Friday, July 15, 2005

The Destruction of American Politics

Paul Krugman discusses where the level of political discourse in this country has dropped to. Rove has been absolutely brilliant in manipulating the American public. Facts don't matter to Republicans, you can give a Republican a fact that completely destroys their case, and they will never change their mind.
John Gibson of Fox News says that Karl Rove should be given a medal. I agree: Mr. Rove should receive a medal from the American Political Science Association for his pioneering discoveries about modern American politics. The medal can, if necessary, be delivered to his prison cell.

What Mr. Rove understood, long before the rest of us, is that we're not living in the America of the past, where even partisans sometimes changed their views when faced with the facts. Instead, we're living in a country in which there is no longer such a thing as nonpolitical truth. In particular, there are now few, if any, limits to what conservative politicians can get away with: the faithful will follow the twists and turns of the party line with a loyalty that would have pleased the Comintern.

I first realized that we were living in Karl Rove's America during the 2000 presidential campaign, when George W. Bush began saying things about Social Security privatization and tax cuts that were simply false. At first, I thought the Bush campaign was making a big mistake - that these blatant falsehoods would be condemned by prominent Republican politicians and Republican economists, especially those who had spent years building reputations as advocates of fiscal responsibility. In fact, with hardly any exceptions they lined up to praise Mr. Bush's proposals.
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A less insightful political strategist might have hesitated right after 9/11 before using it to cast the Democrats as weak on national security. After all, there were no facts to support that accusation.

But Mr. Rove understood that the facts were irrelevant. For one thing, he knew he could count on the administration's supporters to obediently accept a changing story line. Read the before-and-after columns by pro-administration pundits about Iraq: before the war they castigated the C.I.A. for understating the threat posed by Saddam's W.M.D.; after the war they castigated the C.I.A. for exaggerating the very same threat.

Mr. Rove also understands, better than anyone else in American politics, the power of smear tactics. Attacks on someone who contradicts the official line don't have to be true, or even plausible, to undermine that person's effectiveness. All they have to do is get a lot of media play, and they'll create the sense that there must be something wrong with the guy.

3 comments:

Abe said...

So yesterday on the daily show they guy he interviewed said rove might not have know she was a covert agent.

Cwech said...

That's one of their talking points and it's BS. For purposes of Fitzgerald's investigation it's not BS, but for public discussion it's totally irrellevent. The issue here is that they were trying to hide and discredit all information showing that their case for war in Iraq was false. Revealing Plame's identity destroyed every project that she has ever worked on, and it wasn't a relevent thing to be telling the press anyway. Our government should be honest with its people about the most important decision it will make, sending American soldiers off to war. They were not, and for that they deserve hell. If Rove knew she was covert then Rove should spend time in jail, if Rove didn't know she was covert then the American people have an opportunity in 2006 to replace congress with a Democratic one. The lies and manipulations engaged in by this President and his administration to send American servicemen to die should be an impeachable offense. Whether Rove knew she was covert or not is only a question illegal against imoral.

Abe said...

Yeah i don't beleive President Bush is a liar. I beleive that he did what he did in Iraq because he honestly beleived in his reasons, now they turned out to be wrong so he needs to apologize for being wrong.