June 19, 2005

Dissecting Dr. Dean

Via LGF, I found this article about Howard Dean's effect on political discourse. Let's check it out:

Republicans showered scorn upon Howard Dean when he said in recent weeks that the GOP is "pretty much a white Christian party," that many of its leaders "never made an honest living," and that a key Republican "is corrupt" and should "start serving his jail sentence."

Dean: The gift that keeps on giving.

Some Democrats publicly disavowed the remarks by Dean, their own party chairman.

But Dean did not back down.

Of course not. After all, cornered animals tend to fight back for the sake of survival.

"We need to be blunt and clear about the things that we're going to fight for," he told Iowa Democratic leaders Saturday, according to the Des Moines Register. "People have criticized me for being blunt. I do that on purpose. I am tired of lying down."

Keep it up, man! Every time you spew irrational bullshit in front of the press, more people leave the Democratic party!

So is it a strategy?

I guess it could be...in the same way that intentionally walking a batter with the bases loaded is a baseball strategy...

If so, it's misguided, said analysts contacted by ABCNEWS.com -- unless it's part of a Republican strategy.

Aha! KKKarl Rove is to blame for the idiocy of Mad How! He must be a cyborg built by the VRWC to trick the Sheeple into thinking that the Democrats hate them!

"The Republicans are attacking Howard Dean more than Howard Dean is attacking Republicans...

I believe it's called "retaliation."

...but the way the stories are being handled in the news media, everybody is assuming the opposite," said Anthony Pratkanis, co-author of "Age of Propaganda: The Everyday Use and Abuse of Persuasion," and a psychology professor at the University of California-Santa Cruz.

Wait a minute...let me see if I understand what you're saying...Republicans are attacking Dean more aggressively, but the media just happens to be there when he delivers such delightful nuggets of wisdom as "I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for," so everyone thinks he's the bad guy? Wow. That's amazing...I mean, who knew that proclaiming your hatred of half the country could get people's attention?!

'Republican Message Machine'

Experts on propaganda and political branding declared Republicans the winners of the dust-up over Dean's comments, calling Dean's attacks imprecise, poorly targeted and open to mischaracterization (Dean was forced to clarify several remarks once they were reported).

Let me translate that from Moonbat to English: Dean said a bunch of mind-numbingly idiotic things, and when he realized that most people didn't agree with them, he had to pretend that he meant something else. As a result, other liberals must find a way to blame Republicans.

There. That's more like it.

The result is little surprise to George Lakoff, a linguistics and cognitive science professor at the University of California-Berkeley...

Yeah, there's a bastion of unbiased wisdom.

...who said "the Republican message machine" has been far more effective than Democrats in recent years at framing the opposing party through disciplined message management, repetition of phrases and other techniques. Democrats, he said, can't currently match the GOP's level of organization.

It's a new meme! First, there was the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. Then, there was the Digital Brown-Shirts. Now, we have...the Republican Message Machine. The most devastating collection of right-wing propaganda in the history of the world.

Here, we once again see the main problem with modern liberalism. They cannot...CANNOT accept the fact that people don't agree with them, so they have to rely on these cute little conspiracy theories to explain why their batshit insane messages can't get out.

"The reason for this [Dean flap] is that you have Republican media people putting this stuff out -- combing through the speeches, taking out a quote and taking them out of context..."

Excuse me a moment while I enjoy a hearty laugh at George Lakoff's expense.


All right, where were we? Ah, yes. The "Republican media people." Notice the complete lack of context or examples? I love how these morons think they can conjure up imaginary demons without having to explain what the fuck they're talking about. If he's trying to suggest that the media is dominated by conservatives...no, I don't have time to laugh that long. Let's just move on.

...said Lakoff, a self-styled "progressive" Democrat who was in the audience for Dean's "honest living" remark and feels it got mischaracterized in the media.

I'm sure he didn't feel that way when he heard it, but now that he's seen its less than stellar reception, he has to pretend that everyone made a mistake. Hindsight's a bitch, ain't it?

Whether the Dean controversy was fueled by Republicans framing Dean's comments or by the comments themselves...

Is it even necessary to consider the first explanation?

...the attention paid to it may have revived a media portrayal of Howard Dean as a loose cannon, at a time of falling poll numbers for President Bush and the Republican agenda.

It just so happens that the "media portrayal" of Dean seems to be one of the few things the media has gotten right lately. I'm sure he's a wonderful human being, though...when he's not busy calling all Republicans dishonest criminals.

In other words, Pratkanis said, just as they stumbled, Republicans may have pitched a psychological message to future voters that, "We're all that keeps you from Howard Dean."

Or Dean may have pitched a psychological message to future voters that "the Democrats are the party of hatred, and if you don't agree with us, you deserve to be in prison." You know, something like that.

'I Hate Republicans'

Dean's recent remarks seemingly elaborated on his quip earlier this year that, "I hate Republicans and everything they stand for."

In late May, Dean said embattled House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, "ought to go back to Houston where he can serve his jail sentence." DeLay has faced questions and investigations over campaign finance matters, but has not been accused of a crime.

Just think about how many Nazi comparisons would be flying around if a Republican had made that statement.

Then, in a June 2 speech to a Washington conference sponsored by the Campaign for America's Future, Dean suggested Republican leaders could not identify with the common working-class voter.

"You have to wait on line for eight hours to cast your ballot in Florida," he said. "There's something the matter with that. And Republicans, I guess, can do that because a lot of them have never made an honest living in their lives."

Only Howard Dean could find a way to insult Republicans based on the incompetence of polling place workers.

'Ranting and Raving'

That week, a storm erupted around the man already derided -- some have said unjustly -- for his campaign trail "scream" after the 2004 Iowa Democratic caucuses.


"He's ranting and raving about Republicans not having held real jobs," Tony Fabrizio, a Republican strategist, told USA Today. "It's hatred, hatred and more hatred."

And I encourage him to keep it up as much as possible. For example, he could paraphrase many racists and claim that all Republicans look the same to him...oh, wait, he already did that.

"Watching a Howard Dean speech is a little like people who go to a NASCAR race to see a crash," Ed Gillespie, a former Republican Party chairman, told the same reporter.

Insert Howard Dean here: "Only a stupid redneck Republican would think about NASCAR at a time like this!"

Tracey Schmidt, a Republican National Committee spokeswoman, said the comment, "makes it clear that Dean's priority is to generate mudslinging headlines rather than engage in substantive debate."

If he was capable of engaging in substantive debate, he wouldn't be a Democrat, after all.

Even fellow Democrats lashed out.

"He doesn't speak for me, with that kind of rhetoric," Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., said June 5 on ABC News' "This Week." "And I don't think he speaks for a majority of Democrats. I wish that rhetoric would change."

When Joe friggin' Biden isn't on your side, you should probably tone it down a bit.

However, a new Dean lightning bolt came the very next day.

"The Republicans are not very friendly to different kinds of people," he told a political forum. "They're a pretty monolithic party. They pretty much, they all behave the same and they all look the same. And they all, you know, it's pretty much a white Christian party."

Guess what, idiot? The United States is "pretty much a white Christian country" based on your standards, so you probably insulted a lot more people than you realized. But again, don't stop now. Why don't you just go all out and say that Republicans are evil?

...Oh, wait, you also did that already.

'Talking Crazy'

Republicans seemed to crow openly as the controversy crested.

"I think he's probably helped us more than he has them," Vice President Dick Cheney said in an interview on the Fox News Channel show "Hannity & Colmes" taped June 10, in which he also called Dean "over the top."

Dang it, man, don't give away our secrets! Are you trying to shut him up?

...Oh, wait, he wouldn't watch "Hannity & Colmes," so we shouldn't have a problem. Listening to other opinions means instant death to the liberal.

On the other hand, New York Post columnist John Podhoretz wrote June 14 that "it's not quite clear Republicans should be gleeful." The volatile Dean, he speculated, might be just the person to keep the most partisan, angry Democrats fired up for coming election cycles. Plus, he could prove valuable to moderate Democrats who scold him, "by defining the outer limit of his party."

The problem is that their party is now defined by people like him, so "moderates" really don't have much of a place anymore. As loud and obnoxious as they are, Deanocrats are still the minority in this country, and as long as they pretend to be mainstream, they'll keep losing elections. Therefore, I encourage them to keep making crazy speeches and playing dress-up games in basements. Let the adults handle things from now on.

"By talking crazy, he makes everybody else seem sane," Podhoretz wrote.

But that's exactly what we want. If he can convince voters that people like him represent mainstream Democrats, Republicans will control the government for the next few elections.

But such a strategy might target too few voters, said Jack Pitney, a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College and author of "The Art of Political Warfare."

"You could argue that he's trying to … keep the Democratic base energized," Pitney said. "That's strategy, but not necessarily a winning one. In 2004, the Democratic Party got about as energized as they could and they lost. If they want to win, they've got to pick up some Republican votes, and Howard Dean's comments are not a good way to do that."

But don't you see? The Republican Message Machine just tricked people into voting for Bushchimpler! Americans really do want to vote for Democrats, and if Dean screams loudly enough, it'll eventually be impossible for "Republican media people" to distort the truth of the liberal message! It's brilliant, I tell you!!!

For one thing, Dean seemed to target Republicans generally with some of his comments, rather than focusing his fire on specific issues or individuals -- as Republicans did to the Democrats by attacking Dean.

"He says, I hate the Republicans, without making a distinction," Pitney said. To ordinary Republicans, "the obvious conclusion is, Howard Dean hates me. That's not a good way to build support."

Of course, we stupid Republicans aren't nuanced enough to understand what he really meant, right? When he says "I hate the Republicans," what he's really saying is "I love the Republicans, but it's tough love. You know, the same kind of love Michael Moore has for America."

Bad Wording

Some said Dean may have goofed further by, as Pitney said, "choosing his words carelessly" -- leaving them too open to misinterpretation.

See my earlier comments about hindsight.

"Here's a man who said, A: he hates Republicans and everything they stand for, [and B:], Republicans are white Christians," ABC News political analyst George Will said on "This Week" June 12. "It's almost a syllogism that Dean, therefore, hates white Christians. Now, he doesn't, but that's just the nature of the man. … He's impatient, and he's angry, and he's carrying on."

Of course he doesn't hate Christians! He's already told everyone that he reads the Bible. His favorite book of the New Testament is Job! And he couldn't hate white people either, since he is white! Remember when he said that "We're going to tell all those white boys who run the Republican Party to stay out of our bedrooms?"


In fact, Democrats have sought to target the white Christian demographic for political conversion, perhaps by reframing "moral values" against care for the poor and issues where Democrats are strong.

"All we have to do is fool them into thinking we don't hate them! It's simple!"

In an interview with National Public Radio broadcast June 3, Dean himself said, "We'd like to get some evangelical Christians and we'd like a big chunk of the Catholic vote back. … Our values, I think, are more in sync with most evangelicals than the president's values."

Right. Because "most evangelicals" believe that it's okay to hate people who don't agree with you. Good luck on that one.

Still, though Dean may have misstepped in the message war this time, it might not matter in the long run.

"The key time period is the mid-term in 2006," Pitney said. "If Dean is still talking like this a year from now, then the Democrats are going to have some real problems. … If he minds his tongue starting today, then the whole issue recedes."

Based on the last two years, that isn't going to happen. And frankly, I'm glad that someone is finally standing up and making people realize why Bush is president.

Remember, kids: Republicans distance themselves from crazy people. Democrats give them positions of authority.

Posted by CD on June 19, 2005 11:19 PM | TrackBack
Category: Liberal Stupidity
Semi-Intelligent Comments

I bent my wookie!

Posted by: Ralph Wiggum at June 20, 2005 03:06 PM

Um, I'm sure CD is aware that he's flagrantly anti-Democrat. That's pretty obvious. Sometimes you have to call evil evil. "Anti-Democrat" means "against Democrats". You say that like it's a bad thing.

No, I'm not democratic, I'm not even American.

Okay, fine. What are you? Labour Party? The fact that you're not an American kinda takes the oomph out of your argument, at least until you can prove that you have a good understanding of our political system.

Comparing fur-wearing to abortion?

What are you talking about? This? I don't believe he was comparing wearing fur to having an abortion. He was saying that it's pretty crazy to be up in arms over small animals being killed, but to callously disregard a helpless human life... aah, forget it, if you didn't get it the first time I don't think I can help.

Posted by: Army NCO Guy at June 20, 2005 03:53 PM

The troll has been taken care of. I would've handled it earlier, but my Internet was down again.

Posted by: CD at June 20, 2005 06:42 PM
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