Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 9 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/1/09

The Way Things Aren't: The GOP Opts out of Reality Unleashing More Demagoguery

Follow Me on Twitter     Message John Lorenz

Sloppiness, ignorance and outright fabrication  of  fact seems to be the run of the mill fare meted out in right wing' pronouncements these days. In topics ranging from global warming to taxes to re-regulation of Wall Street,the public is fed with lock step rehashing of beyond-dead-horse tired GOP supply-side mantras, blown about the public airwaves by right wing blowhards like Bill O'Reilly and political hacks  like Bobby Jindal and GOP Congressmen who regularly get on television and systematically distort Obama's economics as well as the policies and factual record of the current Democratic Congress. In short, the GOP has never been as destructive, hateful or finely honed as it is today in its zeal to all-out twist reality to fit the GOP's agenda.  

What makes this conservative propaganda machine so insidious is that in the absence of any fairness requirement for the mainstream media, all of the loudly and oft repeated GOP talking points that consistently fall short on truthfulness,  are seldom challenged on the daily political news programs of the mainstream media.  

After its defeat in the last election, the right wing rump which has taken over the GOP is more than ever engaging in some sort of delusional persecution-soliloquy  that has little to do with facts or debate and everything to do with liberal-bashing in the form of a partisan monolog disguised in the language of 'concern" so as to sugar-coat the real intention of subverting the new President's reform legislation in the minds of the untutored American public.


The current reactionary rump that has taken complete charge of the GOP and its hard-righ-wing-nut-base after the GOP's defeat in the last election is just not open to any honest debate at all.  What these folks seek is to aggressively plant seeds of doubt about the Democrats newly proposed social spending programs, and in the process imply that there is a lot wrong with the Democrats' patriotism,competence and integrity as well. Even more than mere doubt and denigration, the leadership of the right aims to foster sentiments among their base of faithfuls bordering on an uprising by the right wing base through use of repeated, angry mischaracterizations the Obama Administration and its congressional allies' new agenda to stimulate the sagging economy and redress at least a decade of neglect of the national infrastructure and social safety net.

To cast doubt on Obamanomics and Democratic tinkering with the system, the right must somehow portray progressives and the new President as somehow unpatriotic, wasteful and pushing disastrous policies.    Their aim is to undermine the new legitimately elected leaders of the U.S. government by portraying them as dangerous to the common public good.

Before I go any further, I want to make one thing understood: Please don't get me wrong: I'm not saying that conservatives don't have the rights we all should have to exercise their freedom of speech, but what I do object to is when their drumbeat of ramped-up anger and opposition turns out to be a calculated campaign of subversion of needed reforms in a time of national peril. To do so has the same basic effect as yelling 'fire' in a crowded theater. It comes close to ‘sedition’ as defined in the early days of US government in the Adams Administration sponsored "Alien and Sedition Act" wherein it became a type of treason to hinder the legitimate workings of government for the purposes of political gain. 

The GOP's fuzzing of reality to the end of whipping up public alarm when our nation is fighting for its life and its future is akin to mutiny at a time of national peril and extreme emergency.… It produces little that is useful in furthering rational discussion of our current dilemma and hinders  national dialog on sorely needed  reform of our economic and social institutions.

What angers me is that the GOP's self-serving demagoguery is employed to carry out the dual purpose of both deceiving the general public and of whipping up the GOP’s cheering ultra-rightist base, as it were, spurring on the party faithful  to even more extremely fanatical and mindless opposition. It simply becomes opposition for the sake of opposition and hatred toward anything and everything put forward by the new Democratic Congress and Administration at a time when action is required quickly if we are to avoid national disaster that could last for years.

These self-appointed conservative ‘pork police’ and red baiters style themselves to be some sort of crypto-counterrevolutionary hyper-vigilantes who think to cynically and by all means possible derail and defeat the largest populist reform in recent American history, attempting to heap disrespect upon the new President and  screaming about the "dangers" of the Obama inspired “Recovery Act”,

The RNC coldbloodedly misrepresents proposed reform legislation as "class warfare" and sneers at Obama's economic stimulus package as  "porkulus" slogans intended to undermine public confidence and encourage fear, outrage, and rejection of the new President's agenda based on zero evidence that it will be harmful,  but throwing in loads of trumped up untruths.

They intend to equate the ideas of middle class tax relief, job creation and affordable healthcare -- ideas that are supported by 82 percent of Americans – with being the work of a criminal, tyrannical President.  So Republicans repeatedly harp on portrayals of Barack Obama and the Democratic Congressional leaders as wasteful, arrogant, tax and spend, flaming communists and by implication, traitors.

 But how the right wing hearts do tenderly bleed over a proposed income tax increase of pennies on the dollar for the wealthiest two-percent of the population: never mind the fact that this stratum of income earners has experienced an obscene increase in their share of national wealth during the last eight years. The fat cat and the high roller are passionately and devotedly defended by the very GOP architects of this current recession, painting them as victims of Washington plundering the pocketbooks of business. 

To hear the right tell it, Obama's 'arrogance' calls for something near to resort, on the part of the right wing base, to a forceful response  perhaps little short of counter-revolutionary resistance. This is not surprising since the Republican right is well known for its coziness with large corporate interests and well-connected financial overlords.  However, for a segment of our population that is less than  forty percent the right makes an inordinate amount of noise. . In fact, polls show that the G.O.P is in national disfavor, with the latest New York Times/CBS News survey showing, 63 percent of the public as saying that Congressional Republicans oppose the stimulus package mostly for political reasons; while only 17 percent felt that the Republicans should stick with their past policies rather than cooperate with Obama and the Democrats. Wall Street bankers and hedge fund managers and the CEO’s of big corporations are in similar disfavor.  

So the good news for Obama is that he doesn’t need to worry about a popular backlash with respect to his carrying out his campaign promises, because a vast majority of the American public more than ever wants him to deliver on his vision he promised during the election and they WANT government to step in boldly because they know that the supposedly "free" markets ran us aground and the Republicans allowed our national crises to fester with their wrong-headed policies and inaction. 

Nevertheless, the national news media continues to cater to the GOP noise machine as it deceives the general public and ‘plays to its base’ Of late, slander-jock Rush Limbaugh has surfaced as the chief spokesperson for the Republicans at the recent CPAC conference. And his gasbag drivel was treated by the national newsmedia as shrewd political punditry to be received with the utmost gravitas. Limbaugh spouted his usual fare of talk down his favorite bogeymen (aka ‘liberals’) and talking up GOP fears of Obama and prejudices against all poor people and minorities and any financial help for the average American was labeled ‘socialism’.

As the GOP continues to just drip with sore-loser anger over the results of the last election, they can barely disguise their fury over a liberal black man being elected President. They disguise that fury as alarm over Obama’s supposed "lack of leadership" and his so-called "radical left" reform agenda.  


The GOP's chronic propensity for outright lying and their refusal of accountability, wouldn't be such a problem if this were just a matter of allowing cranky showbiz types like Howard Stern or Bill Maher to vent. But during a time of national emergency, the problem is that the GOP is engaging in something close to openly undermining our government's ability to effectively run the country when they demagog proposed reforms put forward by the Democrats when the  nation  needs to get it correct as a matter of life and death.

The vicious and relentless Republican campaign against Obama therefore really is something very little short of real sedition.  It is not simply difference of opinion. It goes further and really does rise to the level of threatening our national welfare with bogus hyper-critical, pseudo-patriotic flame throwing. It conjures up the atmosphere prior to the American Civil War and fits the definiition of sedtion, as originally spoken to in the "Alien and Sedition Act" during the Adams presidency.

This Republican hate speech expressed in thinly disguised code phrases pregnant with rebellion and anger evoke a veiled call for little less than national resistance to  the newly elected President by an entire party seeking to reverse the results of the last election by acting the part of sore losers who demand nothing short of derailing America's needed reforms and obstruction of all attempts at forging an economic recovery under the guise of 'outrage over an increase in the deficit' and 'redistribution of wealth' .  

This is dangerous stuff because it is increasing the risk of the sinking of our  economy during the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression. And yet, the mainstream newsmedia take it all in stride, as if it were a boxing match or a trivial political disagreement—the talking heads fail to gauge the depth of neocon anger and hate. Instead they continue to dignify the GOP slander with daily quotes on the evening news, trivializing the whole thing and putting GOP "experts" on many more times than they do Democratic spokespersons.  

It is a sad day when a so-called "entertainer" like the sneering, pig-headed Rush Limbaugh has been handed a powerful national political platform at the CPAC convention. Neither Limbaugh nor other hard right partisans who espouse open hatred of everything Democratic and progressive have ever been held accountable for their inflammatory rhetoric, much less their contribution to the sinking of our economy during their tenure in power under George W. Bush.

To subvert  the newly elected Administration during a time of national recession and dire consequences for extended inaction. even Congressional Republicans who ought to know better, do their part to trot out the same lies on all the major news programs and assist demagogues like Limbaugh in spewing out  GOP distortions. 

What is worse, laughable figures like Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal and John Boehner (in English pronounced: B0NER, not Bayner)  are treated as serious actual contenders for political power rather than the political buffoons they are. They are joined by their  henchmen in the Senate and the House who act as  GOP wrecking ball operators and political muscle-men come out to join the rogue's galllery in spouting pseudo-official pronouncements in support of the RNC's talking points, old status quo men like McCain, Corker, Kyl et al seeking to hide behind the formality of their congressional office to manipulate public perception with un-fact-checked GOP caricatures of Democratic policy for the American people to swallow whole.

These fiercely partisan right wing ward heelers are all in cahoots with  GOP aims of using minority congreassional leadership-dogs like Eric Cantor, and Mitch McConnell to sally forth and in lockstep sow disrespect for President Obama and do all in their power to misrepresent the truth. These re-invented old status quo politicians are simply recycled as re-invented versions of the GW Bush-Karl Rove-Dick Cheney spin machine, but are taken seriously, incredibly, as  "leadership material" looking toward running in the 2012 electios. They arrogantly and dismissively act as if the country needed to just ignore and look past the Obama presidency as a fluke in an otherwise unbroken continuum of the GOP holding power. 

What it comes down to is the fact that the right wing is accustomed to power and they want it back at any cost. That is how they have always amassed a political following: i.e., through the regular employment of fear-sloganeering and defamation of character. And what we see are GOP fallacies being recycled time and again, despite years of proven and repeated policy failures. Every new issue is subjected to the same monkey business of GOP truth twisting, projection, demagoguery and revisionist falsehoods.    

One of the most worrisome and scurrilous and loudly proclaimed of these falsehoods being nationally bruited around about Obama is his alleged 'socialism'. Such an  inflammatory label and charge begs for tough media scrutiny but it isn't getting any.

We have only to look to history to show us something similar happening in 1954 when Edward R. Murrow confronted another demagogue, Joseph McCarthy, who had a similar allergy to facts and documentation and was challenged with the famous question “have you no shame, sir?”  

Real democracy ought to be built on debate. But the GOP has little use for debate or bipartisanship; They have forged a mainstream media monopoly muscled in by conglomerate owned corporate profit-driven empires that  offer little but daily retreads of the GOP version of politics. They merely serve as a megaphone to amplify one-sided public pronouncements as if they were fact, and do not to their job of objective journalism, instead leaving them unchallenged.  

Today's TV networks not only don't question the attempts at near-sedition, but they seek to profit from it by encouraging it in order to ramp up ratings. To put it in the words of Rush Limbaugh, "There's a pathology here, folks," but it is not with liberalism, it is with GOP behavior.   Rush shows a total obsession with exaggerating Obama's alleged danger to our society.A psychiatrist might agree that there is a pathology here...but direct his use of that phrase toward GOP's own tendency to project their own excesses and failures and what THEY themselves are guilty of onto the Democrats. Calling Obama a "socialist" simply is destructive and irrational hype and is typical GOP fear mongering.

Obama is not a socialist by any stretch of the imagination.   If you want to see socialism, look at Hugo Chavez in Venezuela Obama doesn’t share the belief that industries should be nationalized by the government or even taken over by the workers as many American Marxists espouse. He may not be as wedded to the free market as a neocon but he doesn’t want to get rid of it either. He wants to regulate it. He wants "capitalism with a human face." He wants to mitigate some of the effects of the market when people lose their livelihoods and homes. This is boilerplate Democratic party liberalism not radical socialism.   

I really detest conservatives  throwing around the words "socialism" and "Marxism" with respect to Obama "  I’m sorry but this is ignorant and it bespeaks a lack of knowledge of what socialism and communism represent as well as an ignorance of simple definitions.

Obama will not set up a government agency to plan the economy. He will not as president, require businesses to meet targets for production. He will not outlaw profit. He will not put workers in charge of companies (unless it is negotiated between unions and management, which is not unheard of in this country and the practice may become more common in these perilous economic times).   

An Obama presidency will certainly have more regulation, more "oversight," more interference from government agencies toward powerful corporate elites, and maybe even, more paperwork for them, but he will actually assist smaller businesses especially, create more jobs, and bring about more opportunities for average Americans. His administration will be friendlier to unions, and maybe more protectionist. But it is hardly socialism to require higher taxes from individuals and larger corporations who have gotten away with windfall profits while receiving massive Federal largesse. The kicker is that these corporations won't even lose anything when slightly higer taxes are imposed because they will simply pass their small increase in their tax bill on to us, their customers.

This will not make government into Big Brother and it certainly isn't some socialist takeover that will ruin our capitalist economy.   Calling Obama a "socialist" simply ignores all of the above and substitutes irrationalism (or ignorance) for the reality of what an Obama presidency actually represents; a necessary national move to the left to counter years of conservative failure and abuses. But it will NOT be detrimental to the economy or bad for business, rather it will just try to reregulate the basic market forces which will continue to dominate our economy.

Before Reagan, the economic beliefs that came to define the modern Republican Party—always cut taxes, always slash government spending, always deregulate—were associated with the conservative fringe but Reagan brought them into the mainstream, effectively shifting the whole political spectrum of the country sharply to the right.    Reagan’s orthodoxy has now gone the way of other has-been political philosophies. The final nail in right wing extremism was driven in by the presidency of George W.Bush. And just as at the end of the Carter era so now too Americans have a sense that the old orthodoxy has reached a dead end and that America’s greatness is slipping away; that things are out of control, that the old rhetoric is empty, and the old GOP solutions won’t solve anything, that we need to try something new.       

However, this is still not ringing any bells for Republicans on Capitol Hill or at the recent CPAC convention..When not one single, solitary Republican vote can be found in the House of Representatives to support the president’s $819 billion stimulus package, it’s pretty clear that the GOP caucus remains clueless and is simply in love with their own rhetoric. With no real plan of their own, what we’ve been hearing from Republicans in both the House and Senate has been a kind of surreal replaying of economic doctrines that the party has preached, but not practiced, since the Reagan years.mantras of more tax cuts, fewer spending initiatives for average Americans and less regulation on runaway predatory capitalism.

Neocons cynically  cry "socialism" when faced with Obama’s populist proposals much like a pavlovian dog responds to the bell and salivates.  But Americans know that the GOP philosophy has already taken us as far as it can down the toilet and they are not listening to the old Rovian fear mongering and slander. At least the majority outside the moronic 40 per centers who believe everything the GOP cranks out. A majority of Americans know that taxes can only be cut by so much before they really don’t mean anything but another meaningless giveaway to the ‘haves’ concurrent with ignoring the needs of the have-nots. They are aware that when such tired, tried-and-failed policies are put into effect the federal government’s effectiveness inevitably suffers.

Americans now know that spending money on repairing America doesn’t necessarily mean wasting it. Americans know that the economic crisis means abandoning the old conservative mantra that that government is inherently oppressive, if not fundamentally evil, In short, the GOP is now intellectually morally and ideologically bankrupt, because government in this severe emergency is the only instrument high-stakes enough to have the resources to attempt financial and economic recovery.    If Republicans hadn’t broken the bank with jingoism overseas and drunken-sailorish spending during most of George W. Bush’s time in the White House, their complaints about the cost of the stimulus package and its impact on future deficits would be more credible.

As things stand, we have to let actions speak louder than words and see the: absolute solidarity among House Republicans in voting no as little more than rank obstructionism and being sore losers. Republican opposition is a triumph of putting party ahead of country and an abandonment of reason, It is putting doctrine ahead of the national good.  

There is abundant evidence suggesting that we are in a new political era with new rules and a new way of thinking. If the GOP continues in its state of denial of reality they will ignore the sea change at their own peril. And they will have only themselves to blame if they end up losing more elections. Outside the solidly moronic south and cowboy red states there is no confidence in the Republican screams of epithets at Obama.    

Rate It | View Ratings

John Lorenz Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I live in the Pacific Northwest and I am interested in current affairs.
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Another Example of Associated Press Bias

The Moral Problem of Neocons like Bunning Who Love to Cut Off Poor Peoples' Living

The 'Songbird' as President?

The Ron Paul "Surge"

The GOP's Coleman-Franken Obstructionism Needs Democratic Hardball Response

Neo-cons as Heirs of Social Darwinism

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend