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07 September 2008

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JohnH

This is part of an effort to shield Palin and avoid discussion of the issues facing the country. Any questioning will be portrayed as liberal media bias.

They need to do attack the messenger because Palin has no understanding of domestic or international politics and McCain does not want to talk about them. Until she has a solid familiarity with the issues and McCain can portray Bush's policies as "change," they have to cow the media or make them the issue.

J

Colonel,

there is turmoil in the republican base, with mccain and now with palin. while the rnc tries to put lipstick on the pig (so-to-speak) and paint the picture that all is roses within the republican camp, reality speaks otherwise.

JerseyJeffersonian

I for one am not at all surprised by this. It is just the logical extension of the Republican refusal to permit ANY inquiry into the deeds of the Decider, the Dick, or any of their minions. Years of stonewalling of such inquiry when control of committee chairs was held by the Republicans followed by further years of refusals to comply with Congressional subpoenas when the control of the legislative committees had passed to the Democrats should have made it abundantly clear that the caudillo feels himself to be above questioning. When the legislature was Republican-controlled, this belief was easier to disguise. When the control of the legislature shifted to the Democrats, the veil began to be drawn aside. With this attack on the right (and indeed, duty, long neglected as it might be...) of the press to act as our proxies to ferret out answers to vital questions concerning governance and public policy, the truth stands naked for all to view: the Unitary Executive theory culminates in the coronation of a King, unanswerable to his subjects. And this even applies to the heir apparent, so long as he is the REPUBLICAN pretender to the throne.

Will it work? The groundwork has been laid for years with the constant yammering about the persistent "liberal bias" of the press. The press , for its part, compliantly consented to become an echo chamber for the party of the screamers, uncritically parroting the talking points and ritualistically mocking the opposition. And with the consolidation of the media further and further into the hands of large corporations, deeply vested in the perpetuation of the right wing vision of the nation, the independence of journalists has been progressively undermined; who wants to be the one to go against the interests of Jack Welch, eh? And what about self-identified right wing owners such as Murdoch and their "news" organizations? No, they have been whipped into line to a substantial degree. No wonder the Republicans are acting with such venom to the possibility of real journalists exercising their responsibilities. These people were bought and paid for, and now they won't stay bought? Who dares to question the Mighty Oz? So of course they fall back to their default position, deeply woven into the country's subconscious, that the media are tantamount to a bunch of communist subversives, out to kneecap the right-thinking patriots of the only red-blooded political party.

Nice.

There's an opportunity for the Democrats to connect the dots and establish for all to see that what the Republicans want is an unquestioned monarchy. Do they have the stones to do it? Well?

David J

John McCain Campaign Manager Rick Davis:

"This election is not about issues. This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUYSwqI2sZ0

dcgaffer

Davis et al, are simultaneously lowering the bar, and setting up a huge media event whereby she'll come out triumphant - or a martyr.

Will it work? Not sure but I think Biden has figured it out. Jab with a faux compliment, "she's a gifted politician", right cross with, "its the economy, stupid."

If the Dems are playing defense, they are losing.

See also:

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/09/06/carney/index.html

Charles I

What else is new.

The right, righteously religious, responds to anything questioning its legitimacy with loud and shrill wails of shocked indignation that any one would impugn so much as a finger nail clipping of one of its cognoscenti, so that issues and the ludicrous positions of the candidates themselves, similarly armored against debate by indignant claims of personal attack, can be positioned as sacrosanct manifestations of the common moral good, whom only the most churlish, nearly blasphemous cretin would question. How dare you, sir, blah, blah, blah.

It works. Wreck the debate, and then squeal indignantly, and you use up airtime, and generate a nice sound bite of shocked rectitude. This is how you got here - bankrupt and at war, with your ruling party now firing up a culture war at home, framed as the good old salt-of-the-earth hoi polloi against the Uppities, to install another judgmental religious whacko in the White House.

The same tactics, by the same kind of shrivelled political souls, are attempting the same right now in Canada.

It is sickening too watch, and scary too.

Cold War Zoomie

Are they going to succeed in putting McCain in the White House as a kind of interim figure using this approach?

There's a very good chance as far as I'm concerned. She has energized the base and now her liabilities are being minimized. And she won't be draining campaign resources to shore her up. I should have seen this coming.

The Dems could use this as an opening to define her as weak and scared. But they don't know how to play that game, so they'll punt.

McCain will lose if external forces beyond either campaign's control render his tactics useless.

lina

Another way of putting it would be:

Gov. Palin can dish it out - but she can't take it.

ked

no big deal, really... part of the McCain Change is to add "cranky!" to the personality module of the GOP's right wing... not much of a stretch.

Homer

This is palpably absurd ....

Palin has no right to say what she wants: She has to read from Davis' script in order to talk about her own life?

Davis makes Palin's so called personal life the reason why Americans should vote for her, but then excoriates the left-wing media (Faux News??) for wanting to ask questions in real time about her personal life and about her political views?

ROTFLMAOL!!

Perfect example of the Noonian "political bullshit about narratives" and the absolute necessity of absolute control!!!


condfusedponderer

I see that hostility as a consequence of Palin being a hasty choice.

Point is, she isn't prepared, and I agree with JohnH, they want to shield her, until her handlers put her through their GOP VP candidate boot camp, which predictably will include neo-cons lecturing her about 'foreign policy'. That means the lesson will be short. Samantha">http://www.nybooks.com/articles/21670">Samantha Power puts it well:

One cannot coexist with evil-doers, who are irreparably “fallen,” and thus rollback is required. Negotiation is not merely pointless, it is costly “appeasement.” And the United States should participate in only those international institutions that are servants of American power; those that constrain American power are enemies of the national interest.

That said, the GOP protecting Palin is my conservative reading. If there is indeed a falling apart of the relationship between the McCain campaign and the conservative media that would be an intriguing development.

Clifford Kiracofe

1. This relates to the campaign strategy of painting an "us" versus "them" situation. Evil "liberals" versus good "conservatives."

This is based on the tried and true Lee Atwater strategy of creating what he termed a "populist" approach pitting mystical-nationalists against "liberals." Deeper code for liberals in Fundamentalist circles is "secular humanists." This takes one into the "culture wars" thing.

The Fundamentalist subculture is already into this and it resonates. It resonates with those (Fundamentalist or more secular) who listen to the right wing shock jock radio guys and watch FOX and etc.

2. "McCain quickly installed Rick Davis, the campaign's chief executive, as the new manager and vowed to press forward despite months of disappointing news. Davis long had sparred with Nelson, Weaver and Mark Salter, one of McCain's closest confidants, over operations. Salter will continue in his role as an unpaid senior adviser."

3. The background is to the 1980s and the political consulting firm of Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelley. Atwater was a senior partner. Rove was Atwater's protege.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black,_Manafort,_Stone_and_Kelly

4. The political trick with the Fundamentalist subculture issue is to signal to them you want their support and will do what is needed; but signal in such a way as to not alarm the slumbering public. Thus Palin "hockey mom" image rather than the hardline Fundamentalist she in fact is. But the cat is getting out of the bag as the NPR show on Palin Friday evening indicates.

5. For some basics on the theocratic dimension note the Wiki entry for "Dominionism."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominionism

For more detail and context in American national politics see, for example, Kevin Phillips' book "American Theocracy."

Someone made a curt comment in one of these threads in the last couple of days to the effect that some SST readers needed to look up "theocratic" in the dictionary. I would suggest to him to do a little background reading himself.

shepherd

From a purely tactical standpoint, I don't think this is a bad idea for the McCain people. I'm not sure Ms. Palin is ready to go one on one with the press.

Today, she commented on the Fannie and Freddie takeover by saying,

“They’ve gotten too big and too expensive to taxpayers. The McCain-Palin administration will make them smaller and smarter and more effective for homeowners who need help.”

This is a minor point, but she seems to think that Fannie and Freddie are big government bureaucracies, supported by taxpayer dollars. According to her philosophy, the answer is to make them smaller and better. The problem is that they're not government agencies (they're publicly traded corporations) and until the collapse, they didn't cost American taxpayers anything.

This is not a big deal, but it does point to the danger of putting her on the hot seat. For now.

Duncan Kinder

News flash! In a sudden flip flop, now Palin will offer an interview with ABC's Charles Gibson.

I will remind everyone of Gibson and Stephanopolus' aggressive interview of Obama before the Pennsylvanioa primary.

Everyone should contact Gibson to inform him that he is expected to be no less aggressive with Palin.

Stephen Calhoun

What Palin said about the Fannie/Freddie takeover made my mouth drop. But, this isn't surprising!

Culture war for sure, but the Republicans have been melding the southern strategy with running against the hippy sixties since before it was 'morning in America.' Now it's taken the cast of small town gunners vs. cosmopolitan sippers.

Most voters have decided. Because there is such a huge difference between policy positions, I doubt many of the undecideds are hung up on parsing policies. X factor is new voters.

It makes sense to run against all media and keep Mrs. Palin sheltered away until the programming is complete and tested. The Republicans lose on issues, but isn't Palin turning out to be a real 'mayberry machiavelle?'

Bobo

Looks like the suspense is over as Palin will do an interview with ABC this week. The same station as Obama's interview today where he made his biggest Freudian slip. Fortunately George S. assisted in allowing Obama to move through it with ease.

As to the objective views of our media, we as nation should take them to the woodshed, and get them to give us honest analysis versus the partisan crap they spew out today.

Lynne

I am beginning to believe that many Americans want an unquestioned monarchy for their government. This election is starting to look like a repeat of 2004. Who cares about the war, the economy, health care, education, abuse of power, proper care of veterans, etc. Mr. Davis stated that this election is not about issues. The Democrats should hit hard but I fear the party will still be labeled elitist and too intellectual. Tucker Eskew destroyed McCain in 2000 and is in a position to win round two.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and will never be." - Thomas Jefferson

harper

One person who is playing the current presidential race for a win-win is the mega-speculator George Soros, who was a big financier of all the rainbow revolutions in the East, including his prize Mikhael Saakashvili of recent Georgia infamy. Soros seems to be running his own blue-red revolution in the U.S.A., having been the biggest and earliest financial backer of Barack Obama's rise to fame, having literally bought the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee for Howard Dean, and using his clandestine Democracy Alliance group of billionaire investors to assure that the money keeps flowing into Obama's purse for November. Soros money was crucial in the defeat of Hillary Clinton, along with the unconscionable errors by her own campaign team early on.

But Soros has also been a major financier of Team McCain. Soros put at least $18 million into the Reform Institute, cited above by Col. Lang in his remarks on Rick Davis. Those big bucks salaries that Davis hauled in at the Reform Institute came largely from Soros' Open Society Institute. Soros was the biggest financier of McCain-Feingold--through donations to Reform Institute, and his tax exempt dollars have continued to flow into Davis' pocket. Just to make the point that this was not just a single-issue merger of interests, the other key McCain advisor, and leading neocon, Randy Scheunemann, has also been a big beneficiary of Soros largess. He was on the payroll of Soros' Open Society Institute of Georgia for at least three years, leading up the Saakashvili election, when Scheunemann was just hired outright to lobby for the Geogian government. So, there are some top McCain aides who will be grateful to Soros if their guy wins in November. Either way, Soros won't have trouble accessing the Lincoln Bedroom--if he decides to slum it.

And by the way, the whole notion that Soros and the neocons are at war is further dispelled by the fact that, once Bush and Cheney won reelection in 2004, Soros sicked his MoveOn.org crew on Halliburton--just enough to drive share prices down from $40 a share to $26. Then Soros bought $40 million worth of Halliburton stock, ordered MoveOn to move on to other dastardly targets, and made a killing when Halliburton stock soared back up to $50 a share.

John Howley

Not a bad strategy if they want to win. It is an update on Nixon's strategy. Remember the "nattering nabobs of negativity?"

So the Republicans have come out swinging. What amazes me is that so many Democrats are still surprised that the R's don't abide by the Marquis of Queensbury.

And the media say: "Why is everybody picking on me?"

The mainstream media has destroyed its own credibility in at least two ways:

(1) Without the ACTIVE collaboration of the WaPo, NYT, et al, the disaster in Iraq would not have been possible.

(2) As editors and news anchors move up the economic ladder, they devote less and less time to issues that concern the majority of Americans whose real incomes have been declining since 1973.

Indeed, I have detected not a little skepticism if not hostility towards the "MSM" right here at SST in recent years.

I don't have a problem with media-bashing. I do have a problem with claiming that the media is biased AGAINST Republicans when they have done nothing but cover Bush's criminal a** for the past eight years.

Grumpy

Col., as I look at this, I hear two words, "Trust" and "Change". Funny, isn't it, if you look at both parties are using the same themes. Ronald Reagan had an interesting concept, "Trust, BUT VERIFY." Change, does this mean change is always for the better? Could it even mean exponentially worse? If you look at all of them, they are all trying to be "mavericks." How would you like to lead a group of "mavericks" on your mission? On your mission, you set the goals and objectives, where is his/her heart? All good leaders come from good followers, FIRST.

V/R
Grumpy

alnval

Col. Lang:

Jay Carney, Time’s Washington bureau chief, in his Swampland post - Why It Matters 9-5-08 - cites David Frum as also objecting to Rick Davis isolating Governor Palin from the press. Frum posts regularly at National Review Online. Carney’s interaction with Nicole Wallace while on Morning Joe helped trigger her onslaught against the media’s right to question Governor Palin. .

Carney writes:

“David Frum, conservative author and former Bush speechwriter, weighs in over at NRO on the question of why we should care whether or not Sarah Palin should be subjected to taking questions from the press. His answer: it was the same contempt for elites, both in the media and more broadly, that caused the Bush communications effort to fail after the president's post-9/11 popularity began to erode. Political operatives love to talk about circumventing the media and other co-called "elites" -- i.e., independent specialists, observers and thinkers. The operatives convince themselves they can take their candidate's message directly to the people -- on their terms, without all that poking and prodding and skepticism. That's propaganda. In a democratic society, it rarely works for long.”

Certainly, over the last seven years, Bush has tried to belittle, browbeat and co-opt the media by using national security as the rationale. Some would say that he has been successful. Moreover, Bush and his cohorts have created and fostered an atmosphere of disdain for opposing points of view by ensuring, for example, that only members of the public who agree with the president are permitted to attend his public appearances, by creating ‘free speech zones’ and the like. Karl Rove really did intend to create a single party which could rule over the country for one hundred years.

The Republicans have every reason to believe that their prior political success can be laid at the doorstep of their ability to intimidate others and most certainly the press. Why else would they think now that they would not be successful if they again blamed the media elite for trying to deny the American people access to the truth? After all, as we have heard recently from Schlafly, Viguerie, Dobson, et al, their version of truth hasn’t changed that much. Their truth is a religious ideology that too many Americans, despite our pluralistic society and our constitution, have come to believe should be forced on all of us.

Can they win by doing this? You bet they can. Can they do it? Absolutely.

Grumpy

One last point, it could be very reasonable for us to find a REAL leader. He/she must be transparent. Leader, Tell us the HOW do you plan to accomplish your goals. If each of your staff's or surrogates' views and past laid absolutely naked before the American Electorate,would you or your policies have a problem? We may need to be getting back to the needs of the American people, FIRST.

V/R
Grumpy

VietnamVet

Colonel

Corporate media and the Democrats sure don’t like to talk about religion. Ranging from “kill the bastards” to never making an error, the Decider is the elitist version of the late in life born again true believer. Sarah Palin is the real thing. She believes in the Rapture. She believes that science and evolution are bunch of hooey.

Do we really want evangelist who believes she will be chosen at the End of Time to have her finger on the red button?

I sure don’t. The Republicans will do anything to assure that electorate does not comprehend that the fate of the USA is dependent on this election.

Cieran

Great opening for the democrats, if they care to take it...

If the GOP wants to hide its candidates from the press, then since nature abhors an (information) vacuum, all the Dems have to do is fill it, with their framing of the issues.

Palin's religion is a great starting point -- she belongs to a sect that is itching to start WWIII based on little more than a collective misreading of margin notes in Cyrus Scofield's study bible. Her utter cluelessness on finance (she left her mayorship after creating a huge deficit in city finances) is another. While she's hiding from the press, the Dems should be telling these stories, early and often. Duh!

McCain is getting increasingly testy in the press, so he's fair game, too. If the GOP candidates don't want to come out and play, then let the political games begin without them. Let's see how long they prefer to forfeit their chance to define the messages for this election.

The big question is this: will the Dems choose to exploit this vacuum? They keep insisting on using the Marquis of Queensbury rules even tho they're in a knife fight in a dark alley. What does it take to revive their killer instincts? Do they even have any?

wisedup

there is absolutely no downside to the Repugs trashing Fox-- what is Fox going to do? Turn liberal?
This is how all Facist movements start -- a race for the bottom. Clinton BTW, did absolutely nothing to counter the damage done to body politic by Regan's administration. Obama would have to win big (>60%) to have any chance of turning things around. Look for massive voting fraud this time, more scenes of the Gucchi lawyers in Miami halting the recount.

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