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It's a sloppy analysis. What happened is that the GOP became more and more reliant

on modern advertising tricks to ensure it would win

This began when Nixon first decided to hire professional ad-men to design his campaign.Part of the game was to target new demographics for the GOP to activate. In Nixon's case that meant an appeal to Southern racists who willingly fled the Democratic party of the once-solid South, angered by the Federal-level successes of the anti-Jim-Crow movement

Reagan kicked off his 1980 campaign with a coded bow to the racists, by traveling to Philadelphia, Mississippi, where three civil rights workers were infamously murdered in 1964, and giving a speech on "states rights" -- the old language of the Confederacy, which had later been taken up anew by the segregationists. But Reagan also began reaching out to the right wing religious fundamentalists, as a demographic that could help the GOP win

The negativism of the GOP under Gingrich's leadership also reflects an advertising technique. The ad-men do not want the potential customer happy and comfortable when the sales pitch begins, as then there is no motive to buy: what is desired, instead, is a potential customer who is somewhat anxious and unhappy, because the pitch can then be framed as "a cure for your troubles." The GOP tried harder and harder to make America jittery and nervous, rendering it more likely to buy the pitch for the GOP brand

By the time of Bush II, Rove had carried this combination of modern advertising outreach and careful bean-counting to an extreme: the GOP purchased and analyzed extraordinary amounts of detailed personal information to help them target and motivate potential GOP voters in a fine-grained way based on individual data. They also increasingly reached out to the rightwing fringes, hoping to engage them once again in politics on the GOP side. And the fringes brought with them a rhetoric that produced anxiety, which was useful for selling the GOP to the public

The old-style business Republicans were not at all innocent in this regard: independent of their social or religious beliefs, they supported and funded such outreach as part of a strategy for winning elections

The problem, of course, is that the GOP thus alienated more and more of its centrist support in the process. The party figured it could do so safely, since it seemed a net gain if they lost only one centrist for every two or three disaffected xtremists brought from the fringes into the GOP fold.But the increasing extremism of party loyalists began to fuel centrist flight. Today the GOP has much less centrist support than it once did, and the extremists are much more visible and vocal

An important thing to recognize is that the bizarre GOP coalition does not represent a natural coalition, formed by interest groups with similar material interests coming together to work for a common goal: it was deliberately and cynically forged by advertising methods, bringing together fringe groups to vote in support of the GOP. It is not a stable coalition, and as it unravels the GOP has resorted to vote-suppression to attempt to maintain control

Another important thing to recognize is that one cannot persuade ideologues, whose world-views are separated from reality: it is simply impossible to engage in meaningful dialogue with the diehards, whether they be laissez-faire anti-government libertarians, Christian dominionists, neo-Confederate racist secessionists, atheist Randian objectivists, corporate authoritarians, anti-feminists, or whatever. And the worst of the diehards will never hear anything except what they want to hear -- so they will always rationalize contradictions in statements from candidates whom they believe might hold their views. The game, as always, is in the center -- which is to say, the game consists of redefining the center, reconstructing the center, and holding the center

I myself do not particularly like the Christian rightwing. I regard the Christian rightwing as potentially dangerous, and as decidedly culpable in the deterioration of modern US politics, but it is certainly not the only player here, and in many respects it is not really in control of this process. The Christian rightwing has easy access to many butts sitting in pews, and that gives it some clout, but many of those butts are probably reachable by outsiders, if approached properly. To simply blame the Christian rightwing requires that we overlook important features of our current political pathology

Posted by struggle4progress | Fri Oct 25, 2013, 09:40 PM (0 replies)

Gone gone gone

Posted by struggle4progress | Thu Oct 24, 2013, 12:39 AM (0 replies)

No more store-bought teeth

... grandma she was deaf
we had to shout and cuss
but since she got her hearing aid
she cusses back at us ...

oh the union put us wise
the union put us wise
we got ourselves a doctor
since the union put us wise

Agnes "Sis" Cunningham and husband Gordon Friesen were the founders of Broadside, the influential music journal that first published many of the most popular and enduring songs of the folk revival era, including seminal contributions from then-fledgling artists Bob Dylan and Phil Ochs. Cunningham was born in Watonga, OK, in 1909, the product of a poor farming family homesteading on the former Cheyenne-Arapaho Indian Reservation. Her father -- an avowed socialist and follower of Socialist Party of America founder Eugene Debs -- kept the family afloat through a series of natural disasters like crop failures and livestock loss, but eventually the bank foreclosed on their mortgage, forcing the Cunninghams from their home. Agnes eventually graduated from Southwestern State College in nearby Weatherford, but after four years on the job she enrolled in Commonwealth College to study radical politics; there she also began writing songs ...
Posted by struggle4progress | Thu Oct 24, 2013, 12:36 AM (0 replies)

How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live? (1929)

there once was a time when everything was cheap
but now prices almost puts a man to sleep
when we pay our grocery bill
we just feel like making our will
tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?

I remember when dry goods were cheap as dirt
we could take two bits and buy a dandy shirt
now we pay three bucks or more
maybe get a shirt that another man's wore
tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live? ...

prohibition's good if it's conducted right
there's no sense in shooting a man til he shows flight
officers kill without a cause
they complain about funny laws
tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live? ...

oh it's time for every man to be awake
we pay fifty cents a pound when we ask for steak
when we get our package home
a little wad of paper with gristle and a bone
tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live? ...

Posted by struggle4progress | Thu Oct 24, 2013, 12:27 AM (0 replies)

Crimson Parson

... all the way up to sitting bull
they told their bloody tale
and the warpipes smoked
as they hadn't smoked
since they cut the oregon trail
indian wars
for just twelve years
scattered about the land
and the reverend colonel chivington
done it all with his little band ...

Posted by struggle4progress | Wed Oct 23, 2013, 08:13 PM (0 replies)

How Can I Keep From Singing

my life goes on in endless song
above earth's lamentation
I hear the real -- though far-off -- hymn
that hails the new creation ...

no storm can shake my inmost calm
while to that rock I'm clinging
since love is lord of heaven and earth
how can I keep from singing?

when tyrants tremble in their fear
and hear their death knell ringing
when friends rejoice both far and near
how can I keep from singing?

in prison cell and dungeon vile
our thoughts to them are winging
when friends by shame are undefiled
how can I keep from singing?

Posted by struggle4progress | Wed Oct 23, 2013, 02:34 AM (7 replies)

Goin down this road feelin bad

Posted by struggle4progress | Wed Oct 23, 2013, 12:50 AM (0 replies)

Joe McCarthy's Band

Posted by struggle4progress | Wed Oct 23, 2013, 12:44 AM (0 replies)

I posted a factual article, from the Dallas Morning News, about the ugly rightwing environment

in 1963 Dallas. The article notes that some people at the time attributed some of that ugliness to the Dallas Morning News itself: back then, it had a far-right editorial line

The ugliness was real and pervasive

A month before the Kennedy assassination, UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson gave a talk in Dallas, and he was repeated spat upon, as well as being smacked in the face by a sign on a post, by a woman who later claimed it was an "accident" -- the photos, however, show her smirking as she hit him and there's TV footage that shows her attempting to flee immediately afterwards

Here's a nice example of the climate there on 22 November 1963: it's a newspaper ad that appeared on the day of Kennedy's visit

And this was circulated in the streets the day before the visit:

It wasn't a handful of rightwing wackos: it was a whole city full of rightwing wackos

In 'Dallas 1963,' A City Of Rage, Seized By 'Civic Hysteria'
by NPR Staff
October 09, 2013 4:32 PM
... People were lured to Dallas, they were marching to Dallas. There was just this rising sense of anger and distrust toward Kennedy, toward perceived socialism, religion. People feared him as a Catholic ... For some reason out in the heartland in the middle of Texas, really powerful people coalesced around this notion that Kennedy was a traitor and in fact was guilty of treason. And these weren't just folks who were idly thinking these thoughts; they were acting on them and forming organizations and movements to essentially overthrow Kennedy ... These were the city fathers from every perspective, the leading preachers in town, the leading businessmen, the leading elected officials the people who held the microphones, in a sense, on broadcast and in print media ...LBJ and Ladybird Johnson were attacked by a mob of Dallas' leading citizens during a campaign stop in downtown Dallas. In the lobbies of the two finest hotels in Dallas, it was a melee: people swinging signs at them, they were spitting at them, people were pulling hat pins out of their hats and trying to stab people ... Dallas had just simply become, in an almost initially unlikely way, the headquarters of the anti-Kennedy, 'Let's overthrow Kennedy' movement. He was perceived to be a traitor. He was a socialist, he was on bended knee to so many different entities communism, socialism and even the pope ...

These are historical facts, whether or not you approve, and whether or not you think that mentioning them, or even remembering them, is somehow equivalent to pushing a conspiracy theory. For a long time, they were very good down in Dixieland at looking away

Should we continue to look away? Our problem today is that the Texas rightwing wacko coalitions still exist, still organize around the same issues, and still disrupting the American political body. The rightwing coalitions that brought Dallas to the point of rabid frothiness in 1963 took Bush II to the White House in 2000 and gave Ted Cruz the platform by which he recently took the US to the brink of default. That's not conspiracy theory:that's modern America; and it has a history that we forget at our own peril

I don't know who or what motivated Oswald; and I don't expect that after fifty years we'll ever have any more coherent account of the Kennedy assassination than the Warren Commission provided, despite all its warts. But Dallas in 1963 oozed and bubbled vile hatred. I can't prove that Oswald was motivated by that, so I haven't made that claim. It could be just a coincidence that the town, where LBJ and Lady Bird were attacked and spat upon during the 1960 campaign, and where Adlai Stevenson was attacked and spat upon in October 1963, was the same town where JFK was shot down. What matters to me, fifty years later, is to notice that the same enraged and dishonest rightwing movements that encouraged such activities then has continued to organize and continues to disrupt our democracy today

Posted by struggle4progress | Mon Oct 21, 2013, 03:25 PM (1 replies)

John Birch Society Song (Chad Mitchell Trio 1962)

Posted by struggle4progress | Mon Oct 21, 2013, 02:27 AM (1 replies)
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