Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The subtle and not-so-subtle art of propaganda.

I've written this blog for 3 1/2 years and along the way I've said some things that were intemperate, ill-considered and sometimes (gasp) even wrong.

So I must confess that I've also been inconsistent. I've said that William Kristol, number one Palin fan, Washington Post columnist and editor of the conservative Weekly Standard, was the Wrongest Man in America.

I've also said that David Brooks, New York Times columnist and frequent televised talking head, was King of Wrong.

Obviously, they both can't be. One of them has to take the silver.

The latest evidence? An appearance by David Brooks on Meet the Press where he was asked about Obama's efforts to reform America's health plan and shown Rush Limbaugh comparing Nancy Pelosi to Hitler. Here's what he said:

"I hadn't seen the Rush Limbaugh thing. That is insane. What he's saying is insane.

But I guess I would say the, the first thing is it has been a conventional wisdom among the smartest people in Washington that this is such a tough issue you got to do it on a bipartisan basis. And the Obama administration, for better or worse, decided not to do that.

There was a thing called the Wyden-Bennett bill that really could have launched a bipartisan, so leaders of both parties could have gone out to these town meetings. They didn't do it, they chose more or less a Democratic plan and now all hell is breaking loose. And we are now--and it's not just the crazies, among whom we just saw some."

Ah, calm, rational David Brooks. Did you see what he did there? He pirouetted away from the ravings of Limbaugh, making Brooks seem sane, and then he laid the crazy mob behavior of Limbaugh's followers on Obama's doorstep because Obama wasn't bipartisan. Then he said that it wasn't just the crazies who opposed the bill, making the crazy people seem sane.

Wow, that is some fancy footwork there - People are going insane because Obama isn't bipartisan and that makes going insane a sane thing to do.


First, let's take a look at this bipartisan Wyden-Bennett bill. It's complicated, as any bill that hopes to fix this train wreck will be, but it looks like it has some merit. You can see a summary of it from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities here.

This is the bill that Mr. Brooks says, if only Obama had backed this, everything would be all sweetness and light with calm people debating calmly in an atmosphere of calm.

Uh, not according to the right-wing Heritage Foundation who cautioned Republicans from backing the bill. They didn't advocate going crazy, but that's not what Heritage Foundation people do. It would muss their hair.

No, the Heritage Foundation counts on crazy people like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh to incite the masses.

And David Brooks' call for bipartisanship? Someone should remind him of how Grover Norquist, DC mover and shaker and College Republican pal of Karl Rove, defined it.

"We are trying to change the tones in the state capitals -- and turn them toward bitter nastiness and partisanship," he told
the Denver Post. "Bipartisanship is another name for date rape."

And we all know how eagerly the Republicans have worked with Obama to solve America's problems.

Bipartisanship, my ass.

So, I could say David Brooks is wrong, earning him a point in his contest with Kristol, but I think David Brooks knows exactly what he's doing. So he's not wrong, he's just dishonest.

Leaving Bill Kristol, his heart still going pitty-pat for la femme Palin, even as she goes completely off the rails, holding the King of Wrong crown.

Bill Kristol, still the Wrongest Man in America.


Charlieopera said...

60 Dems v. 40 Reps = no need for bipartisanship.

Steamroll that baby (healthcare reform) and please don't let them water it down so it means essentially nothing ... or deal with the consequences of coming up empty for those who voted you in (while coming up big for Wall Street, the healthcare industry, etc.).

And get us out of those wars (which are for exactly what at this point)?

And/or offer gays the same equal rights the rest of us have.

Just CHANGE SOMETHING already because so far all I'm seeing is a lot of talk and very little action.

Need funding for 46 million Americans without insurance? How about getting us out of Iraq (you know, the "wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time") sooner than 1 year before the next presidential election (or was that time frame just coincidence)?

David Terrenoire said...

Wow, Charlie, you and I agree.

Charlieopera said...

Oooops, then I MUST redact ...

Seriously, he needs to either grow or show a pair with his own party and start hanging those blue dogs out to dry. I mean, WTF. Who cares if they lose their seats so long as they vote with Republicans?

Gary M said...

I am as surprised as you, Dave-I agree with Charlie, too. I've been yelling for a while now for Obama to grow a pair and throw this bipartisan bullshit in the can where it belongs.

It is not the place of the dominant party in any arena to give ground.

Fuck 'em. Steamroller, baby...

Charlieopera said...

People agreeing with me? This can't be. Both of yous should seek counseling fast.

Obama should be out there leading the charge (campaign all over again if he has to). He needs to get down and dirty; whatever it takes. Fuck the blue dogs and the Republicans.

If he doesn't, he's just another suit.