NOVEMBER, 17 - Once again, it’s
time for the typical addict/abuser defense.
The problem is not that the person – in
this case, President Bush – lies constantly. Nope, couldn’t be
that. The problem isn’t that he has straight out robbed the
national coffers, handing it all to his buddies and leaving the
nation in massive debt. Uh, uh, not that. The problem isn’t that
he lied to lead us to war, failed miserably in building a coalition
– even worse, pretended we had a massive “coalition of the willing”
when we had none – and had no plan for securing the peace, leaving
our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters standing out in a
sweltering desert with no real mission, sitting ducks getting picked
off one, then two, then seventeen a day.
No, none of these things are the
problem. The problem, according to President Bush, the Republican
party, and their ballless media clone army is that people are upset
We know for a fact the two biggest
leaders of the Bush/Limbaughian movement – indeed, the movement’s
two namesakes – are admitted addicts, one an alcoholic (and possibly
coke addict,) the other a heroin-like Oxycontin addict.
So it is no surprise they act like
abusive, chronically dishonest pieces of scum. The shock, however,
is that they have come to define the M.O. for one of the nation’s
two biggest national parties.
But that’s how it is, and so, here we go
again with the abusive/addict attack model, which, this week, has
been unveiled as the plan of attack and defense for the Bush
As reported by Jim Morrill in the Charlotte Observer, "In a memo to GOP leaders (dated Oct. 27,) (Republican National Committee Chairman Ed) Gillespie urged them to depict Democrats as a party of "protest, pessimism and political hate speech." The memo said, "The presidential candidates have now called President Bush a `miserable failure,' a `liar,' compared him to a `gang leader' and to Saddam Hussein himself... We are a nation at war and they think the President of the United States is `the enemy.' "
And the Republicans and their pet - the media they own and operate - wasted no time in obeying orders. As reported by David Kusnet in Salon:
"Last month, in response to a razzing by a heckler, Florida Gov. Jeb
Bush called Dean the candidate for 'hot, angry people that aren't
rational and are screaming and hollering.' Over the summer, the
Weekly Standard did a cover story about Bush hatred, titled 'The
Democrats Go Off the Cliff,' while conservative columnists from the
New York Times' David Brooks to the Washington Times' David Limbaugh
warned that the Democrats are too nasty when it comes to Bush.”
This is the line of lockstep, stupid
talk you will be hearing from now until the next election. He
steals your money, than says to others, “See, look what an angry man
he is.” He kicks your dog, crashes your car, then says, “Listen to
the horrible names he calls me, see what a bad man he is?” He lies
to you one more time and then, when you call him out on it, says
threateningly, “Are you calling me a liar?” his voice raising
Now, this should be an easy strategy to
counter for the Democrats. For one thing, the strategy has been
unveiled so early and obviously that the Dem hopefuls each have
plenty of opportunity to sit back and craft a response.
Secondly, the strategy is so weak,
juvenile, and pathetic that it would be an easy one to make fun of
and to highlight how amoral (and abusive addict-like) Bush and his
For starters, all one has to do is line
up the lies – which are so numerous and easily documentable – read
them off plainly before the nation, and point out that anyone who is
not angered by the lies and the destruction they have wrought
clearly does not care about America. Lying and saying we wouldn’t
have debts if we pass his tax cut, lying and saying we had a large
“coalition of the willing” and weren’t sending our sons and
daughters out alone, lying and saying we had to go to war now
because WMD's were about to be used, and these are just the massive
ones. Americorps, Even Start, Hope VI, Headstart, example after
example with inescapable quotes showing the President lied, saying
one thing then doing the opposite.
But really, the best way to easily
destroy this strategy is to simply point out the reality – that
President Bush and his administration are the most hate spewing,
name calling, epithet uttering, angry group of partisans to ever
infest this nation – by linking the President to his cronies. We
all know the game, the President lets talk radio, Republican
operatives, newspapers, TV commentators, etc. do the nastiness for
him and meanwhile pretends to just be nice, charming, and above it
all. Nothing to do with him.
The Democrats all know this is a lie,
and can easily make the case. By lining up a list of hateful
comments by AM’ers (“Democrats would love Arnold is he was sleeping
with little boys,” or, “Democratic elected officials are highly
responsible for the fires burning here in LA”) and shoving them in
President Bush’s face, demanding he condemn the commentaries, you
ruin the game. You show these quotes, then point out the President
sends his people on these shows, and so publicly challenge him. We
have seen repeatedly that this works: when Michael Savage was seen
by the public on an MSNBC-TV talk show he was given, he didn’t last
a month, Rush Limbaugh had the same fate on ESPN.
Well, why let them get away with hiding
on AM. Even more to the point, why let the President get away with
using them while assailing the Democrats as hateful and angry.
Simply point out the obvious, inescapable link between the hate-talk
liars and President Bush – and publicly call him out to condemn the
Limbaughs and Savages and Elders. If he does it, he hurts his
standing with his own base and weakens one of his strongest tools.
If he doesn’t, the public get to see what he really is and really is
about and how his campaign really operates.
This could not be a one time thing.
Throughout the campaign – just like the President does everything
possible to avoid a polite discussion of the issues – attack him
with quote after quote from his hate-talk legions, keeping him on
the constant defensive, keeping the veil off of his thinly hidden
hate and lie tactics.
This is what any useful candidate would
Howard Dean is the most assailed as
unelectable because he is too angry. In reality, his anger is not
1/10th that of the President and his legions.
Straight-talking Dean might be the only candidate astute enough to
link the President and Rush Limbaugh throughout the campaign and put
the President on the defensive – indeed, Dean made this linkage
during the last debate.
Gephardt won’t, that is clear. Clark
may, that remains to be seen. Kerry seems unlikely to do it, but
with Kennedy’s chief of staff now on his team, it may be possible.
Edwards? Of course not.
But, it remains to be seen. What
Democrats fear most is another voiceless, all defense and no
offense, strategiless campaign. Is there one in their midst who
will acknowledge and deal with the abusive/addict line of defense
the Bushies have been using since day one?