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AdLib On March - 24 - 2010


Come November, the Republican Party may need to change their mascot from the elephant to the lemming.

In the aftermath of Scott Brown’s upset election in January, the GOP redoubled their bets on the failure of Health Care Reform. As they had for the last year, they showed no hesitation or remorse in spouting outrageous lies to frighten the public, incite hatred and caricature Pres. Obama as a socialist who is bent on destroying America by turning it into the USSR…and is also Hitler, the Antichrist, Dr. Evil and an arugula farmer all rolled into one.

It was and continues to be a scorched earth campaign to destroy Americans’ belief in their democracy, their government and the concept of doing what’s right for our entire society  instead of “me”. But this strategy may already be backfiring once their Sherman’s March across the soul of America ran into the month of March.

Sen. DeMint was the first to connect “Waterloo” with trying to pass HCR, towards Pres. Obama of course. It would be ironic if it did indeed turn out to be the GOP’s Waterloo. Negative campaigning has historically proven to  be effective in the short term but can boomerang in the long run. The public can be stirred into fear, resentment and/or hatred far too easily as a kneejerk reaction to negative campaigning. Emotion trumps reason for many in the immediacy of the moment. However, as time passes, emotion wanes. The public which has been whipped up to feel negative emotions by politicians…can start to associate those feelings with the source of them and feel greater distaste towards those politicians  than their targets.

Aiding this is the debunking of the terrible, trumped up accusations that the passage of time can expose. When the sky doesn’t fall and we don’t have our guns taken away on our way to government work camps after being taught our new official language of Russian…at least some will begin to recognize that they’ve been a sheep in lemming’s clothing.

Let’s take a look at where public opinion is today, after passage of HCR per Gallup:

http://www.gallup.com/poll/126959/Majority-Poor-Young-Uninsured-Back-Healthcare-Bill.aspx

Hmm…what was the hue and cry of Republicans over the last week? Listen to the majority and follow their wishes or you undermine our democracy. So, now that a greater number favor HCR, does that mean we can expect John Boehner to start crying in regret at opposing HCR? I wouldn’t bet my tanning bed on it.

What’s interesting about the above poll is that the main demographic that is opposed to HCR is that of Senior Citizens. This seems to be very intuitive. No offense to Granny but she is likely still trembling a bit about that death panel that’s coming for her. It is well established that Seniors are the biggest target for scammers, they are naturally easier to scare, intimidate, convince and manipulate.  So,  it would seem that the above poll is actually good news for Pres. Obama and Dems and bad news for the GOP.

At a time when they’ve thrown all the fear and hatred they could at HCR, most favor it. And the biggest demo opposing it who we know can be easier to convince, will soon get $250 checks, drug payment donut holes closed and health care guaranteed for all of their grandchildren and in 4 years, all of their children too. They’re going to vote in November for Repubs who want to take that away from them?

By the time November rolls around, will the emotions and the lies surrounding HCR  still be as resonant with the majority of the public or will they have moved on? With the short attention span of today’s MSM and society, will an 8 month old bill be on the front burner still? Nothing else like the economy, jobs or anything that pops up in the meantime might get the focus? And in the end, might not people simply come to accept and appreciate HCR even more once they personally experience the benefits and protections and/or the lack of terrible things that the GOP insisted would occur?

Yes, the GOP will keep beating that nasty drum from now until then but instead of marching to the beat, might not Seniors just begin to complain about all that racket? Especially after buying that new box of hard candy they can afford since they are saving a fortune with the donut hole being mostly closed.

And where will that leave the GOP, the party of “hell” and “no”? As is typical, the party out of power is likely to pick up some seats in Nov. The GOP will doubtlessly claim a landslide mandate no matter how common the number of the pickup is. In truth though, given a near-depression, rampant home foreclosures and job losses and a dishonestly vicious campaign against the Dems and Pres. Obama, if the Repubs’ pickup is unremarkable for an off year election, will they not have lost hugely?

After all that’s transpired, if the best the GOP can do in Nov is perform typically, they will have sacrificed their identity and whatever moderates would have considered them worthy of leading the nation in a futile, self-destructive (and intended to be destructive to the nation and or democracy) campaign.

Instead of this mutated GOP succeeding in a scorched earth campaign, they may instead be marching like flaming lemmings right off the edge of the political cliff.

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

24 Responses so far.

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  1. AdLib says:

    Looks like Pres. Obama feels similarly. From the AP:

    President Barack Obama mocked Republicans’ campaign to try to repeal his new health care law, saying Thursday they should “Go for it” and see how well they fare with voters.

    “Be my guest,” Obama said in prepared remarks for the first of many appearances around the country to sell the overhaul to voters before the fall congressional elections. “I welcome that fight. Because I don’t believe the American people are going to put the insurance industry back in the driver’s seat.”

    The White House suggests it has the upper hand against Republicans politically, arguing the GOP risks a voter backlash because a repeal would take away from small businesses and individuals the benefits provided to them immediately under the new law.

    “We’ve been there already and we’re not going back,” Obama said.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100325/ap_on_re_us/us_obama

  2. kesmarn says:

    I come to confession on this subject, fellow Planet Church members, seeking absolution…
    You see, I may have violated my professional ethics just a teeeensy bit. Over the last couple days at work, naturally, the passage of HCR came up. And, inevitably, patients asked me whether I thought it was a good thing or not.

    Well, we’re not really supposed to get into religion or politics as nurses, because--of course--we hold the keys to the box that contains the morphine and oxycontin and that tends to make the power balance appear a bit lopsided. Go figure.

    But I did allow myself to say that, after years of seeing people come in through the ER, having gone without necessary meds, preventive care or much needed diagnostic tests, after having seen the disastrous results of all that deprivation, due to lack of insurance coverage, I had every hope that things could only get better.

    Because they could hardly have gotten worse.

    Mostly--you’re right, AdLib--it has been the older patients who’ve been the most scared. I’ve tried to reassure them that, from what we know now, nothing will be taken away from them (except the blasted donut hole). They still seem a little sceptical.

    Do you think I “done right”?

    • AdLib says:

      I agree with Cher, it would be less ethical to allow seniors to live in fear and raise their blood pressure believing a cynical lie.

      The truth doesn’t belong to any political party, it is apolitical.

      Sharing indisputable facts that can make others breathe easier is respect, not proselytizing.

      Ya done good!

      Certainly, if the person’s response was to want to dispute the truth instead of seek the truth, I would have let it go, allowing them to live under the fallacies they feel they need to believe in.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      You did right! You simply stated the facts. And even of you had said that you hoped more people had access to health insurance, I see no problem with that. Also, reassuring seniors is healing!

      • kesmarn says:

        Thanks, Cher. It’s a delicate relationship, this patient-caregiver thing, and the last thing you want to do is bully, even subtly.

    • Kalima says:

      You told the truth when another human being asked you a question, I see nothing wrong in that. It wasn’t a sin so you don’t have to confess.

      Go in peace my child. :)

  3. escribacat says:

    One thing about the rightwingers — they know their audience. They don’t feel obligated to stick to the facts, tell the truth, or explain an issue. They know that they should pick the most incendiary terms and images they can find, and keep pounding those images into the mushy little noggins of the folks listening to them. That’s how Glenn Beck operates. He pretends to be some sort of professor with his chalkboard, but he is just a simplistic propagandist whose real message is fear and outrage and not so veiled suggestions to “pick up a gun.”

  4. KQuark says:

    Just keep in mind people will vote in large part not based on what Dems have done and Repugs have not done but what economic conditions are at the time in the country. People vote their pocketbooks and if things don’t improve dramatically Dems are going to lose a fair number of seats. But that’s just another reason why Republicans are so stupid to campaign on just turning back the clock. They should be campaigning on the future based on the current economic situation.

  5. PatsyT says:

    I don’t buy any of the rhetoric they put out there
    That the Dems will lose so many seats
    because the party of the president always loses seats in the midterms.
    Or that the dems will lose seats because
    they did not listen to the American People.
    Or any of the rest of their BS
    I think they have totally underestimated Obama
    and the power of the people
    I was wondering if anyone had the figures on
    how much the opposition to health care spent trying to defeat it?
    I am thinking it’s a case of David and Goliath

    • nellie says:

      The insurance lobbies spent $1.4 MILLION PER DAY to defeat health care.

      So perhaps those shiny corporate ads won’t be the last word after all.

    • nellie says:

      Unfortunately, they don’t need to be intelligent. They don’t need to know how to compose a cogent message. Focus groups and Frank Luntz and advertising agencies and loads and loads of corporate dollars will create shiny campaign slogans and ads for them — thanks to the SCOTUS.

      The electorate needs to get a whole lot more sophisticated before November.

  6. Khirad says:

    You mean people my age aren’t selfish pricks, and overwhelmingly agree this bill was a good thing?

    Well, that’s not what the trolls said! 😆

  7. KQuark says:

    Excellent post Adlib. I was working on similar article but you beat me to it.

    I was going to use Stalingrad as my metaphor because the GOP is acting like Hitler and telling General Paulus to fight to the last man when the battle is already lost. In that case General Paulus surrendered and actually became a propaganda tool for the Soviets. Republicans can take on all the lost cause they want.

    When is everyone going to learn, especially right wingers that President Obama always comes through in the end. To use an NCAA Basketball tournament analogy Obama is a clutch shooter, right now Dick Vital would call him a diaper dandy because he’s still a little past his Freshman year in office. No the president’s team is not blowing the other side out and passing hugely progressive policies like single payer or the public option but they are beating Republicans at the buzzer every time. I can’t wait to see what moves Obama has when he becomes a Senior.

    No matter how you look at it, the strategy they are using is a scorched earth strategy and the earth they are scorching is the entire US electorate.

    The only way my opinion differs from yours is that for allot of people who listen to Faux News and right wing radio the truth will not matter. Like you said these people don’t vote on reason, they vote on emotion. So as long as the right wing keeps them frothed up they will not be able to handle the truth.

  8. boomer1949 says:

    The seniors have been been used in so many respects. They’ve been scared to death, their age (as in past societal issues) has been used against them, the way they were raised has been used against them. They’ve been manipulated, and Republicans should be ashamed, but I’m sure they’re not. I find this behavior repugnant, not to mention it leaves an after-one-has-puked-all-night kind of taste in my mouth.

    Fifty years ago, my father was 30; fifty years ago it was 1960. My father would have been a Tea Party Person had the organization existed; now he could be the preacher, the choir, or both.

    HISTORIC EVENTS AND TECHNOLOGY

    Dinner at the Neiburger ‘s -- Susan’s family -- in 1968. The Civil Rights movement made great changes in society in the 1960’s. The movement began peacefully, with Martin Luther King and Stokely Carmichael leading sit-ins and peaceful protests, joined by whites, particularly Jews. Malcolm X preached about Black Nationalism. After his assassination, the Black Panthers were formed to continue his mission. In 1965, the Watts riots broke out in Los Angeles. The term “blacks” became socially acceptable, replacing “Negroes.”

    The number of Hispanic Americans tripled during the decade and became recognized as an oppressed minority. Cesar Chavez organized Hispanics in the United Farm Workers Association. American Indians, facing unemployment rates of 50% and a life expectancy only two-thirds that of whites, began to assert themselves in the courts and in violent protests.

    The Presidential Commission of the Status of Women (1963) presented disturbing facts about women’s place in our society. Betty Friedan, Pauli Murray and Gloria Steinem, (National Organization for Women) questioned the unequal treatment of women, gave birth to Women’s Lib, and disclosed the “glass ceiling.” The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was amended to include gender. The birth control pill became widely available and abortion for cause was legalized in Colorado in 1967. In 1967, both abortion and artificial insemination became legal in some states.

    Woodstock Festival Remembered The Supreme Court decided in Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421, 1962, that prayer in the public schools was unconstitutional. As the 1960’s progressed, many young people turned from mainstream Protestant religions to mystic eastern religions such as Transcendental Meditation (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi) or Zen Buddhism. Respect for authority declined among the youth, and crime rates soared to nine times the rate of the 1950’s. Marijuana use soared. Well known Harvard psychologist Timothy Leary encouraged the use of LSD as a mind-opening drug. The hippie movement endorsed drugs, rock music, mystic religions and sexual freedom. They opposed violence. The Woodstock Festival at which 400,000 young people gathered in a spirit of love and sharing, represents the pinnacle of the hippie movement. Many hippies moved to Haight Ashbury in San Francisco, East Village in New York City, or lived in communes.

    When Fidel Castro, soon after overtaking Cuba, declared that he was a communist, the United States broke off diplomatic relations. Castro seized American property. The CIA attacked Cuba in an ill-fated mission at the Bay of Pigs. In 1962, a spy plane identified long range missiles in Cuba. President John F. Kennedy readied troops to invade Cuba, and the Soviet Union prepared to fire at US cities if we made a move.

    Vietnamese Soldier on Bike in Da Nang John F. Kennedy was young and charismatic, and his brief reign as president was often called Camelot. He was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963. His Vice President, Lyndon B. Johnson became president, and was reelected the following year. To prevent communist North Vietnam from overtaking South Vietnam, the United States sent military advisors and then soldiers. It was largely a secret war until 1965, when massive troop buildups were ordered to put an end to the conflict. The draft was accelerated and anti-war sentiment grew in the US. College students organized anti-war protests, draft dodgers fled to Canada, and there were reports of soldiers reflected the growing disrespect for authority, shooting their officers rather than follow orders. Johnson, blamed by many for the war and the racial unrest in the country, did not run for reelection in 1968. John Kennedy’s brother, Robert campaigned for the nomination for President and he, too was killed. Malcolm X was assassinated in 1965 and Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968.

    😆 My grandmother didn’t care for hard candies; she had a penchant for those soft, orange circus peanuts. 😆

    👿 And…my father would have accused me of being “uppity” for using penchant in a sentence. 👿

  9. Chernynkaya says:

    Good post, AdLib! Made me think. Well, obviously, the jury is still out on the fate of Republicans. And I have very mixed feelings about their need to get a grip

  10. SanityNow says:

    AdLib,

    We are of one mind on this.

    I am simultaneously horrified and astounded by the gross miscalculation, behavior and hypocrisy of the republican “party”, and yet, ecstatic that they appear to be stubbornly headed for the cliffs.

  11. Chernynkaya says:

    😆 My first response: “…Especially after buying that new box of hard candy they can afford.”

    That got me!

    (More to come.)


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