Thursday, January 13, 2005

Election leftovers....the trail from Watergate to 2004

[From Aureantes Talks... ]

5:22 am, December 12, 2004 - So what /did/ we learn from Watergate, people...?

[Note: I initially posted most of this as a comment to another user's journal, but it was too good an impulse to not have on my own page...]

I have been reading All The President's Men, and have noticed that there are some strong parallels between the Nixon and Bush administrations...except for these additional/accentuated factors affecting both the election and general public outry this time around, despite the fact that Bush's incompetence as a world and national leader is already legendary:

--As we all know, Bush started the present Iraq situation on his own agenda instead of necessarily inheriting it, though there is a definite element of revenge/'pissing contest' in a son reviving war against the same bad guy his daddy fought. The truth of the deceptions in getting into the war has been both suspected and revealed for a long time now, rather than being singly and climactically exposed cf. the Pentagon Papers--which may account for why there's so little general noise about it, as very few habitual conservatives are willing to admit that the 'conspiracy-theorists' were right from the start.

--The vast and frankly disgustingly effective weight of the Religious Right has been put squarely on Bush's side (who says a personal religious awakening can't be planned as a political weapon?)

--The media conglomerates are larger, tighter and have a lot more experience now at avoiding, censoring and manipulating news coverage. Protests are barely or slantedly covered, and footage is censored or crafted for effective spin.

--The neocons have more, meaner, and less-rational pundits on their side (including Ann Coulter, who I think ought to be tossed down into the worst possible existence that the neocons would foist on women in general--like one of those poetic-justice Twilight Zone episodes...)

--There has been a smear operation going on against liberalism as "elitist" for years now, (I think it *began* with Nixon, or at least in reaction to Kennedy), and it's worked to convince a lot of people to "think with their hearts not their heads", when all that their hearts want is a leader who is not really any threat as a superior person to them in character, intellect, tact, or social conscience.

--Choice of media information--liberals today are far more likely to seek out and examine opposing points of view than conservatives are. Or (if you so see it) those who have their heads up their asses already are not likely to get a different view by forging ahead...

--Deliberate discrediting of the "liberal media" with the affair of Dan Rather and the supposedly false Texas Air National Guard memos. The content itself was never refuted--merely the physical authenticity of the documents themselves. I'm rather sure it was a plant, a forgery created to be 'debunked.'

--Stupid people conflating legal recognition of homosexual marriages with the threatening and 'undermining' of heterosexual ones. Not to mention grossly misinterpeting the benefits of a two-parent family and ignoring studies done regarding the positive welfare of children raised by lesbian couples.

--Vietnam. For good and for ill, people have strong feelings about this most-similar of U.S. military actions, not all of which have anything to do with the actual ethics/morality of the war. It's a dirty word so far as politics goes, and no one wants to admit that this present situation is just as bad or worse. And Kerry was not able to please everyone on account of his previous testimony against that war--even though he watered his approach down and in the process lost the absolute edge of his moral high ground.

--9/11. The politics of fear and uncertainty...pretty darn effective when you're already in office. Bush needed the war to give him credibility, and his neocons needed it as a cover and excuse for implementing all their wildest dreams. Which is pretty much what I was certain of on 9/11, pacing about the house and swearing at the TV--I knew they'd use it for anything they could.

The covert tactics of the Committee for the Re-Election of the President in 1972 are clearly and closely related to the reported and suspected tactics of the GOP in this past election. What we are dealing with now politically has everything to do with Watergate, seeing as it was an exposure that could not be allowed to happen again.

So the neocons made sure that this time they had everything taken care of...

Plus they had the asset that yes, people are easily distracted. I think they're getting stupider, too.

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