I’ve been thinking a lot about Watergate lately.

Watergate, as much as it was a political coming-of-age for America, coincided with my own personal coming-of-age. The actual break-in occurred just weeks after I’d graduated from high school and the initial furore continued throughout the summer as I prepared to leave for my first year at college. The repercussions, investigations and hearings continued throughout my first two years at college and culminated with Richard Nixon’s resignation, when I was in summer school in Spain in August 1974. I watched his resignation speech on a flickering black-and-white television set in the living room of my host family at 2AM in the morning, European time.

It’s not unusual at all that the current political climate in the US should make me think about the definitive political scandal of the late 20th Century. After all, the media has been looking for another Watergate since the last one was resolved (as much as it could ever be). Every newspaper reporter, every media journalist fancies himself this decade’s Woodward or Bernstein, never mind the fact that they happened upon their golden egg purely by chance. One of Watergate’s many legacies is the intense desire on the part of the media to discover some socio-political scandal latent in every subsequent Administration, and so almost every official in every subsequent Administration has been subjected to the scrutiny, for better or for worse, by the Fourth Estate.

And the Fourth estate has mutated rampantly since the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine under President Reagan.

But the name which keeps popping up in my mind more often than not, lately, isn’t one of the bigger guns from Watergate – not Haldeman or Erlichmann or John Dean – but a lesser-known character called Donald Segretti.

Segretti was a young lawyer, who, during the early 1970s, was engaged by the Committee to Re-elect the President (aptly anagrammed CReeP). He specialised in a particular brand of practical joke, or dirty trick, designed to make the victim look particularly bad. The aim of CReeP wasn’t only to insure that Nixon was elected to a second term; the principal aim was to insure that the Democratic party fielded the weakest candidate possible in 1972, one that would virtually guarantee Nixon a Presidential victory.

Of course, Nixon’s chief political strategists at the time, the late Lee Atwater and Roger Ailes (yep, that Roger Ailes), were busy formulating a tactic which they would call The Southern Strategy – convincing all those Southern Democrats who were less than lukewarm about the idea of Civil Rights, that their natural political party was none other than the GOP, considering the fact that George Wallace’s reincarnation of the Dixiecrats – the American Independence Party – had disbanded after its third party attempt in the 1968 election. But to really secure a second term, Nixon and Co would have to be absolutely certain that the Democratic candidate was loser material.

It was practically a foregone conclusion that the Democratic candidate for 1972 would be Maine Senator and former Vice-Presidential candidate Edmund Muskie. Muskie was impressive as a speaker during the campaign, and the Democrats, rightfully, thought that he would stand a good chance in challenging Nixon. After all, America wouldn’t wash 8 years of Dick Nixon.

Right before the silly season started, North Dakota Senator, George McGovern, a very Leftwing and very progressive politician, announced that he, too, would seek the nomination.

CReeP’s aim was to discredit Muskie to the point that Muskie would drop out of the race. With no other Democrat on the horizon at that point, and the Democratic Party in a weakened state, generally, McGovern would run and lose heavily.

This is where Segretti stepped in. Financed by funds from CReeP – laundered money, really – Segretti did his stuff. Segretti engaged hundreds of young Republican volunteers – mostly college students and recent graduates. Their mission was to imbed themselves in various Democratic offices and campaigns as volunteers, walk the walk and talk the talk of Democrats, get close to staffers and other genuine volunteers, even to the candidates themselves, get the gossip, sow discontent and be subtly, but brilliantly divisive.

The strategy was amazing. Someone managed to steal some sheets of Muskie’s Senate stationery, along with some samples of his handwriting, fished from rubbish bins in his office. The result was two, seemingly original notes, penned by “Muskie” on official notepaper, trashing Canadians in objectionable terms. Someone else started rumours of Muskie’s wife having a drinking problem and mouthing off about another Democratic politician in a lewd way. Mores forged notes emerged, depicting Muskie as speculating about another Democratic Senator, Henry Jackson of Washington, having a lovechild by a 17 year-old girl, and passing hints alluding to Hubert Humphrey’s sexlife as well.

The end result was Muskie, who’d denied all these allegations, giving an impassioned defence of his wife’s honour, so impassioned that he ended up in tears, a fact which, effectively, ended his Presidential aspirations, and paved the way for George McGovern’s nomination.

A few years later, in the course of the Watergate investigations and trials, Donald Segretti’s part in all of this was revealed. Segretti told Bob Woodward that such practices, which he’d perfected to art form, were known to him and his circle as “ratfucking.”

Ratfucking was only in its rudimentary form as developed by Segretti. There was plenty of room for development and improvement.

Oh … and one of the many of those earnest, young Republican volunteers who infiltrated the Democratic party, undercover, for Segretti was a Texas college senior named Karl Rove.

Rove took ratfucking to another level in his work for George Bush. At first, he developed the doctrine of “continuous campaign,” of never allowing the Bush Administration to get comfortable with its success, of operating every day with the aim in mind of securing a second term. 9/11 handed them their modus operandi on a plate: keep the public scared and use fear to keep the usually liberal media on side too. After all, when the country’s under attack, no one wants to be labelled “leftist and unpatriotic” (which had almost come to be synonymous).

Rove’s ultimate aim was an unbroken hegemony of Republican Administrations – something akin to Hitler’s vision of the Fourth Reich lasting 1000 years – which meant that whatever had to be done to secure that aim, was sanctioned. This time the Ratfucker-in-Chief was operating inside the White House and on the public payroll.

When the Republicans lost the White House in 2008, Rove moved to Fox News as a political commentator – a natural move, considering Fox’s CEO was none other than that same Roger Ailes, the Nixon strategist from the years Rove was a lowly ratfucking operative under the tutelage of Donald Segretti.

A couple of months ago, Rove, rather disingenuously announced that he’d had a strategy in place for awhile that would result, not only in delivering substantial gains to the Republican party in this year’s Mid-Terms, but it would also insure that Barack Obama served one term and one term only, that the Republican Party would regain the White House in 2012. Rove admitted that, as he spoke, he’d had “operatives” working the length and breadth of the country for the past couple of years, dedicated to dividing and conquering the Democratic Party and its ambitions.

Empty rhetoric and bragging?

Maybe, but Rove’s never one to brag without substance to his bragging.

Rove, if he knows nothing else, knows the American people. He certainly knows the base of the Right, and he’s probably made it his business to know the base of the Left. He’s also astute enough to capitalise on the similarities between the two, and the basic similarity amongst the two ends of the political spectrum is the overwhelming ailment affecting the American public as a whole – the singular inability to think for oneself and to think critically.

Both ends of the spectrum are television addicts. They read little, comprehend less and live for entertainment and instant gratification. Unable to digest and bored by news bulletins, their information must be delivered with panache and passion – thus, they need to be “infotained.” More than being infotained, they need to hear the opinions voiced of various and sundry paid talking heads on television – people who voice and articulate that which the average person from the extreme end of the Rightwing and the average person from the extreme end of the Leftwing are thinking. If the opinionator is likeable and amusing, he or she will gain not only a fanbase, but a disciple.

And, as television is an illusion, what if the people voicing opinion on the box, are just selling the brand of what their network is supposed to be? What if the opinionators are merely … salesmen?

The lack of critical thinking in all this never ceases to amaze me, as I watch various and sundry opinionators from both the Left and the Right.

That the social-climbing ex-wife of a former Republican Congressman and oilman, a woman who’s never been anything else in her adult life spent in two countries, than the most conservative of conservatives, a woman who led a virulent and strident campaign for Bill Clinton’s impeachment, a woman who taught Andrew Breitbart all the fine points of blatant press hackery (another form of ratfucking), should decide – the day after the 2004 defeat of John Kerry – that the Left needed an internet aggregate to challenge Matt Drudge and could result in being a nice little earner for her, that in the space of 24 hours, Arianna Huffington could go from being a neocon’s neocon (and devotee of Newt Gingrich) to being a fully paid-up Progressive, without ANYONE in the media batting an eyelid, is pure shallowness in and of itself.

I never bought the original Damascene conversion, and I never bought this one, especially not during the 2008 campaign season when Huffington’s attacks on Hillary Clinton became increasingly nasty and personal.

The only thing I do know is that, of all the Presidents I remember, and I remember a lot, this President is the only one whom I’ve known to be criticized, second-guessed, ridiculed, name-called and parsed by the Rightwing media and equally so, by the media on the Left, the so-called “Professional Left.”

It’s important to remember that the Professional Left is, more than likely, on the payroll of the Corporate Right, who are also bosom buddies with Rove, who writes for their bible, the Wall Street Journal.

When the Shirley Sherrod incident saw light, not only Fox, but also MSNBC, ran with the story that Breitbart propagated that very first day. It took CNN and The Atlanta Journal Constitution to get the real facts out and amongst the people. Fox then, promptly, apologised. MSNBC pulled all evidence of their hysteria from their website. No one … no one blamed Breitbart in this. He got scant mention; the emphasis was all on the Administration’s preciptous reaction. It was all how quick to jump the gun Tom Vilsack (and by extension, the President) had been, how weak the Administration was, how frightened of Fox News they were perceived to bel. Ed Schultz, in his usual bullying way, intimated that this Administration were pussies. Later, during his appearance at the Netroots convention, big Ed let slip that the real reason he was throwing a strop was because the President wouldn’t appear on his hour-long MSNBC program to be shouted at and hectored; instead, he preferred to be interviewed and interrupted by Bret Baier of Fox News.

At the end of the day, the Rightwing media treats this President like an escaped slave who needs lynching, and the so-called Professional Left treat him like the natural child of a token Affirmative Action appointment and Prissy from Gone With the Wind.

And either way, that boils down to one, singular, unmentionable thing.

When Robert Gibbs vented his frustration in that infamous interview last week, it came on the heels of having watched Dylan Ratigan, another sudden convert from corporatism to Progressivism and a thug who pretends to be a journalist, slate the recently passed States’ Aid Bill as a “bailout for the teachers’ unions,” Gibbs had had enough. And rightly so.

The allusion to the “Obama is like Bush” meme comes right from the whining mouth of Bill Maher. He’s been preaching that sermon for over a year, even alluding to the President as “Barry,” a name commonly used by the disaffected, old white men of the Teabagging Party, but then, earlier this season in an attempt at satire, Bill donned a Teabagger’s hat, and if it fits …

The Professional Left has done its fair share of deliberately misinforming, spinning and ratcheting up discontent amongst its base and convincing them why they should be disaffected with the President. The plain truth is simply that the base of the Left, as well as the base of the Right, for some reason either doesn’t read or doesn’t read widely enough and can’t for some reason think for themselves enough to form opinion without cravenly depending on people who get paid the corporate penny to spin for the network they serve.

Sometimes they, like the broken clock which is right twice a day, reveal their real intentions, which sometimes seem to be the opposite to the posture they effect:- Bill O’Reilly lets slip he favours a public option in Health Care Reform, Chris Matthews admits racism in admitting that sometimes he forgets Obama is a black man, Bill Maher admits to being in favour of the death penalty, something no real Progressive would admit.

Maybe some of the Professional Left are really Rove’s operatives – this generation of refined ratfuckers. After all, Bill Maher follows Rove on Twitter and Rove follows Bill. Rove and Huffington go way back in association. Last week on his syndicated radio program, in the wake of Gibbs’s outburst, Ed Schultz urged Progressive listeners NOT to vote in the Mid-Terms, to stay home. (Ed, by the way, is an ex-neocon, himself, who once ran for Congress as a Republican, and not too long ago.)

Yet if anyone challenges any devotee of a media opinionator, from Beck to Bill Maher, from Hannity to Olbermann and Schultz, the challenger is meant with a stream of invective as strong as if one had insulted a personal friend, a relative or a loved one. In fact, insulting one of these people is as though you’ve issued a personal affront to the disciple’s own opinion and mindset.

Here is a news flash: The Professional Left is the same as the Professional Right – bought and fully paid-up members of the corporate club, be that club Murdoch, ComCast of TimeWarner. They don’t give a rat’s ass about their devoted fans. Their aim is to generate ratings/clicks etc which generate profits, which mean fatter wallets for them which will accommodate their even fatter wallets. That Arianna Huffington attempts to speak for the middle class whilst her daughters attend debutante balls and hobnob with titled gentry from Europe makes her Progressivism as much of a joke as John Kerry’s multimillion dollar yacht.

What happened last week was simply this: Gibbs got frustrated and gave the Professional Left a dose of its own medicine which it had been hurling at the President for months, and the Professional Left couldn’t take it, after dishing it out. Big Ed Schultz, the biggest mouth and the biggest bully of the lot, even cravenly attempted to convince his regular viewers that this criticism wasn’t about him, really, it was directed at them. (It wasn’t; Gibbs clarified precisely whom he was criticizing). That was crass. Even crasser was his exhortation for the Democratic base NOT to vote – in short, to enable the Republicans to come in and undo every incremental thing upon which real progress and real change could be built. But hey, Big Ed would still have his Bush tax cuts, right?

This whole ordeal, this whole new level of ratfuckery – because that’s what it is – was foreseen by the writer Paddy Chayefsky, in his screenplay Network, a brilliant film made in 1976. It’s worth a watch again these days, because everything alluded to in that film has come to pass, regarding the television industry. And so I leave you, with the prescient words of the film’s hero, the iconic Howard Beale, juxtaposed with some contemporary images which enhance the prescience of a film made 34 years ago:-

Maybe it’s time for those of us who consider ourselves to be Democrat and progressive, to turn off the television, and learn to think for ourselves and to think critically.

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foxisms
Guest

Toto, we’re not in the land of AH’s anymore!
Marion, I like the way you don’t mince words!
Mince…rhymes with wince.
Wincing can be very good for the facial muscles!
I feel rejuvenated already.

chazmania
Guest

Its not just a matter of critical thinking..its a cultural and social brain washing that has been going on sins Nixon..Carl Rove is just one of the many many many operators that have become diseased with the rat fucking mentality, he just happens to be the king rat fucker…watch any Adam Curtis BBC documentaries for a good dose of this systematic brain washing in the form of the neoconservative and the corporate culture of greed trickle down mentality that has permeated every nook and cranny of American life…Most lefties and progressives seem to have NO CLUE they too are fully diseased with it..Its a Money Worship CULT now…the words “financial” “economy” “401K” all words that if disparaged is near blasphemy for most People that seem now no more then corporate cubical zombie drone’s..
OH YES the TV has done its number on the minds of Americans..its sold them not only products but whole belief systems indoctrinations into a Banking mafia lifestyle social culture all designed around one fundamental principle.. exploitation.. the greatest CON job in human history… the basic Right left corporate strategy has been to Get the people to contribute to their own theft by adjusting their beliefs to actually do the work for you… Its really not much different then any fascist style society that ends up all joining the abuse of its own for the benefit of a few that have the game playing out behind everyone’s realizations..
And the unfortunate truth is that Obama is a part of it…
Obama was the Hero we never had. He lived among the corporate zombies he worked like one, raised a family like one and is fully embedded in the thinking of one, The first clue was the bail outs, the second was the Health care disaster, the third the wars ongoing, gitmo, These things i can not ignore no matter how much hope and changy crap I whole heartedly voted for and stood in AWE of his surrounding himself with the same architects of the same disastrous policy making that got us so royally RAT FUCKED as a country in the first place..Its one thing to be rat fucked by some slick rat fuckers but its another thing to seemingly ENJOY IT.
And one other thing this bizarre hold Israel has over him and this country is all but IGNORED BY EVERYONE SUPPORTING HIM.
Its one thing to have critical thinking and a fully other thing to just ignore what critical thinking tells you because you have some “need” to believe in BULL SHIT for some psychological personal agenda that gets off on Believing.. This the very thing Carl rat fucker and friends have used to great effect to have at the RAT FUCKING of a nation and its belief systems…And we get to watch the entire democratic political establishment cheer the rat fucking along and hold us all down wile the Repugnantcants give it to us HARD….Once again….

GN
Member
GN

This is a wonderful, educational piece and should be required reading for lefty media producers and analysts, including bloggers. I’m a little sad that there has been such a failure of multiple media institutions, both online and in more traditional media outlets, to reign in excess, hyperbole, and sensationalist content, thus making those institutions very easy prey for ratfucking. I think that the media environment has become similar to that during the runup to the Iraq War: full of lies and hyperbole which function to get Americans to act against our own best interests.

Thank you for such a measured, reasoned, and factual admonition to leave the sensationalist portions of the media behind, and employ critical thinking instead.

Tell the truth, shame the devil.

AdLib
Admin

A kind and on target comment, a very warm welcome to The Planet GN!

GN
Member
GN

Thank you very much for the warm welcome!

kesmarn
Admin

Love your comment, GN. Are you new to PlanetPOV? If so, a hearty welcome. Hope to hear more from you!

GN
Member
GN

Thanks for the welcome! This is a very nice space, and this piece was cogent and enlightening.

whatsthatsound
Member

Where I dispute this article is in how it lets the administration off the hook for the criticism, as if it is just being stirred up in a vacuum, rather than as a reaction to both substance-based and stylistic flubs of this administration.

Iraq is not moving toward the end the president campaigned for. Afghan is a mess and yet the president sees fit to proceed with it with an Orwellian, “Oceania is always at war” mentality. This while the money the war costs could so OBVIOUSLY be spent keeping Hawaiian kids in school on Friday, paving roads, and giving MIT graduates USEFUL work to do to create a new, green economy rather than sell their souls to the Military Industrial Complex. A giveaway to the banks has NOT improved the unemployment situation anywhere other than Wall Street, a health insurance plan that NO country that already has a national health plan of some form could possibly envy (this is the BEST we could do?). No firm support for Elizabeth Warren. Little inclination that the president understood/understands the immensity of the tragedy of the Gulf.
Either the president is, through sins of commission or omission, bringing the criticism on himself, or “fifty million Frenchmen” ARE wrong and the blind are misleading the blind to not recognize something that I too am obviously blind to -all is well in the U.S., we are heading in the right direction, those in positions of power have seen the light or have been brought kicking and screaming toward the Light Side of the Force, and all we have to do is let this administration play itself out in order to see how the U.S. was able to overcome the greatest threat to its integrity and viability ever encountered, the abandonment of the Middle Class by the key players on Wall Street and in the Beltway.
Believe me, Marion, I would LOOOOOVE to be wrong about what I see happening, and hope I am. But I believe that Gibbs overreacted to mostly deserved criticism.

bito
Member

Dear Mr. Obama, could you please end two wars that have been ongoing for years. While you are in the area how about finally taking care of that pesky Israel/Palestine thing, which has been sitting on the shelf since 1948. Seems no one, but you, can fix that.
Then can you completely overhaul the whole financial system? Take the banks over if you have to, who cares? Of course we want 1% unemployment and an 8% raise.

We need a huge stimulus bill to get this country moving. make it a big as you need to repair all the crumbling roads and bridges, keep the teachers, firefighters,law enforcement, health care workers working and enough money to keep all of the states in the black.

Yeah, I know that most healthcare systems were reformed and nationalized in Europe because they had to start from scratch-those pesky wars left them without much healthcare-but will you just get a single-payer national health care system over all objections of the moneyed lobbying? Just start from scratch. And of course, again, don’t worry about that pesky congress, tell them to do what you want and just pass it.

On that whole green energy thing (wasn’t that in your “too small” Recovery Act? Well more has to be done on that front. Now! Oh, I know, Nixon brought up that “independence from foreign oil thing” just a few years ago, and that Carter fellow was always trying to get things done, and things do take time, but it needs to be done now and by you!! Force everyone to install solar water heaters, photovoltaic systems, demand car manufactures to produce only green vehicles and force people to purchase and drive them!

Oh, I know I’m leaving many more tasks that you have to get done, but I want you to appoint our poster child Elizabeth Warren! Just because you got a financial reform bill passed, which was fought by the usual suspects at every step, everybody knows that it was a weak POS. Only!! ONLY!! Elizabeth Warren can protect us from the banks. If she is not appointed or if everything on my list isn’t done in 24 months (do you think you should have a full term?), I will just ignore my best interests and not vote. I may just bend over and vote Republican. Now get something done, will ya?!?

Always willing to help, 😉
Yours,
Purity Principle

whatsthatsound
Member

bito, I am guessing that, had McCain been elected president, you would not be so quick to defend him for not bringing these “ongoing war” to an end.

bito
Member

McCain is my senator, I rarely support him on anything. He said he had no problems in keeping US troops in Iraq 50-100 years. On Afghanistan he “knew where OBL was and how to get him.” His secret plan. He had no plan to end the wars. Do you remember “Bomb-Bomb-Bomb-Iran?” His big hit on the charts.

whatsthatsound
Member

I hope my comment was in no way taken as support of McCain, who I consider to be a pretty awful person. I just meant to refer to your satirical letter’s seeming willingness to give Obama time and patience and understanding about the situation (by the way, my original comment didn’t mention Palestine/Israel, and I don’t hear a lot of noise from progressives that Obama needs to hurry up and solve that problem -certainly I personally don’t feel it’s his responsibility), and I supposed that if the exact same situation were occurring now under a McCain plan, you would be less patient. For me, it’s not about the person, it’s about the policies. I KNOW Obama is doing really good things for this country in numerous ways, but I am more concerned about the negatives of this presidency. NOt because they are his fault, but because I want to see this country wash itself clean of its current systematic belligerency and descent into Banana Republicanism.
As for “my solution”? All I can say, bito, is that you, myself, and 330 million other Americans can all be very relieved and happy that I did not consider taking on the responsibilities of the American presidency. I would be hopeless! But hopefully as a citizen I still have a right to whine about the person who was crazy/brave/smart/stupid enough to actually give up his whole life for the job, eh?

whatsthatsound
Member

sigh.
It’s a good thing people weren’t able to silence all the “whiners” in 1776.

Khirad
Member

But they did, WTS. Though in 1788. Much more could have been done with the Constitution, things that would have saved us a Civil War, among other things.

But, they compromised, rather than sinking the whole thing. It was painful, but necessary to bury intractable divisions.

Ever since, it has been a gradual process at improving – another thing Obama is criticized by the Right for acknowledging.

bito
Member

Whine all you like WTS, but if you choose to whine about Obama, whine about things that Obama has ability to change with out Congress. You mention Ms. Warren and her appointment. Do you that there are holds and filibusters in the Senate on some of the lowest appointments he can make in both the executive and judicial branches? District judges (the lowest in the federal system)being put on hold by a repub Senator?
Unheard of previously

Am I a partisan? Hell yes! Am I also a pragmatist? Yes. Amazingly this has been a very productive congress in many aspects, even with daily holds procedural delays and filibusters.

Perhaps when you were here, you remember ‘moderate’ Repubs in the Senate. They no longer exist. To walk across the aisle is to get shunned, exiled, purged.

dildenusa
Member

I’ve been reading Paul Krugman’s book, “Depression Economics” and Nouriel Roubini’s book “Crisis Economics” and most left of center economists agree and some right of center, that there hasn’t been enough fiscal stimulus. Only the whackos from the Austrian School with their philosophy of creative destruction and the “leave-it-alone liquidationists” would have the zombie banks fold into a heap of junk. In the long term however there does need to be a shakeout to keep out the incompetent high rollers that pervaded Wall street and Main street for so many years. That is what got us into this mess. An orderly liquidation, instead of propping up zombies is what will get us out.

whatsthatsound
Member

Nationalizing the zombie banks, and forcing them to use stimulus money to make loans to businesses is what should have happened. The banks, and the bailout, should never have been anything other than a conduit through which to fund companies in the productive sector, not the financial sector.

bito
Member

Nationalizing the zombie banks, and forcing them to use stimulus money to make loans to businesses is what should have happened.

And how do you propose that could have possibly been done. Nationalizing segments of businesses or industry,civilly, does not work in the U.S.
As far as the banks and the bailout are concerned, those were from the previous administration.

whatsthatsound
Member

nationalizing the banks does “not work”…okay, so this is “working”, then?
See this is the thing. Obama supporters always want to say, “You people don’t know how government works”. Yes, in many cases I suspect that to be true, for myself and others. But it’s not about knowing HOW things work as it is recognizing that they aren’t working. That’s where the anger, frustration, and criticism come from, the recognition that things aren’t working.

dildenusa
Member

There has not been a US government that has “worked” (read “functional”) in modern times since at least JFK. Why? One reason is the narcissitic bipolar nature of politicians.

bito
Member

And your solution to the government not working is what?

bito
Member

And ‘if the President did it, it’s legal.’

dildenusa
Member

Well, Tricky Dicky Cheney would say we need a strong (read “strongman”)
“unitary executive.”

dildenusa
Member

Apparently, and I don’t know for sure, The interview that Robert Gibbs did was not on video. Still, the detractors on the left really don’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to President Obama’s ability to pass legislation in the face of total ignorance by the republican leadership in congress. The detractors on the left in essence are giving “aid and comfort” to the enemy. They are just as ignorant as the republican leadership.

Now there will always be people like Rove and Huffington. But there are ways of dealing with them that minimize their effects. For the left to pile on Obama like this isn’t minimizing Rove and Huffington, it makes them bigger than life.

bito
Member

But who is Rove et al, ratfucking for? His benefit? The R’s benefit?
Oh, the tactics may change but doesn’t the goal remain the same? Corporate Control? The BS line of “we little people own the corporations” is just that BS, it is mostly owned and controlled by that same 1-.05% that owns most everything.
Then we have the Teabaggers who say they will take up arms and “take their country back!” Yet will bend over at the pie in the sky presented to them by corporations. Just the other day some of the “Tea Party” came out against Net Neutrality with their whine ” it gives ‘The Government’ too much control.”

Radke said the Tea Party opposition to net neutrality stems from concerns over increased government power.

dildenusa
Member

From Al Sleet, the “Hippy Dippy” Weatherman in 1965 to the left wing tea bag coffee filter partier in 2007. One of the good guys. Too bad he isn’t around any more.

Kalima
Admin

I watch almost no news for the last year on the tv, one reason maybe because here in Japan my choices on cable are CNN international and BBC World. For the last 3 years I prefer to pick what I watch from my iTunes podcast, no commercials and the power at my fingertips to mute, stop and fast forward when KO has AH on as a guest.

In the beginning KO’s direct honesty in calling out the bs was refreshing, I applauded loudly as he took apart the RW limb by limb. Unfortunately he started to come across as increasingly whiny some time before the passing of your HCR bill and I started to feel uncomfortable listening to his Special Comments telling your President that he had to be much more forceful about keeping the PO in the bill. This started me thinking about the fact that if even I, over 5000 miles away, not even a citizen, had grasped the breadth of the opposition he faced to even pass the watered down bill that had been allowed to trickle into a shadow of it’s former self by Dems too weak to take a stand in the Senate, why couldn’t the constant whiners see it to?

In essence your President was pushed in between a rock and a hard place not only by the party of NO, but by the very people, the Dems in Congress who were elected to make a difference for the people who elected them.

Sen. Obama wasn’t elected because he claimed to be a Progressive, and yet that it was what they expected from him. When he didn’t deliver what they only thought they had heard him promise, they chose to ignore the many bills he had signed, the fact that a HCR bill thought to be dead had been passed and signed for the first time in 60 years because he alone wouldn’t let it die. The Stimulus, which was too much until it was too little, never mind the fact that it helped millions from drowning in the quicksand created by Wall St and greedy financial institutions. The Financial Reform bill also passed despite the strong opposition from the idiots on the Right, and yet because it doesn’t meet the perfection of some on the Left, nothing this President does receives the appreciation it deserves. I’m beginning to believe that there is nothing that will ever satisfy these whiners, and for them the grass will continue to be that much greener on the other side as they stomp their stubborn feet and declare like the small children they appear to be, we will show the administration and the President that they can’t mess with us, we will just not vote, that will teach them. Problem with that act of defiance will be their own loss, and as the GOP go on to win a majority in the House and Senate what exactly have these people achieved?

I like Rachel, she gets to the heart of the bs with much more realistic gusto than KO, but then again I was disappointed in her remake of the President’s Oval Office Address during the crisis of the oil spill in the Gulf. Was that really necessary, did she have to belittle the President’s efforts to suit her own agenda, yes she had every right I suppose, but did she really intend to make Obama look weak on the crisis, because that’s how it came across to me watching her over 5000 miles away, so I wonder how her U.S. viewers reacted?

What I point out has nothing to do with the fact that people on the Left have every right to voice their disagreements with the President’s policies, you are the tax payers, you pay his salary, but when there is little distinction between that criticism on the Left and the Right, isn’t it time to take stock of why he was elected and why you are and vote for a Democrat, Liberal or Progressive in the first place. These loud voices drowning out the voices of the American people because they have a soap box on which to reach more people through another box in almost every living room, have a responsibility to not further the imagined or real anger of the voters. In this case we all know for sure that the grass is not greener on the other side, and likening Obama to your 8 years of Bush is ludicrous to say the least.

What exactly do these people want, do they require the President to use his power to overrule the Senate’s decisions by EO for the rest of his term?

I thought that you had a democracy going on there, thinking that the President alone could change the course of the reform he has promised sound less like a democracy and would surely resemble a dictatorship in any other country it occurred in. Patience is a virtue we are told, but I see very little being practiced by so many in your country and it is destroying the very foundation that makes the Democratic party so vastly different from the dimwits in the GOP. I hope with all my heart that there won’t be enough “stay at home voters” in the crucial election in November, if there are, then whatever happens, the blame sits squarely on their shoulders, I sincerely hope that they wake up in time to realize this.

As for me, I tired of self proclaimed pundits on your airways years ago and don’t turn on my tv to watch the news anymore. I believe that if you have strong convictions and you believe in something, the hysterical outbursts on the tv or the rants in the blogs, should just drip like water from a duck, if it doesn’t, then maybe it’s time to take an inventory of your core principles and find out exactly who you are, what you want and what you really believe in.

Khirad
Member

No, I’ve felt the same about KO and Rachel. I still think Rachel is a rare gem on the MSM, though.

Ratigan lost me within the first two weeks. He just got more and more shrill – so much so that I yearned for the mellowness of Ed. Ed has said quite a few breathtakingly counterproductive things that leave me going “WTF?” which are not even mentioned by you or Marion. Mind you, I can’t recall what they were, but I just know that there are a few other examples of his purity. I just know the definitive moment where he jumped the shark for me was when he was for killing the HCR bill.

Nevertheless, as pompous and contrived as KO’s “Special” Comments had gotten ever since the actual cathartic ones in the Bush Admin, which he didn’t have to manufacture so much “outrage” over, I do admit – his recent one on the Mosque issue had me stand up and clap. “Finally,” I said (though it still had an air of Ben Affleck’s “Miss Precious Perfect” bit). He still does some good from time to time. Otherwise, I watch to keep tabs on what is what in the left’s news stories of the day.

Kalima
Admin

I suppose you must be talking about Ed Schulz, and I don’t get his show over here even on iTunes podcasts, so unless it’s mentioned here, I have no idea what he did or didn’t say.

Even if I do have my beef about KO’s overreaction at times, he is still better than most of the other news stations. Occasionally I am very impressed with Anderson Cooper when he cuts through the bs that’s out there. At least with podcasts I can chose and thankfully a lot of the really bad stuff is not available. Like you I watch KO and Rachel for the latest news and outings of the Repubs and TBers, even if it’s more than half a day later on iTunes over here.

Khirad
Member

I also agree with you on Anderson Cooper the fluff pieces irritate the hell out of me, but once in a while I see him cut through what his producers probably want (anodyne pap). Also on CNN, Fareed Zakaria on Sundays. Ever since Christiane Amanpour moved to ABC, I haven’t caught her. I don’t watch much of any network TV, so I rarely catch its news.

Kalima
Admin

You have a Mac right, I subscribe to both Christiane Amanpour and Zakaria on the Podcasts from iTunes, you should maybe check out the free Podcast subscriptions at the iTunes store on your Mac.

bito
Member

Bravo, Kalima!!! (goodness, that at 8:00? :-))

Kalima
Admin

Good afternoon dear bito, for some reason or other I seem to be getting up before the birds for the last one week. I turn my A/C up to 27C at night when I sleep, it was already 30C at 5:30 this morning. I know that your temps are hotter but I think you cool off at night while we stay at 27C until the next morning.

Just fed the refugees, they are mad at me because of the heat. Everything is my fault. 🙁

😆 That’s about all I’m capable of today, because as the mercury starts it’s merciless climb, my brain begins to scramble.

escribacat
Member

The republicans don’t need to do a damn thing. They can just sit back and have some popcorn while watching the left eat itself.

LABC63
Member
LABC63

Brilliant! I may be the minority, but I liked what Gibbs said and that he didn’t walk it back. I am so sick of the so called voices of the left, stomachs and pocketbooks filled, lecturing the rest of us and taking every accomplishment of this administration and shitting on it. It is easy to stand on the sidelines and play armchair president, but much harder to actually govern.

I love, love Network – how frightening true it has become. But I am also reminded of a South Park episode when I listen to the self procliamed heros of the left (Looking at Olbermann and Glenn Greenwald as well – I loathe these two…):

http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/155193/?searchterm=Smug+Alert

Khirad
Member

I actually got a lot of pushback, unsurprisingly, at HP, when I defended what Gibbs said, too.

LOL, & the SP ref.

choicelady
Member

I’m there, too. Perhaps because I am a lobbyist (declared by CA ethics analysts to work for “the original Good Guy organization, though!) I am in awe of Obama’s successes. The grip the right has on all parts of this nation is scary, and while I think the ratfucking is no longer a “for sure” measure, I do think people are amazingly gullible. Within the context of freaked out Congress people, House and Senate, Obama has passed huge things. WTS – Obama got $20 BILLION out of BP to avoid what happened with Exxon Valdez settlements that dragged through years of litigation. I think he knew better than anyone what HAD to be done.

As far as the war – we’ve talked about the rock/hard place issue that once Bush got us IN, pulling out leaves women like the one on the cover of TIME. I do NOT know what the solution is, but the drawdown in Iraq is on time, and the shift to non-military presence to aid Iraqi’s own control of their government is amazing. Afghanistan just got hugely worse with the floods in Pakistan and the lack of western help getting in. It’s our chance to provide not only the necessary supplies BUT to build some major bridges with the Muslim extremists, and it CAN be done. One thing Obama must do – keep OUR Christian extremists OUT.

I think Obama has done amazing things given the massive and despicable opposition from both sides. I am furious with the so-called Left (and I agree that Maher is actually a tea bagger with better language skills)for its narcissistic arrogance and whiny decision that if they did not get EXACTLY what they wanted, they’re going to sit out the election and show the DEMS, that’s what. It is 1980 all over again.

If we lose either house, we will make NO more progress, Obama will be mired in total and unmitigated crap – they promised “investigations” and it will happen – and this nation will implode. It used to be said about Buffalo, NY that yes, sooner or later every city shoots itself in the foot, but only Buffalo goes back and reloads. Well, now it can be said of our country. We’re about to reload.

bito
Member

Well then, I am In that minority also. I heard a discussion by a lefty who was Hispanic. The discussion was on immigration reform and the lack of leadership a “really forcing a bill through” Congress.

And he is a “professional pundit” for the left-for Hispanics? Has he even noticed what happens to a bill in the Senate? Of course he must, but he feels he has to blame President. Not a peep from him about McCgrumpy and Graham pulling support for their own bipartisan bills!

I don’t expect cheerleaders, but a little grasp of the facts.

dildenusa
Member

All the pontificating and hand wringing following the Watergate Scandal and the campaign finance laws obviously missed the mark. Now the supreme court has thrown the doors to unlimited “pimping” of rats during election season while we sit transfixed in the warm glow of electrons moving to and fro across the screen.

httpsh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LI_Oe-jtgdI