As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The War On Facts

Karl Rove today:

This week, non-partisan fact-checking organizations like PolitiFact and
have called Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) out for lies in his attack ads against Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL). But on Fox News Sunday today, former Bush political adviser Karl Rove dismissed the organizations, claiming that “they’ve got their own biases built in there.” “You can’t trust the fact-check organizations,” said Rove.

You know, does have some problems on occasion. But that's not really the point. Rove's job, and by extension McCain's job, is to basically nuke reality and leave everything open to question. In a world where there is an objective reality, Republicans can't function and certainly can't run their electoral strategy. They need two things - ignorance and an unknowable truth. That's been true since well before the Mayberry Machiavellis arrived in Washington and will be true long after they leave.

And so Sarah Palin's ignorance of the Bush Doctrine is OK, because most Americans don't know what it means either. In fact, the less knowledge a world leader has, the better, because they can't be muddled up with all those facts about how occupied countries historically resist occupation or how countries become interdependent or which country wields power over their sphere of influence, or such related nonsense. Candidates who have little interest in foreign affairs are "authentic" and the kind of reg'lar folks we need to rule with their gut-level belief. The fact that Sarah Palin, for example, is a real person in an unreal situation is a net good. Putting her a heartbeat away from the Presidency is of no consequence.

I have to agree with this assessment from Bradrocket:

The GOP has become one giant St00p1d Machine. They revel in being ignorant about everything, and anyone who actually has knowledge about a given topic is treated at best as suspect. The fact that Sarah Palin has, at least for the moment, been a boon to McCain’s campaign is the dark reflection of a nation that has lost its ability to think. American popular culture has done to us in 50 years what centuries of drinking lead-poisoned water did to the Romans. If you ever wanted evidence that the United States is in its official decline period, Sarah Palin is it.

With a caveat: there is a difference between a country's citizens being stupid and being ignorant. IMO the United States is the latter, and actually it's worse than that. One party has recognized that you can easily confuse the public by throwing mud at facts and reality and making the truth suspect. That has the practical effect of making people stupid, but in actuality they are ignorant because of this parallel reality that the cynical GOP leadership has created.

And I think the Obama campaign is right to call this dishonorable. McCain and his minions know exactly what they're doing. They don't believe their own bullshit. They know that their victory strategy is closely tied to denying reality.

The reviews are in on McCain's strategy of distorting, distracting and outright lying to the American people and what that says about his character, but the St. Petersburg Times put it best when they said his "campaign of lies disgraces McCain" and "McCain's straight talk has become a toxic mix of lies and double-speak. It is leaving a permanent stain on his reputation for integrity."

I think turning this into a character attack is the only way to stop it.

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