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Hullabaloo


Monday, September 30, 2013

 
Big Money Agit-Prop posing as principle

by digby

Eric Boehlert has written up an excellent primer on the right wing propaganda campaign against Obamacare. It's really quite astonishing when you see it all together. It even goes so far as to say that it will will allow "forced home inspections" by government agents and sex police questioning your sex life. (Obviously, that meant to scare the Limbaughian wingnut men because they clearly have no problem invading the sex lives of women.)

But Boehlert sees bigger implications for our political culture in all this and I think he's right. (I wish I didn't):
[T]he right wing's almost hypnotic, monomaniacal focus on opposing health care reform has been matched, if not outstripped, by its relentless desire to purposely lie about the new law year after year after year. That's not passion, that's propaganda. It's using mass media to spread willful lies and misinformation about public policy in hopes of advancing your own partisan cause...

The permanent misinformation model built to try to tear down Obamacare has troubling implications for future policy fights. Just as the Republicans' radical attempt to shut down the entire federal government in an effort to defund an existing law has no precedence in modern American history, the accompanying four-year propaganda campaign is likely unmatched, too.
[...]
Based on the sheer breadth of these fabrications, taken in tandem with the duration over which they been told and retold, today's health care scare campaign certainly ranks among the most intense ever produced in the U.S. It also represents an almost seamless production between the Republican Party and its dedicated allies in the press who have worked tirelessly as flaks and mouthpieces.

Over the years, the propaganda production has been built into a self-sustaining cottage industry that's purposefully impervious to the truth. It's also an enterprise that provides never-ending fundraising opportunities for Republican politicians, as well as endless hours of phony outrage for right-wing media outlets.

But here's what is disturbing. Unlike sprawling controversies under the previous Democratic administration, in which Bill Clinton's professional enemies at least pretended to follow a paper trail that eventually led nowhere with regards to Whitewater and Travelgate and other manufactured "scandals," today's myth-makers largely turn a blind eye to that model.

There's no "investigation" that's fueling the health care freak out. There are no new revelations that would logically prompt this kind of hysterical strategy for a law that hasn't even been implemented yet. (In fact, unfolding news about the plan has often been quite positive.) Instead, it's a propaganda campaign designed to inhabit the conservative bubble that has come to define Republican failures under Obama. [my emphasis --- d]

If right-wing media consumers wanted to delude themselves into thinking Mitt Romney would win the White House in a "landslide," of wanted to waste years focusing on the transparently false allegation that the president was born in Africa, that was their choice. Those needless pursuits often provided comic relief for those who watched conservatives be knowingly conned by their media heroes.

But the deceitful health care propaganda campaign is different. It's a muscular, relentless attempt to undo an historic piece of legislation that affects tens of millions of Americas, and it's a campaign built upon an armada of lies. Whitewater, and the assembled "scandals" around it, was a concerted effort to destroy the Clinton presidency. This production is designed to do real damage to America's health care system, and with the shutdown threat, to harm the economy, too.

I would guess this has more to do with the gerrymandering and the stovepiping of information through right wing media than anything else. Staying in their far right bubble is actually the smart move for these guys (and gals.) All their constituents are hearing are these lies...er, propaganda through this destructive feedback loop. They have no good reason to get out of it and, frankly, most of them don't want to.

We keep going back to 1859 and 1860 to draw parallels, not because we're on the verge of a shooting civil war but because just as the antebellum South lived in its own little world believing each of its men had the fighting ability of 10 northeners, so too does the modern conservative movement believe it has the power to take over the government through hostage taking and sheer will. It's a very strange state of mind and perhaps it's a universal one, I don't know. I do know that it is an "exceptional" All-American attitude among a certain subset of egomaniacs who have been with us for a long, long time.

The right wing objection to Obamacare is built on a huge stack of lies and propaganda. It is a conservative policy originally designed by the Heritage Foundation. This tactic of hostage taking, in their hands, undertaken for dishonest, purely political reasons, is therefore inherently illegitimate.

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