RIGHT-WING MEGAPHONES ARE AGAIN CONTROLLING THE ELECTORAL PROCESS
Rush Limbaugh, his media apostles, and those who need spiritual direction ( i.e., a distracted American voter) are once more in robotic unison shaping our primary season--as effectively as advertising campaigns shape the public's need to purchase. It's all good fun and good business? Some commercials are more creative and clever than the entertainment they underwrite. With this exception: electing a U.S. president is too important to defer to Madison Avenue's marketing creativity.
DRINKING THE KOOL-AID
Barack Obama's pitch to Republicans or Independents to re-register and vote for him and be a "Democrat for a Day"--or a Rush Limbaugh/ Laura Ingraham ploy to do same, is shading the law in some states and straining credibility in others. But conservatives tweaking the electorate to vote for Senator Hillary Clinton in order to continue the chaos engendered within opposition ranks is definitely a new low in campaign trickery. Limbaugh is suspect in Ohio for tampering with their primary election; Cuyahoga County has opened an inquiry into the breach of state law. That county is the state's heaviest populated and no stranger to GOP manipulation. (Several Ohio Board of Elections officers have been indicted for the 2004 tainted presidential tallies.) For a voter to change affiliations, they must sign a form pledging allegiance to the new party's ideas or be cited for electoral fraud. (The penalty is $2,500 and 6 to 12 months in jail.) But all the latter-day scrutiny seems pointless. The country continues to suffer from the ongoing Bush blunderbuss.
Nor are chatty radio hosts the only echo chamber for Republican intramural sport.. Dick Morris (once advisor on "triangulation theory" to President Clinton; his claim to eternal fame was a toe-sucking incident with a lady-of-the-night during a call to the White House) is going on record, and switching loyalties. He was a "Dem for only a few days," back when it was politically expedient, but is now advising right-wing factions in campaign '08. Mr. Morris is true to his more basic instincts of surviving radical climate change. He is in good company with other self-styled pundits who shape-shift to fit the politics du jour. He can be found on YouTube recanting any old affiliations with Hillary and Bill. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yr2UH32vPhc It is vintage right-wing campaign pap.
This troubling video, with distorted graphics of Senator Clinton and hyperbole generally heard only in a Limbaughesque vaudeville act, is emblematic of applied more=right tacks to unseat opponents. It goes beyond even playful banter that can amuse; it can only be labeled the politics of personal destruction. Desperation is as desperation does.
It should not go unnoticed, in this Dick Morris anti-Hillary screed, he denounces her for the very propositions he, as a Clinton consultant, was selling her husband's administration--triangulation policies meant to ramp up their political efficacy and likability quotient. Irony of ironies, Mr. Morris, typically forgets his role in merging Republican and Democratic rhetoric and fundamental platforms in the dubious "triangulation" thesis, which seems borrowed from business or professional-management expertise.
Flyers in Nevada have made their way into the public domain via an Obama precinct captain, which should surprise no student of campaign '08. http://taylormarsh.com/archives_view.php?id=26826 This only illustrates the GOP and Barack forces are employing like techniques and have a mutual agenda: defeat Hillary Clinton and spare no innocent bystander--in the Republican tradition.
There is also a video of an Obama's "Democrats for a Day" training camp on Youtube for your consideration: Though his wife denies it, the Obama trainer, a man of interest in the presentation, Robert Creamer, is putting his old expertise to use in teaching how to "inspire" voters to vote for his boss. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUE4KpOYERs Robert Creamer, spent time in jail for bank fraud and income tax evasion. Given the compilation of many-sided Obama strategies, which seem to dovetail with GOP goals, one is left to wonder what constituancy the Senator from Illinois truly represents.
Republicans in Texas were touting their own initiative to scuttle the Hillary Clinton campaign at their online site, which promoted a plan to rid politics of Hillary (and Bill) once and for all. http://ironmyvote.com/obama-popular-vote.htm "Voting Democratic this one time will have NO effect on your ability to vote in the next Republican primary or obviously on your vote in November," the site promised. Instructions on how to sabotage the Democratic primaries and state caucuses followed, climaxing with: "Please forward this e-mail to all your Republican and Independent friends so that we can help ensure the Clinton's defeat on March 4th!!! The Republican urge to follow their leaders is playing havoc with participatory democracy as we know it. Or at least as we were taught in civics classes in days of yore.
THE MEDIA AMPLFIES RNC TALKING POINTS
Over at MSNBC, Chris Matthews chortled about the Republican penchant to view politics as entertainment. Matthews is interviewing NBC corrrespondent, Ron Allen, February 19, '08, on his nightly roundtable: "Let me talk to you, let me go right now, Ron, is that your theory, that--well, it's mine, too--that if you can vote if you're a moderate or independent voter or you're a Republican who doesn't think it's important to vote on the Republican side, since it's locked up for McCain, have some fun and vote for someone you have sort of an interest in, Barack Obama,perhaps?"http://www.msnbc.com/id/23255694/ And like a bad joke, passed around the baroom or over ubiquitous airwaves for fun and profit, a counterproductive template gains traction. (The link takes you to Matthew's archives but that particular show is not listed. Efforts to obtain verification from the NBC were met with "leave a message" only.
"Time" magazine wondered in an editorial: "CAN GOP VOTERS SPOIL DEM RACE?" Similar calculatled schemes came out of Pennsylvania involving both Republican and Obama campaigners; the problem is systemic as the roundup article noted. click here These facts are reported as current news without critical analysis into the legitimacy or ethics involved. We can look for all the political tactics to be vetted after the fact when the campaign dust settles, when it is safe to come up for air. By then, it may be too late, the damage too insurmountable.