Saturday, August 01, 2009

Don't Feed Your Opponent's Attack

I seriously doubt there is anyone who imagined that Republicans would go easy on Obama or even make a serious attempt at working with him. It was widely known that Republicans would oppose him and attack him every chance they got. That's a no-brainer.

And to many hardcore liberals who don't like dealing with Republicans, that was the perfect excuse to completely ignore Republicans, because they wouldn't deal with us anyway. And that's exactly what the Bushies did, so much so that they intentionally would poison legislation to ward off any possible support from Democrats. They'd ensure that one or two Liebermans were on board for the fig leaf of bipartisanship, and do anything they could to scare off any other Dems from supporting their stuff.

But that's stupid. Because, yes, we have opposing political parties who will attack you, but all the same, adopting policies which legitimize those attacks only helps your enemies. So liberals attacking Bush for lying our way into Iraq was inevitable, but the fact that he really did lie us into Iraq was bad for Bush. And liberals attacking Bush's taxcuts as being handouts to the rich was inevitable, but actually designing them that way was bad for Bush.

Fueling the Attacks

And the rule is: You should avoid giving fuel to your enemy's attacks. That's it. It's that simple. Yes, they're going to attack you, but if you aren't doing what you're being attacked for, the attacks are likely to backfire and make the attackers look stupid. But conversely, by doing what you're being attacked for, you legitimize the attacks and make the attackers look intelligent.

So if you know you're going to be attacked for something, you should avoid doing it. While your attackers will continue to attack you, they weren't the ones you were trying to impress. And the more you add legitimacy to these attacks, the more likely people will listen to the other attacks against you. And it looks like Obama knows that perfectly well.

Of course Republicans were going to attack him for being a tax-and-spend socialist who would throw taxpayer money down the drain. And so the thing to do would be to avoid doing that. To make sure that taxpayer funds were spent wisely and to make the budget process open and honest. And that's what he did. Republicans have been telegraphing their strategy for over a decade now, and Obama reacted appropriately and is now making Republicans look stupid at every turn.

More Conservative Outrage

And the point of this is a recent attack on Obama's stimulus spending for supposedly supporting pornography. According to outraged conservatives, the NEA received $80 million of the stimulus' $787 billion (or 0.0001%) to support the arts, and the NEA gave $50,000 to a "film house" which happened to show a porn movie recently. And in their fevered imaginations, this is the equivalent of Obama funding porn; as if porn was some dying industry that required support.

But of course, by itself, this is a non-story. The funds supposedly went to the film house, not the movie or the studio that made the movie. But the reality was even worse than that, because this wasn't a "film house." The money went to a nonprofit foundation which supports the arts in cinema, including showing art movies. And the film in question, Thundercrack!, is a cult classic from 1975 and is admired for it's comedy, not its porn (not that I had ever heard of it before).

And so the whole thing was a joke. Their accusations were a non-story and the reality was absolutely absurd. And while Obama haters everywhere will view it as the proof they'd been looking for of Obama's dastardly spending habits, normal people will see it as yet more proof of how completely wacko conservatives are. And by doing so, they completely undermine every other attack they make against Obama. Cry wolf enough times and soon enough, folks won't listen once the wolf shows up.

And as usual, I support them in that completely. Please conservatives, continue to call Obama a Muslim socialist from Kenya who wants to murder old people and babies. You're just making things that much easier for us.

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