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[PS&W] Strategy and Karl Rove. - Adventures in Engineering — LiveJournal
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2006-08-12 03:23
  Subject:   [PS&W] Strategy and Karl Rove.
Public

Robert Greene has given us another excellent shot of his strategy blog, this time all about our good friend Karl Rove.

The NeoCons have been very quiet for the two previous months. I believe they were saving their energies and preparing for the coming "September surprise" - which will actually be a barrage of events, not a single event - designed to deliver as many Republican votes as possible during the upcoming Congressional elections. You can be sure Rove is at the helm of this effort. The recent TERRAH! stories appearing in the news (and feverishly swallowed whole by the usual neocon echo-chambers) are classic Rovian bullshit, intended to both frighten and distract the 60-odd percent of idiot, xenophobic rednecks who elected Bush a second time. The same drooling morons who still believe that Iraq has or had weapons of mass destruction.

The Democrats, as always, are deer in the headlights. I admire the efforts of the people at MoveOn.org, but they are pissing in the wind. Neither facts nor ideology win elections any more; knee-jerk reactionary jingoism does. And Rove is a master of exploiting people's knee-jerk reactionism. Read the Atlantic Monthly piece that Greene links from his blog entry for a fascinating look at this strategically masterful and tremendously amoral man.





I'm tempted to suggest using Rove's own tactics against him....

Rove assails the opponent's strongest point, their center where they feel invulnerable. Rove's center is his ability to motivate the faction I will call "redneck voters". (For example, the increasing percentage of people who still believe that Iraq had WMDs when we invaded). The columns that support that center are National Security and Conservative Values. We need to to go on the offensive, and attack these pillars.


First, I think we should turn the national security argument right around on him. And go straight to nasty, as Rove himself often does.

"If you're so anti-terrorist, how come Osama bin Laden, the man who knocked down the World Trade Towers, cost us 3000 lives, and successfully executed the biggest terrorist attack in all of American history, isn't dead yet? Why haven't you ACTUALLY done your job and defended the United States of America? Are you incompetent, or just plain stupid?"

"If you're so anti rogue-state, why the hell haven't you dealt with North Korea yet? They have nukes and everyone damn well knows it. Kim Jong Il is a certifiable lunatic and everyone damn well knows it. They HAVE THE GODDAMN MISSLES and they just shot one over Japan. What are you doing about him besides sending him another multi-billion dollar aide package? Are you a goddamn COWARD??"

There are many reasonable arguments to be made that the things the NeoCons have done are in fact decreasing the security of the USA, not increasing it. If the Democrats want to have any chance of winning an election for the fucking county dog-catcher, they're going to have to make those arguments.


To knock him down a peg on Conservative Values, I'd say we snatch another one of his favorite tactics: Start a whisper campaign that he's gay. Or, taking Goebbels statement that "the bigger the lie, the more people will believe it", take this to the absurd extreme and spread rumors that he fucks sheep or similiar allegations of bestiality.

Rove must have other personal skeletons in his closet as well. For instance, he's been divorced and remarried. There's got to be some way to spin that into an attack on him.


Rove's last major strength is in targeting close races, and moving swing voters over to his side. I am not well versed in political campaign strategy, and I haven't done the research to know exactly how he accomplishes these things. So I have no idea how to go head to head with him here.


But I don't think any of this will really help, to be quite honest. The "essential truth" as I see it is not that Americans are scared, or worried of terrah!!-ist attacks, or similiar concerns. The essential truth as I see it is that the American electorate was very much in favor of going to "kill us some ragheads!!" regardless of the reason why - or lack thereof. And so the NeoCons will stay in power for the exact same reason they were elected in the first place. America wants a leader who will go out and stomp on people for no reason - because it makes us feel big and powerful by proxy. Plus, invading places the average redneck can't find on a map is the modern day equivalent of the "circus" from the old Roman "bread and circuses."

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Alex Belits
  User: abelits
  Date: 2006-08-12 09:28 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
The solution is not to make voters smarter -- it would take a complete redesign of a public education system, and probably decades of research to develop a human that is resistant to modern propaganda. In the past propaganda was lagging behind people's resistance to it (except for religious propaganda, but politicians had trouble attacking domestic enemies of themselves over religion in homogeneous societies). Now propaganda is developing faster than resistance to it.

So unless you can find a way to appeal to people poisoned by propaganda and rallied up by your enemies, it makes sense to do the second best thing -- make them afraid of responsibility for their choice. Make sure that everyone who recommended others to vote for Bush and his crooks, will hear from his friends that he is personally responsible for problems in those people's lives caused by Bushism. Make sure that next time a person gets an urge to vote for a politician based on personal attractiveness, cheap demagoguery, religion or other bullshit, he will think "Do I really know what the consequences of this decision are? Will I be able to look in the eyes of the victims of that choice? Will my nose remain unbroken if I recommend others to support those politicians, and then people who trusted me would be royally screwed? Am I smart enough to answer those questions?"

Right now all pre-election propaganda is "hay guyz, get out and vote!". This is stupid. This makes it look like vote is an action without any kind of responsibility, a choice that can't hurt anyone. It brings out every drooling subhuman and makes him vote for whoever happened to look better -- people like Rove know that, and adjust their campaigns to recruit those voters. Instead of courting those people (just accept it, they are your enemies), it would be easier to make them afraid of the consequences of their choice -- without them both sides will be forced to justify their platforms and actions instead of barking slogans and insults.

Spend all your barking on punishing people who have brought Bush on us -- stupid people are vulnerable to verbal abuse and fear-mongering if they are subjected to enough of it. Make them afraid of making a bad choice, and the problem will be solved by people who understand reasons for their choices and therefore aren't afraid of them.

If this will succeed, maybe few decades later in a society of propaganda-resistant humans there will be a debate "how to make democracy suck less", however at this point it's "we have to admit that democracy is defeated by propaganda, so if we want anything other to work at all, we have to attack the propaganda mechanism".
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Triggur
  User: triggur
  Date: 2006-08-12 13:07 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
> Spend all your barking on punishing people who have brought Bush on us -- stupid people are vulnerable to verbal abuse...

I wish that worked, but I'm not sure it does. Nobody likes to admit they made a mistake, especially one that had dire ramifications. Getting in their faces is likely to make them dig in their heels and defend their original choice... and probably repeat it.

As for a working alternative, I don't know. Unfortunately, as noted, the dems don't really have any clue what they're doing at all, so they don't have any terrific ideas on what they would have done differently. And even if they did, their platform would just get swiped and repurposed by the republicans.

"Allow me to explain how our federal government works. To begin with, by the federal government I mean Democrats and Republicans working together. And the only thing dumber than a Democrat or a Republican is when those pricks work together. You see, in our two-party system, the Democrats are the party of no ideas and the Republicans are the party of bad ideas. It usually goes something like this. A Republican will stand up in Congress and say, "I've got a really bad idea." And a Democrat will immediately jump to his feet and declare, "And I can make it shittier." -- Lewis Black
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Alex Belits
  User: abelits
  Date: 2006-08-12 13:38 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
I wish that worked, but I'm not sure it does. Nobody likes to admit they made a mistake, especially one that had dire ramifications. Getting in their faces is likely to make them dig in their heels and defend their original choice... and probably repeat it.

Not if you convince people who admit that they have followed others in their choice, that their more "politically active" Republican-supporters were blind leading the blind, and are more guilty than them. Things are so much easier in American society when people have a neighbor that they can blame for their problems. It's not like most of the people who are likely to support Republicans, claim to be smart or knowledgeable in details of politics themselves, they can go far enough to admit being deceived.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-08-12 16:25 (UTC)
  Subject:   You can beat people into submission...
...but you can't force the stupid fuckers to THINK.

This is why any long-term plan to modify the behavior of a large group of people is doomed to failure.
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Alex Belits
  User: abelits
  Date: 2006-08-13 05:24 (UTC)
  Subject:   Re: You can beat people into submission...
I wouldn't suggest it if I expected that those people can be forced to think. However FUD should work on them precisely because they are too stupid to refute it -- make them fear the consequences of their choices and doubt their leaders, so they won't vote, and sheep-herders will lose their support. If we want to deal with more educated and thinking population, we can at best expect it in the next generation (and after shitloads upon shitloads of spending on education), however for now I don't think, anything can work better than making stupid people afraid of the consequences of their choices. If it was put in form of a slogan, it should be "If you don't know what those people are going to do, don't vote for either of them!".

If those people pretended that they are smart, things would be different, however they are content with their condition, and think that others are "too smart" to be normal. They know that it takes "too smart" people (whom they usually despise, but this is irrelevant) to do engineering, science, medicine, and even theology. So just make them think that it takes a person smarter than themselves to make a good choice of politicians, and they will stop voting on "Jesus vs. ragheads" platform. I realize that this goes contrary to the very idea of democracy, however American society is far, far outside of the range where democracy can possibly work.

The game is manipulation of masses and politicians, and MAYBE manipulation in a way that allows some subset of them to use democratic framework properly (if most of people who will still vote, will make a well-informed choice, then the result of voting may not be worthless). However overall it's not a working democracy at all, and current political system should not be confused with one.
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Triggur
  User: triggur
  Date: 2006-08-12 13:01 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
FTW.
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