Sunday, September 7, 2008

The "Reality Based Community"

What scares me about Sarah Palin is her willingness to lie and the media’s attention to “how she did” as opposed to “what she said” and whether it was true. Reminds me of a former Texas governor who was portrayed as “someone you’d like to have a beer with” and who ended up pissing all over the Constitution the next morning. Forget Hockey moms, the only difference between Palin and Bush is lipstick and that's likely what attracted Dick and Karl to her!

There is a difference between Palin’s words and the truth, however. Consider what she said about the “Bridge to Nowhere.” She claimed to have said “thanks but no thanks” to the money but the NYTimes reported in Nov. ’05 that “ House and Senate negotiators... eliminat[ed] a requirement that $442 million be spent to build the two bridges... [and it] will be turned over to the state with no strings attached.”

Notice the date: Nov. 2005. She wasn’t elected Governor until one year later, in Nov. 2006! She didn’t say no to anything but just did what Congress told her to do: spend the money on something else. Congress said “no thanks” to the remote bridge. She said “thanks” to the cash and “no” to the truth.

So what scares me isn’t Sarah Palin so much her as the people who picked her and who write the lies she delivers, and the fact that the press isn’t pressing anymore. As Twain said, “a lie is halfway around the world before the truth gets its boots on.” With the election so close, it better hurry.

Consider how well these people use propaganda and how bad the press is at cutting through it: Just two years ago a Harris poll showed that 64% of Americans still thought Saddam Hussein had “strong” links to Al Qaeda. WTF?

I agree that Obama has momentum, and that’s something to be encouraged about and fight for. But let’s not misunderestimate these Machiavellian Mayberrys.

That’s why they play the games, I guess.

With that in mind. I was reminded of the quote below that Ron Suskind reported in the New York Times magazine back in 2004:

The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.'

Doesn't this quote tell us not only about Bush's "faith based" Presidency but also about Sarah Palin's Vice and possible presidency? She, or whoever wrote the speech she delivered, could have honestly pointed out that she didn't actually sell the former Governor's jet on ebay or that she wasn't in office when the "Bridge to Nowhere" funds were given to the state, but it's better for them to "create their own reality" by allowing this half-truth to continue its bullshit-fueled journey. "Truthiness" is what Stephen Colbert calls it.

It's not "lying"see; it's "creating their own reality." And it's pretty terrifying actually, with a "shock and awe" quality. It's like they're carrying out a disinformation campaign not in enemy territory but in their own country. Or maybe, seeing themselves as "history's actors" and "us" as the sheep who are left to study what they do, they see voters as livestock to be tended but not respected.

Laws and morality are for suckers who haven't figured out how to obtain immunity, who still believe in "quaint" laws like the Geneva Conventions and, in doing so, show that they're not "history's actors."

I'm excited about Obama's rise but don't know what we'll do if their tactics work this time. The stakes are very high and the empire knows how to strike back. Just look at the way they dress a wolf up in sheep's clothing.

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