I was just reading the letter that Josh Marshall posted which Sidney Blumenthal had written to Hindrocket over at Power Line. The letter concerned judicial nominees and some column that Blumenthal had written about Clinton judicial nominees getting blocked by Republicans. And in that letter, Blumenthal writes:
"Rather than indulging in vituperative name-calling (Power Line: Close enough for Vicious Work), I would hope that you would bring to your interested readers' attention this statement by Senator Diane Feinstein of California on the subject, provide a link and publish lengthy relevant excerpts. The facts of the matter ought to be the basis for debate, not vilification."
And this gives us a demonstration of exactly what we need to do. I've got a lot more on this that I plan to write when I have a lot more time, but I cannot stress this enough: Almost all Republican supporters are victims of the Republican Propaganda Machine, and that our best way of combating that is not to smear them all as "supporters of torture", "war-mongers", "fascists" or whatever, but rather as victims of propaganda. We don't need to insult Bush or rant-on about neo-con conspiracies; we just need to give them the facts, and let them sink in.
The facts are on our side. And if they're not, then we're certainly fucking up because intelligent people should always be on the side of the facts. And so the only way that the Repubs can fight us is by changing the facts, and lying to their people. And no matter how much it seems to the contrary, nobody really likes to be fooled. Not even Republicans. If we can get through to them so that they understand that they're being fooled, they might not switch sides, but they'll certainly never trust their news sources again. And that's what we want. In fact, I'd be perfectly happy if these people just got out of politics all-together and went back to professional wrestling, or whatever vilifying drama they used to argue about before getting interested in politics.
Take Watergate for example. As I've posted before, the Watergate story is chock full of Republicans who completely and fully defended Nixon, though they didn't know most of the facts. For months, they went on TV, and gave speeches and press conferences defending Nixon, yet they only had his word on it that he was innocent. And Nixon really should not have been considered the most honest of sources, especially in regards to Watergate. And the only reason they believed him was because they needed to believe him; because if they didn't believe Nixon, they couldn't defend him. And they wanted to defend him because he was a Republican. And so they didn't want to know the truth.
And what did they do once they knew the truth? They abandoned Nixon like a whore at the church carnival. And they only learned the truth after they had to know the truth, because it was about to be published to the world. And while Republicans now like to pretend as if Nixon had done the right thing "for the good of the country" by resigning (unlike the dreaded Clinton); that is completely false. Nixon resigned after his political supporters had been forced to learn the truth, and had utterly abandoned him. Nixon already knew that he'd lose the impeachment vote, but once the "smoking gun" transcript had been released, he was guaranteed to lose the Senate trial too; as almost all of his Republican supporters were going to vote against him. And Nixon knew that. He wanted to fight it out all the way, but had to give up once the Republicans had learned the truth, and Nixon knew he couldn't possibly win.
So Republicans like to pretend that Nixon resigned to "do the right thing", but that's just more propaganda. The facts are clear that he resigned because he knew that he had no support and would most surely be impeached and booted from office. Even his supporters were saying that...once they had to. Resignation was just a face-saving measure.
And that's the thing about Watergate, the more his supporters learned about what happened, the less they could support him. But until they learned the truth, they were dogged Nixon supporters who would say anything to defend him. And they didn't even care about the truth. They didn't want to hear the Nixon tapes, which would have been the right of his important supporters. After all, if Nixon was innocent, then he should have had no problem with allowing his advisors and Republican politicians to hear them. But they wanted his assurances and nothing more. Because once the truth was known to them, they were forced to stop defending him and join the "Get-Nixon crowd".
And the main problem for Nixon was that all of these Republicans were angry at him for lying to them. They were very bitter, and that was one of the reasons he sunk so quickly. They wanted to be lied to, but once they learned the truth, they blamed Nixon for lying to them. The truth was out there, had they wanted to know. But once they were forced to know it, their consciences forced them to blame Nixon for all they had done on his behalf. Nixon always saw himself as a victim, but it wasn't until his supporters saw themselves as his victims did they abandon him.
Stone Cold Facts
And so it is with our current Republican supporters. They are willfully ignorant of the truth, but once they learn the truth, they will be forced to reject their leaders and news sources.
And that's why it's so wrong to treat them like they're the same as those they listen to. They're not. We need to attack the Republican Propaganda Machine, but not the Republican supporters. And even at that, we need to attack the Machine with a cold recounting of the facts, not by name-calling and accusations. We just need to get these people to realize that Hindrocket, O'Reilly, and the rest of them are just tricking them with fake facts and selective memories.
Sure, these people want to be fooled. But if we can present the facts to them in an undeniable fashion, they'll be forced to see the truth and be forced to reject their information sources. And if we stop name-calling and opinions, and most of all stop the guesses and conspiracy-mongering; and keep strictly to the facts, they won't have anywhere to hide. The truth is on our side, we just need to put it on theirs.