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Friday, January 08, 2010

Republican Anti-Terrorism Strategy: 'Freak the Hell Out!'

Panic buttonIf the failed terrorist bombing in Detroit has taught us anything, it's that there's no such thing as terrorist failures -- at least, as far as the right is concerned. All it takes is for someone to try and Republicans are ready to throw out everything we've stood for for more than two centuries. With Republicans at least, it's impossible for terrorists not to win, since even a failure is all it takes for them to call for a radical and fundamental change to our way of life. If terrorists are counting on anything, it's that all Americans are as stupid, as cowardly, as reactionary, and as easily manipulated as the Republican section of our populace.

In speaking about the intelligence failures leading up to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's attempt on an airliner, President Obama took a swing at this Republican defeatism -- although, more obliquely than I would've liked.

Here at home, we will strengthen our defenses, but we will not succumb to a siege mentality that sacrifices the open society and liberties and values that we cherish as Americans, because great and proud nations don’t hunker down and hide behind walls of suspicion and mistrust. That is exactly what our adversaries want, and so long as I am President, we will never hand them that victory. We will define the character of our country, not some band of small men intent on killing innocent men, women and children.

If there's one thing you can count on with modern conservatives, it's that you'll never have your courage called upon by them. You'll never be asked to stay strong, to be defiant in the face of danger -- real or perceived -- or stay true to American principles of fairness, justice, and freedom.

No, you'll be asked to panic, to throw away everything that makes America great, and to beg government to protect you. As I said, for Republicans, there is no such thing as a failed terrorist attack. Every attempt is a huge success that never fails to get them to crap their pants.

Part of this is that conservatives are naturally fearful. But another part is that they're ambitious and without conscience. If they can attack someone for political gain, they will -- without fail. It doesn't make any difference whether those attacks are true. And it certainly doesn't matter whether those attacks are helpful. The only thing that matters is that those attacks might be effective. Then they'll attack away. Republicans are in permanent campaign mode; fingers in the wind, always trying to manipulate polling. If their attack is stupid, so what? They believe you're as stupid and cowardly as they are, so stupid doesn't matter.

Which is why we have people like Rep. Peter King making insanely pointless statements like this one from Good Morning America earlier this week:

"You are saying someone should be held accountable. Name one other specific recommendation the president could implement right now to fix this," host George Stephanopoulos said to King.

"I think one main thing would be to — just himself to use the word terrorism more often," said King, the ranking Republican on the Homeland Security Committee.

If this statement doesn't immediately strike you as vapid and idiotic, then you've got Sarah Palin's book on your shelf. If the president just says "terrorism," then you're automatically safer. Why? It's freakin' magic, I guess. Never mind that Obama uses the word all the time, King -- and the rest of his party -- has no problem lying in order to make it seem like Obama is ignoring terrorism. Mostly because they think you're stupid, they think you're a coward, and they want to win in November. If that means being counterproductive, then bring on the division. Who cares if it's baseless and idiotic and fearmongering?

"Instead of debating the stimulus package, Republicans wanted to explore a five-year spending freeze," explains Steve Benen. "Instead of debating health care reform, Republicans wanted to talk about death panels. Instead of debating cap-and-trade policy, Republicans wanted to talk about 'Climategate.' Instead of debating national security policy, Republicans want to pretend the president doesn't use a word he uses all the time."

It stands to reason that if the strategy for 2010 is "Obama and Democrats are wrong about everything," it doesn't matter much what the right answers are. And, armed with this strategy, Republicans march forth without the right answers. In fact, they head out with few answers at all. But that doesn't matter; if things actually get worse, if people die from terrorism and more lose their jobs and more lose their health coverage and the climate gets worse, then that just proves what hopeless screwups the Democrats are. We're supposed to ignore the fact that Republicans are blocking everything, regardless of its merits, based on 100% pure, unadulterated fearmongering and BS.

The American people have experienced a government that worked on appeals to fearfulness, sloganeering, and propaganda not long ago. Nearly everyone agrees it was a huge failure. Even Republicans would rather pretend the Bush administration never happened. Yet here they are, grabbing onto the same failed strategy -- not because it worked so well the last time around, but because they think it's bad for Democrats.

Who cares if it's good for the nation?


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SMG said...

You are absolutely correct in this piece but how come you fail to see the scare tactics that come from the left? Both sides use the fear card. Strip search all Muslims or we will all die in a terrorist attack. Pass this half-assed health care bill or millions will die from lack of care. Both are bullshit and you know it, the latter just suits your agenda so you don’t call BS. In this ridiculous partisan climate reason has left the building and all that remains is fear mongering and finger pointing.

Wisco said...

You might have a point if:

A) Anyone at all had ever claimed that "millions" would die without health insurance.

B) I was a fan of this healthcare bill.

Both fortunately and unfortunately, the truth is that 45,000 people die per year because of a lack of insurance. Not "millions," sure, but one helluva lot more people than have ever died from terrorism.

And, if we don't do something, 45,000 will die next year and the next and the next.

Is that fearmongering? It would be if it weren't absolutely, 100% true. As it is, it's just stating provable facts.

So, has reason left the building? If you consider 45,000 deaths per year nothing to get worked up over, then I'd say that yeah, it has.

SMG said...

True no one has said "millions will die" what they say is "people are dying from lack of coverage" and then they say "50 million Americans lack healthcare coverage". They expect people to hear "millions will die".

If as you say it is only 45,000, wouldn't an emergency resolution that covers the unisured for a period of two years make more sense? It would have an immediate impact and not create a long term bureaucratic nightmare. It would also give us time to truly revamp the existing system.

The language of fear motivates the masses

Wisco said...

If as you say it is only 45,000, wouldn't an emergency resolution that covers the unisured for a period of two years make more sense? It would have an immediate impact and not create a long term bureaucratic nightmare. It would also give us time to truly revamp the existing system.

That's what you call yer "public option." Conservatives thought it was a bad idea.

sofa said...

the left is partisan to the extent of joyful suicide of the nation.

watch the spectacle. keep score of runs, hits, errors. "popcorn? peanuts? beer here!"

SMG said...

"That's what you call yer "public option." Conservatives thought it was a bad idea."

Creating a new Government insurance agency to "level the playing field" and making sure 45,000 people a year don't die because of lack of coverage are completely different things. No one wants Americans to suffer and die because they can't afford a doctor. The majority of Americans are concerned about paying more for less access and more hassle however.

I am, like most Americans, in favor of fixing the system. I just don't think that something that took 50 years fuck up is going to be fixed in 6 months. The rush to pass something/anything is driven by scare tactics.

Wisco said...

I am, like most Americans, in favor of fixing the system. I just don't think that something that took 50 years fuck up is going to be fixed in 6 months. The rush to pass something/anything is driven by scare tactics.

45,000 people will die this year without health coverage. If this were an asteroid hurtling toward the earth, predicted to kill that many Americans, you'd be begging govt. to do something about it by yesterday.

In addition to that, the leading cause of bankruptcy in the US is medical bills.

So tens of thousands will die, hundreds of thousands will be bankrupted, and your big question is "what's the big rush?"

Seriously, do you ever listen to yourself?

ToldUso said...

Let's get this straight, how long ago was it that Bill Clinton tried to pass health reform? It's sad that some people equate this with a rush to action. Rush to action was going to war with Iraq because they did not go along with a couple of UN resolutions. I haven't had health insurance since before Bill Clinton was president. I refuse to pay $1200 per month for so called health insurance. But don't cry for me. I could care less. My health insurance is I die if I get sick. Now that's what I call courage!

Anonymous said...

Here's a weird observation: Conservatives are fearful and masochistic at the same time. Talk about irony...they are masochistic in that they have no qualms about giving up their tax dollars to Haliburton. They don't complain about paying 30% interest rates to Juniper Bank. They wouldn't even think of suing a doctor who took out the wrong kidney.It's their idea of "personal responsibility". Just don't even think of trying to get health care for some average Joe the Plumber dude. I'd bet that half the members of the "tea-party" crowd don't even have health insurance. They just enjoy the punishment.

sofa said...

"conservative" in these posts is a myth that libtards create to attack: A straw man, which exists only in their collective mind. As made up as the 45,000 mythical people. How about the ginormous overwhelming majority of Americans protected with the best insurance and medical care in uman history? Those are real, and really will be destroyed by socialized medicine.

Americans are actually quite different than this libtard straw man. Always attacking the myth shows the dearth of reason and facts supporting the libtard position. Ignoring the reality shows the delusion.

ToldUso said...

Sofa, so you are saying that you are a myth.

Wisco said...


sofa's just a sloganeering machine. It just repeats whatever half-remembered and poorly understood talking points pops into whatever it is it calls a head.

Just compliment it on its lovely tinfoil hat.

ToldUso said...

Imagine the genius who actually sat down and came up with the brilliant insult - libtard. Ha ha ha, that must have almost exhausted the poor 5 year old brain of that pitiful little creature. It is just too funny to pass up. Libtard, Libtard, Libtard! What a nerd. Here's a real insult you retard, you're so ugly you stole your face from a corpse! Ha ha ha....