Wednesday, August 23, 2006

GOP: President Bush, Loser, Idiot.

Our friend Kathleen Reardon got a shoutout from froomkin today.

Kathleen Reardon:
"The "He's An Idiot" Trial Balloon and What Will Happen If It Floats

This is trial balloon season for the Republican strategists. They launched a crafty one recently with several big benefits if it stays in the air.

This new balloon involves a cadre of avid Bush backers suddenly saying "He's an idiot."

One of the beauties of this strategy is that it looks as though these overnight Bush detractors have had a change of heart.

They've finally, and suddenly, seen the light - agreeing with liberals.

In It's All Politics, I describe political intuition -- how to notice "disconnects"(when something isn't quite right) as signals that something is amiss, so you'd better open your eyes. Political intuition calls for sensing when actions are counterintuitive or violate some typical pattern.

Think about it. If selected, visible, staunch Bush supporters begin talking about how intellectually wanting the President is, with his full knowledge and collaboration (such as chewing with his mouth open, striding motorcycles, goofing around with unappreciative world leaders), there won't be an anti-Bush platform for the Democrats. In fact, if these balloonists play their cards right, it will seem as if there isn't a nickel's worth of difference between Republicans and Democrats. Everyone will be anti-Bush. The playing field will be leveled.

It's an excellent "inoculation" tactic, too, against a possible impeachment move should the Democrats win enough seats in November. Inoculation, a persuasion strategy, works by telling people in advance of an anticipated negative event how to think about it....

Should the Democrats win enough seats in November to threaten impeachment, the "He's an idiot" strategy will work wonders. Republican leaders will ask: "Does this country really want to impeach a guy who just didn't know what he was doing?" If the Democrats push for penalties, the Republicans will argue, "We're not the party that wants to vilify a president who, like so many of us and even some of his esteemed predecessors, just isn't terribly bright." And, "We agree he isn't intellectually gifted, now let's move on. What else do you have?"

The Democratic anti-Bush advantage will fizzle and die before our eyes if this excuse balloon floats. Disillusioned Republicans will drift back because there will be a number of their own agreeing with them about Bush's limitations. That's how clever these guys are.


As we all know, they're very clever indeed in the Republican win-by-any-means camp. Even the Washington Post reported this "He's an idiot" strategy as some kind of "turning on Bush" among high profile previous supporters. They must be laughing their socks off. And, since Barnes and others are not joining the choir yet on this one, they can pull this balloon back in if we notice it in the air. Let it float and we may pay with 8 more years starting in 2008.

I heart Kathleen - and I think she's mostly right here. But I think it's more than a trial balloon - and she's wrong about Barnes (I presume she's talking about Fred). This was from the Beltway Boys this week:

I was hoping that Amato would post the clip - because even more than the simple fact of putting this image on the screen, it seemed to hang there for an intentionally long time. You could almost feel the propaganda being seared onto your brain.


LeeB said...

Luke - Amato may not have a clip to post. I think a lot of the stuff he puts up is emailed to him by others who catch the lovely bits by Tivo, or some such.

It also seems to me, especially after reading Kathleen Reardon's take on the whole bu$h-is-stupid inoculation (so that's how that works!) that this is not impossible to counter.

While I have always found his personality detestable, I have never thought he was stupid - more that he is devoid of conscience and ethics, and is very sly and cunning. The stumblebum persona is an act, which is not to say he isn't a boor. He's that, too. But, back to his job, it has been way too easy for people who still accept what they see at face value, including many who should know better, to pronounce him and his regime as merely incompetent, which they decidedly are not. They are doing all of it on purpose. Period.

I guess we need to do our bit by altering our knee-jerk responses to his crap and make it clear each and every time it comes up that his minders are purposefully helping him appear stupid in order to, once again, run a game on the GOP lemmings base and other naive, still-in-denial voters.


lukery said...

it's interesting that they went with "idiot" rather than "stupid" - becuase 'idiot' can also mean something other than stupid.

you are correct - the 'incompetence' meme is dangerous.

rimone said...

KR makes some excellent points, as per usual, but i'm w/LeeB here.

on another note, how can bush be an idiot when he's reading all these books?


Don said...

Been reading through some of the 9/11 threads, particularly relating to Bush's lack of reaction and protection on 9/11/01. I've been wondering to what degree he's 'in' on all the big, behind-the-scenes plans. While he's certainly been useful as a talker, as a rallying point, and as a lightning rod for criticism, with his frat boy attitude and antics, what's he really been doing in terms of policy and its execution?

For all the talk of 'disconnect' and the collective neocon delusion, these aren't stupid people. At some level, for all the rhetoric and bloviation, at least some of them have to have an idea of what the reality is while they're crafting their narratives.

The big exception seems to be GWB. Unscripted, except for some of his cheerleading, he's senseless on anything of consequence. We've noted previously the contrast between TX-Gov Bush and POTUS Bush, especially in recent years. If he's always been as he appears now, and if all the previous polish was pure coaching, what if somewhere along they just stopped coaching him?

Notably, while many of the other power players, including Jeb, were PNAC signatories, GWB was not. Within his bubble on 9/11, the Aug PDB aside, while he was told of the attacks as they occurred, what if at the time he didn't know the big plan, or that it was being executed at that moment? If it all breaks, is he a useful-idiot-cum-patsy?

I'm looking at all of the recent fire he's taken and I'm wondering if it hasn't been in the script all along. Taking KR's innoculation a step further, as the Bush43 isolationism progresses, by the time '08 comes along, just about anyone the GOP puts forward is going to appear rational and intellectual in comparison. With each "Bush=loser/idiot/incompetant" report, that contrast is getting easier to paint.

Are they building up to throwing him under a bus themselves, and who do they have in mind to 'clean up the mess'?

Either way, the harder the GOP tries to distance themselves from Bush now, with all congressional Repubs have done to enable Bushite policies, the harder the Dems need to be making Bush the iron ball they're chained to.

LeeB said...

bu$h is the drunk - both literally and figuratively, to the rethuglican congresscritters who are his enablers.

I think we need to hit that meme over and over again so that they can NOT, as Don suggests, cut the chain between themselves and him and his co-conspirators in the Executive Branch.

Also, "ARE they building up to throwing him under a bus themselves?" . . . I believe that would be a definite *maybe* . . .

It would be good to remember that that is exactly what happened with Nixon. When the Democratic-controlled House was inches away from a vote on the Articles of Impeachment, it was the senior Republicans who went to Nixon and told him it was time, that he had no choice but to resign. In preparation for just such a moment, they had already replaced the fervently disliked Spiro Agnew (indicted on NJ state tax evasion charges, if memory serves) with the benign, electable Gerald Ford as VP. If Darth suddenly decides, for health reasons (the obvious, if he doesn't go under a Plame-flavored cloud) to step down, and the thugs appoint a less radioactive VP choice in his place, you can bet that they are preparing the groundwork to not only dump dubya but also try mightily to hang on to the White House in 2008.

It speaks volumes about the character of these currently-serving rethuglican reps and senators that none of them possesses the ethics to act upon what is needed for the good of the country. They are ALL interested in nothing more than protecting these criminals and their own pipelines into the public purse. Grr.

lukery said...

thnx guys. great posts.

yep - i think they are throwing him under a bus - and they are likely to say 'Bush wasnt Conservative' - so the evil Conservative Movement can keep plodding along.

the idea of a cheney resignation brings joy to my cluttered little mind.

in terms of 'what next?' - read the latest Drefuss piece on James Baker and the ISG.

rimone said...

Don: who do they have in mind to 'clean up the mess'?

i think the question should be 'who do they have in mind to give the appearance of cleaning up the mess?'

just my 2p.

Kathleen said...

I've been saying for ages now that I think Darth will have a 'health event' after the midterms and resign and they'll slip Condi in so she can run as an incumbent.

I don't think Das Bush wants any other white male Repugnican in the driver's seat until Jebby's ready to ascend. In the event Condi won, she'd remember who's her daddy.

Darth better hope he doesn't go to the same hospital as Martha Mitchel and William Casey. The bell will toll a dearth for Darth.

LeeB said...

"[T]hey'll slip Condi in so she can run as an incumbent." This certainly may be the plan, although she has her enemies within the regime who may fight that idea in favor of someone else not yet on our radar.

It is good to remember that anyone appointed to replace Darth has to be confirmed by the Senate. Anybody need another reason to pour on the oil to shift the Senate to Democratic control?

lukery said...

LeeB - i didnt know that a replacement Veep needed senate confirmation. how much fun would those hearings be...

LeeB said...

Rimone, "clean up the mess" in this case translates - I think - into keeping their collective asses out of prison.

As for other international messes? I don't think they believe they are messes . . . more like deliberately crafted chaos for the excuse to use the U.S. Military to keep bu$hCo's fascist boot on everybody else's neck.

But mebbe that's just me . . .

rimone said...

LeeB: thank you for that--the scales have fallen from my eyes! lol

Kathleen: Darth better hope he doesn't go to the same hospital as Martha Mitchel and William Casey.

silly me--i hope he /does/ go there...or gets to hospital too late.


LeeB said...


I remember when I used to spend my time plotting the creation of a new piece of jewelry or putting somebody's wedding gown together.

This is just nuts, but I think it has given me an insight into what can inspire ordinary citizens like us to finally go sharpen the pitchforks and head on out into the streets. I have developed a whole new appreciation for the founding fathers and mothers of this country, warts and all.

I still have hope that our flaming keyboards will help turn the tide.

Light candles. Make noise.

rimone said...

LeeB: exactly what you so eloquently said. my own former politically unconcerned life revolved around making collages, writing poetry and short stories, dance, art, museums, and reading about new tech among many other interests now unfortunately left behind due to all my worries about our collective future.


lukery said...

i used to read about tech stuff every day. only cos it was so exciting that it overwhelmed my interest in economics. now i dont ever read anything about either.

rimone said...

me too about reading tech every day cause i was learning really interesting shit. now i almost have to force myself to look down at the bottom of my feed and scan their headlines. i could cry.

proudtard alert: my /. member number is in the 100,000s (1999). unfortunately for me, it means shit now. i blame bu$hCo, actually but you already know that.