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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Establish a false premise and force your opponents to debunk it - "Are you still beating your wife?" [UPDATE: There will be blood]
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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Establish a false premise and force your opponents to debunk it - "Are you still beating your wife?" [UPDATE: There will be blood]

kent nerburn blogs articulately on the insane trap we've allowed ourselves to fall into - YET AGAIN...!
The Republicans could have just as easily made the argument that by funding health care we are putting our troops in harm’s way, or curtailing our space program, or taking food out of our school children’s mouths. But they didn’t. They went to the single most frightened group available, and their only real, viable base — old white people. “Obama will tell you when you have to die,” they said. And then they used the absolutely brilliant technique of inciting these folks to go to Town Hall meetings and shout out. It was brilliant because Town Hall meetings are small venues. Had they said, “get out on the streets,” or “stand with signs on street corners,” like the Democrats do, it would have failed, because the tiny nature of the protests would have been revealed by scale. It’s always better to have a small theater completely full than a big theater half empty, and by flooding the Town Hall meetings with people who are incited to behave in an uncharacteristically uncivil manner, they make it look like both the scale and the intensity of the opposition is greater than it is.

It’s a perfect technique for a party with small numbers. It is contained demagoguery, spurred on by a small handful of angry white male radio folks like Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, and Glenn Beck, who can increase their influence exponentially through the use of radio and television, and make the mainstream media run toward the argument because the media, as it is currently configured, always goes toward the loudest noise.

Ergo, we have a false premise, and a very threatening one at that, being promoted from behind the scenes by vast amounts of money, amplified exponentially by select media operatives, and carried forward by a small group of people who are being manipulated into action because they are very frightened by what that false premise portends.

The media, unable to resist going toward loud noises, reports the noise as if it’s a ground swell, and the Democrats do their part by continuing to think that rationality will win the day. Did they forget that this same Republican machine was able to paint John Kerry as anti-American and George Bush as a war patriot?

Thus, the Democrats have fallen for one of the oldest demagogic tricks in the book: Establish a false premise and force your opponents to debunk it, because if you argue a wrong premise, you lose. Witness “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?”

i love the part about the media being "unable to resist going toward loud noises"...


i ran across the following shortly after putting up this post...

terence heath
writing on the campaign for america's future blog...

It's clear now. There will be blood. It will take someone being seriously injured or killed before GOP leadership speaks up, if then. There will be blood.

It doesn't take a psychic to predict this. It just takes a look at the escalating rhetoric. To anyone familiar with the tactics of terror, is clear where this is going. First there is the threat of violence. It may be spoken, or it may not. It may be as simple as a hanging noose. The intended effect is the same: to put the target on notice to shut up, stay in his or place, and don't dare challenge the status quo.

It is delivered, often, with a smile that implies not merely a willingness to do harm, but perhaps even a desire to do so — "I will hurt you, and I will enjoy doing it."


There will be blood. Turning up the heat and stirring the pot already brimming with fear, lies, anger and violence will all but ensure that.

If Republicans continue to either stand silent or cheer on the mob we can assume one of three things: (a) they don't know what fire they're playing with, (b) it's what they want, (c) or — for the sake of ideology — they're willing to risk it.

my concern is this... if the threat of violence turns to actual violence, it could not only spread like an out-of-control fire tearing through sagebrush and scrub in a high wind, the kind we see all too often here in the high desert, it could also require an armed, national response to put it down, and where will that leave us...? for those of us who squirmed through eight years of the bush regime's toying with dictatorial powers, sidestepping the posse comitatus law, and carrying out the arrest and indefinite detention of american citizens, this development is, under a democratic president amazingly enough, even more alarming...

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