Sunday, February 12, 2006

On playing the fear card

If there was a single to Saturday's RadioNation with Laura Flanders (other than "Don't leave politics to the politicans"), we think it was don't let people play the fear card. It was there in Laura Flanders opening monologue, throughout the show, and in the closing interview with country music star Rodney Crowell.

As Flanders noted early on when people were asking questions about the warrantless spying, Bully Boy tried to make it about "national security." When Michael Brown was due to testify in Congress about the incompetence and disregard of the administration when confronted with the realities on the ground in the New Orleans as Hurricane Katrina hit, Bully Boy tried to grab the spin cycle by announcing he'd foiled a plot (in 2002) to take down Los Angeles's "Liberty Tower" (which was actually the Library Tower -- but what does Bully Boy know about libraries?).

Whenever serious questions are raised about his performance or fitness for the job, he pulls out the fear card and slaps on the table. This week it was less successful. Partly due to the fact that the mayor of Los Angeles had twice attempted to contact him in the past only to be rebuffed. Partly due to the fact that the "plot" has so many twists and turns as various officials explain it (as Ron noted in "Bush Said, A.P. Said 'in October 2001'"). But hopefully due to the fact that we've all grown a bit of weary of living in fear and having our emotions manipulated.

Flanders noted Tom Ridge's comments about the terrorist alerts (after he left office) and how some of them weren't really necessary. In year five of the Bully Boy's war on America, he still thinks he can scare us all stupid. Maybe that's how he was raised?

Whatever, it's not taking this time. Not in the numbers and intensity it once did.

Should another attack come, the "Blame Bill Clinton" strategy will be a tough one to pull off again since he's had so many years and spent so much money "fixing" things.

It's interesting how much fear did accomplish. It silenced dissent (with the help of the corporate media). It allowed tax cuts to be pushed through. It allowed massive bailouts of the airline industry. It allowed questions to be dismissed. It allowed the Bully Boy to mow down the Constitution.

"Post 9/11" world Bully Boy loves to say. Would that be a 9/13 world? That was the due our own scared leader finally found time to address the people from Ground Zero. 9/11 was the day of flitting all around the country on Air Force One.

Since that embarrasing display of cowardice and non-leadership, Bully Boy's been strutting like a banty rooster and crowing about as often. The response to the hurricanes revealed how hollow his claims of "national security" were. New Orleans and surrounding areas, a much talked about unnatural disaster. "Unnatural" because of the fact that the relief efforts came late when they came at all. The less talked about Wilma demonstrated that even when the damage is far less, basics like electricity can remain off for over a month. Or maybe he thought people living without reliable electricity would help them identify with Iraqis? Was that the plan?

Always when incompetence is noted, we think back to Iraq: the hallmark of incompetence. Lies, and bad lies at that, led us into war (with the help of an unquestioning media). Lies continued as we invaded. Those roses never did get tossed in our path, did they Rummy? Lies told us that we were there to help but while we had a tag sale on Iraq assets and public services, we never did fulfill the promise on the hospitals, did we?

Incompetence got us there and incompetence keeps us there. Maybe the "higher authority" Bully Boy appeals to should be asked to grant him a new brain?

He needs something because he's got one card in the deck and he's played it so often that it's lost its shock value. In previous times, a real leader told us that we had nothing to fear but fear itself. Bully Boy seems intent on repeating that we have everything to fear including ourselves.
He tried to market himself as the "compassionate conservative" but we're pretty sure he'll go down as either the "loco leader" or the "lousy leader." Either way, America seems to be awakening from its long nightmare.

Flanders made the suggestion that you follow the mainstream media and see how many times Michael Brown or soundbytes of his testimony are mentioned? The answer to that question, we'd argue, will tell you how fear based the mainstream media is or isn't. If they, like the public, have grown weary of the scare tactics, expect it to get heavy play. If they haven't, expect them to repeat Bully Boy's "national security" mantra without questioning.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }