Thursday, August 19, 2010


All people lie sometimes. That's part of being human. Democrats too.

But they don't have experts at "the big lie" and wordsmiths working full time on crafting language to frame news events or manufactured events to distort or hide or bury or overwhelm the truth, obviously, because they (the Dems) have proven and are continuing to prove themselves terrible at it. (In my Hollywood years I knew many successful Hollywood writers who were hired by various rightwing and Republican agencies and campaigns to help do this, while most of the Hollywood and New York wordsmiths who offered their help to the Dems, including to this administration, were turned down!)

And Democrats did not start this manufactured controversy nor did they frame it as being about "A Mosque" at "Ground Zero." They send notices to the mass media newsrooms etc. about their points of view, but they are almost always too nuanced, too long, too considerate of multiple points of view, too dependent on logic and reasoning and facts rather than easy slogans and emotional triggers (with the exception of the Obama campaign which finally managed to outdo the right in sloganeering "Change" etc. and emotional triggers "we can rise above our racist history by electing Obama") etc.

The right has the sway and has had for many years when it comes to the so-called mainstream media because they do it better are more disciplined at following the message of the day etc. and are more ruthless about ignoring the facts. And on top of all that they manage to get it both ways by condemning that same media as "liberal" or out of touch with "real Americans" and thus getting even more concessions out of that media as they bend over backwards to accommodate the right and accept "Joe the Plumber" as "real" even though he wasn't a plumber and his real name isn't Joe, etc.

It's obviously a very successful strategy. So successful when it works that it reframes the argument in a way that any Democrat who tries to fight against the right's set up ("Mosque" "Ground Zero" etc.) loses votes and support and so some of them line up behind the right's framing of the issue to keep from losing their office or positions etc. (i.e, Harry Ried's and Howard Dean's moves and Rahm Emmanuel's influence etc.)

The kind of Democrats who actually stand up for their principals no matter what and don't either fall in line behind the right's framing of the issues or refuse to take the bait almost always lose that battle (Carter, Mondale, Gore, Kerry, et. al.) while the right, especially their leaders, denigrate the Dems behind closed doors as liberal wusses who can't even fight ruthlessly and fellow Dems condemn their own for either not standing up for their principals and caving to the right or standing up for them and losing power to the right.

It's easy for us, or at least me, to take an idealistic stance, but as I've written before endlessly, my experience is that my idealism and people like me led to Nixon's first and second wins and all the damage that caused for our country that could have been avoided, as well as leading to Reagan and Bush/Cheney (many of the idealists of like mind with me voted for Nader but by then I'd learned my lesson) etc.

One of the many reasons I voted for Obama was to end the war in Iraq. Obviously the violence isn't over, but the last "combat troops" have left and the "American" troops remaining are not engaging in the kinds of forays that led to so much death and destruction in the past seven years etc. Another reason was to end the deluge of rightwing judges being appointed and regulations and regulators being weakened in favor of corporations, etc. etc. Obama has come through on many things I care about. Not perfectly, not completely, not always to my liking and not always successfully, but much more than he is getting credit for whether in the media or from many who voted for him.

Under any Republican administration, including any that might replace him, the damage created by Bush/Cheney would only increase. Aspects of that damage have increased under Obama (some of the Homeland Security crap for instance) and I am against that, but over all almost every government agency has been strengthened in favor of most of us rather than in favor of the one per cent that controls over 95% of the wealth of our country as was happening under Bush/Cheney. Et-endlessly-cetera.

[And PS: I'm all for pulling all our troops out of everywhere, an idealistic goal I fought a lot of years for and sacrificed many things for (as well as for other ideals) and so did my family unfortunately. But I refuse to abdicate my vote and my support for the better option when neither live up to my ideals.]


JIm said...

Liar Liar Pants on Fire - Part II

This last post almost brought a tear to my eye. The NYT, NBC, MSNBC, CBS, ABC and last, and most definetly least at its new corporate price of $1 is Newsweek, will be surprised to learn that they are part of the vast right wing conspiracy. Liberalism/Socialism/Obamaism/Anti-Americanism/Pro Ground Zero Victory Mosqueism/Sharia Lawism does not seem to be doing well in the market place of ideas. Our long Obama/Pelosi/Reid nightmare may be coming to an end.

Robert G. Zuckerman said...

Jim, I will be in NYC in October briefly and then again later in the fall. I invite you to go with me to a VA Hospital, a children's Cancer ward and/or Ronald McDonald House, to visit Mosques in the greater Metropolitan Area and to walk through Harlem any time of the day or night. No newspapers, magazines or tv, just first hand experience.

Butch in Waukegan said...

So, in order to get a Blue Dog Democrat elected in the 2nd Congressional District of Idontknowwhere, the Democratic Party is forced, oh so reluctantly, to march behind the right wing band? Because, after all, winning elections is the first, second and third most important thing.

Let everyone remember that when we hear again the hope-and-change electioneering platitudes — words that make you feel better, but don’t expect any action once the speaker is in office.

Can there be a better representation of how corrupt, cynical, and yes, evil, this system is?

The core (cynical) assumption of this post is that if you stand up for what’s right, you lose. Tell that to Feingold. His short, non-nuanced, to-the-point response is exactly the approach that will work to deflate and defeat these racist kooks. Not every time, not every place, but this is a very weak issue for the right wing. They can be opposed and beaten.

I don’t see why we can’t demand that politicians put their jobs at risk for the right cause, especially for an issue as important as this.

JIm said...

Is it another "Right Wing Lie" to notice that the Obama/Biden "Recovery Summer" is a bust. Jobless claims for last week were 500,000, the worst since November 2009. Obama's war on business does not seem to be working for the unemployed. Ironically, Germany one of the models for the European Socialism of which Democrats are so fond, is rediscovering free enterpise and less government and is prospering with employment growing.

PS - With Pelosi calling for an investigation of the anti Ground Zero Victory Mosque folks that amounts to about 70% of America, it seems to be an "I am Sparticus" moment.

JIm said...

Thanks for the offer, but I will be working to get out the vote to repeal Obamanomics and Obamacare extend the Bush tax cuts and defeat every Democrat, because in this election, party trumps the individual candidate.

Robert G. Zuckerman said...

The invitation stands Jim, you let me know when you are available, unless you are unwilling, and that would be telling.

JIm said...

If we meet, you have to agree to visit some of the Irish bars of my youth and toast America with a glass of Guiness or Harp.

Butch in Waukegan said...

The Park51 Cordoba House controversy is not a momentary blip. This is where it is heading. Unopposed, in a couple of years there could be anti-Arab, anti-Muslim pogroms, especially if record unemployment continues The Democrats keeping a few more seats in Congress won’t seem so important.

JIm said...

Do you mean like occurs to Christians every day in the Middle East and Africa. You expect US citizen mobs to attack, decapitate,shoot and stone Muslim clerics and peace loveing Muslims in the streets. Do you also expect US mobs to tear down existing mosques and outlaw new mosques. Unfortunately your estimation of America seems to match our current president and the Speaker of the House's view of Americans.

Butch in Waukegan said...


I appreciate your effort to build bridges, but you might want to consider what kind bridge can be built with someone who follows people like this.

Butch in Waukegan said...

Decide for yourselves. Would this store clerk , riled up by right wing bigots , participate in an attack on a mosque or Muslims?

I know, stuff like this never happens in the good old USA.

Note, like today, the mix of racism and job insecurity. This issue is very dangerous. All people of good will need to oppose these bigots.

(An interesting fact — this incident was a factor in Josephine Baker’s decision to move to Paris.)

Anonymous said...

very interesting: we drop 99.99%
of the bombs/weapons of mass destruction

on "them" and yet "they" are the terrorists!

in the entire history of humankind the USA
is the only nation to EVER use The Ultimate Bomb!

then we moved on to Napalm

I just went up to the store to get a jar of Tahini so to make my humus...

My Ethiopian friend who works at the store said:

"management pulled it off of the shelves... said that it was a terrorist

we've become a nation of spineless Morons...

Anonymous said...

500,000 out of work

how many more (250,000?)
have given up looking.

the NYTIMES is "Right Wing"? Hell they 150 % supported/endorsed Obama!

and that Gulf Oil "Spill"?
the "plume"?


Robert G. Zuckerman said...


I agree. Butch, thanks for the warning but I'm willing to go there. It's only fair.



Butch in Waukegan said...

It's not about the mosque! It's America's war on "the Other."

Will Bunch puts the Cordoba House controversy is perspective and is exactly right on the danger it represents.

Anonymous said...

what we need RIGHT NOW
is to create a new office... a new regulatory/regulator office

a new committee

another 2,000 page bill..

like the new Financial Bill and the New Health Care Bill

what we need Right Now are more Corrupt MORONS incapable of "driving" this run-away train!

"goals" what "goals"

to keep unemployment FOREVER at 10+ % ?

right now 25 % (and growing) of children born in the USA are Hispanic...

just wait a few years... we'll be Little Mexico...

which just might be a GOOD thing as they are mostly Catholics!

where is that "transparency" that we were PROMISED!?

where IS that Ron Paul cry for an independent Government $$$ audit?

Lally said...

great link Butch

Butch in Waukegan said...

If there is any doubt about the racist nature of the anti Cordoba House protestors, take a look of this video of what happened to a black guy who wandered through their protest today.

JIm said...

Victory Mosque and Racism or lack of Same

Opposition to a Victory Mosque on the site of a Muslim triumph is not racism. If some jerk acts like a jerk, he is a jerk. That does not mean the whole opposition (70%) is racist. I believe the voting population consists of roughly one third each of Democrats, Republicans and Independents. In order for the opposition to the Victory Mosque to be 70%, there must be considerable support in all three groups.

JIm said...

Rauf, the leader of the Victory Mosque, advocating Shariah law in America.

"Rauf quotes Qaradawi in the back of his book.
Also in his book, he calls for a "subsidiary entity within the judiciary" in America that adjudicates on shariah compliance. Sharia is the Quranic legal code practiced by Saudi Arabia, home to Islam's holiest shrines and its spiritual headquarters.
"It would provide the United States with a moral rudder and guidance to ensure that its policies are in keeping with religious ethical values," Rauf writes in "What's Right With Islam."
Concerning shariah law, he says the Quran makes it clear that "Muslims have to uphold the Law, to make the Law dwell among us."
Unlike Christians, he adds, Muslims are commanded to "shape history," and that requires merging the mosque with the state. Rauf, who opposes Muslim nations adopting Western values, rebukes Ataturk for secularizing Turkey.
Muslims must "redeem [Muhammadan] history, to integrate temporal righteousness in the world," Rauf writes.
"To Muslims, this is what is meant by building the kingdom of heaven on earth," he continues, "and this is their aspiration for America."

JIm said...

Ground Zero Imam Says U.S. Worse than al-Qaeda
by Jason Mattera

video available at:

Robert G. Zuckerman said...

The same way you can spot a scam/spam email, I can immediately smell the out of context spin you are putting on things Jim in order to bolster your paranoid viewpoint. It's like the scene in "Annie Hall" when some guy in a movie line is quoting Marshall Macluhan and Marsall Macluhan is standing right behind him in line and says "I'm Marshall Macluhan and I didn't say that at all." It's time to have a good hard and really honest look at yourself and admit to yourself that you are being selective and pre-judiced.

JIm said...

Wishfull thinking Robert.

Butch in Waukegan said...

Jim has never met a racist he didn’t like, or rather that he denied was racist. Rush, Beck, Coulter, Geller, et al. According to Jim there are no anti-Muslim racists in America , and no one should fear racist violence.

Now he’s in heaven because his racism no longer has to hide behind codes (like “charter schools”) or feeble evasions (“but I like Condi and Colin”). His enemy can be named: AMERICAN MUSLIMS! Conveniently many are brown. He can advocate his solution openly: WAR! How important is this war? IT’S FOR CIVILIZATION!

From the signs, speeches and catcalls, the people in the video agree with Jim: The enemy is within and we are fighting a war for our very survival! The video shows dozens of people surrounding and yelling at the guy they think is a Muslim. Several are very aggressive. What does Jim see? One jerk! Not one racist, not several racists, but just one jerk. His ideology forces him to deny what is before our very eyes: this fellow was one punch away from being beaten by a bunch of racists.

And no, not every one who opposes the mosque is racist. But it’s clear that the right wing anti-mosque leadership (pro war neocons all) has based their appeal on racism.

JIm said...

I see few racists in the Tea Party and or opponents of the Ground Zero Victory Mosque. For want of a coherent idea many liberals seem to see only racism in their political opponents.

The Victory Mosque opposition is based on the history of these type of Mosques, Jefferson and Lincoln's view that the US Constitutional is not a suicide pact, implementation of shariah law which most of Islam and specifically Iman Rauf advocates which would negate human rights guaranteed in the Founding Documents. If that is racism than I am a proud racist.

Butch in Waukegan said...

This is not a liberal / conservative issue, and many conservatives* oppose the anti-mosque campaign.

Joe Scarborough:

Republicans are going to be embarrassed at the way they've opposed a mosque -- known as Cordoba House or Park51 -- that's planned near Ground Zero, according to one conservative host.

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough told Republicans Monday that they should "speak out against Newt Gingrich and the voices of hate." While he was at it, Scarborough threatened to leave the GOP for a party "that actually believes in small government."

Ron Paul:

”Is the controversy over building a mosque near ground zero a grand distraction or a grand opportunity? Or is it, once again, grandiose demagoguery?


“In my opinion it has come from the neo-conservatives who demand continual war in the Middle East and Central Asia and are compelled to constantly justify it.

“They never miss a chance to use hatred toward Muslims to rally support for the ill conceived preventative wars.”

If Democrats were on the ball they could spearhead an effective campaign against these bigots. Oh yeah, the election is coming and everyone knows their strategy — let the right wing pick the tune and then sing back up.

* Jim is a garden variety authoritarian, not a conservative, who is quite happy to have a big government to fight his Wars for Civilization, both at home and overseas.

Butch in Waukegan said...

This BBC video is a walking tour of the area around Park51 with the fellow who posted Hallowed Ground? stills on his blog. It shows very clearly how artificial and pumped up this controversy is.

JIm said...

Butch, I do not know what your definition of authoritarian is, but it sounds like your normal bull shit of lies, racism etc. The beauty of the contraversy from a political sense, is that it will very likely damage Democrats, socialists and anti Americans by pealing votes from Obama's supporters in the November election. That is a good thing.

PS Joe Scarborough has lost his mind through his association with the kooks on MSNBC. Ron Paul is just being Ron Paul.

PSS If you want authoritarian, look to the Obama/Pelosi/Reid power axis who is expanding government control and interference into everyday American life

Lally said...

I'm leaving the comments above as an example of how sadly ignorant and belligerent, as well as destructively false and malevolent the right has become. But any more tirades like that from this blog's main rightwing "troll"—full of lies and personal attacks—will be deleted.

JIm said...

Islam's triumph over the West requires the "Useful Idiots" that Lenin spoke of in a previous era.

Robert G. Zuckerman said...

Jim, whether you like it or not, before you are "American", "Conservative", "White", whatever, before you are any of that, you are a living being and a citizen of this planet. This is immutable fact beyond your ideology. Once you are able to acknowledge and recognize this, then the whole world will change for you brother.

JIm said...

"Peace Brother", is the liberal mantra. Unfortunately, man is a competitive animal with many of the worst instincts of the wild. The US and it's founding documents has been one of the most civilizing occurences in human history. Let us hope that it can withstand all that the Obama/Pelosi/Reid and radical Islam can throw at it. I and like minded people of a Tea Party persuasion intend to fight peacefully and democratically to insure that the Republic endures.