Wednesday, December 21, 2011

We hear that former job creator-by-attrition--or is it creative destroyer of jobs? ("I am Shiva, destroyer of jobs!")--Willard Mitt Romney is now offering a stump speech that describes President Obama as an adherent of this truly lost historical crypto-anarchist clubhouse Communism:
"[Theodore] Roosevelt believed that government should level the playing field to create equal opportunities. President Obama believes that government should create equal outcomes.
"In an entitlement society, everyone receives the same or similar rewards, regardless of education, effort, and willingness to take risk. That which is earned by some is redistributed to the others. And the only people who truly enjoy any real rewards are those who do the redistributing—the government."
Holy cannoli, Emily, I just got used to having a socialist president, an' now it turns out he's the whole fracking Khmer Rouge?
The President in traditional Cambodian scarf or krama, in found art from the Siem Reap–resident bloggist and web designer Jinja, via Travel-Artist. Yes, it makes me happy too. Set me up for indefinite detention without charge, target me for execution by drone, I just can't stay mad at him. I'm sure we'll get an explanation sooner or later.

Kevin Drum for Mother Jones, one of the amused spreaders of this startling dung, thinks lies on a scale of such grandeur will backfire on Romney in the end:
But what about the general election? Independents aren't going to go for this stuff. They'll just shake their heads and wonder what the hell he's talking about. So is he going to ditch this stuff completely after he's won the nomination and pretend that he never said it? Or will he keep pressing, literally hoping that if you say anything often enough you can get people to believe it? It is a mystery.
To which I say, "Uh-oh."

For one thing, it is indeed the case that if you say anything often enough you can get people to believe it. Not only is the research already in, it's precisely what Republicans do, for Pete's sake! (Pete in this context would be Pete "Support Grows for Tackling Nation's Debt" Peterson.) They get their verbiage orders from Frank Luntz (replacing Newt Gingrich after Newt went over to the Belgian colonialist side) and then they get out and start repeating, until they have convinced a couple dozen opinion journalists from the higher-level organs, and of course all those people in Medicare scooters that don't know Medicare is a government program.

For another, I believe Drum has a kind-hearted but not very realistic picture of what "independents" are like, confusing them with those mythical creatures the Centrist voters who recognize that, golly, there's some good in just about everybody, and if we'd all stop being so darn stubborn we could come to a compromise, like doing whatever Pete Peterson says we should.*

Independents, in contrast, are non-voters from lack of information (sorry, JSTOR link) who can be persuaded to vote by the force of reasoned argumentation, like, "Hey dude, did you know if you won the lottery the government would take away like 90% of the winnings?" or "Hey dude, did you know Obama put it in a bill that everybody has to eat arugula?" Reasoned, that is, from false premises that the independent has no independent way of evaluating. Not that many independents will hear any given version of Romney's lies, but given the intensity of repetition, those that do hear one are likely to hear it more than once. And it just might get them out to the polls.

So here's hoping Drum's sunny hopes are not going to be the basis of any 2012 Democratic election strategy...

*There are no existing natural Centrist voters. Centrists are actually a kind of journalists, who may occasionally cast an inadvertent vote but whose principles incline them to not doing it. Not the principle that they will cite for you, of their professional duty to maintain an objective distance from both sides (the "two plus two are four" and "two plus two are five" sides) of every public question, although they do take that pretty seriously, but rather the secret Principle of the Savvy, which is that "If you knew politicians like I know politicians, you wouldn't vote either." Centrist journalists believe almost the exact opposite of what the imaginary Centrist voters do, that there is no good in just about anybody, and if we'd all stop being so stubborn Pete Peterson would have us over for drinks.

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