Wednesday, November 5, 2014

No, Obama is not the worst president ever: The Big Lie and Republican politics

The big lie of the Republican party is that Obama is the worst president ever. Anyone with any critical faculties left recognizes this would be difficult to prove, even if true. Yet Republicans keep repeating the lie over and over again, never giving any facts to back it up. Or, if they do give facts, they turn out to be minor failures to fulfill campaign promises, such as when he said that if you like your health insurance you can keep it. I'm sorry, but no politician has ever kept all his or her campaign promises. 

Obama has kept most of his promises, and most of the ones he hasn't kept have been blocked by the Republicans. But Republicans never admit their complicity. They practice the propaganda tactic known as the "Big Lie", which maintains that people will believe a big lie if they hear it over and over again.

There are other, similar tactics used by Republicans to get people to follow them mindlessly.

Wikipedia discusses these practices in its article on "Big lie".

The primary rules are: 

  • never allow the public to cool off 
Keep on cooking up new scandals, or repeating the old ones. Don't let the public forget "Benghazi", even if they don't know what it is. Keep forming new committees and hold hearings to rehash the old accusations.

  • never admit a fault or wrong;
Never admit that Congress could have passed an immigration bill if the Republicans had joined with the Democrats. The Senate passed a bill, but the Republicans refused to bring it to a vote. It would have passed had they done so. Yet the Republicans claim it was the Democrats, specifically President Obama, who failed to pass an immigration bill. They also claim that it is Senator Harry Reid who is blocking legislation in the Senate, even though it is the Republican House of Representatives that has been blocking every Obama initiative for 4 years. 

  • never concede that there may be some good in your enemy;
Be sure you mention that Obama is the worst president ever as much as possible. Use name-calling whenever you can. Call the Democrats "socialists", or "race-baiters". Call Obama "weak" and say that he needs to "grow a pair". Recall that Obama's stimulus package didn't work, though most of the spending items in it had been included in Republican bills, including G.W. Bush's stimulus package of 2008. Recall that Obama refused to compromise on the Affordable Care Act, although its basic idea was a Republican idea proposed by the Heritage Foundation and passed in Massachusetts by a Republican governor, Mitt Romney.

  • never leave room for alternatives;
There were several issues, like immigration and paycheck fairness, where compromise might have produced agreement. But Republicans would rather have government fail, even though the failure causes hardship for everyone except the very wealthy.

  • never accept blame;
For example, when Romney was asked about the firing of workers by Bane Capital, he said it happened after he left the company so he had no responsibility for it. When it was discovered that he employed undocumented workers as gardeners, he denied knowing about the problem. He said he fired them as soon as he found out they were undocumented, but in fact he fired them when the press found out about them.

  • concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong;
Republicans pretend that Obama can be blamed for everything, even things that took place during the Bush administration.

  • people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one;
I'm not so sure this is true. It would appear the Republicans will believe any lie as long as it favors Republicans. Another definition of the Big Lie may be closer to the truth: During WWII it was claimed that 
The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.
That sounds more like the way the Republicans practice the Big Lie than the original definition. 

  • and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.
Yep. That's what Fox News and Republican talking points are for. 

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