News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to MinneKota@gmail.com

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The voice of malice has spoken loudly and clearly

While Barack Obama has made some respectful, gentlemanly attempts to engage the Republican opposition with some good purpose and rationality, the propaganda war between those who represent the interests of the "managing class" and those who represent people who have to work for a living has intensified, and is being waged in the Capitol. The fact that all Republicans in the House voted against the proposed stimulus bill and justified their actions by saying that it was merely another pork barrel project denotes clearly that the exercise of power to destroy is more important to them than the exercise of power to repair and build. Nation first, indeed.


While CNN's Lou Dobbs promotes himself as an indepedent, he is among those figures in the national media whose biggest drawing factor is his displays of maniacal ego. Dobbs initially came on CNN as a newscaster specialing in business news. His over-inflated sense of self-importance soon moved him from concentrating on business news to throwing out accusations, insults, and malign speculations of the kind that has kept Rush Limbaugh on the air. During the election campaign, he cast aspersions against Obama's character and mentality, foreshadowing the tactics he would take once Obama became president. Dobbs no longer makes any pretense to being a newsman. He is a propagandist. Largely for himself.


His salvo on Wednesday night was to say that Obama resorted to fear-mongering to sell his stimulus plan like George W. Bush used it to sell his war on Iraq. During a week when hundreds of thousands of workers lost their jobs, Dobbs claims that citing the facts that verify the economy is in distress is fear-mongering. That is like saying that urging people to help put out a fire at a burning church is fear-mongering. It is one of those peculiar features of propaganda that has become so prevalent in America in recent decades.


The most notable propagandist of that stripe is Rush Limbaugh, who has disciples in people like Ann Coulter and the myriad imitators who infest the radio airwaves at night during the cross-burning hours. A significant portion of America has been infected with Limbaugh-brain, a disease that is characterized by constant malicious attacks and defamations of social groups. It also disables the people infected from distinguishing school-bully taunts and defamations from legitimate criticism. He borrows his tactics directly from the Nazi regime of the 1930s and 1940s.



Hitler found that he could isolate the Jews, the Gypsies, other minorities, and those who supported anti-fascist forms of government by blaming them for Germany's economic woes after World War I, for all the social turmoil of that period, and for any other problem, real or imagined, that he could place on them. He found that an appeal to the human capacity for hatred and assigning blame on others for their own ills was a great uniter. Hitler set about to dispose of those people who were a threat to his acquisition of power and his need to hold the people of his country in intellectual bondage by chains of malice. He termed the halt, the lame, and the infirm in Germany to be "worthless eaters" and he set about to empty the sanitariums and hospitals of Germany by sending those people to the gas ovens. They were the first batch to be processed in his Holocaust.


Limbaugh has used precisely this tactic. He has used it to portray liberals in America. He faults their intellects, their character, and their motives, and their acts. He blames them for the nation's economic problems, its moral problems, its social problems. Liberals and any group that can be related to them are people for whom Limbaugh can show only contempt, malice, and a desire to defame, and eventually eliminate. The main problem with Limbaugh's characterizations, as was true of Hitler's, is that they hold little validity in truth or fact. They are totally the fabrications of a diseased ego. Like Hiltler, Limbaugh warns of the nation being thrust into socialism, as if that could be worse than the massive oppressions and discriminatory actions against people that he and his ilk promote.


But those attitudes have an appeal. There is a segment of the population that feels so inconsequential and powerless that the only way to salvage some self-respect is to identify with the managing classes and hope their fawning support will be rewarded with a pat on the head, and the left-overs from the corporate banquet tables. They support the managing class. Never mind that this class imposed a war that sent more than 4,200 of our military to their deaths, created a huge financial plum for war profiteers to pick, and scuttled any good opinion the rest of the world had of this nation. Never mind that this political segment supports the managing class that exploited the mortgage market into near-oblivion, guided our financial firms into disaster so that federal bail-outs had to be offered to keep the country from disintegrating altogether. Never mind that these are the people who rewarded the destroyers of the American way of life with tax cuts. And then with federal bail-out money that went to executive bonuses and loading up the banquet tables for their luxury and amusement. And now they want more tax cuts for them and less money for job-creating. Just who do they want the tax cuts for? They are fawning for crumbs from the banquet table and the hope that they can somehow be identified with the managing class. When actually it is a class that has shown a talent only for gross mismanagement and incipient criminality.




While the Republicans in Congress have made an all-out assault on the working people, they are turning a benign eye to those who are rewarding themselves for their corporate failures with b0nuses from the federal funds intended to help save some mortgages and keep people working. Hitler had his "useless eaters." Limbaugh-brains have their "worthless workers."




President Obama may need to keep trying to keep lines of conciliation open with the Republicans, but he will take a flurry of stabs to his back. And the Republican Party can be depended upon to frustrate any attempt to restore the economy and the integrity of the country in its fervor to regain the power to deny and destroy. The Republicans are smarting from their political losses. With the agitation of the Limbaugh-brains, they resent a person they can call liberal being in the White House. And a black one, at that. Make no mistake about it, racism runs strong in the resentments against Obama.




The stimulus plan may well need some pruning here and grafting there. But the Limbaugh-brains have not identified where. They resort to their old chants about spending and more tax cuts, but have offered only their tired, Republican, Limbaugh-fed cliches in addressing the stimulus bill.




One criticism made by Lou Dobbs and echoed by the regressives is that the stimulus bill includes money which would go to NASA to study climate change. They ask how that can stimulate the economy.



The stimulus bill is directed at spending money to renew the infrastructure and prepare it for the production and delivery of clean energy. Part of the regressive belief system denies climate change and global warming as part of some great liberal conspiracy. Coordinated research into climate change could provide hard, factual data to settle that dispute. And the workers who are being thrown out of work are people with the educations and mental talents to do such research. The idea that research into climate change and its patterns is wasted comes from that segment that has deep hatreds of intellectual achievement and disciplined intelligence.



Presient Obama has vowed to change the way business is done in Washington, D.C., to work against the forces of hatred that Limbaugh and his kind try to fan into open conflagration--as in holocaust. The Republicans have vowed to retaliate against that black liberal for winning. As Obama reaches into the nation's talent and intelligence and experience to staff his administration, the petit-fascists keep crying that is not change. They reject the idea that the change people want is a change from the deep hatreds--thinly disguised for propriety's sake, from the chronic resentments against workers, the educated, and the aspiring. When people voted Obama into office on the promise of change, they were voting for a rejection of the culture of destruction and degradation that has emerged as the driving force of the Republican agenda.



The only quest for change that will convince the Republicans that the progressive movement means business seems to be open revolution. And enough working people--in this land of equality often referred to as "the little people"-- and which includes the intellectual and cultural workers are fed up enough with the malevolent denials and denigrations of human worth fostered within the Republican Party that open revolt is a strong possibility.



Obama was elected on a platform of restoring decency and honesty to the political system. Those are still values among a majority of Americans. The Constitution provides for the peacable addressing of grievances. U.S. voters tried to have their grievances against malicious and destructive governance addressed through the ballot box. If Obama cannot bring the Republicans into an effort to build the country rather than to destroy people who do not share their Linbaugh-brained malevolence, then the Constitution suggests other means. Our founders understood that revolution may well be the only way to deal with those who deny equality, deny the right to obtain healthcare, and who deny human worth of those who believe differently, and deny rights to build a more perfect nation.


By their words, you shall know them. The Limbaugh-brains have spoken. Or at least repeated the words of the prophet of denial and hatred.

{Here is another take on this subject.]

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