Expanding on my previous “Dean as McGovern“, and the power of The Party‘s use of smears, and how it doesn’t matter who we run. What matters is how the candidate fights back.
Seeing the forest
Recent polls show that the public is blaming Clinton for the business scandals, and Bush’s popularity remains astronomical. That’s a tree.
Let’s see if we can see the forest. Look back to the 2000 election. Step back and look at the candidates. The Democrat’s candidate was a well respected, well liked, extremely experienced, Vietnam vet, former seminary student, character beyond reproach, faithfully married family man, foreign policy expert, with many accomplishments including being the person in the Congress most responsible for advancing the Internet… The Republicans ran a foul-mouthed thoroughly inexperienced scandal-ridden (Harken oil, Rangers stadium, recipient of bribes directed at his father) failed businessman, continuously bailed out of jams by his father’s connections, draft-dodger (worse, he got into the Nat. Guard through connections and then played hooky!), former drunk, probable drug-user, kids constantly in trouble, with a campaign entirely financed by large corporations obviously looking for favors.
But by election time the only issue was “character”, and the character in question was the Democratic candidate’s! That’s the forest.
Issues like the “Love Canal story” and “I invented the Internet” were trees. The forest was how they pulled it off – the smears, the propaganda blitz, the way they spread their message and the way people hear messages these days.
With this weblog I’ll be writing about this issue, seeing the forest for the trees.
“Getting it,” in this election, means understanding the new political environment of a near-fascist right controlling the White House, the House of Representatives, the Senate, the Courts, the Justice Department, blocking any and all oversight or investigations into their abuses of power, using the FBI as their investigative arm, the military as their international enforcement arm, and the major broadcast and print media as their propaganda organ. It means understanding that smears, threats and intimidation are the favored tactic of The Party. Understanding that there is nothing The Party will not do, even politicizing the national tragedy of 9/11 and using it to justify a pre-planned war in an unrelated country, all the while using THAT to manipulate an election.
The only way to fight this is to take it on directly, and FIGHT it. Otherwise the Party machinery and the Wurlitzer will just crush you under a pile of lies and smears. From what I see, only Dean “gets it.” Only Dean is willing to take them on — head-on and directly. Only Dean is building an organization of people, ready to talk to their neighbors, going door-to-door, and organizing the public to fight back.