Ridicule, Marginalize, Lie, and Deny
By John D. Turner
25 Apr 2010

Perhaps you have witnessed it on TV or radio; or perhaps in print. Now that health care reform has passed, the progressives are feeling their oats. What new “reforms” can they “Rahm” through the congress before the November elections? And what might they manage to salvage, now that the health care debate is off the front page? Americans; how quickly they forget! And it is a whole seven months until November.

Seven months to change the dialogue and public perception. In politics, seven months is an eternity.

So the talking points have changed. It is interesting to watch this happen, as it seems to abruptly change across the spectrum of progressive media. All of a sudden, every Democratic spokesperson I see on every TV show I watch; news, talk, political analysts, they all suddenly change message to the same message.

It shows up in print media as well; newspapers, magazines, blogs, whatever. It is as if someone vaguely reminiscent of Steve Martin is running past shouting, “the new Pravda is out! The new Pravda is out!”

Indeed, the new Pravda is out. The new marching orders have been sent. From progressive democrat mouthpieces everywhere, the new orders seem to be “ridicule, marginalize, lie, and deny.”

Ridicule. Have you noticed the reaction on the left whenever the subject of Sarah Palin is broached? Now I understand that the left has been less than enamored with Ms. Palin since she burst on the scene from pretty much total obscurity as John McCain’s running mate in the 2008 general election. Sarah who? From where? Alaska isn’t even flyover country!

Progressives know that in order to be taken seriously you have to be a graduate of Harvard, Princeton, or Yale, or some other well-established ivy-league bastion of liberal thought. At the very least you have to come from a private school; only plebians attend public institutions. How can you take someone at all seriously who attended the University of Idaho for crying out loud? A lightweight by definition!

But Sarah won’t conveniently go away. Despite the best efforts of the media to dismiss her as a liability, the liberal blogosphere to describe her as incompetent, and Saturday Night Live to do a total hatchet-job on her from head to toe, Sarah refuses to simply fade back into the background. And conservatives see in her something they like. She speaks and crowds gather. They want to hear what she has to say and how she says it. She seems like the “genuine bean”; a real person with integrity – something that more and more Americans are looking for in a politician; something that many of them seem to lack.

I was watching the coverage of the tea party gathering held recently in Senator Reid’s home town of Searchlight, Nevada. Like all the tea parties I have witnessed so far, it looked to be a peaceful gathering of thousands of what appear to be middle class folks carrying various homemade signs bearing issues about which they are concerned. Sarah Palin was the keynote speaker at this event, so of course, the discussion eventually came around to her. It went something like this.

Liberal commentator: “What do you think about Sarah Palin?”

Conservative: “Well, she was articulate, and the folks there seem to agree with her message.”

Liberal commentator: “Perhaps. But you don’t actually take her seriously, do you?

Conservative: “If she were running for President, I’d vote for her.”

Liberal commentator: “Really.” (Statement, not question. Looking askance) “You can’t possibly be serious.” (Body language and tone suggest that only a complete idiot would make a comment like that, and nothing that you say from this point on will be taken seriously.)

I have seen this same attitude consistently on display from numerous Democratic commentators and spokespersons on numerous shows on Fox news; Hannity, Greta, O’Rielly. The only one I don’t see it on is Glenn Beck, and that is because he doesn’t have those folks on his show. There is this constant air of disdain; of “how could you possibly think that?” It’s not just Sarah Palin, although she seems to be a magnet that brings out that sort of reaction almost as a reflex. It’s just about any topic that comes up relating to anything conservatives disagree with; health care, cap and trade, immigration reform, you name it.

It’s the same reaction you would get from someone if they suddenly spouted the opinion that the sun had turned purple with green pokadots and it was raining octopi outside. How can you say or believe something so completely ridiculous? And you are completely ridiculous if you hold such an opinion, and are clearly no longer worthy of serious consideration.

Marginalize. This one is similar to ridicule. Some point seems important to conservatives? Make it seem minor or moot. Change the subject. “That’s really not all that important. What about…?” “You’re getting all worked up over nothing. What’s really important is…”

Then there is the ever present “everybody knows…”, when not only is it not something everybody knows, but frequently something everybody disagrees with. By using the phrase “everybody knows”, or “the American people think”, or some other such high-sounding phrase, the progressive spokesperson implants into the mind of the listener the idea that “gee, I must be out of step with everyone else.” The idea is to get you to think that the position you hold is a minority position; all right-thinking people believe otherwise. They are steering the debate, trying to get the “herd mentality” to kick in. Most people don’t want to be thought of as “fringe” or “kooky” – they want to hold the same positions everyone else does. If nothing else, they want to relegate the issue, whatever it is, to the sidelines and “move on” to some other point of debate that is less damaging to their position.

This was the whole point of Glenn Beck’s 9/12 project. To let people know that despite the progressives attempts in the mainstream media to marginalize their beliefs and their sense that all was not well, that they are not alone; others in the country think and feel exactly the same way. And from what I have been able to tell, it is working, slowly, to counteract this pernicious form of propaganda.

Lie and Deny. Progressives are not above outright lying about something if they perceive a benefit to their cause; either public approval and support, or mitigation of public disapproval that might be damaging. There are many sorts of lies here, both lies of commission and lies of omission. From shading of the truth to out and out bald-faced whoppers worthy of Bill Clinton’s famous “I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewenski.” Of course, as Bill Clinton also famously pointed out to us when accused of perjury in the case of Monica Lewenski (the real reason for the impeachment trial, not the sex per se as the media had us believe), “it all depends on what the meaning of ‘is’, is.”

Don’t be surprised when you hear progressive Democratic spokespersons tell you on national TV that something you witnessed or read with your very own eyes in fact, never happened. And they will say it with a straight face, and attempt to convince you that even if you did happen to see or read it, you either misinterpreted it, or didn’t understand the context, or present some other explanation as to why what you saw or read didn’t really happen the way you saw or read.

The most famous explanation of this type is of the “what so-and-so really meant to say” variety. This sometimes comes into play with the President, but most commonly is associated with the Vice President, Mr. Biden. Mr. Biden makes so many verbal gaffes and “misstatements” that it is particularly easy to lie about what he may or may not have said. Nobody really cares anyway. “It’s just goofy old Joe! No one takes him seriously!”

Of course, “goofy old Joe” is just a heartbeat away from being Chief Executive. Somebody better take him seriously! And it kind of begs the question, if goofy old Joe is such an incompetent, what does that say about the guy who hired him for the job in the first place?

My favorite of course, is the progressive idea that you are not allowed to express an opinion contrary to what this administration thinks best for the country. If you do, you are racist, fringe, loopy, or unpatriotic. They won the election after all, so just shut-up and color! This despite the fact that they did the same thing when President Bush was in office. Of course, then it was patriotic to protest! I still recall Hillary Clinton shrilly complaining about being called “unpatriotic” for dissenting from what the Bush administration wanted to do (when no one had actually called her that in the first place) and then stating that dissent was what American democracy was all about. Now that they are in charge, well, the Pravda has changed.

The latest hoopla was caused when someone (I don’t remember who) referred to the current administration as the “Obama regime.” Actually it could have been any number of people. I am sure I have heard Glenn Beck use the term a time or two. You would have thought someone had kicked the Progressive’s favorite dog. You would have thought this was the first time the word had ever been used in conjunction with an American presidency! Why, I haven’t heard the term used myself since way back during the Bush administration. Up until he actually left office. By the same people complaining about its use now.

Strange. I guess when it’s their guy in office, certain terms are off limits?

Just as a memory refresher, here are some links to those days of old and not so old where those currently calling such rhetoric “dangerous”, “unpatriotic”, and “un-American” were themselves using the same sort of rhetoric not all that long ago. These are just a few examples and by no means the most egregious. Google these categories yourself. The number of hits you get will NOT be insignificant.

Death threats by left on President Bush

Olbermann anti-bush rants

Olbermann anti-cheney rants

But then again, when you are on the left, it isn’t “hate-speech”, is it? It’s protected free speech. It is only when you are on the right that such speech moves from protected free speech to “hate-speech” and becomes “dangerous.”

You know, I have listened to both Beck and Olbermann. I’ll take Beck any day of the week. You know what one of the biggest core differences between Beck and Olbermann is? Beck disagrees with Olbermann, but has no desire to shut him up. That “freedom of speech” clause in the Bill of Rights means something to Beck.

Olbermann on the other hand would like nothing better than to have Beck’s access to the airwaves removed. He’d prefer to have him assume room temperature, but would settle for jailing him and any others he disagrees with as a menace to society.

My mom used to tell me that name calling was what people did when they had no valid logical arguments. What does that say about the Democrats current political positions?