November 21, 2010

The Tattlesnake – Debunking Five Current Media Myths Edition

“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
– George Bernard Shaw

1. The Republicans are going to end earmarks. Ha, ha! Both parties, but especially the GOP, thrive on earmarks – not only does it bring home the bacon, but it’s a nice covert way to reward their corporate sponsors. The typically devious Republicans, with the help of some Blue Dog Dems in the Senate, are just going to change the name to something like ‘help American families add-ons’ or ‘freedom appropriation inserts’ and continue to happily earmark away.

2. The Republican Party is now strong. Another laugher. The GOP had to rebrand as the ‘new Tea Party GOP’ in 2010 and none of their candidates dared campaign with Junior Bush. In TV ads, many GOP candidates did not even mention they were Republicans. Rand Paul, the only true Teabagger in the Senate, is now making noises like a “go along to get along” guy, and various naïve Teabaggers in the House, like the anti-government-paid health care dimwit who demanded his government-paid health care ahead of schedule, have begun showing their strong streak of stupid, even before January’s official swearing in. Most of us have noticed it’s not the mid-90s anymore, with the booming economy of the Clinton years, except for Republicans like Rep. Darrell Issa. Tying the House up in endless attempts to impeach Obama is not going to endear the GOP to a crumbling nation dealing with what is really the second Great Depression. And some of the Teabaggers may be gravely offended to discover that the GOP has been lying to them. It’s going to be a fractious two years in Congress that won’t come out well for the GOP in 2012.

3. The Republicans have a plan to restore jobs. Related to the item above, and every bit as hilarious, the GOP has nothing except ‘tax cuts’ (spin and repeat, ad nauseum), and that isn’t going to create any jobs except at corporate PR firms trying to peddle the fraud that tax cuts are working to create jobs, and that’s not nearly enough to refloat the fast-sinking economy. As the fading middle-class notices its nails are ripping off trying to hang on to what they have left, brand ‘Tea Party Republican’ will become a political curse as loaded with negative connotations as ‘Communist’ or ‘Cheney’ is today.

4. The Republicans can balance the budget. The GOP hasn’t been able to balance the federal budget since Reagan took office, and without Clinton-inspired tax hikes and a few turns by Big Bill, there wouldn’t have been a surplus in 2000. Since the GOP doesn’t want to end two over-priced wars from which their corporate supporters are getting wealthier, truly reform our wastefully expensive health care system, remove corporate tax loopholes, separate commercial and investment banks, and cut the defense budget drastically, that leaves social spending like Social Security and Medicare on the block. The unvarnished truth: Even if the GOP junked all federal social programs, which they won’t be able to do, they still wouldn’t be able to balance the budget. In fact, with their tax cuts for the wealthy of prime importance, along with preserving corporate tax loopholes, they’ll be adding another trillion dollars to the debt. They’ll remain the ‘put it on the credit card and blame the Democrats’ party they’ve been for 30 years.

5. The Democrats lost because they went too far left. Au contraire, mon frere, as George Carlin used to say. Think of it: In spite of the corporate millions that poured into the Senate race in Nevada, the GOP couldn’t score what should have been an easy victory. In California, progressive and GOP target Barbara Boxer prevailed, and the Tea Party proved its basic worthlessness in the “I’m not a witch” fiasco that was Christine O’Donnell in Delaware. Only in those areas of the country dominated by Fox News and AM radio right-wing talkers, and not much counter-balancing local media, where the Teabaggers could work without serious scrutiny, did they score wins, mostly against Blue Dog Dems. The reason a lot of Dems stayed home in 2010 is that they were tired of voting for progressive Democrats and getting Republican Lite. Obama and the Dems should listen to the wisdom of Harry Truman, a Democrat who prevailed during a bad time for Dems in the late 1940s, “Given the choice between a Republican and a Democrat who acts like a Republican, people will vote for the real Republican every time.”

Obama and the Dems might also heed this advice from Give ‘Em Hell Harry: “Carry the battle to them. Don’t let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don’t ever apologize for anything.”

But let’s not expect too much.

© 2010 RS Janes.


  1. I’d suspect that the vast amounts of secret corporate money the Republicans spent worked better in Congressional rather than Senatorial races. The Senatorial races are “media worthy” and so the advertising has a (pseudo) objective standard to work against. The Congressional races usually are under the radar.

    Additionally the Republicans are much more adept at getting the slogans out. The stimulus plan, the bank bailouts, these were Bush policies. How did they pass them to the Democrats?

    Comment by db — November 21, 2010 @ 4:24 pm

  2. You’re right, db. The Senate races had much more national media coverage than most of the House races, so voters got to see how batty the Teabaggers were and $40-plus million in corpo cash just wasn’t enough to make Sharron Angle look sane. This broke down in just two high-profile races: Russ Feingold in WI and Alan Grayson in FL. In both cases, the GOP spent lavishly on the Republican opponent, and each progressive Dem was targeted for defeat but, for some reason, there wasn’t much national media attention focused on the GOP candidate.

    Also, in California, non-Teabagging Republicans Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina outspent Barbara Boxer and Jerry Brown by wide margins, and Whitman’s TV ads were 24/7 for the last couple of months before the election. How could Republicans who could afford a lot of TV time lose in a state that installed Schwarzenfluffer as governor? I think it was four things: a) The state is just ‘Republicaned out’; b) Whitman’s crappy, self-serving treatment of her Latina housekeeper; c) Fiorina’s condescending ‘just folks’ speech after drinking a shot of tequila at an Hispanic function; d) Jerry Brown’s brilliant last-minute TV ads showing Whitman parroting Ah-nuld word-for-word. (The Obama DeeCee Dems could learn something from Brown’s campaign.)

    How did the TARP bailouts, etc, become Obama’s problem? By the magic of Fox Noose mendacity, mostly.

    Comment by RS Janes — November 22, 2010 @ 4:23 am

  3. Thank you, but I wasn’t just speaking of national media attention. Do you remember the film clips of Sharon Angle literally running away from the Channel 8 Reporter? There is another clip of her answering Channel 8′s questions with “Fire Harry Reid”. Can you see Channel 8 spending such time on Congressional races? This is the local Las Vegas TV station.

    My point then is that the Congressional races are below the media radar, even the local media, and so the “wing-nuttery” of the Republican Candidates will not be noticed in their barrage of positive advertisements.

    How do we fight that? Are we doomed to ever more “Republi-Corp” Congressmen?

    What does it say about America & Americans when you can assert that Fox has mis-informed a significant proportion of the voters?

    Comment by db — November 22, 2010 @ 7:26 am

  4. We agree, db, but I saw the Channel 8 clips on MSNBC, a national cable network. Also saw the clips of John Ralston on same, a local Las Vegas reporter who interviewed Sharron Angle.

    We agree on this, too: “My point then is that the Congressional races are below the media radar, even the local media, and so the “wing-nuttery” of the Republican Candidates will not be noticed in their barrage of positive advertisements.”

    As I wrote longwindedly in my piece: “Only in those areas of the country dominated by Fox News and AM radio right-wing talkers, and not much counter-balancing local media, where the Teabaggers could work without serious scrutiny, did they score wins, mostly against Blue Dog Dems.”

    How do we fight back? That’s a good quesrion, but I think after a year of the GOP running things even further into the ground, we won’t have to fight much; like Junior’s sliding polls, it will become obvious to the majority that what they are hearing from the Right-Wing Noisemakers doesn’t comport with their miserable Depression-era reality. I think Obama might lose next time around if he ‘stays the course’ of weak ‘bipartisan’ caving to the GOP he’s been on, but so will the GOP and the Blue Dogs Dems, mayhap opening up the field for real progressives and even true conservatives to take office.

    Perhaps we’ll actually get change we can believe in, but not in the way Obama intended.

    Comment by RS Janes — November 23, 2010 @ 7:35 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress