Monday, August 11, 2008

Fear Sells

If it leads it bleeds... (or vice versa)

Clintonista, Mark Penn (left) / Nazi, Hermann Goering (right)

"Why, of course, the people don't want war," Goering shrugged. "Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship. Whether or not they can vote, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. "

"All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

Hermann Goering was a Nazi war criminal. He was also a top notch political operative. Don't let the messenger distract you from the true message. The appeal to our base, tribal instinct is age old and alive even in Democratic politics.

These were the tactics envisioned by a top staffer to Senator Hillary Clinton as it became clear that the junior Senator from Illinois was winning the imagination of a broad swath of Americans.

CNN - "All of these articles about his boyhood in Indonesia and his life in Hawaii are geared towards showing his background is diverse, multicultural and putting that in a new light. Save it for 2050," Mark Penn, then Clinton's chief strategist, wrote in a March 2007 memo, according to an article to be published in the September edition of The Atlantic magazine.

"It also exposes a very strong weakness for him -- his roots to basic American values and culture are at best limited. I cannot imagine America electing a president during a time of war who is not at his center fundamentally American in his thinking and in his values," Penn wrote, according to the article by Joshua Green.


In a word, I'm appalled (and also shocked that gambling is going on in Vegas).

[cross posted to Loaded Orygun]

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