Friday, January 11, 2008

Politics in the age of Internet

Racisim is no longer so fashionable as it once was, nor is anti-semitism or gay-baiting acceptable in the mainstream media. Support for brown-shirt type militia movements has never been popular with the mainstream. So politicians who have played these card have had to find ways of dividing their message, saying one thing to one audience and quite another to their 'private' supporters.

Yassr Arafat was reportedly a practictioner of this technique, saying one thing in Arabic and quite another in English. Mainstream Republican politicians following Nixon's 'Southern strategy' use codewords and symbolic guestures to convey a deniable message of support. Reagan was no fool when it came to communications. It was no accident that he began his 1980 Presidential campaign with a 'state's rights' speech at Neshoba county fair.

This use of code-words to say what could not be said in public has an ancient history. According to a piece I heard on the radio recently, the Karma Sutra served as a 'code-book' for erotic but less explicit stories. The educated reader (or listener as story telling was an oral tradition at the time) would know that mention of the girl's ankle bracelets jingling corresponded to a specific copulation position.

But code-words have no power as a political tool unless the key is widely known and understood, at least within the community that the communication is addressed to. More explicit material is also required.

In the past a politician could usually get away with a less than savory past of this type. Today the Internet makes it much more likely that inconvenient material will surface at an inopportune moment. It is quite unlikely that CNN and the other establishment media were unaware of the Ron Paul's racist and anti-semitic newsletters. Romney, Giuliani and Huckabee must have invested at least some dollars in opposition research on Paul. But the establishment media is capricious to say the least in its choice of opposition research to air. Little was heard in the 2000 campaign of Bush's corrupt profits from the construction of the Ranger's stadium and Harken oil. A great deal was heard about Gore's 'deceitful' claim to have visited the Texase wildfires with the director of FEMA rather than the deputy director.

The establishment media would much rather project the story that Obama's campaign proves that race no longer matters in America than admit that Ron Paul's recent past demonstrates the opposite. Pat Robertson's 2000 campaign received a similar free ride for the same reason. The publication of the Ron Paul newsletters on the Internet by The National Review made the story impossible to ignore.

Having read some of the newsletters it is pretty clear to me that they go far beyond criticizing Israel or Israeli policies. The fact that the likes of Dershowitz and Krautheimer regularly make spurious allegations of anti-semitism when they can't win an argument with their opponents does not mean that there are no anti-semites. The Ron Paul newsletters pretty clearly fall into the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' category.

The Internet is certainly reducing the power of the establishment media to impose its own narratives on the news but it has not eliminated it. It is highly unlikely that any establishment media reporter will ask Rudy Giuliani about his support for and fundraising for the IRA, a terrorist organization. Huckabee will not be asked how his proposal to remove 1.6 million Palestinians from Gaza and the West Bank differs from the ethnic cleansing we condemned in the Balkans. No mention of the fact will be made that the reason McCain's campaign collapsed last year and was presumed dead was the infamous flack-jacket stroll through a 'normal' Baghdad market which resulted in 21 Iraquis being murdered the next day.

1 comment:

Dee Illuminati said...

Found your posts on TPM interesting. Agree with you on many levels but wonder if you advocate a marketplace of ideas, or a monopoly narrative by the MSM?

I have some interesting reading to PDF and have been meaning to do so for quite some time, this will shed insight into the evolution and genuine history of some of your interests.

But in addition, I will raise some disturbing questions as well.

Yes the pen-name is provoking, and yes I have had well intentioned people 'over talk' at an adjacent table at a DELLI and suggest that the 'commentary' was unwelcomed.

But I imagine you will find my positions different than your assumptions.

I have something from 92 that I will share with you, part redacted, civil transcript no longer available in the public domain that will ask you the question is this deja-vue all over again?

One last comment, there are so many self-styled message massage experts, some good, some bad, and the best annon.

It was positively amazing to see lets say 'REZZA' the grrrlfriend of lets say 'PAULEE' wolfie.. to be appointed a top spot on a SAIC team. Yeah the qualifications are pretty damn loose for expertise in this area.

And finally, in closing, when did you lose faith in Donald Rumsfeld's management effectiveness if ever?

Did you invest heavily in the 'new dot com' economy as the MSM suggested? Did you buy more house than you could afford? Do you have a collection of Furbies and pet rocks? :)

It is not enough to be the consumate contrarian, but the deeper you look into something, the more you know about less and less, well I guess you become an expert.

Agreeing that there are nefarious and anti-semitic and racist elements in the GOP, and that they have been around for quite some time, and their behavior is consistent, and that it is documented, and that there is a denial mechanism with some as to that factual existence, let me supply some proof. I can also state that it takes categorical courage to tell 'them there folks' to go screw themselves, and that they don't like it.

However I will ask you to remain open minded to an equally dnagerous group of folks, similar in many ways, and just as well documented.

"Lets not allow the facts to stand in the way of our beliefs" will be an interesting quote to remember.


Dee Illuminati

please respond with TPMTPM in the subject line as my inbox is as accesable as yours without the PKI.