As Their Election Apocalypse Approaches, Busheviks' "If We Say it, it Must Be True" Strategy is No Longer Working
Propaganda: The systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the views and interests of those advocating such a doctrine or cause.
For the past six years the primary Rovian/Mehlman strategy has been to have the Puppet-in-Chief, his cabinet, the GOP leadership and the vast right-wing media conspiracy robotically stay on message and spread the propaganda. Say something often enough, and it eventually becomes the truth. Whether it's the Iraq war, terrorism, the economy or "compassionate conservatism," their mantra has been, "are you gonna believe me or your lyin' eyes?" But this time, with the critical midterm elections just 15 days away and facing a House and Senate meltdown, the strategy's not working. The propaganda parade is over, and the Rove/Mehlman float has been deflated.
For months now, even the staunchest conservatives have bailed ship on the Busheviks. The Republican leadership has deserted the president, and incumbents seeking re-election have avoided him like the plague. But you gotta hand it to him. He's still out there beating the drum, playing the role of "optimist-in-chief", as the New York Times reported Monday.
In a pathetic last-ditch effort to lift spirits, RNC chair Ken Mehlman and the Busheviks conducted a "friends and allies" teleconference last week to counter the gloom and doom that's spread throughout the party. Mehlman and White House political director Sara Taylor held a 20-minute rah-rah session that those in attendance--including pundits, lobbyists, donors and GOP aides and supporters--referred to as "happy talk."
Their goal here in the final days of a sinking campaign is to once again ignore the facts and the reality on the ground. Forget what all the bi-partisan analysts are saying. Forget what the polls indicate. Forget Iraq, Katrina, massive debt, gas prices, stagnant wages, corruption and scandal, and all the other Bushevik catastrophes. Mehlman's edict? Don't discuss the bad news, and keep telling 'em everything's great and that we're gonna win on Nov 7. Keep saying it. Often. And they'll believe you.
But many of the president's most loyal supporters and allies have lost hope. On NBC's Meet the Press Sunday, conservative columnist Robert Novak predicted Democrats will pick up 20-25+ seats to take control of the House (they need 15), and said at least four Senate Seats--Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Missouri--"are locks." It should be noted that Sen. Bob Menendez in New Jersey and challenger Jon Tester in Montana hold big leads over Republicans Tom Kean Jr. and Sen. Conrad Burns respectively. The Dems need six wins to take control of the Senate.
Even the Kool-Aid pushin' Mary Matalin confessed, "I'm in my stoic mode now." And when Matalin bails, that's pretty telling. Perhaps hubby James Carville finally knocked some sense into her.
The tension is so thick in the White House that Bush has even resorted to taking on Pappy. In an interview Sunday on ABC News, Junior was asked what he thought about Senior saying that he hated to think what the next two years would be like for his little boy if those big bad Dems regained control of Congress. "He shouldn't be speculating like that, because he should have called me ahead of time, and I'd tell him they're not going to." Wah, wah, wah....
Also over the weekend, in what is now the coup-de-grace in the Busheviks' failed propaganda campaign, Bush told ABC's George Stephanopoulos that "We've never been stay the course, George!" after the host asked him about James Baker's claim that "stay the course" is no longer an option for the U.S. in Iraq.
So there you have it. Since 2003 we've been hearing the president say "stay the course" ad infinitum. And now he's saying he never said it. Well, I guess that must be true then too, huh?