Friday, March 04, 2011

Huckabee's Kenyan Problem

Mike Huckabee is screwed.  He thinks he's playing some clever game with his "I believe Obama's a citizen, but his Kenyan background scares me" routine, but he's really jumped down a bottomless rabbithole with no easy way back up. 

And his problem is one that far too many conservatives find themselves victim to: You can't say anything to a targeted audience anymore.  Now that lots of people have videocameras in their pockets, can easily save video and audio recordings, and can distribute anything to the world within minutes; you really can't say anything without risk of having it blow up in your face.  Heck, even innocuous-seeming phone calls with wealthy backers can be fraught with disaster.

And that sure does make things difficult for anyone trying to incite hate against another person or group without the whole world hearing about it in your own words.  It used to be that you had to be careful around any microphone, in case it was live.  Now, the whole world's a potential microphone.

Revisionist Media History

Yet all the same, I see comments like this, suggesting that it's now easier to be offensive than it used to be:
This story would have mattered fifteen or twenty years ago. This story would have had a huge impact back then. That was before the new media landscape. You couldn't get away with such blatant lies and pathetic attempts to explain away stupid behavior.

Those days are gone. Right now, with the willing aid of Fox news and the complacency of the sanitized mainstream corporate press, not only can these right wingers make the most absurd claims, but they know the media will not fight them on corrections.
Really?  When exactly was this mytical time when the media held popular politicians accountable for anything beyond the most obvious racial slurs and offenses?  Fifteen years ago would be 1996.  We're to imagine that the media was vigilant against hateful lies four years into Clinton's presidency?  I don't think so.  Not only were those lies not exposed, they were often enhanced by the media.  After all, it was irresponsible not to speculate about Clinton rumors.

The reality is that media vigilance is the exception, not the norm.  There has simply never been a time in America's history in which the media had a sustained demand for the truth.  That's simply not in human nature, and like it or not, journalists are human.  Like most people, they'll spend more time worrying about what their bosses and peers think than in uncovering truth.  Even big stories like Watergate will only become big if the kewl kidz decide it's a big story.

And of course, the reality is that this quickly became a media firestorm which required Huckabee to immediately go into damage control mode, having to pile lies upon lies to defend himself; all of which are being used to bury him.  Had this sort of coverage existed fifteen years ago, Clinton might not ever have been impeached.  The fact that Huck has to go on Fox News to spin his lies only shows how damaging this sort of thing obviously is.

Side Effect or Drug Trip?

And really, Huck's schtick is simply ridiculous.  There is absolutely no way in a million years that he can possibly ride the "Obama's an unAmerican Kenya-lover" into the Whitehouse.  Even if it could somehow get him the nomination, which is extremely doubtful, he would be buried in the General Election.  The only possible way any Republican can win in 2012 is if they can make Obama the villain to a majority of the population, without looking like they're making Obama a villain.  And if that were possible, someone would have figured out how to do it a long time ago. 

Even worse for Huckabee is that he's definitely jumping the shark on this one, as his claims are so provably false that they only serve to embarrass anyone who associates with him. The more he pimps this stuff, the more radioactive he'll become.  Especially as his claims are so provably false and embarrassing that it can only mean that he believes them to be true.  And that means the only people who will want to support him are people who are, themselves, too dumb to be of any use.

Sure, at some level he knows he's playing a game.  But at a guess, I'm thinking he conflated Indonesia with Kenya, and since he had heard something he wanted to repeat regarding Obama's paternal influence upon his mind; assumed these to be the same thing.  That's the only way his Mau Mau Revolution comments make any sense.

And this is a problem that is slowly destroying the Republican Party, as the hucksters are also the suckers, and they can't remember the underlying truth that was somehow supporting the lies they're spinning.  And at this point, I'm thinking Huckabee's leading the pack of the sucker hucksters.  You can't be a good liar if you don't remember what the lie is, and the Republican Party has been lying for so long that there is simply no basis to any of it anymore. 

And that's why they'll be the most surprised when Obama once again beats the turds out of them in a presidential election.  Their only hope is for the Tea Partiers to permit a handsome and polite moderate to win their nomination, and there's absolutely no chance of that happening.  At this point, Obama knows he just needs to hold on to what he can while the GOP destroys itself further every day.

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