Monday, June 23, 2008

Swiftboating from the Left - Paul Harris's "The Real McCain"

The teaser of Harris's article is this:
"To his fans he's a lovable patriot with a maverick streak. But to his critics he's an anti-abortion Creationist who surrounds himself with religious extremists. Paul Harris uncovers the dark side of John McCain"
I'm an Obama supporter, but merely from the teaser I already want to run to McCain's defense. An "anti-abortion Creationist"? Really?? Bullshit. This is like the Obama "Terrorist fist jab" teaser on Fox - its utterly stupid. And provably so from a not-to-long ago debate:


The rest of the article is blindingly obvious in its propagandistic machinery.
  1. Briefly mention a few reasons someone might think he's not such a bad guy (make sure to put it in the subjunctive).
  2. Claim this is all a facade to "propel him to the Oval Office".
  3. Expose the "dark side" that "lies behind his public mask".
  4. Pull out any dirt you can and start slinging.
Precisely this formula is being used against the Obama (mainly by the likes of Sean Hannity):
  1. Admit that Obama appears to be a charismatic speaker that claims to transcend traditional politics.
  2. "But what do we really know about Obama?" (said in a deep throaty voice, while zooming in)
  3. We'll expose "the real Obama":
  4. (On a loop): Wright, Ayers, bitter clingers quote, Michelle Obama's undergrad thesis (really??)
The Conclusion: These are the patterns of a radical anti-american leftest unfit to be president!!

FUCK OFF!! Yes, I'm speaking to you Hannity. You are not a great American. You are not a good conservative. You are an offensive disingenuous propagantist. And your tricks are heavy-handed.

Back to my present topic - this Hannity-esk hack-job on McCain. Follow the formula, Harris, follow the formula:

Step One: Briefly mention some characteristics those that respect McCain might mention.
"For a lot of Americans - including many Democrats - it is a beguiling vision. They see a war hero whose courage was forged in a North Vietnamese POW camp. They see a maverick who spoke against the tortures of Abu Ghraib. They see a reformer who acts against lobbyists and political favours."
Check!

Step Two: Introduce the turn: "But there is another, very different side to John McCain. Away from the headlines and the stirring speeches, a less familiar figure lurks."

Check!

Step Three
: (Start appealing to contextless speech-clips and common suspicions):
"It is a McCain who has sided with religious and political extremists who believe Islam is evil and gays are immoral. It is a McCain who wants to appoint extreme conservatives to the Supreme Court and see abortion banned. This McCain has a notoriously volatile temper that has scared some senior members of his own party."
Check!

Step Four
: NOW the real fun starts! Start cutting and pasting. Don't imply anything to directly, though. Let the "facts" speak from themselves (so we can decide!), but edit carefully. Draw a thread through the pieces just right, and you can present a very threating pattern. And it will simply be a "perponderance of the evidence". Here we go!
  • War-mongerer: "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran."
  • Hot-tempered: "physically scuffling with aged Senator Strom Thurmond on the Senate floor"
  • Misogynist: "At least I don't plaster on the make-up like a trollop, you cunt"
  • Radical associations: "friends with G Gordon Liddy, one of the Watergate burglars. Liddy, who once plotted to kill a left-wing journalist, has hosted a fundraiser with McCain in his own home."
  • Ties to Lobbyists: "McCain is very much at home with K Street's sharp-suited denizens, their wealthy clients and their art of influence-peddling."
  • etc., etc.
Check!

Is the mosaic clear yet?

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