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Daily Kos

The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:16:31 PDT

Alternet has the most comprehensive news article anywhere about Rob Stein's powerful PowerPoint presentation.

Read the article and store its contents for future reference. You'll be hearing a lot more about Stein and his PPT in the coming months and years.

  • ::


Permalink | 130 comments

Been looking for Lehane's report for some time now (none / 0)

Anyone have a link to Chris Lehane's report where the term "vast right wing conspiracy" was coined?


by DWCG on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:15:01 PDT

Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce (none / 0)

That's the title...any help would be appreciated.


by DWCG on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:21:25 PDT
[ Parent ]

Who coined "Vast right-wing conspiracy"? (none / 1)

Actually, "vast right-wing conspiracy" used by Hillary Rodham Clinton when confronted with her husband's sexual activities with Monika Lewinsky.

I laughed then.  But by God, she was right.

Er, correct.

by Jean Dudley on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 16:39:58 PDT
[ Parent ]

Hindsight. (none / 0)

I absolutely agree.  I remember thinking:  Oh, come on Hillary.  Boy was I wrong and was she right.  Says something for conspiracy theories - they're not all goofy.

The beneficiaries are likely to be...large corporations and development firms. (O'Connor, J. dissenting in Kelo). God bless you, J. O'Connor.

by xanthe on Wed Feb 9th, 2005 at 13:03:52 PDT
[ Parent ]

The Presentation hasn't leaked yet has it? (none / 0)

If so, is it posted anywhere? I'd love to see it.

I have the heart of a small child. I keep it in a jar.

by NJ Brian on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:18:57 PDT

I've been waiting and waiting (none / 0)

for the actual PowerPoint presentation to filter out ... still not available to the public?

The only force that can overcome an idea and a faith is another and better idea and faith, positively and fearlessly upheld. Dorothy Thompson.

by Intellectually Curious on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:19:15 PDT

I would be more impressed with this... (none / 0)

if we could see the presentation.  It could be Stein is more interested in a consulting revenue stream than he is in progressive issues.

After 2004 I am very suspicious of anyone looking like "another political consultant."  I hope not in this case.

The RWCM is not our friend. We need change.

by california jim on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:27:16 PDT
[ Parent ]

Why pay? (none / 0)

Just about anything you want to know about the VRWC funding network is available at

I'm sure Stein has some value added in his presentation, but the raw data and the backstory is all there.

Waste more of your day at The Next Hurrah.

by Kagro X on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:29:51 PDT
[ Parent ]

Possible Summary Here... (none / 0)

I ran across this while googling for it.

Someone attended one of his presentations and took notes.
Outline of PowerPoint (Scroll about halfway down the page)

Definitely worth a glance.

by ifkeditor on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 19:54:45 PDT
[ Parent ]

Recommended reading (4.00 / 4)

"The Republican Noise Machine," by David Brock, and "What Liberal Media?", by Eric Alterman.

Know your enemy.

On Saturday, read my weekly roundup of Michigan politics.

by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:21:15 PDT

Read... (none / 0)

...them both. Excellent reading. I highly recommend that anyone who wants to get in the head of the noise machine read them both.

The New Democrat

Envision the future. Visit The New Democrat -

by demburns on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:27:30 PDT
[ Parent ]

If you get into its "head" (none / 0)

can you find your way out again?

jus' askin'

"Every act of becoming conscious is an unnatural act." - Adrienne Rich

by marjo on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:51:20 PDT
[ Parent ]

they are good... (none / 0)

although I think Brock is a bit of an opportunist.

"I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him." - Booker T. Washington

by ajbender on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 13:06:54 PDT
[ Parent ]

Any Chomsky (none / 1)

But "Manufacturing Consent" (with Edward Herman) is my personal favorite.

It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. - Robert F. Kennedy

by rygriffin333 on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:52:19 PDT
[ Parent ]

Thanks for the tips (none / 0)

I'm just finishing up Paul Krugman's great book "The Great Unraveling" and was hoping to go read some fiction for a break. But hey, now's not the time to slack off. So Brock it is.

"She was very young,he thought,...she did not understand that to push an inconvenient person over a cliff solves nothing." -1984

by aggressiveprogressive on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:58:51 PDT
[ Parent ]

Like a novel... (none / 0)

Brock's "Blinded by the Right" reads like a novel...  

But be forewarned, you may have a difficult time putting it down at night.  

The Daily Roast: dragging capricious ideologues over the hot coals of truth, morality and humor

by petergm on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 14:21:32 PDT
[ Parent ]

A question (none / 0)

What caused Brock to open his eyes (so to speak) to the Right?

On Saturday, read my weekly roundup of Michigan politics.

by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 14:24:18 PDT
[ Parent ]

State trooper testimony (none / 1)

If I remember right (this is working from memory as I don't have the book in front of me), one of the defining moments was what happened with the oath-bound testimony of the various state troopers involved in TrooperGate.

Basically when they talked to him for his initial "investigative report," they filled him full of all sorts of stories that formed the core of his smear articles. Once they went under oath, suddenly the entire story changed and he began to question that hey, maybe something might be up.  Eventually the whole thing unravelled but for those of you with a better memory than me, feel free to chime in.  

Being born again doesn't mean you get it right the second time. -- Larry Gelbart

by RedStapler on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 18:58:01 PDT
[ Parent ]

agreed (none / 1)

The Republican Noise Machine reads like a textbook.  I, too, highly recommend it.  Members of the Conservative Elite are wholly unable to refute its contents, as well, given his thorough documentation.

Poli Styrene

The Daily Roast: dragging capricious ideologues over the hot coals of truth, morality and humor

by petergm on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 14:20:18 PDT
[ Parent ]

"True Lies" Guerilla News Network (none / 0)

is my fav. though more case-study oriented, it helps to see some devastating but practical examples of RWCM in action

Do it GREEN, know what I mean?

by SonofFunk on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 14:32:33 PDT
[ Parent ]

One thing I didn't see covered... (4.00 / 3)

The Far Right loves to demonize key liberal/progressive donor bases.  "The Hollywood Left" and "George Soros" - the latter with that VENOM that gets spit out as his name is annunciated - springs to mind.

Many key conservative donors are currently comfortable engaging in this demonization because they know they will never be called out themselves.  Anyone who says "the rich" will be drummed out at being classist.

I'm not proposing to sink to their level of name calling, but I do think we need a strategy to counteract this.  It is pretty damaging, both to liberals and progressives and to average people who actually buy this stuff and use it to fuel their own bigotries.

"It is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence." Martin Luther King, Jr.

by grannyhelen on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:25:34 PDT

Hey, we know those guys! (4.00 / 5)

Stein figures that the core leaders of the Big 80 groups he studied are about 2,000 people who make between $75,000 and $200,000 and have all been trained in the Leadership Institute.

Leadership Institute, eh? You don't say.

Waste more of your day at The Next Hurrah.

by Kagro X on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:26:30 PDT

I'm not sure his take is very helpful, actually (4.00 / 2)

he seems to take a top down-big doner attitude.  This is the old way, and I think it is doomed to more failure.  The New Democratic Party (Democracy For America?) should instead depend on small donors with energy and understanding of local issues.  With web resources like Kos and MoveOn to inform every American, and the Howard Powered DNC co-ordinate policy decisions, WE are the birth of the new democratic party!

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety -- Ben Franklin

by TheGryphon on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:36:29 PDT

Nope. (none / 0)

We need the big picture covered, and I don't care if it's from 100,000 small donors or 10 large donors, but we have to build the infrastructure to develop and present progressive ideals as well as the VRWC has.

"Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

by acbonin on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:43:51 PDT
[ Parent ]

I care (3.50 / 2)

We need the big picture covered, and I don't care if it's from 100,000 small donors or 10 large donors ...

Well I care. I'd prefer both. As Stein himself is quoted in the article, "A movement must have a diversified funding base of small, medium and large donors." If we had to choose, I'd much prefer 100,000 small donors, but I don't think we have to choose. Embrace the power of "and".

Proud member of the reality-based minority

by Bearpaw on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 13:00:58 PDT
[ Parent ]

Agreed (none / 1)

It does matter.  Take a look at the members of the board of directors for Big Enviro: Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, Sierra Club, and The Nature Conservancy, and The Wilderness Society.  Take a look at the funding structure for these groups.  Now take a look at their spotted record, and exactly how they spend their money.

Seriously.  The risk of large donors is that the wrong element will gain too much influence.  If you have any doubt as to my meaning, the powerful who currently pull the strings of the Republicans have demonstrated in the past that they don't care about party lines (review Clinton's funding sources, and subsequent environmental record), and will buy whoever they have to.

We cannot endorse any course of action which allows progressive programs to be bought off the way Big Enviro groups have.  Progressive think tanks must be accountable to the progressive grassroots.

Predictably, the Bush scheme was met with howls of protest from the big environmental groups. This is part of Bush's irresponsible anti-environmental Agenda," said Bill Meadows, president of the Wilderness Society. "The truth is that waiving environmental laws will not protect homes and lives from wildfire."

But they only have themselves to blame. They helped lay the political groundwork for the Bush plan long ago. And now the Administration, and its backers in Big Timber, have seized the day and put the environmentalists on the run.

The environmentalists have connived with the logging-to-prevent-fires scam for political reasons. First came a deal to jettison a federal court injunction against logging in the Montana's Bitterroot National Forest designed to appease Senator Max Baucus, friend of Robert Redford and a ranking Democrat. More than 14,000 acres of prime forest inside formerly protected roadless areas are now being clearcut. Then last month came a similar deal brokered by Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle with the Sierra Club and the Wilderness Society that allows the timber industry to begin logging the Black Hills, sacred land of the Sioux, totally unfettered by any environmental constraints.

Grassroots greens warned that such willy-nilly dealmaking with Democrats would soon become a model for a national legislation backed by Bush and Republican legislators that would dramatically escalate logging on all national forests and exempt the clearcuts from compliance with environmental laws. We've now reached that point.

And there's no sign the big greens have learned their lesson.

The latest proposal comes courtesy of the Oregon Natural Resources Council and the Sierra Club. It's rather timidly called the "Environmentalist New Vision." There's nothing new about the plan, except that it is being endorsed by a claque of politically intimidated green groups instead of Boise-Cascade. It calls for thinning ( i.e., logging) operations near homes in the forest/suburb interface. This is a pathetic and dangerous approach that sends two wrong messages in one package: that thinning reduces fire risk and that it's okay to build houses in forested environments.

--Jeffrey St. Clair in his article "Chainsaw George"

"How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!" -- Samuel Clemens

by nepolon on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 15:40:57 PDT
[ Parent ]

Howard Dean can bridge this gap. (none / 0)

He knows how to mobolize and motivate people at the grassroots level, and he is connected at the top.

by ryder92111 on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:45:02 PDT
[ Parent ]

the point is (none / 0)

it's not one person.

To give the devil their due, the Repubs understand the value of

group-to-well-funded group
networking (think tank strategies)


person-to-under-funded person
networking (grassroots coalitions)

by gnat on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:48:05 PDT
[ Parent ]

but think tanks only work (none / 0)

when they can get their message out.

Otherwise, you just have a small bunch of guys who all know each other and talk together.

It's not the size of the group, it's how connected it is with the rest of the community, and how it's perceived by them.

If all your supporters are nobodys that don't have any standing in the community, you become the Rodney Dangerfield of groups -- you get no respect.

If your supporters are respected community leaders, and/or experts in their fields, your word carries more weight.

The rethugs are good at this -- the only problem is that many of their 'experts' really aren't, and were paid for their support to boot. That's going to hurt them, but it will take a while to sink in.

by mmacdDE on Wed Feb 9th, 2005 at 07:28:44 PDT
[ Parent ]

right on (none / 0)

"high net worth individuals"--what is he calling for, an oligarchy?

I'll take Soros' money happily but come on, where was the money coming from in 2004? millions of people like us, donating what we could.

I am very, very far from rich and I am in this enough that I put up $500 to see a bunch of candidates lose. And I'm still giving. Not that I think his whole idea is wrong, but this yupped out "high net worth" shit turns me off.

In my Streetfighter II dreams, I'm Ryu doing a dragon punch to finish off Rick Santorum's bitch ass. Shoruken!

by Lud on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:51:27 PDT
[ Parent ]

High Net Worth Donors (4.00 / 5)

I saw Rob's presentation about a year and half ago and I have to say that it's chilling.

One of the scariest aspects is that not only did these families get together, fund the blueprint, but they have continued to fund these organizations, leaving the leaders of these organizations able to focus on something else besides fundraising.  

In the progressive circles, the leaders spend at least 50% of their time soliciting donors, which eats up a lot of time they could spend advancing their agenda. Additionally, it changes the type of person that a board of directors chooses to head the organization, because they need someone who can fundraise, instead of just an idealogical figure, like on the conservative side.

I think that's why he's focused so much on the high net worth donors.  If we can find the folks to fund our organizations for years and years and years to come, we can put the right people in place to advance the idealogy and figure out ways to win, win, win.

by SoccerMomDemocrat on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:59:07 PDT
[ Parent ]

We Already Know How to Win (none / 0)

we can put the right people in place to advance the idealogy and figure out ways to win, win, win.

The corporate system is proving to be the undisputed most effective form of organization in the modern world. An arguable exception is the Roman Catholic Church with its 2,000-year track record and worldwide booming growth.

We could begin winning fairly directly with a corporate approach. Give the party to a few major owners; let them conduct market research and focus testing of themes and policies; mobilize carefully auditioned spokespeople and keep the rabble clamped down on the reservation. For some of us, that would literally mean the Reservation.

Our problem is that nobody's ever demonstrated liberal democracy under either type of system. Church and corporation are both command systems.

We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

by Gooserock on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 14:23:12 PDT
[ Parent ]

Catholics / corporate structure (none / 0)

Wouldn't you say that the Catholic Church does have a hierarchical, corporate structure, at least compared to other religions (perhaps along with the LDS church).  There's a "CEO" / board of directors, "middle management", and the religious "consumer" (laity).

Support IWT
Independent World Television
The Alternative to the Corporate Media

by Cool Blue Reason on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 19:23:16 PDT
[ Parent ]

What saddens me about the (none / 0)

efforts of these wingnut families is that if they can spend the billions of dollars on these organizations to get tax laws changed to their benefit then what is the difference between paying the taxes?

by LucyTooners on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 14:27:09 PDT
[ Parent ]

From their perspective... (none / 0)

if they had just paid taxes instead of investing in a right-wing machine, we'd all be living in some kind of pinko-commie socialist state by now.  Some of us here would like that just fine, but it would potentially undercut the ability of the mega-wealthy to get mega-wealthier.  The sad thing is that a lot of progressive social policy is actually good for business (and just about everyone else), like single-payer healthcare.

Support IWT
Independent World Television
The Alternative to the Corporate Media

by Cool Blue Reason on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 19:28:29 PDT
[ Parent ]

where the left fails to use naturalist logic (none / 0)

THe left has failed to use naturalistic logic to make the point that wealth concentration is dangerous. What happens when of two baby birds in the nest, one gets a lot bigger than the other? What happens when of 3 young males lions in the pride, one gets a lot bigger?


Got AntiPropaganda?

by cryofan on Wed Feb 9th, 2005 at 07:11:32 PDT
[ Parent ]

Agreed... (3.66 / 3)

though we need the big-money infusions, we must depend on the smaller, more decentralized, real grass-roots organizing and fund-raising to retrench and redefine this party.

The Democrats have not become the "Repub-lites" in ideology only.  The party has turned away from its populist roots and towards courting big-money donors, in many cases courting the same corporations as the Repubs depend upon.  By many accounts, Kerry raised as much money as Bush did this election; if we were dealing with a traditional Dem/Rep paradigm, Kerry would have trounced Bush by 10+ percentage points based on money alone.  But the Dems have redefined themselves to being a "me-too" pale echo of the Repubs, both in ideology and in process.

Instead of the twin dependence on rich corporate sponsors and the Amway-like MLM structure of their grass-roots organizations, the New Dems (hey, a new approach, why not a new name?) need to depend on a more populist, more connected structure similar to what Dean's DFA organization built during 2003-04.  The Repubs herd the sheep together in churches and VFWs and dole out the Kool-Aid; we need to bring together groups of relatively like-minded but intellectually active folks, let the sparks fly, and let the ideas generate.

It's like any other (blood?) sport.  We beat them by playing OUR game, not theirs.

This Far and No Further
Tons of info and opinion on the right's attempted takeover of the USA

by Black Max on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 13:15:05 PDT
[ Parent ]

Real Electoral Reform (none / 0)

Currently the system, especially at the federal level, is geared to top-down approaches to message coordination.  Even congressional elections are enormously expensive; and given the ever more intensive gerrymandering of CDs by both parties, most are uncompetitive at any rate. And of course Senate and Presidential campaigns tend to require a top-down approach to message, if not funding and volunteer organization (and the comparative experience of KE'04 and BC'04 suggest that even when it comes to volunteer coordination in a presidential campaign, there's something to be said for centralized and top down).

I agree that this is a problem.  Real grassroots democracy requiries real grassroots organization. But our system as currently set up militates against real grassroots democracy.

One important step would be achieving real electoral reform.  This might include:

  • Direct election of the president, so that every vote truly counted, and local efforts could make more of a difference.

  • Increasing the size of Congress, so that each CD would be smaller, each election cheaper, and (depending on how one elected Congresspeople) a bigger premium could be put on "retail" politics.

  • Change the way states reapportion CDs, either through truly nonpartisan reapportionment systems, or, better still, through some system of multimember districts and proportional representation.

  • Public campaign financing.

  • Especially in the event that we do not adopt a system of proportional representation, some system of single transferable voting, such as IRV or Condourcet.

  • Knock down the barriers to entry currently facing minor parties.  This principally involves dramatically easing ballot access laws, but there are many subtle ways in which our system advantages the Dems and GOP (e.g. the structure of the FEC).

There's a reason that the GOP and the right have been so successful with their top-down approach: our system dramatically favors such an approach.  Progressives should commit to changing the rules so that strategies that better reflect our values have a better chance of success.

Support IWT
Independent World Television
The Alternative to the Corporate Media

by GreenSooner on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 13:25:14 PDT
[ Parent ]

top down AND bottom up (none / 1)

One major reason elections are so dammed expensive is the cost of TV. It not only sucks up most of your money but the cost forces you to reduce your messages to 30 second bites.  And since TV is not especially targeted beyond large demographic groups, you end up with simplified messaging at the lowest common denominator both to fit into the 30 second slot and to appeal to the broad audience.  

A stronger effort to build two-way communications directly with supporters would reduce the dependence on costly TV, give a better understanding of the issues that really matter to each supporter and allow us to reach each supporters with more relevant target message.

As for the cost of TV, how about real election reform that gives legitimate candidates a certain amount of free air time?  Last I heard, the airwaves were a public good instead of a private property that gives large media companies huge profits during election season.

by cdmc2 on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 16:05:46 PDT
[ Parent ]

Not entirely so (none / 0)

It's a fair concern, but I think to the extent his message is getting aimed initially more at big donors, it's an attempt to get their money refocused in a more coherent approach before it goes out the door to feed more of same -- especially as many big donors have tended to fund somewhat egotistically, i.e., by what they personally think is important at the moment rather than anything more coherent, comprehensive, leveraged -- or effective.

If this is the quote you were referring to --
One donor who sits on the board of a progressive foundation and has heard the Stein rap is worried that the "top down" nature of things so painfully obvious in the 2004 election could be perpetuated by Stein and other funding efforts like those of billionaires like George Soros and Peter Lewis. "It is so important to get resources down to the grass roots," says the donor, who wished to remain anonymous. "One of the major failings of these big donors meeting with each other and deciding where all the money should go is they reinforce each other. Where is the fresh thinking? They think one big idea should get all the money or one or two leaders should be the gatekeepers. That is not going to work. Putting all that money in the ACT basket certainly didn't do the trick in the past election, nor will giving it all to Podesta and Center for American Progress help build progressive infrastructure at the local level where it is needed, particularly outside of the Democratic party."
-- then you also need to look at the immediately following line:
To his credit, Stein says quite clearly that "top down" and "bottom up" together are essential for future progressive success.

As someone who wrote an article 22 years ago that enviro groups should refocus more on the grass roots and out of DC, I agree with the core of your concern -- but I don't think Stein has ignored it at all. My gut sense is that he's looking more at the biggies initially to have a bigger initial impact, which is appropriate.

by Steady Eddie on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 13:50:02 PDT
[ Parent ]

So let's see, that's (none / 0)

a) for the right

to fund/frame their toxic noise machine:
some 80 key not-for-profit 501(c)(3) groups to a tune of $400 million total not including the others he mentions

b) and for the left?

I know we are way behind, but precisely how far? Do we have even 12 key groups to a tune of $50 million total? I'm guessing it's not even that much...

No wonder we're losing so much ground so consistently

by gnat on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:40:42 PDT

Well, we have goups (none / 0)

like the NAACP, NARAL, Lambda, the ACLA, and Move on who act as a good basis.  The first major problem would be to even get these people to talk to each other.  After all, what does gay rights have to do with abortion have to do with civil rights?

Thats one huge problem.  The right, when you get down to it, is still homogeneous compared to the left.  You have different flavors of christian and economic conservatives, but they're still chrstian and economic conservatives.

On the left you have this group, and that group, and A group, and J group, all of which support the Democratic party because they support their goals, but have little reason to support each other.

Visit my brand spankin new blog: Operation: Mad Wombat (TN-1)

by FleetAdmiralJ on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:50:54 PDT
[ Parent ]

err that should be (none / 0)


Visit my brand spankin new blog: Operation: Mad Wombat (TN-1)

by FleetAdmiralJ on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:51:42 PDT
[ Parent ]

those are not think tanks (none / 0)

and they have no real money. While they are very important, I am thinking more like the Rockland Inst. to counter the Heritage Foundation. We need lots more thinktanks with money where a handful of progressive academics and progressive businesspeople and politicians meet to discuss framing of issues for the longterm.

by gnat on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:55:13 PDT
[ Parent ]

They're not really think tanks (none / 1)

on the dark side of the divide, they are primarily money-raising and brainwashing / indoctrination centers.  We can't follow that paradigm either.

As I said in an earlier post, we can't depend on a relatively small number of big-money, high-influence donors.  We have to be diffuse, raising large sums through innumerable small contributions.  Our "think tanks" such as CAP need to be just that -- sources of info and research for use in the media, politically, wherever.  As far as that goes, MediaMatters is just as much of a "think tank" as CAP, at least by my definition.

This Far and No Further
Tons of info and opinion on the right's attempted takeover of the USA

by Black Max on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 13:25:19 PDT
[ Parent ]

wrong (none / 1)

this is NOT an either/or proposition: we need a grassroots and a well-oiled thinktank intelligentsia/high fly donor system: they are not mutually exclusive entities.

In fact, what the Dems do well is the grassroots and not so well the big ticket donor and thinktank scene

And the Repubs are the reverse (although actually they do have a grassroots in the churches and christian coalition)...

But if the Dems do BOTH then that way is the path to success.

Also, the "brainwashing" thing is just mixing signals: I am not suggesting we brainwash anybody. But I am suggesting that simply a grassroots can take on the thought monopoly the right currently enjoys.

by gnat on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 13:36:32 PDT
[ Parent ]

typo (none / 0)

meant to say "A grassroots cannot take on itself; the other element is essential"

by gnat on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 13:38:00 PDT
[ Parent ]

Actually... (none / 0)

you echo much of the same points I made in another post in this same thread.  I was just expanding on a theme here.  You are quite right.

This Far and No Further
Tons of info and opinion on the right's attempted takeover of the USA

by Black Max on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 13:49:09 PDT
[ Parent ]

the problem is not the scale (none / 1)

It's the necessity. Even if it might seem like ages since we had any real power in this country, just think for a minute about what conservatives faced at the dawn of their dark revolution: almost total exclusion from government, that had been going on for decades, since FDR. Their whole belief system was shattered post depression, and they didn't even start to get it back until the 80's. They, like the vietnamese, WANTED it.

That's what drives these things. And that's what we're seeing today. I am more confidant than ever (especially after having seen the kind of budget Bush thinks he has to put forward to stay alive) that we are going to come back. It might take a while, and it might be painful, but the need is there now. And I don't know about you but I WANT IT.

In my Streetfighter II dreams, I'm Ryu doing a dragon punch to finish off Rick Santorum's bitch ass. Shoruken!

by Lud on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:55:40 PDT
[ Parent ]

no but money (none / 0)

is important: we need Soros and maybe Ted Turner and some of the Hollywood Dems and hopefully others to be for the progressives what RM Scaife and Murdoch and others were/are to the right...

that is to start planting seeds...

and by the way this will shape the Dems over time and make them have more of a spine.....

calling all rich progressives, come out come out wherever you are....

by gnat on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 13:01:37 PDT
[ Parent ]

Yes, but (none / 0)

while it's nice for the big-money progressives to make fat contributions, we can't depend on them the same way the Repubs depend on their relatively small number of fatcat donors.

We make up in number what they bring in wealth.  1000 $10 donations from our guys more than makes up for their one fatcat writing a $10,000 check...we've got 1000 people beginning to get involved, where they've got one stogie-chomping candidate for a heart attack writing checks the same way he's done for thirty years.

Our strongest resource is the rank-and-file Americans.  The rich donors are more than welcome to join in, but they aren't to lead the parade.

This Far and No Further
Tons of info and opinion on the right's attempted takeover of the USA

by Black Max on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 13:28:14 PDT
[ Parent ]

You betcha (none / 0)


The beneficiaries are likely to be...large corporations and development firms. (O'Connor, J. dissenting in Kelo). God bless you, J. O'Connor.

by xanthe on Wed Feb 9th, 2005 at 13:11:28 PDT
[ Parent ]

We're (none / 0)

15 years behind.

Power always thinks... that it is doing God's service when it is violating all his laws....John Adams

by nupstateny on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 13:40:07 PDT
[ Parent ]

So what.... (none / 0)

We can catch up...if we have the drive

The beneficiaries are likely to be...large corporations and development firms. (O'Connor, J. dissenting in Kelo). God bless you, J. O'Connor.

by xanthe on Wed Feb 9th, 2005 at 13:14:58 PDT
[ Parent ]

deja vu (none / 0)

Matt Bai wrote about this in the NYT last summer.

"Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

by acbonin on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:42:16 PDT

yes, great article n/t (none / 0)

In my Streetfighter II dreams, I'm Ryu doing a dragon punch to finish off Rick Santorum's bitch ass. Shoruken!

by Lud on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:56:45 PDT
[ Parent ]

Great article (4.00 / 6)

One problem that needs to be addressed is the internalization by our side. Too many believe that the media is liberal, that liberal is a bad word, that environmentalists are "wackos," that we are soft on defence...

Every day the GOP message machine pounds these concepts and for some reason many of our people believe it. Their message machine is amazing to behold. Even now little Sean is on page one of the villafication of Reid. I figure that within a week the media will be using the label "The liberal" minority leader Harry Reid...

by Mike S on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:42:36 PDT

It's already started. (4.00 / 4)

>>>I figure that within a week the media will be using the label "The liberal" minority leader Harry Reid...

The demonization has already begun against Reid.  It will continue against all of us until we RETAKE the fucking word and make it our own.  I hate to use the next comparisons because they're both at least somewhat offensive and the analogies don't completely jibe, but it's like activist African-Americans retaking the label "nigger" and activist gays retaking the word "queer."  If they can retake those two "you-goin-to-hell-for-sure" labels, we can damn well retake "liberal."

This Far and No Further
Tons of info and opinion on the right's attempted takeover of the USA

by Black Max on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 13:31:23 PDT
[ Parent ]

Thsi realization hits home hard! (none / 1)

For me who has been flying by my own logic and have suspected that the vast right wing conspiracy actually exists, seeing this summary gives me both feels of exhilaration as in  "ah huh, I knew it", and then a sickening feeling that I do not know how counteract it.  I've really suspected that the media control was the key, but to see that indeed it likely is the real control instrument and how the right wing bought the media is very, very troubling.  

Sort of takes any idealism I had left and stomps it into the ground.  It also makes me angry at the shallowness of so many of my fellow Americans that they can be so brainwashed against their own interests by this brainwashing technique and conspiracy!

Political censorship is the root of all evil! It is the antithesis to a functional democracy!!

by truthbetold on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:49:36 PDT

I would imagine... (none / 1)

>>>Sort of takes any idealism I had left and stomps it into the ground.  It also makes me angry at the shallowness of so many of my fellow Americans that they can be so brainwashed against their own interests by this brainwashing technique and conspiracy!

I would imagine that's how Thomas Jefferson got started.  Idealism alone isn't going to get much done; a good sense of righteous anger does wonders for moving people forwards.

I for one am sick and goddamned tired of seeing the Repubs kick this particular dog.  It's time to get some of our own back, and if I can do it (or be part of a larger movement "doing it") in a way that reflects my own political idealism, wonderful.  But if the dark actually does descend, I'll go down with my teeth in some Nazi's throat.  Idealism will have to wait for the next cycle.

We take what we can get.

This Far and No Further
Tons of info and opinion on the right's attempted takeover of the USA

by Black Max on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 13:42:55 PDT
[ Parent ]

Please (none / 0)

keep the jackbooted thug references to the Pubs.

I'm sorry. The government you have elected is inoperative. - Gil Scott-Heron

by GenXWho on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 17:27:04 PDT
[ Parent ]

I'm not sure I follow.... (none / 0)


This Far and No Further
Tons of info and opinion on the right's attempted takeover of the USA

by Black Max on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 18:35:45 PDT
[ Parent ]

No choice (none / 0)

"My teeth in some Nazi's throat" - I love it.  I for one do not believe 225 years of our great republic is enough - we can't let it go.  I can't let it go.  I believe they will implode -- but we need to be energetic -- if we have children and grandchildren, or want children or grandchildren -- we have no choice.  do we?

The beneficiaries are likely to be...large corporations and development firms. (O'Connor, J. dissenting in Kelo). God bless you, J. O'Connor.

by xanthe on Wed Feb 9th, 2005 at 13:27:00 PDT
[ Parent ]

Time. (none / 0)

Months & years? Seems like the connectivity is in place from the last election.  Shouldn't the network described be in place by the '06 elections?

by rba on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:49:50 PDT

I hope 06 (none / 0)

turns the tides as much as possible but I fear even with Dem wins a kind of complacency and shortsightedness will occur. What I want to see are more rich progressives putting money into LONG-TERM thinktanks for solutions to longterm problems like renewable energy, the environment, etc.


by gnat on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:53:02 PDT
[ Parent ]

I'm not sure conservative think tanks (none / 0)

actually think.

They start from what they want the solution to be, and then gather the evidence for it from there.

Visit my brand spankin new blog: Operation: Mad Wombat (TN-1)

by FleetAdmiralJ on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:53:52 PDT
[ Parent ]

believe it or not (none / 0)

there are rightwing intellectuals. I know it sounds like an oxymoron, but they do exist. The point is not to ape the exact structure of the rightwing noise machine on every last detail but to catch some of the focus, funding, persistence, and attention to framing that they have clearly mastered.

by gnat on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:57:47 PDT
[ Parent ]

They're active at law schools and here (none / 0)

at Princeton, which was made quite clear at a recent talk I attended.

Support IWT
Independent World Television
The Alternative to the Corporate Media

by Cool Blue Reason on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 19:35:43 PDT
[ Parent ]

Is not a measure of intelligence. (none / 1)

Believe it or not there are some rightwing intellectuals.

The big mistake that the general public makes is that most people don't realize that the word, intellectual, simply means someone who produces papers on a given subject. The word does not indicate anything about the quality of the intellectual thought; it simply means the person makes a living doing that. The word erroneously implies a level of intelligence that in fact may or not be there.

And then 2/27/33 happened, and that changed everything.

by Julian on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 20:36:41 PDT
[ Parent ]

Great point! (none / 0)

Yes, there are some right-wing intellectuals.  We just don't hear much from them in the usual froth of O'Reillyesque barking, Limbaugh-ish squealing, and Coulter-like tirades that mimic a chihuahua raising hell from under the couch, darting out to nail your ankle, turning circles and peeing the carpet, and disappearing under the furniture again.

Hard to be intellectual in that environment.

This Far and No Further
Tons of info and opinion on the right's attempted takeover of the USA

by Black Max on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 13:45:16 PDT
[ Parent ]

Leo Strauss (none / 0)

who taught philosophy at Univ of Chicago for starters had more influence on the neocon PNACers than any of the demogogues you mention.

A lot of the intellectuals stay behind the scenes or write longwinded books or for the National Review or what have you.

The radio and TV noisemakers are picked b/c they're good at stirring up stuff, but they're not really the ones in charge. They're just parrots, who reduce everything to kneejerk sounbyte. Not to be conflated with the wingnut intellectuals and power brokers behind the scenes.

by gnat on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 13:51:17 PDT
[ Parent ]

True. (none / 0)

The right-wing intellectuals such as Strauss and his colleagues don't get much airplay in the SCLM.  I know they're there, and I'm somewhat conversant with their work, but they aren't the ones perceived as leading the fight for the "political conversation."  I realize the loudmouths with the million-dollar microphones are just hand puppets for the Weyrichs, the Strausses, the Friedmans, etc. etc. etc.

This Far and No Further
Tons of info and opinion on the right's attempted takeover of the USA

by Black Max on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 13:55:03 PDT
[ Parent ]

Revolt Against Modernity (none / 0)

by Ted V. McAllister explains hard to read Leo Strauss. An Edmund Burke Conservative was against Robespierre and believed in a natural aristocracy but accepted most ideas of the Enlightenment. Straussians don't accept the Enlightenment, they don't even accept the Renaissance or the Reformation.

Straussians are accused of wanting to roll the clock back to 1932 or 1900 or 1789 but Strauss wanted to abolish the entire "Modernity Project" which he says began in 1505 when Machiavelli wrote The Prince.

by Maynard G Krebs on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 14:43:12 PDT
[ Parent ]

They're out there (none / 0)

@ 58, I tire easily when I can't get to information in a reasonable amount of time.  So I've bookmarked a few "progressive" think-tanks, but there is no "portal".  That's the tool that I had hoped was out there.  Wrong.  

One more thing:  WE are the think-tank.  The first building block in research is the grunt work.  The bullshit task of seeing "what's out there" on point.  You're seeing it right now in the "Budget Diaries" all over dKos.  Find, assemble, collate, enter, analyze, publish online.  

All save "analyze" can be accomplished by this national, dare I say global network of people in a huge "community of interest":  blogosphere.  The original "fast-response network".

If I was in charge for a day, I'd solicit apps from qualified people to fund a virtual progressive database.  Accessible by registration only [christ, we have to do that now for newspapers, much less premium content].

Layered data accessible on increasingly secure "rings";  remote access; card + pin access to thin client, national network [Sun/Ibm/Mac]; "branded" cell phones [be cool to negotiate a contract for service for 400,000]; and so it goes.  We have the technology - that's rarely the problem.

Sorry to ramble, but the article hit a hotspot.  Humpty-dumpty can indeed be put together again.  But IMHO not until those seeking to join the pieces realize the new network construct is horizontal.

poster disavows any claim to coherency

by rba on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 13:57:08 PDT
[ Parent ]

imagine cheap broadband + cheap computers (none / 0)

Imagine what America will be like in 5 years if broadband gets cheap. Imagine a p2p network for routing legal video. Imagine cheap computers that output video to your TV.

And digital cameras get cheaper every year.  Software to edit audiovideo on the PC is now available for next to nothing.

Will the Left look to the future and prepare for it?


Got AntiPropaganda?

by cryofan on Wed Feb 9th, 2005 at 07:08:27 PDT
[ Parent ]

Remember Danny Hillis? (none / 0)

Two people I think "got it":  Danny Hillis of Thinking Machines [he blew it], and Scott McNealy - he's a dark horse.  

TM developed a machine running 64,000+ processors in parallel.  Elegant, amazing peice of early AI, operated like the human brain: each chip only processed 2056b of info, but for certain kinds of tasks, was faster than the Cray of the time. [think "data mining"].

McNealy's had it for awhile - bandwidth too cheap to meter - in his company's slogan:  the network is the computer.  He's been patiently waiting for network capacity to catch up with the vision.

Bandwidth is already there.  Toll & trunk glass has been in place since the late '80's; the entire network is digitally switched; and "last mile" bandwidth is close to reality all over the country.  You're directly on point.  The question is will the Left be ready.

by rba on Wed Feb 9th, 2005 at 08:48:44 PDT
[ Parent ]

Center for Public Integrity Report (none / 0)

On a related theme, I just receive an email from the Center for Public Integrity saying that Interest groups that spent millions through their 527 committees in Election 2004 are now turning their sights on the Social Security debate, both for an against.  SURPRISE!  

I wonder if the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy will succeed once again in convincing many working Americans to shot themselves in their security pocketbooks.  There are, however, several 527s against Bush's effort, and that is an encouraging sign.  I hope they do a good job against the conspiracy BS.

Link to articles

Political censorship is the root of all evil! It is the antithesis to a functional democracy!!

by truthbetold on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 12:59:10 PDT

What ever happened to Gore's media project...? (none / 0)

I was my understanding that Gore was working on a new progressive television station that would address some of the concerns regarding information flow. Does anyone know if this effort continues or has it failed?

by JCPOK on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 13:00:28 PDT

Gore's network (none / 0)

has little to do with politics. It's not a counterweight to FNC.

by kos on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 13:33:29 PDT
[ Parent ]

not quite off the ground yet (none / 0)

I dont know if it is supposed to be a counterbalance to FauxNews, but it should be.


by westsyde on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 14:31:04 PDT
[ Parent ]

Is the Powerpoint anything like this? (4.00 / 5)

Is the Powerpoint anything like this?

by negropontedeathsquads on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 13:02:14 PDT

Repeating right-wing talking points (4.00 / 7)

An example of how the media (liberal or not) gets snowed by right-wing talking points:

the conservatives built a new generation of organizations - think tanks, media monitors, legal groups, networking organizations, all driven by the same over-arching values of free enterprise, individual freedoms and limited government.

This is repeated as if it were true in the text of the article.  But in fact the right-wing stands for none of those things:

  • Free enterprise: The right-wing controls the market to shut out liberal voices.  Note how the networks refuse to allow liberal advertisements to run because they are "too controversial" (whereas ultra-right points of view are never "too controversial" in the networks' eyes.)  Right-wing media is prepared to alienate huge sections of the populace and lose money in order to gain their political ends.

  • Individual freedoms: The right wing stands for diminishing the individual freedoms of everyone who doesn't belong to the conservative elite: they stand against press freedom, speech freedom, religious freedom, the freedom to dissent from right-wing political correctness.  They threaten the right to read, listen to, and watch what you like.

  • Limited government: Under right-wing control, the government has grown to something larger and more intrusive than ever before: a beast that can kill tens of thousands overseas and "disappear" others, at home and abroad, into unconstitutional concentration camps.  

We should not buy into the lies that conservatives tell about themselves or allow them to go by unchallenged, let alone pass this line off as an indisputable truth.  We need to reveal the true goal of the right-wing: creating an oligarchy of business barons in America that is unfettered by any legal principle and which has the dictatorial authority to crush all opposition.  The vast majority of people would not go along with this plan; but they won't object to it unless they can see it for what it is.  But it can hardly become clear when the opposition refuses to name it as such, and instead repeats the right-wing talking points as if they were a true statement of what modern conservatives stand for.  

by WIds on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 13:03:39 PDT

An absolutely superb statement of the reality. (none / 1)

The corporate cartel has bought and paid for the Republican Party, and are now moving forward with the final solution of aggrandizing their power in ways that will take generations to unwind.

WIds has hit the nail directly on the head. The first thing that must be done is this: We must call lies, "LIES!". Loudly. Constantly.

The substantial majority of the American people will recoil in shock, if and when the light bulb finally comes on and they say, "WOW, What is really Happening?"

I think you will find When your death takes its toll All the money you made Will never buy back your soul (Bob Dylan; Masters of War (1963))

by attydave on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 14:24:16 PDT
[ Parent ]

What happened (none / 0)

to "the public airwaves belonging to the public"? When the media has been purchased by the right wing is there any hope or anything we can do to legally achieve holding the stations to giving equal time and/or balanced views? If it indeed is true that we own the airwaves are there any lawsuits in the public's behalf?  

A society of sheep must beget in time a government of wolves. Bertrand de Jouvenel

by Little Red Hen on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 13:05:33 PDT

This is a Neglected Constitutional Matter (none / 0)

My argument is that once broadcasting appeared, virtual media spaces became the important venues for people to gather and for societal affairs to be discussed.

The "public airwaves" concept is not a Constitutional concept, it's just a matter of law and agency policy. I argue that the media are so much more than "press" or "speech" that our Constitutional system needs to establish fundamental individual and societal rights in media spaces. (And no, admitting the complexity of the subject, I don't have any simple formula to suggest.)

Until we find a way to do that, the media will continue to be operated as private property, increasingly aggressively in support of the owners' interests and against all others. Our primitive Constitutional concept of "free press" reinforces the private-property aspect and the exclusion of almost all rights in media spaces for citizens who don't own them.

It's as though we relocated the entire political aspect of United States into a region where our system of government doesn't even apply.

We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

by Gooserock on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 14:03:58 PDT
[ Parent ]

1970 or so? (none / 0)

Wasn't it about then that cable tv came into being? About the same time as the RWMM (right wing media machine). Who owned all those new cable stations? Might be an interesting research project for someone with time on their hands hmm?

The more understanding one posesses, the less there is to say and the more there is to do.

by Alohaleezy on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 14:08:43 PDT
[ Parent ]

awesome flowchart (none / 0)

synthetic terror sums it up:
or maybe dehydrated terrorists, the CIA just adds water

by gnat on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 13:05:45 PDT

Our advantages (none / 1)

Progressives shouldn't be quick to ape everything the right has done.  Some things, Talk Radio e.g., are probably more conducive to right-wingers.  

But what we should do is make sure that intellectuals are funded.  Liberals like to put their money where it will do the most immediate good like feeding and housing people.  But we need the talking heads for the battle ahead.

Also, let's recall that the New Deal Democratic Party (and nation) was strongest when it was backed by a strong labor movement. We should focus like a laser on organizing the service and retail labor force.

I think the right has taught us that mobilizing the base and appealing to the middle are not mutually exclusive.  In fact, an energized base is a better spring board than the mushy middle.  

by Oswald on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 13:08:39 PDT

The mushy middle... (none / 1)

I wonder if anyone has really put out an analysis of what drives the middle. It is beginning to seem to me that what motivates the middle to adopt a left or right stance is strong leadership.

Basically you are in the middle because you are making trade-offs for yourself between the ends of the political spectrum. What these people seem to be looking for is the party that will actually deliver and lead on a particular issue that is important to them. Although it might vary from election to election, these people want something done for them.

Bush, whether you like him or not, has the attitude that he is going to deliver and that is leadership. I heard somewhere make the case that Bush is a progressive, in the political sense that he wants to make changes.

Kerry, while possibly technical correct on the substance, never seemed to gain any traction in the leadership space. Hell, I think that I voted for him just because I knew that he wasn't going to do what Bush was doing; not that I thought that he would actually do much at all. Just my opinion though.

...Whirlpools whirl, and dragnets drag...

by dss on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 14:08:12 PDT
[ Parent ]

When do we stop feeding them? (4.00 / 2)

Okay, so our media are owned and controlled by the right -- so when do we, the left, turn the channel?

Have you cancelled your subscription to the local rag yet?  How many more Republican endorsements do you need to read?

Have you stopped watching CNN and Faux News and Fox and MTP and Stephanopoulos and the network news and Today?

Have you told the candidates to whom you're donating money exactly which programs and channels you'd prefer them to advertise on?

We're supposedly the reality-based community that actually reads the papers and knows the facts -- O'Reilly and Rush may never need us, but would the Sunday weeklies and local papers survive without us?

Come on, people!  You complain about the "sheep" being led around, but everyone seems to keep on watching this train wreck.

We need to organize a wide, sustained boycott until we see the journalists separate themselves from the propagandists.

This isn't Republicans vs. Democrats, it's Republicans vs. Democracy.

by randompost on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 13:10:50 PDT

The Vast Star Trek Conspiracy (none / 1)

I agree. If we don't stop supporting a media that undermines our interests at every turn, we're like Star Trek fans who complain bitterly about the sorry state of the Trek franchise and pray for Rick Berman's speedy termination, yet tune into every episode of every series and go to every feature film, griping all the way.

Of course, Enterprise did get cancelled due to low ratings, and Rick Berman's future with the franchise is anything but assured. So if there's hope for Star Trek, surely there is hope for the Democratic party.

For relaxing times...make it Suntory time.

by Schadenfreude on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 14:06:50 PDT
[ Parent ]

Totally agree with you (none / 0)

I live in San Diego and the Union Tribune keeps harassing me at dinner time to but the paper. After three months of this I finally called the paper directly and told them to take me off their call list I did not want to subscribe nor would I ever in the future subscribe to their f'ing republican hack rag. Five minutes later, honest to God folks, someone called me again from the telemarketing center. I went nuclear. Called the main story page and let them have it again. They still call but only about once a month now.

The more understanding one posesses, the less there is to say and the more there is to do.

by Alohaleezy on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 14:15:14 PDT
[ Parent ]

The Key point in my view (4.00 / 2)

TO me this is the key part of the piece... We could use this around here from time to time.

And, says Stein, there are "very important lessons" to be learned from the conservative experience over the past 40 years. For starters, progressives must learn to find common ground and set aside some differences they may have. "A movement is built upon 'marriages of convenience' among disparate, but inter-related, strains of a broad coalition which is able to agree upon some core values," Stein believes. "It is okay for there to be disagreement within the family; not everyone will be equally interested in the same set of issues."

Citing the example of the Apollo Alliance, Stein says progressive groups "must develop well-managed, highly effective, issue-focused strategic alliances which transcend their institutional egos and their competitive instincts."

To me it is all about finding  common ground and understanding that our pet issues will sometimes have to take a back seat. And will tale more time to build the coilitions to push though the  future changes we seek.

Lots of time money and effort folks...

MERRY New Year.....

Lots of people see the world in Black and White. It is mostly just shades of grey.

by Davinci on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 13:12:27 PDT

That's a Great Article! (none / 0)

That's a great article.  Stein's PowerPoint presentation sounds very consistent with Cursor's Media Transparency article on "The Apparat" regarding how the conservatives got organized and funded.  They've got a huge headstart on us but we gotta catch up if we're going to maintain our republic.

By the way, you'll notice the Coors name among the early organizers and funders.  Remember, every Coors beer you drink is like you handing them a knife to cut your throat.  There's more than just one way to deal with the menace.

by Mushinronsha on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 13:47:49 PDT

The VRWC is everywhere (none / 0)

subtly shaping the way we think, the facts we assume to be true, the way we view reality; creating biases we do not even recognize having; breeding fascist domination.

That's why we call it Vast.

I think you will find When your death takes its toll All the money you made Will never buy back your soul (Bob Dylan; Masters of War (1963))

by attydave on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 13:52:41 PDT

where do i sign up (none / 0)

for the progressive leadership institute or whatever we're gonna call it?

sure, as a kossack i already feel like a charter member of the VLWC, but i could be doing more.  and if i could make cranking out progressive/liberal message and stategy my full time job instead of an internet distraction, and if there were thousands of us doing the same, with others working to open the path for our message to get into the media...  well we'd be well on our way to taking back america.  

i don't think it'll take us as long as it took the reactionaries, because they had to snowball people into voting against their own self-interest.  we not only have most americans' self-interest to work with, we also have the truth.  and i happen to think truth trumps lies in the end.  but maybe i'm just one of those wacko optimistic liberals.

we'd better decide now if we are going to be fearless men or scared boys.
— e.d. nixon, montgomery improvement association

by zeke L on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 13:59:36 PDT

The VRWC is after our KIDS!!! (none / 0)

Were talking about brainwashing... indoctrination in a cult. Get'em while they're young and they'll be lifetime members.

I have written a diary about Sesame Street's global mission and funding needs, including a link to make donations.

Today, Sesame Street is the longest street in the world -- a boulevard of learning, understanding, and respect among children across the globe... using the power of media to make a positive impact on the world of tomorrow. We're teaching children to be more tolerant, more understanding, and more respectful of differences.

Those, my friends, are core liberal values we all stand for. Please read my diary and make a donation if you can afford it.

"The man of great wealth owes a peculiar obligation to the State, because he derives special advantages from the mere existence of government" - Teddy Roosevelt

by mrboma on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 14:00:19 PDT

Glad to See It Being Spelled Out (none / 0)

After watching this and screaming at my TEE-vey and uncomprehending acquaintainces for 30 years. I haven't known many of the details but the patterns have been obvious.

What the right has been doing is to destroy, capture or replace every naturally non-conservative force within society. They've literally replaced The United States of America.

That's why I have continually insisted that Bush isn't our main problem; if anything because of his incompetence he's as much a blessing as a curse compared to other Republicans we might face. It's also why I've cautioned against being over-optimistic about the position we'd be in whenever we're next able to "take back" our "country." I question what we'll find in our hands and how much jurisdiction we'll actually have.

We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

by Gooserock on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 14:12:58 PDT

Where's the PPP (none / 0)

Perfect example. If the situation was reversed the Republicans would have made the darn Power Point Presentation available via free download. I was thinking I'd show it to the local progressive group I belong to. We are always looking for stuff like this for show and tell. But no. We just marvel at how organized the right is. We don't actually get organized.

"I've already said too much."

by Rp on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 14:19:25 PDT

Not that easy (none / 0)

Unless we have the ability to capture the major media outlets in sigfificant areas of the country, bring back true investigative journalism, change the attention span of the average voter or news consumer and be willing to use the same scare tactics that the right uses it doesn't matter how much money we can raise - we won't make the the kind of dent we really need to counteract their ability to manipulate the message.  The left doesn't have captive audiences that show up every Sunday willing to listen to bought and paid for faith based demagogues.  We can go that route, but I don't want to be part of a movement that does.

The right and large corporations have dismantled the kind of organizations that gave the left any collective power, namely unions and community. Remember the blogosphere is a virtual community with power, but limited disperse power; it is still anonymous individuals with limited investment.

I don't want to be a naysayer, it is just going to take A LOT more than raising money. Do you think Time Warner is for sale anytime soon?  That's what I'm talking about.  Newspapers, radio stations, co-opting black ministers, it is more than just think tanks and flow charts.

by Mcguffin on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 14:29:54 PDT

if cheap broadband ever comes to America (none / 0)

then the mass media as we know it will be forever altered. Imagine if 75% of America had broadband and could watch video downloaded off the Net, and routed to their TV.  Now imagine if that video was routed to their home via a P2P network.  

If that system is in America, the entertainment/infotainment distribution system we have now (top down, filtered by the powerful and rich) will have some serious competition.

The Left could take advantage of this coming system by preparing video documentaries now.


Got AntiPropaganda?

by cryofan on Wed Feb 9th, 2005 at 07:03:46 PDT
[ Parent ]

the reponses to this are weak (4.00 / 4)

I don't think you folks understand what is going on.    
The right wing folks feed the media, they have created an infrastructure that is outside the republican party that moves their ideas forward.

First off, their ideals do not match what actually                          
happens, they do not care about the free market nor do they care about religion, they care about making money, and they care about keeping the masses voting for who they want them to vote for.  Pointing this out, and worrying about it are a waste of time.

We on the left need a person to actually organize a weekly meeting of all the groups and think tanks, and politicians on the left, they do this on the right...Inside the Beltway, however, Norquist has made his mark as a political organizer. Each Wednesday morning, more than a hundred leading conservative activists, policy pundits, talk-show producers and journalists, joined by assorted Hill staff members and White House aides, gather in Americans for Tax Reform's conference room to discuss the issues of the day, from prescription drugs to school choice. Within Republican circles, Norquist's job is to organize other organizations, making sure the different branches of conservatism are moving in the same direction, at the same time, to the
greatest extent possible. His particular genius is for persuading one organization to reach beyond its own agenda to help out another -- for getting, say, the cultural traditionalists at the Eagle Forum to join the business libertarians at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in opposing fuel-economy standards for automobiles by convincing the traditionalists that, as Norquist once explained to me, ''it's backdoor family planning. You can't have nine kids in the little teeny cars. And what are you
going to do when you go on a family vacation?...

I.    We need to gather ideas and form an agenda:

A.    There are think tanks that already exist with very good, very bold ideas that have appeal, especially for moderates.

B.    Setting the top priority is important, and I say let's go right at the right wing's supposed strength, defense, and the war on terror.  

C.    Gathering the ideas, and boiling them down into a rich sauce that the public will slurp down with ease is the top priority of step one.  Polling will be done, and we will see where the ideas are meeting the biggest resistance, and sell twice as hard in those areas .  We will not be the revolutionary that asks where the group is going, we will be the revolutionary that leads the group our way.  

II.    Selling the agenda:

A.    Hiring a PR firm is step one.  We need a point person who knows reporters, and can get us booked on all the talk shows.  I'm thinking Mike McCurry, he's a hack, but if paid properly he'll be our hack.  

B.    Getting good looking, smooth, educated folks, to push the agenda on television is step two.  We scour the colleges for liberal communications majors who want a career in broadcasting, they'll have been practicing and we'll be able to mold them the way we want.   We'll have a boot camp for perspective reps, and pick the best of the best.

C.    We need a grassroots campaign to hammer on the media for being too conservative.  The blogs will be the place where this can be organized and carried out.  We need a catchy tagline for this, submit them here.

III.    Getting the Democrats on board:

A.    We've laid the ground work, and now we need politicians to push our ideas onto the floor of the House, and Senate.  We'll need to write legislation, and give it to the politicians we feel can, and will push the issues.  

B.    We'll do this by targeting Senators and congress people whose pet issue is the one we are trying to get heard in congress.  

C.    We'll have to show politicians we have changed minds, and influenced enough people in their state or district, they will not take chances, that is our job, we'll take the chances for them.  We'll have initial poll results, and we can compare them to new poll results, and show the politicians the shift in public opinion.

IV.    Fighting the right wing:

A.    We need catchy tagline phrases with mass appeal, we need to use comedy, and not annoying Michael Moore comedy, we need Daily Show funny.  

B.    We need to be more appealing then the right wingers, this means no annoying accusatory attacks, we need to be smooth, we need to be funny, and we need the facts to back up what we say.

C.    If all else fails, we cloud the issue the way the right does.  We can revisit it at a later date.  

Who do we chose as our Grover Norquist?

We need someone the groups respect and someone that can sell the idea.   I'm open to suggestions, and remember this infrastructure needs to be built outside the Democratic Party.

absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limit's the freedom of another.

by jbou on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 15:03:26 PDT

We need to give them someone to hate` (none / 0)

This is the real weak spot of the Leftwing: they have not given voters someone or something to hate. The Rightwing has no problem doing that.

But the Left needs to accept that we need to offer up someone to hate, and not just a person, but a CLASS or TYPE of person. I see only two choices: rich people and corporations.  We need to offer them up as sacrificial lambs. Demonize them. The makeup of human psychology is complex, but movements need warm fuzzy touchstones, and HATE TOUCHSTONES. The Left is great on the warm fuzzy, but comes up short on demonizing.

And also the Left needs to stop focusing on social issues so much, and focus more on economic issues llike taxation and trade.


Got AntiPropaganda?

by cryofan on Wed Feb 9th, 2005 at 06:57:38 PDT
[ Parent ]

We need photos of them at these meetings (none / 0)

you wrote:

Each Wednesday morning, more than a hundred leading conservative activists, policy pundits, talk-show producers and journalists, joined by assorted Hill staff members and White House aides, gather in Americans for Tax Reform's conference room to discuss the issues of the day, from prescription drugs to school choice.

Part of exposing the rightwing machine is to expose this meeting. Leftwing activists need to get photos of these people meeting, esp. the journo-whores. We need these photos to be public domain.


Got AntiPropaganda?

by cryofan on Wed Feb 9th, 2005 at 07:24:32 PDT
[ Parent ]

over at this diary (none / 0)

it appears that some Dems (DINOs) have been sleeping with the enemy: the PNAC.

If you see my posts there you'll see why this absolutely flabbergasts me: the PNAC represents everything that is wrong with Bush's imperialistic "foreign policy"

by gnat on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 15:04:14 PDT

Whoa (none / 0)

For a minute there, I thought you were talking BEN Stein, not Rob Stein.

My brain kinda blew up for a second there.

"Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer." -John F. Kennedy

by Vestal Vespa on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 16:01:22 PDT

I hate seeing it called a "conspiracy" (none / 0)

It may be technically right, but it makes it sound like a bunch of guys in cheap suits meeting in dingy bars, not the mass of wealthy and respected elites who are actually perpetrating this hoax on America.  

by dianem on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 16:12:51 PDT

so they wear expensive suits and meet (none / 1)

in fancy restaurants instead. That makes it not a conspiracy? You don't think people understand that conspirators don't have to be poor? Or have bad taste?

Most conspiracies are on the rich side of things. The poor are too worried about things like getting enough food and keeping a roof over their heads to plot much of anything.

I think most people instinctively understand this.

by mmacdDE on Wed Feb 9th, 2005 at 08:09:07 PDT
[ Parent ]

I think most people... (none / 0)

associate the term "conspiracy" with the JFK assassintion theories and the X-files.  They think of "conspiracy buffs" as young, unbalanced men who have too much time on their hands, so they continually look for government plots to interfere with their life.  The problem is that this is a government plot to interfere with American lives.  But due to extensive social conditioning, people are reluctant to see this as a real possibility, and instead see a group of paranoid people who are detached from reality, a group who sees a conspiracy where there is none.  Calling this a "right-wing conspiracy" places frames around the issue that are not to our benefit - many people immediately frame us as paranoid, and frame the right-wing as maligned.

It's just another case of reality vs. perception.  In reality, we are correctly identifying the way the neocons are behaving as a conspiracy.  But our identification is perceived as a paranoid delusion, because the term "conspiracy" is associated with paranoid delusions.

by dianem on Wed Feb 9th, 2005 at 10:02:25 PDT
[ Parent ]

Wiring the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy (none / 1)

By Matt Bai

My first meeting with Rob Stein occurred over breakfast at the Four Seasons hotel in Washington. Our conversation was strictly off the record, a sort of get-to-know-you chat. Our second meeting took place on a sun-bathed balcony outside a Starbucks near his home in northwest Washington. Stein, who is a young-looking 60, has a full head of gray curls and an air of serenity about him. He is a native West Virginian, although his accent, oddly, makes him sound like a Yankees fan. He carried with him a metal loose-leaf binder, which he laid on the table and kept always within his reach. In a short while, Stein said, I would become only the third person in Washington to possess my own copy of his presentation.

By the time we met, in the middle of May, Stein estimated that some 700 people had seen his PowerPoint show. He told me his story and explained how he had ended up at the center of a mini-movement. He had been a Democratic operative, rising to become chief of staff at the Commerce Department under the late Ron Brown. Then he managed a venture capital firm. After 2000, he, like a lot of Democrats, watched with growing alarm as his party ceded ground at every level of government. "I literally woke up the day after the 2002 elections, picked up the paper, had breakfast and we were living in a one-party country," he said. "And there it was. That was my wake-up call.

"I said: 'O.K., there's now Republican dominance down the line. It's not only that they control the House and the Senate and the presidency. But it's growing. There's no end in sight.' It wasn't only that they had reached a milestone, but they were ascendant.''

Stein read a few reports that liberal research groups had published on the rise of the conservative movement. Then he began poring over tax forms from various conservative non-profits and aggregating the data about fund-raising and expenditures. He spent hours online every night, between about 9 p.m. and 1 in the morning, reading sites like, which is devoted to tracing the roots of conservative groups and their effect on the media. To call this an obsession somehow seems too mundane; Stein spent much of the spring of 2003 consumed with connecting the dots of what Hillary Clinton famously called the "vast right-wing conspiracy" and then translating it into flow charts and bullet points.

The presentation itself, a collection of about 40 slides titled "The Conservative Message Machine's Money Matrix," essentially makes the case that a handful of families -- Scaife, Bradley, Olin, Coors and others -- laid the foundation for a $300 million network of policy centers, advocacy groups and media outlets that now wield great influence over the national agenda. The network, as Stein diagrams it, includes scores of powerful organizations -- most of them with bland names like the State Policy Network and the Leadership Institute -- that he says train young leaders and lawmakers and promote policy ideas on the national and local level. These groups are, in turn, linked to a massive message apparatus, into which Stein lumps everything from Fox News and the Wall Street Journal op-ed page to Pat Robertson's ''700 Club.'' And all of this, he contends, is underwritten by some 200 "anchor donors." "This is perhaps the most potent, independent institutionalized apparatus ever assembled in a democracy to promote one belief system," he said.

"What you need to understand about me is that I try to be respectful and objective about this," Stein went on. "Not only is it a legitimate exercise in democracy, but I think they came up with some extraordinary ideas." The problem, he said, was that conservatives had moved beyond those policy ideas, into the realm of attack and innuendo. And Democrats had to understand that they were overmatched.

Nothing in Stein's presentation seemed notably new, even if the details were nicely laid out. I had seen David Brock, the one-time conservative smear specialist who wrote a book about his defection to the other side, draw similar diagrams of the conservative power structure on a piece of paper. John Podesta, the former White House chief of staff, echoed many of the same ideas when he founded the Center for American Progress last year; they were, in fact, the basis for that new liberal policy group. What made Stein's work compelling was the genius of its packaging. For some reason, perhaps because most political operatives don't function in the business world, no one had ever thought to unearth all the evidence and put it on color-coded slides in a way that ordinary people could immediately grasp.

"I describe myself as having a master's degree in the right-wing conspiracy," Podesta said. "Rob got the Ph.D."

Stein was convinced that the left needed to focus on the long term, on building its own network of well-financed nonprofit groups, rather than simply strategizing for the next election. But he was not an especially powerful man in Washington, and all he had to work with was a slide show. For a while he considered writing a book. Instead, he began lugging his slides around town, hoping someone could tell him what to do with them. He was like a traveling salesman, convinced he was hawking a valuable new invention but not quite sure what it did.

In the spring of 2003, a friend Stein knew from the Clinton White House arranged for him to meet Simon Rosenberg at the New Democrat Network. Ambitious and hyper-articulate, Rosenberg once worked for the Democratic Leadership Council, the centrist group that laid the groundwork for Clinton's '92 campaign, before splitting off and forming his own political-action committee in 1996. Although he made his name in the party as a centrist New Democrat, Rosenberg, now 40, saw opportunities for his organization -- and, naturally, for himself -- in the increasingly confrontational slant of the party's base during the Bush administration. He didn't agree with all of Howard Dean's positions, but Rosenberg was among the first centrist Democrats to embrace Dean, sensing early on the potential of Dean's following. While the Democratic Leadership Council attacked Dean for his angry brand of populism, Rosenberg looked for a way to tap into the genuine passion among Democrats for a more creative, more defiant kind of politics. He talked to donors around the country, like Andy Rappaport, who were angry at the Clintonesque rhetoric that obscured the sharp ideological divide between them and the Rush Limbaugh right; they were desperate for new policy ideas and for a more aggressive, coherent strategy.

Rosenberg had hired a Silicon Valley consulting firm to suggest ways for the New Democrat Network to find a niche in this new world. One recommendation, which Rosenberg embraced, was to bring together a group of progressive contributors to talk about financing new kinds of ventures outside the party structure. It was Erica Payne, his New York director, who put a name to the fledgling project: the Phoenix Group. Payne, a business-school graduate and one-time Clinton campaign official, seized on the name one night after getting sucked into a Harry Potter book.

To Rosenberg, then, Stein's presentation was like an elaborately wrapped gift on Christmas morning: the deeper into it he got, the more enthusiastic he became. Stein had given him, in 30 minutes' worth of slides, a jolting summary of the challenge that needed to be met if the Democratic Party was to avoid total collapse. And the idea was inherently neither centrist nor leftist. Here was something he could take to donors and say: This is why you're losing. Forget this election. Plan for the future.

Progressives needed more than a single think tank, like Podesta's group, to counter 30 years of well-targeted conservative philanthropy, Rosenberg argued. The same kind of donors who were willing to shell out millions for political 527's could have a greater impact if they also threw their dollars at nonprofit foundations or institutes. "If you're a 32-year-old state legislator and you're a conservative, you get to go through all these philosophical trainings," Rosenberg said. "You get all these organizations that are trying to put you through their leadership institutes. You get all these groups sending you their materials.

"Now, you're a 32-year-old Democratic state legislator, and what you do is you learn how to check boxes," he continued. "You learn how to become pro-choice. You learn how to become pro-labor. You learn how to become pro-trial lawyer. You learn how to become pro-environment. And you end up, in that process, with no broad philosophical basis. You end up with no ideas about national security. You end up with no ideas about American history and political theory. You end up, frankly, with no ideas about macroeconomics and economic policy, other than that it's scary."

"For Bush to get rid of Rove would be like Charlie McCarthy firing Edgar Bergen."--Marshall Wittman

by Scarce on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 16:16:10 PDT

Its Still About Winning (2.00 / 3)

I find this discussion again to miss the point.  The only way that you get to accomplish any of your agenda is to win elections.  The reality is that small donations just don't cut it as far as raising the money necessary to get that done.  Its too expensive to raise and too expensive to manage.  As as pointed out, progressives are not homogeneous.  If you raise money from millions and rely on that, how do you get a coherent message across.  Look at the Colorado model.  4 fat cats bought the state legislature.  The got together and gave the money to a bunch of 527's who paid to do the work to win the election.  These 527's politely told the candidates to but out and they were going to get them elected.  Then they did the dirty work (and I emphasize the word dirty) to get the job done.  You tell me what you want?  Do you want purity and grass roots and constant minority status, or would you rather have a democratic legislature in a red state making the day to day decisions about what happens and doesn't happen, even if there is an occasional string attached.  I'm not too proud to take the big money, even if it does have strings attached.  Winning isn't the most important thing, its the only thing.

by MMColo on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 16:17:19 PDT

But if your winners are Trojan Horses, you lose (none / 1)

So what if you win, if your winning candidates resemble the other side.....


Got AntiPropaganda?

by cryofan on Wed Feb 9th, 2005 at 06:59:42 PDT
[ Parent ]

Rightwing machine (none / 0)

the right has perfected what the CIA used to call a "mighty Wurlitzer" -- a propaganda machine that can hone a fact or a lie, broadcast it, and have it echoed and recycled in Fox News commentary, in Washington Times news stories, in Wall Street Journal editorials, by myriad right-wing pundits, by Heritage seminars and briefing papers, and in congressional hearings and speeches. Privatization of Social Security, vouchers for school, Vince Foster's supposed murder, Hillary's secret sex life, you name it -- the right's mighty Wurlitzer can ensure that a message is broadcast across the county, echoed in national and local news, and reverberated in the speeches of respectable academics as well as rabid politicians.

by fugue on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 17:27:07 PDT

nice harper article (none / 0)

The Republican propaganda mill, a brief history


(in $ Millions)
The Bradley Foundation 584
Smith Richardson Foundation 494
Scaife Family (Four Foundations) 478.4
Earhart Foundation 84
John M. Olin Foundation 71
Koch Family (Three Foundations) 68
Castle Rock (Coors) Foundation 50
JM Foundation 25
Philip M. McKenna Foundation 17.4

by fugue on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 17:27:38 PDT
[ Parent ]

The other funny thing is (none / 0)

you'd think these "families" and "foundations" would care about spending all that money but they get it back in the form of no-bid contracts for the companies they run or are on the board of, or the massive tax-cuts they got which georgie boy says are off the table, since we MUUST borrow those countless trillions INSTEAD in order to 'save' social security.

That dirty, evil money just swirls round and round and there isn't much we can do about it.

They are all evil to the core, despite their so-called evangelistic claims to the contrary, and are DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE for the fiscal and social destruction now underway in 'murka.

They are the 21st century version of the nazis down to the way they speak and the way they dress (down to the lapel pin)

God it must be awful to have to live in that life, knowing that if you fail to measure up or toe the line or quack out the message of the day, you are shunned, ostracized and forever marked persona non-grata.  It must be sickening.

I bet it would drive people to abuse drugs or even painkillers...

by jackemoe on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 17:57:32 PDT
[ Parent ]

list (none / 0)

Pundit Deficiency

I'm sure we've all read this fascinating little piece on the "side-by-side" military records of prominent Republicans, Democrats and journalists, thanks to Atrios. One part is particularly telling, in a way the writer never intended:

Here is the list of journalists and pundits called "nonpartisan and right of center":

David Brooks, NY Times columnist
William F. Buckley, National Review
Pat Buchanan, MSNBC commentator
Ann Coulter, writer & commentator
Lou Dobbs, CNN News anchor
Paul Gigot, Wall Street Journal editor
Sean Hannity, Hannity & Colmes host
Brit Hume, Fox News anchor
Rush Limbaugh, Radio talk show host
Bill O'Reilly, O'Reilly Factor host
Michael Savage, Radio talk show host
William Safire, NY Times columnist
George Will, Washington Post columnist

Who of these are non-partisan, I wonder? Being generous, I'll say that Hume and Dobbs work to maintain at least the appearance of objectivity. The rest are all openly partisan and eight of them (out of thirteen) are rabid, red meat Republicans.

If you were to ask informed Republicans if they trusted the straight journalists listed above and if they generally agreed with the others' views, they would probably say yes. If there would be a problem it would be because a few moderate Republicans might not feel comfortable identifying themselves with the extreme rhetoric of the Limbaughs, Coulters and Savages. In other words, the worst any Republican would say about this list is that many of the people on it are too extreme, not that they are too partisan. And most would say these people fairly represent their views.

by fugue on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 17:28:20 PDT
[ Parent ]

diagram (none / 0)

another interesting item from spaeth page:
how often she shows up in NPR! (man, that network is completely infilterated by rightwing operative)

by fugue on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 17:30:43 PDT
[ Parent ]

It's about discipline (none / 0)

If you could replicate the right-wing noise machine on the left, you would STILL have to ensure that the discipline within the organization was ever-present.  They KNOW they are wrong but they get their marching orders from the apex of the right-wing pyramid and go with it no matter what.

They DON'T GIVE A FUCK if it's wrong, if it's bad for America, or Americans, if it means people die or America loses it's way. THEY HAVE their paycheck and that is all they give a FUCK about.

The "grassroots" crap on the left is obviously NEVER going to work because the apex of that pyramid, the Democrat consultants like Frum and Mary Beth seek to line their pockets but don't give a damn about the message that the "grass roots" level cares about.

The right-wing cares about the message but doesn't give a fuck about the outcome.  The grassroots model cares about the outcome but doesn't give a fuck about the message.

The discipline is to act like them while at the same time caring about both.

Sadly, it I don't see it happenning.

by jackemoe on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 17:53:22 PDT

Right wing college speakers (none / 0)

I wonder if this right wing conspiracy is trying to indoctrinate selective college student crowds by paying for speakers who spout the Bush Adminstration line, hook-line-and stinker.  I live in a conservative area of PA, and I went to a nice sounding lecture at my local University this evening.  I can't believe how perfectly this seemingly well qualified speaker towed the Bush right-wing line.   I sensed many of the college kids, who made up most of the audience, didn't buy it completely either.  

I wonder who is paying this guy's expenses?  I will list the program info below, and I am wondering if anyone knows anything specific about this guy and this program.

Presented by Dr. Gali Oda Tealakh who is
visiting the University as part of the
Council for International Exchange of Scholars'
Fulbright Specialists Program: Direct Access to
the Muslim World.   Dr. Tealakh is currently the
Head of the Department for Cultural and
International Affairs at Princess Sumaya
University in Jordan.  He holds a BA and MA in
journalism and Russian History from Moscow State
University; a MA from the Department of Slavic
and East European Studies, Indiana University
(Bloomington); a MA in religious studies from
Temple University and a PhD in modern political
history from the University of Durham in the
United Kingdom.  In addition to his extensive
teaching and publication record, Dr. Tealakh has
worked for the Jordan Institute of Diplomacy. He
was also a Fulbright Scholar at the University
of Pennsylvania in 1993.

Political censorship is the root of all evil! It is the antithesis to a functional democracy!!

by truthbetold on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 17:59:19 PDT

How do we reverse the trend (none / 0)

of being completely shut out of the media that most of the people watch or listen to?  Move-On can't even get ads up any more.  There is less and less ability to get any message out.  Top down, bottom up doesn't matter if we have no forum other than the web.  We can't influence the majority just from the web.

Grandma Jo

by glitterscale on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 19:31:39 PDT

The one thing the country needs (none / 0)

more than anything else is a left wing cable news station.

We need to get our ideas out to regular people in an accessible and fun format that has a high production value.

2.5 million people eat the poop that O'Reilly dumps for them every night; objective journalism is dead. We need a forum to get our ideas out in the communication medium of the day.

And, a left cable news station available it would do a lot good in terms of pulling CNN and MSNBC toward the center.

Also, I don't think that we need to spend $400 million dollars a year on messaging. Part of the reason why the right needs to spend so much money is because they simply have terrible ideas. We can do so much better but we need cable TV news station to let our voice be heard.

If you have got a boss, you need a union. Read

by BartBoris on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 20:45:46 PDT

and we need to GIVE IT AWAY (none / 1)

It needs to be FREE to the cable and satellite companies. FREE.

They'd include it on EVERYTHING -- it's one more thing they can point to and it doesn't cost them a cent. They'd put it on the BASIC level, because it's FREE. Heck, you could even make that part of the deal -- you get it free if everybody gets it free.

They'd throw off somebody for that.

It doesn't need to be glitzy. It could even have some local/regional components. The equipment isn't THAT expensive, if you set it up in a less expensive area the costs could be relatively reasonable, even for salaries and overhead.

It's not going to be CHEAP, but it doesn't have to be impossible.

Can we get Soros to kick in some money? How is Gore doing on his plan? How about the Hollywood types?

by mmacdDE on Wed Feb 9th, 2005 at 08:23:57 PDT
[ Parent ]


Look: I'm a proud former member of the vast-right wing conspiracy; I've been within spitting distance of every Republican presidential nominee since Jerry Ford.  I even worked, with grave reservations, for putz-head in 2000, to my everlasting regret.

I still consider myself a small-government, low-tax, balanced-budget, right-of-center, strict constructionist war hawk who would likely beat hell out of anyone who burned a flag in front of me.

HOWEVER, that said, anybody with half a brain realizes that the Bob Taft, Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan conservatism that once existed has been co-opted by a bunch of radical, corporatist plutocrats who have taken virtually everything Republicans once held dear and turned it on it's head!  The neocons (radical Trotskyites in conservative clothing) have taken over all the old genuinely conservative media outlets, from the National Review to the Wall Street Journal editorial page.  They own them.  And people who were once loyal readers (like myself)are being misled, thinking that the notions expressed there are conservative thought.  Clearly, they are not.

Anybody who knows anything about the real conservative agenda is a g-damn liar because, simply put, there is no conservative "agenda".  Conservatives are the protectors of the status quo; we don't like change because of the unforeseen consequences  change might cause. (Can you say "insurgency"?) Therefore, how could we have an "agenda"?

Read Edmund Burke if you want conservative thought.  This other stuff is just plain, flat out lies and propoganda spewed out by a few idealogue nutniks who have hijacked my party for their own selfish/religious/business agenda.

Want more?  Go to my website:  

"The beginning of thought is in disagreement -- not only with others but also with ourselves." - Eric Hoffer

by Thinking Republican on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 21:04:06 PDT

hey thinking... (none / 0)

...I gave you a 4 because your story parallels mine pretty well, though I guess I've moved to the left because, well that's where there seems to be more of the truth these days.  In the '80s and '90s, when the Democrats were firmly entrenched in power, I was a raging dittohead, but I value above all other things the truth, and Bushco ain't providing any of that these days.  Sadly my college friend, a true conservative, still buys into all this bulls*it and the levels of cognitive dissonance over there are off the charts.

by viget on Thu Feb 10th, 2005 at 14:26:50 PDT
[ Parent ]

Best Way To Beat the Right Wing (none / 0)

The best way to beat the right wing is for the American people to understand how their lives have been effected by the Wingnuts in negative ways and to be shown how populism is an effective way to make their lives better. Yes, communicating the message is important but not as important as what is just around the corner; a real deep recession that will unmask the propaganda, people have been deluded into believing.

The only reason that any social contract was established in the US was due to the residue from 'the Depression'. As collective bargaining has been decimated and 'Goebbels style media' has been established; the population,albeit the small amount who actually vote, have been wooed into complacency.

Besides the upcoming disaster of the Supreme Court appointments; it is almost better that the American people see how evil and destructive the Wingnuts are as opposed to a muddled Republican approach that would be difficult to disseminate from some of the Clinton-like triangulation policies.

The final realisation by many of the electorate that all is not well with their lives and economic futures is here and the ability to not only make sure they know who was responsible for this but also a plan to better their lives is essential. That is why Democrats must not act in a milquetoast way but shout louder about the inequities and fillibuster at every bill or Supreme Court appointment; whether or not they succeed.

by An American Living in London on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 21:56:49 PDT

What I don't get about the minions (none / 0)

It has been historical tradition to be generally skeptical about anything the government tries to shove down our throats.  I wonder why the Average Joe now accepts without question every obvious lie the machine puts out.  Whatever happened to "stickin' it to the Man"?


by KG Prophet on Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 22:25:37 PDT

I don't think they DO accept it (none / 0)

but they don't see any alternatives. Nobody is giving them any other ideas to examine.

And of course, they get the 'traitor' label if they don't agree. Not from anybody they actually KNOW, usually, but from so-called celebrities who dismiss anything that doesn't go along with their agenda.

I know plenty of middle class young people who don't buy into this govt's ideas, plenty of veterans who see Iraq as another Vietnam and don't support it, plenty of boomers who see Bush as out to destroy the middle class. I suspect they voted for him, though.

Why? Because they don't see anybody else with STRENGTH. Nobody who's willing to stand up for their ideas, principles. Nobody who's willing to come out and say 'this is WRONG, and I'm against it'. Nobody who's willing to say 'that's a LIE'.

They want a hero, a champion, somebody who will fight for THEM.

They didn't see it in Kerry. Whether that's his fault or not isn't the issue. The point is you can't try to backpedal on your record. You have to come out and admit what you did and why -- boldly, in no uncertain terms.

You'd think we'd have learned that by now.

by mmacdDE on Wed Feb 9th, 2005 at 08:33:41 PDT
[ Parent ]

500 posts in Gay Gannon thread. 100 in this one (none / 0)

The left cannot focus on what really matters....


Got AntiPropaganda?

by cryofan on Wed Feb 9th, 2005 at 07:18:15 PDT

eh, don't worry (none / 0)

it's because the folks who are actually working on this problem are too busy to post comments on dkos! (at least, ones any longer than this one)

Speak Out, California! Energizing progressives from Crescent City to Calexico

by da on Wed Feb 9th, 2005 at 08:55:48 PDT
[ Parent ]

All this talk about conservative conspiracies (none / 0)

involving religious figures and nobody's mentioned The Fellowship Foundation?

by frankenhooker on Wed Feb 9th, 2005 at 08:47:15 PDT

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