Friday, August 15, 2008
What is to be done?
In Eugene Robinson's op-ed
that's critical of Jerome Corsi's latest book, he writes:
The Obama campaign faces a classic dilemma. If smear attacks are left unanswered, voters can get the impression that the lies are true. But there's no way to respond without giving the falsehoods wider circulation.
But why are there "smear attacks" out there to deal with? It's because Corsi is being promoted on right-wing radio and Fox News Channel (Hannity has been vociferous in praising Obama Nation
According to Robinson, if there is an organized effort to promote falsehoods - and there is - then no matter what you do, those falsehoods get wide (or wider) circulation.
If that's true, and if censorship is not allowed, then the only way a politician or political party can effectively fight back is to launch falsehoods as well.
No retaliatory lies are needed. Do we really want to dig ourselves deeper down that track?
Just keep pushing that people who support McCain revel in fear and ignorance of the same sort that got us in the dire situations we find ourselves in today.
Challenge people not to continue to support those who have been OBVIOUSLY wrong, corrupt and incompetent time and again and who have kept their positions by continuing to lower the bar of discourse by resorting to misinformation and fear mongering.
Turn it around and say OF COURSE they have to lie and fear monger. After Iraq, Katrina, the economy, domestic spying, oil prices... What else are they going to do?
Preface a positive message with that summary and associate their negative campaigning as a sign of DESPERATION.
Retaliatory lies are needed.
I've had it with playing fair. The only way to get rid of the lies is to have them condemned, which so far, they have not been (by the major media).
The lies work. Why should Obama be at a tactical disadvantage? I say, tell tales about McCain. Let him denounce charges that he slept around with dozens of women while he was married to his first wife.
Or that he dissed the Baptists for not being fully immersed (or whatever you care to come up with).
To repeat: The lies work. It's time to get totally nasty until we see reform on all three sides (Dems, Republicans, the press).
Believe me, I revel in the snarkiness of The Daily Show, SNL and the driftglass blog. I wish Bill Hicks was alive and campaigning for Obama.
But resorting to McCain tactics isn't a solution, because it becomes a contest of who can lie more effectively. I mean, would you endorse Obama hiring Karl Rove?
Those kinds of smears are not merely tactics, they are symptoms of the kind of people wretched enough to resort to using them. If the ability to lie becomes a trait we look for, we will find ourselves with no decent candidates to choose from.
We have enough truth to hit back hard with. Why we don't do more of THAT, I have no idea. I am certain that open-minded, non-neocons are far better at delivering a message than the likes of Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly, or even Karl Rove.
I think the problem has been finding a forum that isn't controlled by corporations who like the status quo.
If such a progressive medium were to arise (I think in the form of freely downloadable podcasts), we would blow the right away with a positive message, better ideas and, frankly, more humor and better music.
The right have Toby Keith and Dennis Miller. They wouldn't stand a chance without resorting to Dixie Chicking anyone who went off message.
If we could create a progressive medium that worked, we would unleash a message that probably hasn't been heard in over a quarter century.
That's quite a bit off topic, but if you are contemplating that we need retaliatory lies to win, I would suggest trying to think in more constructive ways.
One thing should not be forgotten: Only right-wing lies are tolerated and propagated by the media. Counter-lies would be immediately and thoroughly debunked and used as ammo against the Dems. The Rovians invent lies they attribute to the Dems already and successfully. What do you think they would do with 'real' lies?