Tagantireality

Majority of Republicans polled believe ACORN stole the election for Obama

The poll asked this question: “Do you think that Barack Obama legitimately won the Presidential election last year, or do you think that ACORN stole it for him?” The overall top-line is legitimately won 62%, ACORN stole it 26%.

Among Republicans, however, only 27% say Obama actually won the race, with 52% — an outright majority — saying that ACORN stole it, and 21% are undecided. Among McCain voters, the breakdown is 31%-49%-20%. By comparison, independents weigh in at 72%-18%-10%, and Democrats are

TPM: Majority Of Republicans Think Obama Didn’t Actually Win 2008 Election — ACORN Stole It!

I’m curious if anyone has any polls indicating the percentage of Democrats who believe Bush stole one or more elections.

(For the record, I do think both of Bush’s elections were stolen)

(Thanks Bill!)

Newt Gingrich Changes What’s Left of his Mind on End-of-life Care

What happens when suddenly the Republican party decides it wants to scare the shit out of a bunch of old people by telling them the new health care bill is going to include a provision in which “death panels” ask them “when they want to die”? Now all of the sudden Gingrich is violently against the same programs he was so windily praising earlier this year.

And make no mistake, this is exactly the same thing. The only thing that’s actually in the health care proposals is a provision that would allow Medicare to pay for exactly the kind of programs Gingrich praised, on a voluntary basis. The programs are not government-administered in any way, there’s just government money now to pay for the private programs. And now Gingrich is suddenly aghast at them:

Matt Taibi: Newt Gingrich Changes What’s Left of his Mind on End-of-life Care

Paul Krugman on the town hall mobs

This is the most depressing part of the town hall mob movement:

Yes, well-heeled interest groups are helping to organize the town hall mobs. […]

But while the organizers are as crass as they come, I haven’t seen any evidence that the people disrupting those town halls are Florida-style rent-a-mobs. For the most part, the protesters appear to be genuinely angry. The question is, what are they angry about?

There was a telling incident at a town hall held by Representative Gene Green, D-Tex. An activist turned to his fellow attendees and asked if they “oppose any form of socialized or government-run health care.” Nearly all did. Then Representative Green asked how many of those present were on Medicare. Almost half raised their hands. Now, people who don’t know that Medicare is a government program probably aren’t reacting to what President Obama is actually proposing.

New York Times: The Town Hall Mob

Birthers and the democratization of media

“I’ve just recently realized the degree to which the Net and Web represents a victory for counter and subculturalism in one sense: The generation currently in their teens won’t even be able to recognize a consensus reality or know what the mainline politics of the moment allegedly is, because they won’t even look at centralized media.” – R.U. Sirius, Mondo 2000 issue 16, winter 1996

“Today’s cutting-edge youth demands free access to uncensored information over the Internet with universal encryption to guarantee secure, unmediated communications. Once again, through a technological backdoor, we are witnessing a social movement that threatens to pull the plug on the powers-that-be. As it loses its traditional control over information, government becomes irrelevant. After all the loudmouthed posturing and wishful thinking, all the manifestos and ephemera, will it really be the ones and zeros of the computer’s binary code that render authority obsolete and redefine human relations?” – Peter Stansill, Preface to the 1999 edition of BAMN: Outlaw Manifestos & Ephemera 1965 – 1970.

“It’s a total cacophony of disparate voices and ideologies. For every Noam Chomsky Archive or Mother Jones web site, there’s an Aryan Dating Service or a Holohoax site or a godhatesfags.com. It doesn’t favor one school of thought over another. But that’s a good thing! More chaos! More ideological Balkanization, please! Push the pedal to the metal of the Hegelian dialectic as hard and as fast as possible!

At root level, these competing voices all have certain things in common – a deep mistrust of the government and the capitalist elite, death-sucking powers that be. The Left hates something like NAFTA, but so does the Buchanan Brigade. I prsonally find myself in agreement with the Archie Bunker types when it comes to despising the New World Order of corporate greedheads who are reducing the working class of this country to renting their lives out like fucking slaves to Walmart and McDonalds for five bucks an hour.” – Richard Metzger, 21C, 1997.

In the 90s, the advent of the Internet age, many people, including myself, thought the Internet’s democratization of media would be vehicle for social progress. R.U. Sirius was correct that “consensus reality” would be demolished. But instead of a new enlightenment, we have a new dark age in which disinformation flows at will and even educated people can’t be bothered to check Snopes before hitting forward on the latest right wing chain e-mail.

The thinking seemed to go: access to information outside the mainstream media would in itself cause the media establishment’s authority to crumble and foster a new age of critical thinking. “The people” would get a better sense of what was really going on in the world, and demand change. People, awash in unverified sources, would also become more critical thinkers.

By 2002, in the wake of 9/11, and the rise of the “Warbloggers” it should have been clear that this simply wasn’t happening.

“Blogging” first entered mainstream consciousness with the rise of the “warblog” – pro-war often nominally libertarian blogs that launched after 9/11. Back before liberal sites like Daily Kos and the Huffington Post stole the show, Glenn Reynold’s Instapundit was the best known political blog. Reynolds was actually one of the most civil warblogs – others had a “most blood thirsty warblogger contest” (results, and no, it wasn’t a joke). Example post from Cato the Youngest:

Who calls for the destruction of an entire city in every post, and most comments and e-mails? Who has wished, in the pages of his blog, that he could be the bombadier-navigator on a B-1B, loaded with 38 200-kT AGM-69 missiles, with orders to scour the Middle East with thermonuclear fire? Who has suggested that the Israelis could annihilate Egypt by breaking the Aswan dams, in order to drive people to high ground, then nuking them? Cato the Youngest.

That is what the radical democratization of media wrought.

Maybe it should have been predictable. Ever since the death of Alan Berg at the hands of Nazis in 1984, the right has dominated talk radio – starting with Rush Limbaugh’s issue talk in 1984. And since the fairness doctrine was repealed in 1987, we’ve seen a lot more Limbaughs than Amy Goodmans.

“I think that the apparatus that we have, in terms of democracy and free speech, is probably as good as it’s going to get — we just have to find a way back to real power within the democratic apparatus that’s been captured by money and so forth.” – R.U. Sirius, Shift , July 2002.

“The base is not reality based.” – Jay Rosen, February 2009.

Which brings us to the “birthers.” Although the birthers are often compared to truthers, these people are even more deranged. At their best truthers raise valid questions about the government’s response to 9/11. At their worst, they extrapolate wild claims based on thin shreds of evidence.

Birthers don’t even have these sorts of thin shreds from which to spin their stories. They stand steadfast in the resolve to disbelieve Obama’s citizenship in the face of all contrary evidence, while offering not one bit of evidence themselves. (I wish they would apply the same standard of evidence to the existence of god as they do to the citizenship of Obama). If you show these people Snopes, they’ll dismiss it as conspiracy. They are allergic to the truth.

Meanwhile, the lack of centralized control has done little to rattle the powers that be. There are web sites dedicated to supporting any fringe belief you can think of. Everyone from StormFront to IndyMedia is routinely ignored by the establishment.

Not that the mainstream media is any better than the Internet. The Birthers have been given ample coverage, in a “he said, she said” treatment that legitimizes their lunacy. As much as the right loves to rail against relativism and post-modernism, their maniacal insistence that they be given “equal treatment,” and the media’s compliance with those demands, does more to create a postmodern, truth-less world than any French academic ever did.

Sadly, even as bloggers explain in detail how Goldman Sachs screwed America and provide factual analysis of Sotomayor’s record, lies and propaganda are able to shout them down. And our “watchdogs” choose to go after Matt Taibi instead of Goldman Sachs and to treat the “debate” over Sotomayor’s record like an actual controversy instead of a bunch of a nonsense. There seems to be no point in speaking truth to power. Power does not care what is spoken to it.

This should not be read as a reactionary rant. The yearning for a “golden age” of investigative journalism is a case of rosy retrospection.

What to do then when the watchmen are evil, and the populace is mad? I have no answers. My only solace at this point is that every outbreak of insanity seems to die down eventually, even if society writ large learns nothing from them.

St. Loius town hall – video and analysis

The first thing you notice when the camera starts rolling is a union member already sprawled out on the ground with somebody standing over him. No explanation of how he got there (pushed, shoved, punched?) and Ham couldn’t care less. Then yes, Gladney is pulled to the ground by somebody wearing a union shirt. (At the :06 mark.) But instead of Gladney being beaten and punched, as his attorney describes, and instead of union “thugs” standing over him and threatening him, Gladney bounces right back on his feet in approximately two seconds and the scuffle ends.

That was the savage “beating” the conservative blogosphere can’t stop talking about?

The only real mystery from the incident is why Tea Party member Gladney, who’s seen up-close after the brief encounter walking around and talking to people and who appears to be injury-free, then decided to go to the hospital to treat injuries to his “knee, back, elbow, shoulder and face.” All that from a two-second fall to the pavement?

Media Matters: Inventing tales of a union “beating”

Media Matters also notes: Gladney was not “hospitalized.” (i.e. Rushed away by ambulance.) Instead, as the Post-Dispatch correctly reported, Gladney “said he sought hospital treatment.”

I haven’t been able to watch this with audio yet, so I don’t know if that adds any confirmation or rebuttal of Gladney’s story, but it appears to be a near complete fabrication (depending on whether there was some other altercation that occurred before the camera started rolling) – or maybe even a complete fabrication.

Also note how the conservative blogosphere is reacting to this video. The base is not reality based.

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