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How To Turn A Red State Blue

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Having grown up in rural Indiana followed by Arizona (two red states – some of my best friends and family are right-wing nuts), I’ve noticed that liberals often misunderstand why there are so many red states.  They’re always particularly baffled about why poor and working class people would vote republican.  And as I was watching a poorly done documentary about Fox News, it occurred to me that as a former insider, I could clear up some of those misunderstandings and then perhaps we could work a little smarter and get some Democrats elected this November (and in 2008) for a change.

Outfoxed:  Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, directed by Robert Greenwald (director of the well-made and compelling Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price), is the result of the collaboration of a group of liberals at their most ineffective and pathetic.  It even tops the “vote for anyone but Bush… even namby pamby John Kerry” fiasco of 2004, if you can imagine.  The documentary tells the tale of a few disgruntled reporters who claim that Fox News has a clear and direct conservative bias.  Sure, and that's news to whom? 

Fox News is complete propaganda, but is there really anyone who doesn’t know that?  They’re given too much credit when someone assumes that they’re creating public opinion, and their viewers don’t receive enough credit when they’re dismissed as idiots.  There are a lot of conservative people out there, even some who are smart and some who are educated.  They watch Fox News because it’s entertaining, and because it affirms what they already believe.

Actually, I enjoy watching a little Fox News myself.  It’s amusing and absurd, and I find it hard to believe that very many people don’t know that.  But I’m not really offended by it.  I know when I turn it on that I’m going to see a glowing report of George Bush, and likewise I know that when I read Mother Jones Journal I’m going to read negative press about him.  I like to read Mother Jones for the same reason a conservative person likes to watch Fox News, because I often nod my head in agreement or learn something I didn’t already know that seems perfectly reasonable.  Not because I need to be told what to think. 

Unless the liberal and leftist press and ideas are somehow being suppressed (and evidently they’re not – enter Greenwald's useless, sniveling DVD about the evil Rupert Murdoch) the Democrats who want to win elections could perhaps take a lesson or two from what the Republicans and Fox News are doing right, whether they like what they’re doing or not.  

Here are a few highlights of what they might learn: 

Bumper stickers that say, “Vote Republican it’s easier than thinking,” are not helpful.  They only reinforce Rush Limbaugh (king of “overstating the case”) as he routinely informs his listeners about how dumb they’re perceived to be by the “elitist left.” 

When discussing homosexuality, you’ll find most rural and working class folks firmly in the “mind your own business” camp.  But suggest the public schools use their tax money to “educate” their children about it, and I’m afraid all bets are off.  A good article in the New York Times recently discussed how social liberals have taken over the Democratic party and alienated blocks of voters.   These social issues are important, but they’re not necessarily popular; so to champion them at the expense of your core constituents may be noble, but it certainly isn’t smart.

Wondering aloud why those poor, stupid, rural people “vote against their economic interests” is not useful.  I’ve never met a rural or working class person who doesn’t know that Republicans cater to rich conservatives.  But what they also know (and evidently liberal journalists do not) is that the Democratic party caters to rich liberals.  It is insulting to assume that because people aren’t wealthy, they don’t recognize this.  No one is more acutely aware of the iniquity of the distribution of wealth than the people with the short end of the stick.  But while the Democrats are making them feel like helpless, lazy idiots, the Republicans are building them up as the backbone of America.  Conservatives are appealing to their sense of dignity and pride.  And that’s why they’re winning elections.  The Democrats would do well to make a note of it.  

It’s not a good idea to assume that all of the “poor, uneducated people” who don’t agree with the liberal party line are obviously just sheep swallowing Republican nonsense.  I’m sorry, but people don’t conform to the liberal agenda just so they can be considered as smart and enlightened as Al Franken or Michael Moore.  As if there are no liberal “sheep.”  Please.

This is who Americans like to vote for:  the strong guy who says, “I’ve got things under control, everything is going to be fine.”   Did we not learn anything from Jimmy Carter’s presidency?  People don’t want to see Jimmy Carter sitting in his sweater turning the thermostat down to sixty-eight degrees while he whinges on and on about the gloom and doom of the energy crisis.  They want to hear Ronald Reagan say, “America is wonderful, Americans are great, the economy is fine, so fine in fact, I think I’ll take a vacation.”

Why?  Your guess is as good as mine, but there it is.  Put it to good use.

If your competitor is excelling at something, do learn from them, go forth and do likewise.  Don't make a worthless, whiney documentary about how mean you think they are.

Finally (and most importantly), choose a good candidate.  The emasculated John Kerry?  Not going to work.  And that wife of his?  Sweet Jesus, if he didn’t already seem sissified enough, she pretty much finished it off.  And begging people to vote for some weak Democrat just because he’s not George Bush?   Listen, I’m liberal from the word go, but I’m not an idiot.

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About Staci Schoff

  • Les Slater

    You got much of it right about the sniveling Democrats but why would anybody want to vote for them sniveling or not?

  • Staci,
    it’s a good point. You don’t get far by telling people that they’re stupid. I suspect though that some political strategists have gotten very far by treating voters as if they are stupid though. Given a choice, I’d rather have someone doing the former, but that’s not the way elections work in the US.

  • Far too much good sense and not nearly enough crazed, partisan ranting in this piece. I don’t know how you expect people to take you seriously.


  • Nancy

    The GOP TREATS voters as if they’re stupid; they just don’t also TELL them they’re stupid like the idiot Dem Party does.

    I dunno about people who voted for Bush being aware how stupid they were/are: I just got the most surprising confidence out of a co-worker, who volunteered that if he had it to do today, he’d never ever vote again for that SOB Bush, and he wished he hadn’t done it the last 2 times. I asked him why he had, and he couldn’t really tell me. Stupid? Yuh. Aware? No.

  • Liberal

    The red state/blue state thing is a gross simplification. Pick a state any state and look at elections results by county. Then look without those counties at individual precincts. You will find that the red/blue divide is urban/rural. Red states simply have a higher percentage of rural voters and, with shifting populations, relatively more electoral votes.

    The key to the political future of this country is that population shift. As northern and far western baby-boomers retire and workforces continue to shift to North Carolina, Florida, Arizona, etc. inner and outer ring suburban communities in those states will become “bluer.” That’s how you turn a red state blue.

    Or, you can just wait for the Republicans to target immigrants and watch New Mexico and Florida turn from marginally red to a nice, bright blue.

  • Netroots BigMO Causing Death to Donor-controlled Democratic Party- Netroots is Real Revolution of People- Kalki Gaur

    NewsWireUSA Kalki Gaur, 8/14/06 9:40 AM.

    (1) The Netroots BigMO Internet Blogosphere wrote the Obituary for the donor-controlled Democratic Party in Connecticut Senate primaries in August 2006. The Blogosphere will force Democratic Party to become democratic again and eject fat donors from top positions in Democratic Party and let people, netroots, voters and grassroots take control of the Democratic Party.

    The Netroots will snatch the leadership of the Democratic Party from corrupt big donors and empower the people and the voters. The netroots blogosphere is not about the ideology of political beliefs of the Netroots Democrats, Blogosphere is about the empowerment of the people, the grassroots and the voters by the revolution in Internet and rise of political blogging as a new media to mobilize masses and voters the role, print media, electronic media did for politicians with deep pockets.

    The Netroots BigMO is about the Crusades of Democracy inside the Democratic Party. The Wall Street and super rich had monopolized power in the Democratic Party arguing that in a Capitalist Democracy the voters, the grassroots and public didn’t count, only those with a ability to write big checks counted, as the elections were won or lost on grounds of paid TV and newspaper campaigns. The crooks of the America, the likes of Mark Rich came to dominate Democratic Party especially during Clinton era. The Wall Street Rich came to dominate the political landscape and the real politicians, the grassroots and the political activists got kicked out of the Democratic Party and replaced by crooks who could write big checks. The Money and Checkbooks became the sole criteria for political influence and political power in the Democratic Party.

    The charismatic politician Bill Clinton accelerated the process and Clinton replaced black leadership of the Democratic Party by Wall Street wiz kids. The Netroots Revolution will take back the control and leadership of the Democratic Party from, crooks of the Wall Street back to the people, the voters of the United States. The Netroots would empower blacks, Latinos, browns, Asians and immigrants in the Democratic Party and bring down the political power of the big check writers. The Grassroots Netroots not donors should control the Democratic Party.

    (2) Ross Perot’s 1992 presidential campaign galvanized a Third Party United We Stand that could attract more unpaid volunteers at its NYC 42nd street Lexington Ave HQ than the paid volunteers of the Lexington street HQ of the Bill Clinton in 1992.

    It took great amount of Ross Perot’s money to dismantle the Third Party that he gave birth. Then Ross Perot paid Pat Buchanan to finally destroy the Third Party United We Stand. The Ross Perot’s 1992 presidential campaign proved that Third Party in the United States is awaiting its triumphal birth that may undermine the two-party political duopoly in the USA.

    The Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign rejuvenated the Third party in form of the political blogging that could also raise campaign donations. No wonder it unsettled the Democratic Party big wigs and forced Vice President Al Gore to join the Howard Dean campaign as a savior but only to dismantle the Howard Dean campaign organization and to dismiss the very team that gave Howard dean its first shine in the political limelight.

    The Democratic Party co-opted Howard Dean as the President of the Democratic Party with a provision that Dean would abandon his team of bloggers and abandon Dean for 2008 ambitions. No wonder that netroots are determined to prove to the Howard Dean and the Democratic Party as who is the real boss of the Democratic voters.

    Unless half of the top political posts of the Democratic Party are reserved for the Netroots and political bloggers, the Democratic Party would face a demise or decline in the new age of Blogosphere as Internet blogs replaced expensive TV and newspaper advertisements as more efficient way to mobilize voters and grassroots supporters. The Democratic Party would die as a viable political party unless it invited Netroots and bloggers into the top corridors of party power.

    (3) Democratic Party ceased to be democratic in party organization when it expelled Blacks, Latinos, Brown and immigrants out of the top echelon of the political corridors of power in the Democratic Party and replaced them by corrupt political donors, arguing that in a capitalist democracy only donors counted as campaign donations paid for the expensive TV and newspaper ads.

    The revolution of political blogging changed all that. In the Internet age the voters are influenced more by blogs than TV and newspaper ads. The Democratic Party should learn from the defeat of Lieberman and summarily dismiss 50% of its top donors from top positions in the Democratic Party and replace them by Netroots, Blacks, Browns, Latinos and immigrants.

    Democratic party had been a party of Slave owners from the Civil War till the 1964 Bill of Rights signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson. President Bill Clinton replaced the grassroots and political activists from tope leadership of the Democratic Party and replaced them by Wall Street donors, and perhaps he did it to make Hillary Clinton the next President. The leaders of the checkbooks replaced leaders of the grassroots voters in the Democratic Party’s corridors of power.

    (4) The Netroots defeated the power of Jews through the defeat of Joe Lieberman and allowed majority WASP to take control of the USA. The ethnic support of the Jewish business community successfully catapulted many Jewish leaders into the top echelons of power as the Jewish community provided large number of election volunteers and campaign managers in elections throughout USA specially the in Tri State area. The defeat of Joe Lieberman is a reminder that representation of the Jews in Senate and the Congress would be in proportion to their share of population in USA.

    (5) The Netroots Blogosphere defeated the political power of the religious organizations and Churches in the primaries. The large volunteer base of the Christian Churches and church leaders ability to influence campaign donations from the pulpit allowed religious activists dominate the primaries in the Democratic Party as well as Republican Party. It explained why pro-Life and pro-Choice activists determined the primaries in 2000 presidential elections. The Netroots BigMO has ended the dominance of Christian Church in American election process as voters in America more influenced more by Internet Blogosphere than the godosphere of the Churches.

    (6) The Netroots Vote4Me Blogosphere political dictum is that American elections in 2006 as well as 2008 decided by Netroots, blogosphere activists and political bloggers more than the paid TV or newspaper advertisements. The Netroots, the political Bloggers, the warriors of the blogosphere pulled it off, with the verified electoral defeat of Senator Lieberman in Democratic primaries in Connecticut.

    The Republican Party, the GOP may not gain from Lieberman’s loss, if GOP remained blind and failed to invite aspiring new leaders of Republican Netroots and Republican Blogosphere to the top echelons of the Republican Party. Senator Joe Lieberman’s loss in the Connecticut Senate primary signaled the ascendancy of a legitimate new power center in the Democratic Party, the Democrat Netroots or Blogosphere Democrats. It also signaled the ascendancy of a legitimate new power center in the Republican part the Republican Netroots or Blogosphere Republicans.

    Failure to recognize the political power of the new Internet based political groups the netroots or blogosphere could doom the political party that failed to see the rising sun, clouded by they vested interests and lobbying interests. It is simply stupid to argue that defeat of Senator Lieberman resulted out of his pro-Iraq war stance rather than the political power of Netroots Vote4Me Blogosphere.

    Only a politically blind analyst would deny the rising sun of Netroots. The success of Netroots blogosphere has sent shock waves to the fat check campaign canvassers and dynastic caucus that had earlier relied on incumbency to retain control over Senate and Congress at the Capitol. Incumbents invariably won the primaries because of their clout over County Canvassing Boards and party apparatus.

    The revolutionary Netroots Vote4Me blogosphere threatens to smash and bring down this glass tree house perched high in the Democratic Party. Top Democratic Party positions would no longer sold to the biggest donors if Democratic Party wanted to win any future elections.

    (7) Netroots Vote4Me Blogosphere political movement will transform the election politics of USA, Britain and India and only a foolish politician and a foolish political party would fail to adapt to and salute the rising sun of Netroots Vote4Me Blogosphere.

    President Reagan was the first President of USA made by Television. Being a Hollywood actor allowed Ronald Reagan master the Idiot Box to win elections in USA, and Reagan was a great orator. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was the first Prime Minister of Britain made prime minister by the advertising suaveness of Satchi & Satchi advertising agency. Reagan and Thatcher transformed the election politics of the democratic world and India followed their trend.

    The Netroots movement, Blogosphere movement and political bloggers have established itself as a power center among Democrats as well as Republicans in USA as well as in India.

    Failure of the Democratic Party to replace its corrupt leadership and dynastic leadership and invite Netroots Democrats and Blogosphere Democrats into the top echelons of political power in the Democratic Party could haunt the Democratic Party in November 2006 as well as November 2008. Presently Democratic Party’s top leadership is overflowing with corrupt fundraisers lobbyists and special interest group leaders, who have no touch with grass roots Democratic voters.

    All top leaders of the Democratic Party are selected by Democratic Aristocrats, because they belong to the Elite group, and are either the wife or son or someone big in the Party. Democratic party would be doomed in elections 2006 and 2008 if Democratic Party failed to replace the elite leadership selected by the corrupt coterie to the enterprising young leadership thrown upward by the Netroots Democrats and Blogosphere Democrats.

    Vice President Al Gore gave a kiss of death to Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean and forced Dean’s campaign to dismiss the very same Netroots that had created the campaign. Netroots are very happy that the dishonest Al Gore no longer in the presidential nomination for election 2008.

    The only qualification Senator Hillary Clinton has to claim Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 is that she is the wife of President Bill Clinton and she can raise large funds. The fat Campaign dollars would fail to compete with netroots blogosphere political bloggers as “Vote Makers” in creating new votes by paying for high budget TV advertising and newspaper advertising.

    (8) Joe Trippi as Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign manager was a pioneer in the use of the Internet as a fund-raising and election campaigning and organizing tool. The Internet activists of the Howard Dean presidential campaign, were booted out of Howard Dean’s Campaign 2004 on account of conspiracy hatched by pro-establishment vice President al Gore and all the $5 million raised by Joe Trippi and group confiscated and misused by the agents of Al Gore and new managers appointed by him. Al gore has sealed his political future forever.

    (9) But in Senate Democratic primary in Connecticut, the Netroots Vote4Me political bloggers didn’t just get a win, but a victory no one could have expected even four months ago. The Netroots bloggers and Connecticut voters have for all intents and purposes kicked Joe Lieberman out of the Democratic Party. Joe Lieberman a three-term Connecticut Senator, on the verge of being the vice-president in a Democratic administration six years ago. Almost the entire Democratic establishment supporting his run against a virtually unknown businessman named Ned Lamont.

    Lamont admitted the support of Netroots Democrats was crucial early in getting the word of his candidacy out. Markos Moulitas of Daily Kos appeared in one of his early ads, former blogger and Internet organizer Tim Tagaris left his job at the Democratic National Committee to work on Lamont’s campaign and bloggers from the site mydd.com headed up to Connecticut over the last several days to call voters and encourage them to support Lamont. And MoveOn.org strongly supported Lamont despite pleas from Democratic leaders not to. Lamont’s victory was about the rising vote making capabilities of political blogs, though pro-Iraq War stand of Lieberman helped Lamont.

    (10) Now the main four interest group players in the Democratic party are: Netroots Democrats, Trade Unions, Black African Americans, and Pro-Choice Pro-Abortion Rights Groups. The Connecticut primary win means the “Netroots” now must be treated by Democratic leaders and politicians like the party’s other major interest group players — Pro-abortion rights groups, African-Americans and Trade Unions.

    There were signs before this race that the bloggers were already gaining respect. A bunch of presidential candidates showed up to the Daily Kos convention in June. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and other top party officials now have regular strategy meetings with MoveOn.org. And in recent weeks, Hillary Clinton has hired a blog outreach adviser.

    Now that the Netroots power has been cemented, any Democratic presidential candidate will have to consider how to woo these Netroots Blogosphere Internet activists, or at least keep them from hating him or her. MoveOn.Org is not fringe in the Democratic Party; they’re the heart of the Democratic Party. The Connecticut Senate primary race sends one clear overriding message: in a liberal state like Connecticut, Democratic candidates defy the Netroots vote4Me Blogosphere at their own peril. The Netroots Vote4Me Blogosphere has turned the tables against incumbents.

    (11) American politics gets wired from Blogosphere Vote4Me Netroots movement. The Netroots Blogosphere Vote4Me Internet moves ever closer to the heart of US politics, and its resounding victory in defeating Lieberman in Democratic primaries, has given such a powerful aura to the Netroots Vote4Me, that some of those who have put it there are shying away from the claims others make for Netroots power among voters.

    It was Mr. Lieberman’s attempts to dismiss his opponent as an “antiwar challenger backed by loony-left bloggers” that did most to cast Netroots Vote4Me bloggers in kingmaker roles. The general verdict is that Lieberman’s defeat is a great day for Netroots Vote4Me blogs.

    (12) Hillary Clinton camp’s strategy is reaching out to blogs, blogger Peter Daou was recently hired from Salon to “expand Clinton’s relationship with the Netroots Democrats, the Democratic blogosphere might start to behave very differently. Rival to Hillary Clinton in 2008 presidential race trying to repeat Howard Dean’s feat of entering the 2004 primaries as the Democratic Internet candidate.

    The Democrat Netroots have become too large to be the exclusive agent of any one democratic candidate. With her Democratic front-runner status, Hillary Clinton doesn’t need to actually win the blogosphere outright; she just needs to make sure her rival for presidency does not either. In 2003, the liberal Blogosphere Netroots rallied overwhelmingly to one contender, Howard Dean.

    (13) The Audio Video blogoshere has great scope for viral videos to spread campaign ads and other clips across the blogosphere for very little money, something that has started to happen already – and it all starts to look very wired. Every campaign manager now expects more on the political power of the Netroots Vote4Me blogosphere.

    The defeat of Lieberman is just the tip of iceberg and tiny reflection of the “underlying reality,” and the “chatter about the power of the Netroots Vote4Me blogospher blogs is probably more important than whether Netroots really had any power to begin with. Vote4Me blogosphere is important as it directly influences the minds of the Internet savvy American voter, without having to spend huge sums on Television and print media advertisements.

    (14) Democrat Ned Lamont’s victory in the Senate primary in Connecticut over incumbent Joseph Lieberman is the first major triumph for Netroots Vote4Me Blogosphere Internet political bloggers, who championed the challenger’s antiwar candidacy. Netroots bloggers are being low key about their role in Lieberman’s outcome. Netroots Blogosphere is not a group to shy away from taking credit for things, but playing kingmakers in a world of real politics that has true national implications has made Netroots bloggers suddenly modest.

    Lamont would not have gotten where he got without the left-wing blogosphere. Yet there are just not enough bloggers for that to be the only reason Lamont won. Lamont’s victory will make it difficult for politicians to ignore the blogosphere’s power. Vote4Me Netroots blogosphere really does a good job of getting people fired up and engaged.’ Eli Pariser, 25, executive director of MoveOn.org, which supported Lamont, said Lamont’s victory sent a message that voters wee sick and tired of being sick and tired. MoveOn.org bloggers sent out millions of e-mails on Lamont’s behalf and attempted what the Internet has failed to achieve a number of times before: motivating people to get out and vote. The group set up a Web site, provided phone numbers of registered voters who hadn’t gone to the polls much in the past, and offered a script for volunteers to read to them in support of Lamont.

    (15) MoveOn.org bloggers sent out millions of e-mails on Lamont’s behalf and attempted what the Internet has failed to achieve a number of times before: motivating people to get out and vote. The group set up a Web site, provided phone numbers of registered voters who hadn’t gone to the polls much in the past, and offered a script for volunteers to read to them in support of Lamont.

    Netroots are Passionate Callers. Most campaigns use paid canvassers and paid callers to do this. Paid canvassers really could care less about who they are calling for. Netroots have people who care passionately doing the calling. The Netroots Vote4Me blogosphere also acted as both a megaphone and an echo chamber for Lamont: It boosted the volume of Lamont campaign and got him the attention of mainstream news organizations.

    The so-called mainstream media is the true target audience of the bloggers. The Netroots bloggers’ No. 1 audience is not voters, it is pundits, it is reporters and it is media. But Democrats must welcome the energy and intelligence and enthusiasm of the Netroots bloggers. Netroots are a good counter to talk radio on the Republican side. The Connecticut race would not have gotten the coverage that it got without bloggers having the ‘shiny new thing’ quality that newspaper and TV reporters respond to. The Netroots bloggers help get the ball rolling for Lamont. Netroots bloggers talked up this race and Netroots deserve credit for that.

    (16) Text messaging has mobilized voters in elections around the world. This once teen-centric technology has significantly changed American and Indian election politics also.

    “Vote4Me Inc” Blog is looking to use Vote4Me’s large electoral voters list database to help lobbyists and Interest Groups market their causes. Vote4Me would connect with young voters and young political activists and immigrants using a very Gen-X technology, the text message.

    Voter4Me Blog will peddle political Client’s policy, encouraging people in its networks and in the political crowds to use their cell phones to send the text message to a special number, or short code. The phone numbers of text-message writers will be compiled with specialized software, and Vote4Me Action Group will follow up with those enthusiastic texters to enlist support for its Campaign, and lobby for specific policies aimed at getting is politician clients get elected.

    (17) Vote4Me Blog professionals are way ahead of the tech game here in the United States, text messaging, or SMS (for Short Message Service). The political and election usage of SMS and Blogs is hardly new in many democratic countries of the world. Opponents of Philippine President Joseph Estrada mobilized their supporters via text message as early as 2001. A massive SMS texting campaign was credited with boosting youth turnout in Spain’s 2004 presidential elections. Mexico’s president-elect Felipe Calderón launched millions of text messages in the days immediately preceding his narrow win over Andres Manuel Lopez Obradór.

    (18) American political groups seem to be catching on the election usage of SMS test messaging and political blogs. Person-to-person text messaging was credited with rallying runaway support for the nationwide immigration protests this spring in USA. It was so successful that activist groups have expanded on the concept. Vote4Me Inc seeks to register young Immigrant voters, and would launch a nationwide text-message outreach program.

    (19) Vote4Me would come up with the election campaign specific proposal, and Vote4Me does the homework. Vote4Me kids are texting in record numbers. This teen trend has turned into a election weapon of choice for politicos hoping to energize their constituents in a very cost effective manner as the television media has become prohibitively expensive and TV media is no longer election result wise effective. Many leading election campaign strategists are betting Vote4Me bloggers can be very effective in voter mobilization in US elections 2006 and 2008. NewsWireUSA. Kalki Gaur. 14 August, 9:33 AM Washington DC. Web Blogs; NewsWireUSA. Kalki Gaur. 14 August, 9:33 AM Washington DC.

  • Great article, Staci. I don’t watch Fox News or read Mother Jones, but this article does a great job of identifying how unproductive partisan demagoguery is.

  • E Pluribus Unum

    “Fox News is complete propaganda, but is there really anyone who doesn’t know that?”

    Has Fox News published forged documents as news, like Dan Rather?

    Has Fox News published photoshopped and staged images as news, like Reuters?

    You have an odd definition of “propaganda” if it doesn’t include those DOCUMENTED events.

  • #8 all news sources are bias, and to answer your question Fox News probably has done similar things.

  • RedTard

    Rural white voters will come back to the Democratic party when it stops supporting racist and sexist garbage in government contracting, college admissions, and hiring. When they stop whining about some morals with one side of their mouth while preaching moral relativity and blurring the line between right and wrong with the other. When they stop punishing hard working productive people to rewarding lifes failures, and finally when they stop hating America.

  • JustOneMan


    Very good article…”fair and balanced” 😉

    (will someone clean up the mess that Gonzo…I meam Nancy made in #4)

  • Why? Your guess is as good as mine, but there it is. Put it to good use.

    I’m all for eliminating “partisan demagoguery” (although “partisan” needn’t be a bad word unless partisan politics devolve into mudslinging), but I don’t think the way to do that is to stoop to the lowest common denominator.

    We’re only as strong as our weakest citizens, and if we’re going to pander to those who only want to see a strong leader who tells us everything is alright, we’re dumbing down the entire nation. What we should be doing is working to educate and make people involved and interested in politics. The level of discourse needs to be raised, but that can’t be done until every American has been raised to the level at which they can productively contribute. Whether liberal or conservative, an edjucated, informed, and engaged citizen is much better than one who passively accepts that “the economy is fine” when the economy isn’t fine.

  • Bryan, if your goal is to take the moral high ground, then you’re absolutely right. But if your goal is to win, you’re unfortunately wrong.

  • Staci, bringing politics down to a matter of “winning” or “losing” is the same thing as stooping to partisan demogoguery. I’d like to see more Democrats in the government, sure, but I wouldn’t like to sacrifice intelligence to do so.

  • Bryan, I don’t disagree with you in theory, but I’m a realist, and all I said is that if you have an objective you’re trying to achieve it’s wise to act accordingly.

  • So now it’s unrealistic to expect intelligent, educated American citizens? You criticize Democrats for painting the rural working-class as “helpless, lazy idiots”, but you seem to think the entire country fits this description.

  • Bryan, welcome to the dilemma Libertarians have been facing for decades: shift off your principles to get elected, or stay on the moral high horse and keep the big red “L” in the results box.

    And no, L in this case is not for Libertarian…

  • Liberal

    “When they stop punishing hard working productive people to rewarding lifes failures…”

    But what would Steve Forbes do for a living?

  • serket

    You should change your last line to:

    Whether liberal or conservative, an educated, informed, and engaged citizen is much better than one who passively accepts that “the economy isn’t fine” when the economy is fine.

  • I was quoting specifically her reference to Ronald Reagan, I wasn’t editorializing on the state of the economy.

    But if you really want to say that the economy is fine, then why don’t you take a look at the unemployed sector, or the increasingly wider wealth gap? The economy isn’t fine now, it wasn’t fine when Clinton was President (despite what other Democrats might say) and it never has been “fine.”

  • And DrPat, while Libertarians haven’t been successful in winning public office, they have formed a valuable contribution to American political discourse. Both Dems and Republicans use arguments from Libertarian philosophy. They may not have “won,” but they’ve opened up political dialogues that may not have otherwise existed and helped to infuse the two-party system with a new set of ideals.

  • Alan

    Finally, a liberal with some common sense. Why can’t the Dem’s find candidates like you to run for office? Terrific article.

  • Clavos

    Fine, fine article, Staci. Spot on analysis of what makes voters tick, and what motivates them to vote one direction or the other. Party leaders (both parties) should be made to read it, and then be tested for comprehension.

  • AJ

    OF course people believe what they see and hear on FOX- my mother-in-law takes it in and spits it back out- word for word. Believes it all vehemently.

    nice article- too bad there aren’t more of your persuasion.

  • Jim

    The reason most everyone knows Fox News is biased and right-wing is BECAUSE of this movie. It came out 2 years ago.

  • Clavos

    Jim #26:

    So Fox’s bias is so subtle it can’t be detected by watching; you have to see the movie?

  • Jim #26, only if you’ve been living under a rock… conservative people know that Fox News is conservative, that’s why they like it! I don’t know why that is so hard for people to grasp.

  • RedTard

    Whether you think a news station is liberal or conservative tells you more about yourself than anything else. If it seems many things are slanted to the right and ‘mainstream’ media seems fair and balanced your probably off the left end. If Fox News seems about right and you’re tired of all the liberal nonsense in the papers you’re probably to the right yourself.

    Both sides think it’s all a great conspiracy and everyone that sees an issue any different must be some sort of brainwashed idiot. That type of condescending attitude came out quite well in your article.

    You can poke fun at the poor uneducated rural red staters all you want, but it’s the poor, uneducated, completely dependent on 15 government programs, unable to complete a simple ballot, show ID, or speak english inner city types that keep your party remotely competitive.

    The left is just as cold, calculating, and manipulative as the right. Things dont change. Here’s a quote from the Communist, Israel Cohen, in 1914. Read it and see if it still applies today with communism replaced with the lefts new baby, socialism.

    “We must realize that our party’s most powerful weapon is racial tension… In America we will aim for subtle victory. While inflaming the Negro minority against the Whites, we will endeavor to instill in the Whites a guilt complex for their exploitation of the Negroes.”

    With this one calculated manipulation, “inflaming the negro minority”, you have captured 80-90% of that segment allowing your party to compete and instilled the abovementioned guilt complex quite well (if a white mentions that affirmative action is discriminatory, even though he is right, he’ll be silenced by the ultimate slur of racist very quickly).

    Of course, the sheeple on your side think your out to help African-Americans, not use them as a tool to gain power. I’m sure a very observant person such as yourself wouldn’t have fallen for it though. Right?

  • Why can’t the Dem’s find candidates like you to run for office?

    Because if she did run for office the party establishment would find her threatening, run a hack against her, give him all the money in the world and bury her in negative attack ads.

    That’s what they did to most of the ‘fighting dems’ this primary season and to anyone else with a new idea or integrity.


  • #29 is very perceptive and brings to the forefront one of the big issues the democrats can’t afford to face up to. Their party’s power is built on exploiting minorities, and in order to keep exploiting them they need to keep them poor and uneducated. If they actually helped them then they wouldn’t need the democratic party any more, so they give them false hope and keep stringing them along with it.


  • RedTard #29, I do not make fun of the “poor, uneducated, rural red-staters.” In fact, the opposite, the whole point I made is that liberals should STOP doing that, both because it’s inaccurate and because it’s not a smart political move.

    I don’t see any “conspiracies,” in the media. All media is biased, but there are plenty of choices all around, as I pointed out.

    All political parties exist for the explicit purpose of seeking power. No, I’m not fooled by it, thanks for asking.

  • Dave, in Europe people of all classes vote for both the main parties. Are you saying that in the USA it’s only the people at the lower end of the economic and social spectra that would vote for the Democrats?

  • I don’t believe I said anything like that, Christopher. People of all backgrounds support both parties here in the US. But both parties have core constituencies which they can always count on – effectively captive audiences. For the democrats that consists of union members and an underclass which they have cultivated or virtually created through the use of draconian social programs which encourage dependence on the state. As their hold on unionists breaks down, they cling ever more strongly to the ‘oppressed’ groups whose oppression is largely perpetuated by their own policies.


  • Ah, I see, thanks for clearing that up. If what is happening in US political evolution is anything like what happened in the UK over the last twenty or thirty years (and in some ways I think it is) then that would in part explain the current weakness of your Democratic Party. I wonder how long it will be before some bright young thing comes along and rebrands them as New Democrats?

  • Is that like New Coke?

  • Both parties are in the throes of takeovers from ‘new’ factions, or at least groups that call themselves new, but in both cases appear to be reimagined statist socialists. On the right you have the Neocons and on the left you have the Progressive Democrats. Both groups believe in a strong and activist state, they just have different ideas of the parameters of the better more moral lives they want to force us to live.


  • So who are the rising political stars of left and right in the USA and what significant changes do you see them introducing?

  • Nancy

    Dave, I’m perplexed: what “draconian social programs” are you referring to that Dems supposedly use to keep the poor subservient & poor? Also, how do they implement this, since the GOP has been in control for the past half dozen years? Kinda hard, I would think, when they don’t have a majority. The latest social program I’m aware of is the tightened definition of ‘work’ in the welfare program – which is currently ruled by Republicans, not Dems.

  • Liberal

    “Whether you think a news station is liberal or conservative tells you more about yourself than anything else.”

    Actually, that opinion shows that you’re paying attention (and have the ability to be objective which seems to be an uncommon ability here). Shorlty after Katrina, an ABC reporter interviewed some NO residents and asked them who they thought was responsible for the response failures. When not one of those interviewed pointed to the Federal goverment (most pointed to Nagin, some said that everyone did the best they could), he asked again…and again…and again. He even went on to explain what the Feds’ role was and how they failed to fill that role. The bias was impossible to miss and it was embarassing.

  • Freedom

    Or there is another option. Libertarian. I’m a very conservative person, but I’m voting Libertarian because these people are the ones that have a concept of what freedom is and they respect our constitution.

    I don’t even agree with them on several issues! I’d vote for the Constitution party but it’s not big enough. Libertarians are getting closer to having a chance.

  • Liberal

    I think that EVERY American is half-libertarian. Libertarians essentially believe that the government should leave everyone the hell alone.

    We all believe that the government should leave US the hell alone. Liberals and conservatives just believe that someone else (insert corporations, pregnant women, etc.) should NOT be left the hell alone.

  • Nancy

    That’s because if left the hell alone, too many of these parties will abuse their liberties & infringe on the liberties of others as well as violating general laws. I’m thinking here of the behavior of such concerns as Standard Oil in the bad old days when there were NO leash laws regulating them even less than now. Or the pharmaceutical corporations even today: despite the nominal oversight by the feckless & politicized FDA, they basically run the drug trade the way they please, in the process poisoning people – sometimes even to death – with drugs they’ve manipulated test results, etc. on, and sometimes outright lied about. That’s why.

    The problem is, where do you draw the line? As soon as a line is drawn, these parties (and their lawyers) figure out a way around it, or exploit the loopholes thoughtfully left in by a compliant congress, and – they’re right back at it endangering people again. So another line has to be drawn, and another, and another, etc. and before you know it, you have a 19-inch-thick fine print book of regulations, and it’s become intrusive, but people need to be protected from these sorts of preying corporate monstrosities. So what’s the answer?

  • Great article, Stacy. Fucking brilliant. Mind if I run it on my blog?

  • Thanks Adam, and sure go ahead.

  • Dean

    Just for the sake of expediency, the Dems could out-FOX Bush and the neocons by applying some good old fashioned propaganda about how Dems are better at fighting “terrorism.”

    One example is focusing on Bush’s one-note song about “how safe we are.” Take the glaring glitch in our “airline security.” We take off our shoes while the cargo could hold practically anything.

    All the Dems have to do is focus on and highlight this glitch over and over and (of course) promise to correct it.

    The Dems have been on the defensive here,

    THe best defense is…

  • Liberal

    RE #43: “So what’s the answer?”

    Nipples. The answer is nipples.

  • Marlowe

    Ahhh Dave! If the Dems exploit minorities we’ll have to assume the Rebs simply run over them….

    And by the way… On my concern over where this country is really heading, re: Sectarian conflict…

    How odd… Here I was pushing these crazy thoughts and I see that KEVIN PHILLIPS is coming out with a book saying the exact same thing… AMERICAN THEOCRACY….



  • Liberal

    Sorry for the delay, but the revelation of the answer came as a complete surprise to me. (I must have channeled it.)

    The first hint was when I was working on a client’s internet history and discovered pages upon pages of Kirstin Dunst’s nipples. I then remembered seeing poster after poster of Janet Jackson’s nipple. It just came together. Nipples is the answer!

    The problem with American politics is that it does not concern itself with what Americans really care about. No one cares about offshore corporate tax shelters or the imminent extinction of the black-capped vireo or a few thousand dead foreigners. What America cares about is nipples!

    One half of the country wants to see the nipples of one half of the country. The other half of the country wants to prevent that half of the country from seeing the nipples of one half of the country. (Everybody can see the nipples of the other half of the country, but no one cares.)

    The half of the country that doesn’t want the nipples of half the country to be seen does want them to be used for their intended purpose and will do anything to prevent the owners of the nipples from doing anything that would interfere with God’s plan for the nipples – but not in public, please.

    Of course the vast majority of Americans care more about who touching whom’s nipples than any of the stuff we rant about here.

    Finally, of course, some want to make sure that if your nipples can be seen you can only touch nipples that can’t be seen and vice versa.

    So, the answer is nipples. I’m just not sure what the question is.

  • -E

    Congrats! This article has been selected as one of this week’s Editors’ Picks.

  • that’s utter bullshit.

    1) Fox News is seen as a legitimate news organization in the minds most of its watchers. Bill O’Reilly does not draw over 2 million viewers as an “entertainer” like Jon Stewart. Moderates are influenced by his punditry.

    2) John Kerry did not lose because he *personally* was a sissy elitist liberal, or because of his wife. He lost because of the ineptitude of his campaign and the triangulation of his politics.

    This post assumes that John Kerry was a bad candidate–but that Howard Dean would have been even worse. That is not true.

    Howard Dean–that liberal northeastern pansy– would have beaten George Bush, and Karl Rove knows it.

    It’s about taking a stand. When a liberal takes a stand for liberalism, he beats a republican taking a stand for lying bullshit every day of the week.

  • Bill

    This entire essay is just rightwing talking points. If I didn’t give her the benefit of the doubt for being a civil and friendly writer I’d say she was a faux lib using an ad hominem defense persona to repeat conservative memes.

  • Richard

    I really think we’ve just about reached the point where the hundred year-old idea that media can be unbiased has been discredited. Every person has his or her biases, and whether they want them to or not, those biases influence the way they report the news.

    For the last fifty years or so especially, reporters and editors have tended to lean left. Whether that’s a result of too many liberal professors impressing their views on young journalism students, or conservative parents being more likely to say “Journalist? Why don’t you major in a real career?”, I’m not sure.

    (I do suspect that second reason is one of the key factors as to why there are so few conservative writers or entertainers, however.)