Deep Underground with Raul Groom

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Bush is having a rough day in the Washington Post. They gave him some inches to tell his side of the story, which he did as good a job of as he ever does. Bush and Allawi's main talking point these days seems to be that "at every turn, the Iraqi people have proved the doubters wrong." Which is a good sount bite, I guess, except for the rather sticky fact that at every turn, the Bush administration has proved the doubters right. Almost nobody in Iraq will go on record now to support what Allawi and Bush are saying. Everyone knows the situation is a complete mess. Aside from that, the article written on Bush's perspective has he and Allawi all over the place, saying more troops are needed, but that they aren't really needed, and that they'll get more foreign troops, but they don't need any more foreign troops, etc. A bland and uninspired effort.

Meanwhile, here's the Kerry version of the same story. Check this sound bite "The president says that things are getting better in Iraq and we must just stay the same course," Kerry said. "Well, I disagree. They're not getting better and we need to change the course to protect our troops and to win."

This is good stuff, people. It's great because it's not a straw man - Kerry really is accurately restating the Bush position, which is that things are going according to plan and we need to stay the course. So the Bush position only makes sense in this crazy fantasy world where everything in Iraq is cool.

The thing to keep in mind, especially if you don't look at the right-wing press, is that there actually exists a substantial percentage of the population - say 21-25% - that actually lives in this crazy fantasy world. These people are constantly bombarded with propaganda that reassures them that what "the media" (that being all media except right-wing media) is telling them about Iraq is all a bunch of lies and that really things are hunky-dory.

This is one of the major disadvantages the Democrats have is that the "liberal" press is actually mostly mainstream news organizations that are bound to some degree to the actual facts of a story. You can see that, ironically, in the CBS document flap - CBS is a real news org, so if they screw up the facts of the story, there are consequences. You don't have this enormous machine that can just gin up some new reality where we can pretend the documents have proven to be real.

This is a big plus for the Republican side, of course, but it has a limitation - namely that when the facts are overwhelmingly and incontrovertibly making your position look like the most ignorant hogwash, you can only get maybe one in five people to believe the crap you're saying. Makes it tough to win elections.

So in the end, the Republicans often have to fall back on trying to suppress Democratic voter turnout, because if everyone who wanted to vote actually got to vote, the Republicans would always lose.

The point is, get out there and vote. Not only that, drive some other folks to the polls so they can vote, too. And read this message from Michael Moore. I don't care if you're a good liberal and you hate Michael Moore like you're supposed to. You can still read this message. It's for everybody!

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