Monday, September 08, 2008

GOP Media Manipulation.

After a long week of discussion, argument and contemplation about the conventions and the developing race for the presidency, I felt the need for a prolonged burst of relaxation in order to recenter myself. Of course that ended up being wishful thinking, as just about everywhere I went people wanted to talk about what's been happening. Overwhelmingly I encountered varying degrees of disgust and shock over John McCain's decision to select Sarah Palin as his running mate. Additionally there were quite a few that I talked to that were appalled by the way the media has salivated over her, building her up into a social phenomenon and a singular event. That was ironic, given the Right's insistence that the press is against her.

It seems that all the GOP has had to do over the last week is to keep Palin sequestered so that her legend can grow without interference from critical analysis. Her handlers have been clear that she will meet the media whenever "she is ready". I find that particularly ironic given their strenuous and insistent claims that Palin is experienced and ready for the national political stage. If that is their sincere belief, I wonder why they don't release her from their imposition of silence. They should be anxious for Palin to have the opportunity to reveal her positions and attitudes regarding the issues that confront the nation in this dark hour. Given the acid tongue that she unleashed at the Convention, she should be well-prepared and anxious to go.

But exactly the opposite seems to be the case. McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis has made his feelings about this situation very clear:

"Why would we want to throw Sarah Palin into a cycle of piranhas called the news media that have nothing better to ask questions about than her personal life and her children? So until at which point in time we feel like the news media is going to treat her with some level of respect and deference*, I think it would be foolhardy to put her out into that kind of environment."



That seems to me to be a transparent strategy aimed at getting the media to go easy on her. Yet we are told time and again that she is just as effective in extemporaneous debate as she is in front of a teleprompter. What does this self-proclaimed "pit bull" have to lose?

I would suggest that the worst thing that can happen to the spectacle of "Palin-mania" is for the American Public to discover who she really is. She is self-serving, hugely ambitious, and a "skilled politician"- when it comes to saying what her "base" wants to hear. The problem with that is the message that McCain delivered last week. He says he wants to encourage a bipartisan approach to governance in Washington DC. This approach is clearly meant to appeal to independent and undecided voters. My impression is that many within that segment of the populace are going to be put off by Palin's style, her extreme views, and her misrepresentation of her record in Alaska. It's better for the GOP to let her profile build itself while she is a novelty.

I've repeatedly stressed the fact that the Republicans are much better than the Democrats about "staying on message". They have built a well-defined structure that imposes discipline and disseminates talking points. They are desperately trying to frame the conversation before it even begins. We are more than a week past the point that Palin was announced as a vice-presidential nominee, and yet the GOP has not allowed one single question to be asked of her. I find that amazing. They are billing her as the future of their party, and yet she still hasn't faced a single test. The fact that Republicans are that anxious to find a figure within their party that can excite them demonstrates a level of desperation that I see as a bit dangerous.


* Yes... they actually used the word "deference". That made me laugh too.

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16 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hugely ambitious"

Seriously, Merge how many hugely ambitious people go to Alaska to pursue a career in politics? Hillary for example could easily be described as hugely ambitious. She moved to NY-- a major state to run for the senate, no doubt on the assumption that another state like Arkansas would not give her a big enough platform to move from.

Obama's multiple autobiographies ( but no laws) also mark him as a person of vast ambition and ego in my opinion.

5:26 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

What do you mean "no laws"? Back this up with a little research. He's been active in promoting successful legislation. Don't make claims without doing your verification first.

Palin's been in Alaska since she was an infant. She didn't "go to Alaska" on her own. Her self-serving ambition is apparent in accepting a nomination for a job that she is clearly not ready for.

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was also surprised when a major news network (not Fox) notes that Obama had managed to write two books in his short political career, but had never authored a law that was passed. This definitely needs some investigation. Not saying it's true (except for the two books, that much we know), but it's been stated as if fact.

Given that he chose not to take a stand 129 times when voting present in the IL legislature, it does cause a person to think...just what has he accomplished? It's a serious question.
jg

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could you please define "self-serving" ambition. Does it mean the desire to advance to a higher position? For what purpose...Money? Fame?
jg

8:20 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

JG,

I'm surprised that you are willing to entertain these accusations against Obama without actually doing any follow-up research on your own.

A simple 5-second Google search netted me THIS ARTICLE from CBS from January 17,2007. It gives a nice summary of Obama's time served in the Illinois Senate. And from it's title, it's fairly clear that it's unbiased.

Here's another link that lists a few of the MORE THAN 800 bills he sponsored. What was your source again?

9:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So now we are going back to his record as a state senator. Did he write any laws that passed while he was a U.S. senator? Look, to be honest I don't think junior senators often do-- but considering the hype level-- his record is very thin. Also, the reality is that for the last year he has been running for president as his primary job.

9:49 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

Anon,

I linked to information that concerned Obama's record in the State Legislature because that's what the POSTER REFERRED TO.

You see, that's how these threads work. You address the topic at hand rather than getting off on tangents that have nothing to do with the subject, as some repeatedly do here.

9:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The thread so far came from

"Obama's multiple autobiographies ( but no laws) also mark him as a person of vast ambition and ego in my opinion."

which was written by me. I was refering to his record as a U.S senator which he seems to be spending wriring autobiographies and running for president.

10:05 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

If you are trying to make some point about the candidates' respective activities in the Senate... consider the following:

Obama voted in 54.5% of the bills in the current session.

McCain voted in 36.2% of the bills in the current session.

Here's another link disproving the currents lies about Obama in the US SENATE...



You really need to start doing your own research, rather than eating the lies that you are fed.

10:08 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

Just in case you are too lazy to click the link... here are some highlights...

"In his nationally syndicated column, echoing Rush Limbaugh's assertion that "if you look" at Sen. Barack Obama's legislative record, "you won't find a Senate bill with this name on it," Cal Thomas wrote that Obama has "no legislation he can point to that has his name on it." In fact, Obama was the primary sponsor of a bill in the 109th Congress to "promote relief, security, and democracy in the Democratic Republic of Congo," signed into law by President Bush in December 2006, was a key co-sponsor of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act, and has so far introduced 55 bills in the current session of Congress."

That was as of January 11th, 2008.
Anything else?

10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No really, I stand corrected-- sort of. We have one written law.
The co-sponsor crap is a racket, popular bills get tons of co-sponsors.

10:18 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

Yeah... you do stand corrected. You've made up your mind about it without doing any of the research on your own. You've parroted lies and asked me to do your work on the issue. And when I present you with FACTS, you respond with SEMANTICS.

10:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can't be serious about comparing the two. McCain has been a senator for ages and has a long record-- much of which I diagree with. The last year is significant for Obama because he has no such record. Just admit that his resume is rather thin so we can move on-- _(you know, move on)

10:24 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

Now you don't want to make comparisons? You want to spew your misinformed propaganda and "move on".

I apologize for losing my patience with you... but FOR FUCK'S SAKE, did you bother to read the article?

Obviously not, because you respond with this drivel...

"The co-sponsor crap is a racket, popular bills get tons of co-sponsors."

READ THE ARTICLE. It's in plain English. It says "In the 110th Congress, Obama has so far been the primary sponsor of 55 bills,"

That's right- PRIMARY SPONSOR. Do you see where you are wrong now?

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We seem to have a failure to communicate. I am referring to legislation that actually passed and became law.

"In fact, Obama was the primary sponsor of a bill in the 109th Congress to "promote relief, security, and democracy in the Democratic Republic of Congo," signed into law by President Bush in December 2006, was a key co-sponsor of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act, and has so far introduced 55 bills in the current session of Congress."

By that definition, we have two laws passed, one of which he was the primary sponsor and one which he co-sponsored.

10:34 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

The failure to communicate is yours alone.

"Also, the reality is that for the last year he has been running for president as his primary job."

"I was refering (sic)to his record as a U.S senator which he seems to be spending wriring (sic) autobiographies and running for president."

That's what you wrote. You are trying to imply that Obama hasn't done anything as a US Senator. You've been proved wrong.

If you'd like to actually "move on", how about actually responding to the original post? You tried to divert the thread and frame the conversation. I allowed that by participating in it. Fine. Now that we've resolved your misconception... what about sticking to the subject- "GOP Media Manipulation." After all, that's the title of the original post.

10:56 PM  

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