it’s the last thing they want, so they fall back on the only thing they know. And as far as putting things like “end of life care” out there, either they’re shockingly, frighteningly stupid and truly don’t have the sense god gave a lemon to predict how that would be seized on, or they fully understood the obvious reaction and did it deliberately to provoke outrage so they could then gin up phony counter outrage and hysteria.

    • They certainly gave the opposition a lot of material to work with. From the writings of Emanuel’s brother to the end of life counseling and ambiguity about the amount of coverage for the disabled, they essentially set the scene for the backlash at the town hall meetings.

      My husband’s side of the family are all covered by the Canadian health care system, none of them have had any significant problems, yet I find myself suspicious of exactly what the Democrats are trying to achieve.

      If they can’t sell this so called reform to someone who’s comfortable with the idea of single payer, who can they sell it to? They seem to have created a mess.

  14. “We don’t support a man whose surrogates call lifelong advocates for civil rights and equality racists”

    Reading that really hit me. What a shame 2008 was. Sure, politics will always be dirty, but that was just sick. And it was never apologized for or rectified. Every one of those idiots can rot as far as i’m concerned.

    • Right. Everyone was/ is a racist…even entire states. That whole state is racist!…wut.

    • Yeah, that sentence was a kicker.

      This whole post was a kicker. I think I’ll re-read it tomorrow before getting together with some Obamaphile friends.

  15. I’d just like to say that as a soccer player that used to be forced to play on astroturf … you frequently get huge fuggin burns! I can imagine that doesn’t make any difference what color was poured into the stuff while it was cooking. I’d rather have real grass any day than this stuff and why aren’t others asking for the real stuff?

    • I suspect that too many people still regard the news industry as credible. The tipping point for that may be fast approaching though, which is why it is so important to ignore and mock us.

  16. We’re not stupid, Republican, birther or racists. We’re just not that into him.

    Perfect! I love your writing RD–wit, intelligence, insight and strength. You got it all.

    I was so disappointed in Krugman’s piece. As if O’s complete mishandling of the health care plan(s) has to be reduced, like any other criticism of Obama, to overt or subliminal rac*sm. How about: it’s a compromised piece of crap that he has done a terrible job of explaining to people, because he doesn’t really understand or believe in it? He sure knows how to sell himself though–that’s one thing he is really passionate about. And the outrageous irony and hypocrisy of their cries about astroturfing and thug tactics!? For me, it’s always been about the hypocrisy, stupid.

    • I’m still trying to figure out how that insurance industry-blessed set of health reform bills coming through congress right now is some step towards covering every one and providing insurance to people with existing problems. The thing needs to be dismembered as it stands now. It’s simply a lobbyist giveaway at the expense of sick people.

      I think the Liberal coalition sees that, but can they do anything?

      And the most surreal thing about this circus is that Pelosi is trying to make it sound like Insurance Companies are doing the astroturfing for the right. Look at who made the deal with Tauzin and Pharma? That sure as hell wasn’t any of those stupid Rethugs.

      • Yeah, I’m pretty embarrassed at my own industry. It’s hanging with the wrong crowd. Big Pharma could really use some help in order to keep price increases low. But look what it’s up against? It can’t very well go to Democrats and say, “Class action lawyers are robbing us blind and the FDA is taking too fricking long to approve drugs.” The Dmocratic powerhouses are lawyers and Ralph Nader types who see every instance of a side effect as deliberate negligence. So, the industry is stuck. It is having trouble making a profit. Without a profit, it can’t do more research and please the shareholders. The shareholders demand a return on investment, which means research gets sacrificed. Fine by the shareholders, sucks for everyone else. It has identified with the Republicans for so long that it has adopted the greedy mindset and is circling the wagons to protect its profits and there are precious few pharma CEO’s who can now make the case that the impossibility of eliminating all side effects from every new drug makes them vulnerable to further attacks from a misinfomed public and out of control class action law suits.
        Somewhere, Congress has failed to evaluate the problems faced by the drug industry and now we are at the mercy of Billy Tauzin and selfish shareholders. Fucking great!

  17. Obama doesn’t really care about health care reform. If he did, he would have come up with some sort of a plan himself, and not throw it upon the Congress. Is that what a leader does?

    • As with any bill that crosses Obama’s desk:

      He signs whatever he’s given. He reads it even less than the congresspeople who passed it . The only ones who read it are the lobbyists who wrote it .

    • Oh, I think he cares a great deal about passing something with the words “health” “care” and “reform” stamped on it somewhere. But he is trying too hard to walk a fine line in protecting the insurance industry and covering all people at an affordable cost in a way that is beneficial to all consumers. In short, he can’t do all of these things. Something’s got to give. And so far, no one is asking the insurance industry to make the kind of sacrifices they need to make to get the job done.
      This is something Obama has failed to do from the very beginning of his career stretching back as far as we care to look: he refuses to stick his neck out for anything that is going to cost him politically. He abstains, votes present, claims his finger slipped on the voting buttons or doesn’t even bother to show up for the vote. It’s his modus operandi. That way, he never gets nailed on the political spectrum. He’s neither left nor right, liberal or conservative, socialist or fascist. Well, actually, he’s Republican Country Club Lite, as befits his social status. The signs were all there before the election but he kept just enough mystery about him so that the bedazzled could dill in the missing data points with whatever fantasy they liked.
      Voile! The Age of Obama.

      • ….And so far, no one is asking the insurance industry to make the kind of sacrifices they need to make to get the job done.

        Ha! That was Hillary….but the upper crust said no and the insurance industry have said no so far. They don’t see the need to make any sacrifice at this point. I believe they are thinking in terms of expansion…as in the bill will require everyone to buy their shit . That’s the K St. view of universal health care.

        I just don’t see Obama involved really. He may want to sign something called ” health care reform” but will not lift one finger to do so…doesn’t know how really .
        If he’s called to do something besides the end game strong arming and charming , then someone has failed him in their job. Like W, Obama shuts down when it gets ” hard” . To craft even a rotten bill , there has to be more than schmoozing and that’s what’s stumping them. They have purged the wonks and the health care complex will not give

      • When he said that he was a blank canvas that people projected onto, to be truthful, he should have said that he was a blank canvas that people HAD to project onto because he’s just blank PERIOD. I think he’s a needy nothingburger craving approval. He never wants to invite displeasure and always agrees with whoever talked to him last. He doesn’t actively try to piss us off as much as we don’t really exist to him. If we were allowed in his office, I’m confident that he would promise us whatever we wanted just to make us like him. But he would never do it afterwords because some corporate dude who actually is allowed in his office would ask for the opposite of what we wanted. I’m sure he experiences an anxiety attack whenever he actually do something definitive. His ego forced him to win the title of President but the reality of so many competing demands must be hellish for him.

        I would feel sorry for him but my state of screweditude prevents me.. lol.

        • When he said that he was a blank canvas that people projected onto, to be truthful, he should have said that he was a blank canvas that people HAD to project onto because he’s just blank PERIOD


  18. http://www.11alive.com/video/default.aspx?aid=110764

    Congressman David Scott lost his temper with a questioner at a recent town hall meeting. He accused those wanting to talk about health care of being from out of his district. Turns out that not only does the questioner live in his district, but he’s also a doctor and decided to ask his questions at the meeting after being unable to get a response from the Scott’s office.

  19. RD, another great posting. You have the gift of articulating ideas and feelings that many of us feel, but are unable to fully express. This “Health Care Reform’ is nothing but a give away to the insurance companies. BO does not possess one iota of political courage, which it would take, to develp a worthwhile and comprehensive health care reform for the citizens of this country, He has never demonstated any political courage, why do people expect that he would be able to do it now? He is all smoke and mirrors; no substance or morals at all.

    • I made that same point to an Obot friend: give me one example of a time when he demonstrated true political courage (and no, “opposing the war,” which he didn’t actually do, doesn’t count).

  20. Riverdaughther:

    I have great respect for and have enjoyed reading “The Confluence” since last June as the Democrat Party Primary unfolded and then ran amuck as the Obama thugs took over the DNC.

    However, I find it very sad and I must comment on what appears to be a lumping together of all those supporting and attending the “Tea Party Protests” as “GOP Teabaggers” (perhaps I am mistaken).

    Calling someone a “TeaBagger” is a sexist (in my opinion) and extremely pathetic attack and attempt to ridicule those who oppose President Obama’s policies. The phrase “TeaBagger” along with a lot of juvenile sexual innuendo was initially used as an insult meant to ridicule those attending the “TeaParty Protests” by the worst of the disgusting msnbc/cnn pseudo pundits. To me the irony is that those who created the “Teabagger” label also consider(ed) PUMA’s at least the female PUMA’s to be a bunch of old psycho over the hill SL**TS (the same terminology that the Obama attack dogs continually utilized to attack a really great woman; SOS Hillary Clinton).

    Joining with the Obot thugs in using terms like “TeaBagger” against folks whose only “crime” is that they don’t like what Obama is doing to our Country seems to play right into the Obots efforts to “divide and therefore conquer those who would challenge President Obama and his ill conceived policies.

    Please give some thought before you label “all” those supporting and attending the “TeaParty Protests” as “GOP Teabaggers.” Months ago starting in March and April these were the first people to have the courage to go out publicly and stand up to President Barack Obama. Yes, some in the “Tea Party” Movement are Republicans; however, many are Independents. When the first protests occurred on April 15th and then on July 4th these brave folks (many of them young mothers and seniors who never went to a protest demonstration before in their entire lives) endured the same vile attacks that PUMA’s and others courageously endured over the last year.

    PUMA’s know all too well the unfair lies and unwarranted attacks the Obots and their Mainstream Media sycophants will utilize against anyone that they consider “against Obama.” The attack tactics go something like this: identify the target, attack, vilify and ridicule the target and finally isolate and destroy the target.

    During the Democrat Party Primary, PUMA’s were attacked by the Obot Minions, vilification took place in the form of labeling everyone not supporting Obama a racist or worse. Anyone supporting Hillary Clinton for POTUS was ridiculed and finally the campaign for Hillary’s nomination for President was isolated and destroyed. After removing Hillary as a contender for POTUS (Hillary was the actual winner of the Democrat Party nomination); Obama and Company used these same tactics against Senator John McCain and Sarah Palin.

    So here we are now at a point where President Obama and his supporters are putting this search and destroy machinery in place again. The mainstream media sycophants and pro-Obama Internet bloggers (we know all to well who they still are) have received the talking points for the attack, vilification and ridicule of their present “Targets.”

    In order to defeat PBO and prevent his re-election in 2012 we need to work together and we need to check carefully when we repeat the terminology used by the Obama MSM sellouts (Chris Matthews, et al) and IMHO the term “teabagger” is on the same list as many of the insults hurled at SOS Hillary Clinton, former Gov. Sara Palin and many courageous wonderful PUMA’s.

    • Please save your outrage. I didn’t invent the term. This is what some of the teabaggers call themselves. I think some of them refer to themselves in this manner because they went to the tea party events earlier this year and don’t realize it is a term with sexual connotations.
      Besides, we all know that it is the Obama kool aid drinkers who are the real teabaggers.
      BTW, if you have been reading this site for awhile, you should know that we rarely stop using a term because some of our readers find it offensive. If we started policing ourselves that way, we would end up never saying anything that is controversial or tough for fear of pissing people off. It is entirely likely that we will continue to be edgy and a bit uncouth. It is the nature of the blog.

    • One more thing: the teabagger is gender neutral. It’s not a sexist term. With a little imagination, I’m sure you understand why.

      • Btw didn’t the webpage “teabagobama.com” say “Teabagging is for everyone”?

        To which somebody replied “Sweet Jesus I agree”.

    • I agree. I know some of the teaparty folks here, and while most are GOP conservatives-to-moderates, many are not, and very VERY few are nasty neo-con haters. A few are libertarians of the more moderate variety, not Ron Paul loonies. Quite a surprising number are democrats. And they are more focused on the complete ridiculous unresponsiveness and high-handedness of our govt in recent years than on any one issue.

      I don’t think that entire group needs to be denigrated with the “teabagger” label. It’s juvenile, and non-productive, and most of them, even those I disagree with, are good people, not demons. Save the vitriol for politicians and public figures, not fellow-citizens.

      And just for the record I wish the phrase “talking points” would disappear from the English language entirely. Whether used against liberals or conservatives, it no longer has any meaning whatsoever. It’s useless. It’s become just a convenient way to dismiss any argument because of it’s perceived source, without having to actually address it.

    • I agree too. Read Bob Somerby on the history of this sexist label (it got a lot of help from the social climber named Rachel Maddow). Calling protestors “teabaggers” is exactly the kind of politics Karl Rove plays: using sexual innuendo to demean the opponents.

      • Yes, I don’t like the term “tea bagger” either-not since I found out what it meant-very frat boy newsreader style-giggle giggle-poke poke.

    • Many of us have regularly defended the right of free expression and protest on here, offering links to criticize the attempts to silence all dissenters.

    • I understand your concern about “lumping” everyone who attended the Tea Parties as “teabaggers”. I, myself, attended one in April in San Antonio, Texas for the purpose of “seeing for myself” what kind of people would be in attendance. I have absolutely no trust of the MSM, after what they did to Hillary and Palin during the election.

      I even videotaped interviews with a significant cross-section of the people who attended, in order to find out why they came and were they asked to come, etc.

      I found dems, independents, libertarians, repubs and people of no party affiliation there, coming from all parts of the rather large state of Texas. In fact, they all said they came not as a member of a party, but as a concerned American and were there because they did not want their children to be stuck with paying down a debt for the rest of their lives which was passed down from their parents.

      Amazingly, you never heard any of the MSM screaming foul when it was ACORN or Move-on or SEIU protesting against Hillary or McCain/Palin and GETTING IN THEIR FACE!

      The hypocrisy of the progressive community stinks to high heaven and to protest people protesting is un-American to the worst degree and we should not engage nor defend this kind of behavior, any more than we did when PUMA people were protesting against the lies being spewed by the MSM in their defense of the obama supporters.

  21. I am not outraged or pissed off; just sharing my opinion.

    • Share away! Just be aware that when a term becomes generally accepted even among those who it describes, it usually sticks. Like ‘birthers’. THEY call themselves that.
      BTW, no one here is associating ‘teabagger’ with ‘neo-cons’. But if you choose to hang out with the people who go to tea party rallies, organized by Republican groups, it is inevitable that people will mistake you for a conservative Republican. It doesn’t matter how much you protest to the contrary. If you don’t like the designation, maybe you should go to rallies that are not sponsored by Republican PR groups.

      • We like to mock everyone impersonally, but we generally frown on personal attacks, unless they are directed at Failbots.

        Once you start letting the most easily offended set the boundaries of political correctness it takes all the fun out of blogging.

        Certain terms and epithets are taboo, however. Spammy knows which ones.

  22. Hmm. Just found this in the Agni Yoga writings. Maybe the future will be brighter:

    There exists a most ancient saying, “Where women are revered and safeguarded, prosperity reigns and the gods rejoice.”

    The New Epoch under the rays of Uranus will bring the renaissance of woman. The Epoch of Maitreya is the Epoch of the Mother of the World.

    Letters Of Helena Roerich II, 5 April 1938.

  23. Wow, brilliant piece RD!

  24. I am neither a “birther or a so called teabagger” and I understand it is not to be talked about here, but just because they might not think like us, they are all not all nutwings and some are Democrats, some are independents, some might even be Puma’s and I think they are entitled to their opinions. I also have seen no evidence that the “media” has fallen out of love with Obama.

    • I never said they were all bad. I understand why some people, even independents would go to a tea party rally. All I’m saying is that there is a certain amount of guilt by association that the Obama administration is doing its best to promote. Personally, I think a great many tea party attendees are being mislead. The message they are spreading is that government is too large and spending out of control. It is pretty Indiscriminate bashing that comes off as anti liberal.
      Remember the New Deal, Social Security and public education? Yeah, well, the tea party organizers are not much in favor of those things. Just because government has been spending like a sailor on the wrong things doesn’t mean all government programs are money pits.
      You gotta be careful who you hang out with.

      • Yes, even a lot of protestors at the tea parties call Obama a socialist, and are against New Deal ideas. Many of them are wrong on many levels. Still, I don’t agree with calling them teabaggers. It’s really the same reason that I don’t agree with Sarah Palin on any policy issue, yet I am really offended when idiot Letterman says that she has the “slutty” flight attendant look.

        • Teabaggers kinda makes me laugh, i just love the term teabag in general, and find it a lot less offensive than other names party members call each other., but i’m with you on the ‘wrong on so many levels’ re: tea partiers? I’ve been to a tea event in nyc to pick up some former hillary supporters, and wow, the attendants really detest dems, and have no idea about any Health Care plan they’d rather have than the one they don’t even know obama has (although the latter part is fair, because he really doesn’t have one). I often wonder if they know what they’re even opposing. I’ve talked to quite a few (tea party types), and haven’t heard one make sense yet. And they are def. not moderate dems, lol. no way jose.

  25. Thank you so much for this great post, i’m forwarding around to everyone i know.

  26. The Democratic party did not elect a leader. His PR guys can keep saying it but it doesn’t make it true and more and more voters are starting to realize this. Leadership is not the capacity to fool enough of the people, most of the time. A leader has vision. A leader has a philosophy. A leader has courage to take on his or her opponents. Obama is not a leader. We knew this last year but the party forced him on us anyway. Obama is good at one thing and one thing only: promoting Obama.

    Obama is NO leader — he has no idea HOW to be a leader.

    Obama is like an actor who can PLAY a leader in a movie — but take away the actor’s script — the actor is just another dumb pretty boy.

    • You have insulted the word pretty. I’m going to have to turn you in to the fishy police.

      • I know — and I was thinking of Beau Bridges playing Prez — when I used the word pretty. That’s why I added the PS! below.

        0zero is too much in love with himself to be pretty.

        Now Bill Clinton is a good looking man!!

    • I loved the way Beau Bridges played the role of President in the Contender — Beau Bridges is a very good looking guy — but he isn’t a brilliant leader. He is a damned fine actor!

      0zero isn’t even a fine actor — he is a one note reader — no variation — he reads WORDS. Period. And I don’t think he’s pretty — he is average. But then I grew up in Hawaii and that is where you will find so many damned fine looking hapa-haole guys — (part white part “other”) — plus 0zero has had a nose job to make himself appear more ????

  27. Excellent Post!

    By the time I read Krugman’s column the comments were already closed. I would have told him that plenty of us on the left were pissed off at the ClusterF**** excuse for health care reform, and that continually dismissing this whole revolt on the right as racism is simply perpetuating the “Bradley Effect” red herring that Obama’s team and the media used to explain Hillary’s win in NH.

    I am so sick of hearing racism being used to explain any and all opposition to Obama that now I have to be careful in the real world not to reflexively dismiss charges of racism when it really IS happening (and it is there as ugly and stupid as it has always been).

  28. You’ve put it far better than most of us can. What’s come out of this fiasco is that up is down and down is up! A lifelong Democrat, I walked away from the party when I saw that their actions in pushing Obama on us were no better than the Republicans did in the past. And they don’t even see it!
    In the past I disdained ever watching anything on the Fox network, but I find that, no matter my personal dislike for most of the people on the network, I hear more unvarnished truth from them than I do from the MSNBCs of the world. It’s about the only place I can go to hear the truth. Even NPR has let me down!
    I don’t know where all of this is going to end up, but I believe that the era of polite conversation has met it’s messy end and I cannot even discuss Obama with friends who still believe him to be unblemished. I am fast approaching a point where I’m going to foresake a friendship which disallows criticism of Obama in favor of the truth about the fraud.
    Sigh! Such is life! But it has to be a life without Obama in control of any of our lives.

  29. Right on RD, well said!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. Obama doesn’t care particularly about his patrons or what they have him hawking, only himself. He has no problem at all turning on those who have helped him when he deems them no longer useful, but is wounded and vengeful when others act in their own interests.

    Replace Obama with Rhodes — and this is about a character in a novel by Budd Schulberg. His character Rhodes is made up of many characters.

    The point is — that those among us who are AWARE of the world around us and are able to OBSERVE human behavior notice that there are similarities in certain individuals. WE have seen Obama’s type before. His type appears in novels — because the Obama type is ancient — probably as ancient as humans have been living in concentrated numbers.

    The Obama type does not fool us — WE could see him for what he is — and WE KNOW WHAT THE OUTCOME WILL BE.

    As RD says — Obama is NOT a leader.

    The young and the ones who don’t learn from their mistakes will be taken in by the next con man to come along. And they will call us names because we can see that HE is just another con man.

    Good link by the way — I don’t know where it came from — it was sitting there on my tabbed Fox browser.

  31. Unfortunately, some are falling for the new astroturf strategy.

  32. I read this post earlier, I didn’t comment but the words you wrote stayed with me all afternoon. I checked back just now and read most of the newest post:

    Saturday Night Open Thread (Echo Chamber Edition)
    Posted on August 8, 2009 by dakinikat

    And came back down here to say what I have been thinking about. I supported Hillary and was called a racist, I was in Denver with you for the DNC convention. For years I have joined with groups or worked on my own and I have never noticed my efforts having any impact on my representative.

    I went to the tea party in my area because I am concerned about my government incurring generational debt to pay off this years political debts.

    So I am a tea bagger, should I stop coming here to read? Why are you using their labels against me?

    • Betty, RD made it clear that she is not judging all attendees. Also, there are many of us who do not generalize about who is attending Palin rallies, tea parties or health care Town Halls. Both sides are using astroturf techniques to gain political advantage, but we all agree that freedom of expression and the right to protest is a fundamental democratic principle. Personally, I’m disgusted by the faux-outrage about astroturfing and “thug” tactics after what we witnessed from Axelrod and Obama’s minions. I think there are a lot of good people who are frightened and angry, and they have a right to speak up. Obama & Co. only approve of protest if it’s not directed at them.

    • Betty, teabaggee is a term they use for themselves.
      There seems to be a lit of sensitivity on this issue so I will be very clear about tea parties: they are run by GOP groups. Their prime reason for being is to derail any attempt by the Democrats to reintroduce New Deal type of legislation. If you were a Hillary supporter last year, these people are not on your team. They are using your anger at Obama to misdirect you.
      Now, a lot of tea party attendees really are Republican conservatives and racists and anti government program types because they like that worldview and Rush and Glenn. If you go to the rallies, you make these people look like they have a lot of followers and you will be tagged with guilt by association. If you want to be associated with everything that Hillary rejects, by all means, go to the rallies.
      The other option is to say “I reject what the Democrats are doing because it doesn’t reflect what the party is supposed to stand for, what voters voted for or what is good for the citizens of the country because the Obama Era policies reward the wealthy and powerful at the expense of ordinary taxpayers.”.
      That is a completely different message that the Tea Party organizers want to send but it is more consistent with liberal principles.
      I guess what I am trying to say is who you hang out with should reflect your principles.

  33. Did they change the headline on that Krugman piece, because I thought yesterday the header suggested the racist meme more explicitly. In any case, I was surprised and a bit depressed that Paul went there. Well considered assessment is most important precisely when the battle is joined on complex issues as it is now on health reform. Paul usually stands his ground on principle and truthful analysis in these situations. For some reason, he’s opting to play the advocate over the judge in this case. Why become a lobbyist when they are so plentiful. Big let down.

    The name calling of choice from the fauxgressives today is “Medicrazed Teabirthers” or variations to that effect. The aggression is full on. All the more reason Palin should have been smarter about how she phrased her position on this issue. I’m not a down the line Palin supporter and disagree with her on some of her stock-in-trade conservative party positions, but I’d like to see her given a fair chance to develop and refine her political talents – partly because she’s a courageous self-made woman politician, partly because she’s been savaged by the media like Hillary, but mostly because I believe she comes from a genuine and not manufactured place. She may turn out to be just another conservative idealogue, but I’m not entirely convinced of that yet. Nonetheless, her remarks yesterday was hackneyed politicized nonsense. If this is how she plans to navigate, not sure she’ll last long. Either she has the instinct and patience to learn and grow, or she doesn’t. Given the state of our media these days, her path will be steep and narrow with little room for these types of blunders imo.

    • Very interesting comments. I have an interest in Sarah Palin that is similar to yours. I think she is the real deal. Compared to B0, she is authenticity personified. It will be fascinating to see how she develops. Your point about being patient enough to learn and grow is a good one.

      • Um, she seems to be taking the conservative Republican approach to governing. She is going to seem a lot more real to the Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck fans. Are you in that camp? Because I’m not.
        I mean, she’s entitled to run and get the same respect as any male conservative Republican but she’s not going to get my vote.

  34. […] The Confluence: When fooling “enough of the people, most of the time” stops working […]

  35. Propaganda is a vast general term that refers to all means of persuasion, usually convert, and can involve little more than taking advantage of normal human tendencies to reach certain automatic conclusions based on the presentation of information in a certain fashion, usually called “framing.”

    For a good understanding of propaganda theory and it’s techniques I have compiled a collection of 1,126 Quotations on the subject. This is free as a PDF download.

    Propaganda, Persuasion & Deception
    Over 1,100 Selected Quotations for the Ideological Skeptic Compiled by Laird Wilcox. 2005. ISBN 0-9761337-0-9. Approx. 585 kb. Approx. 64,000 words.

    Google the title and you will find it available on the web. Laird Wilcox

  36. Great post Riverdaughter.

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