I find this utterly preposterous and very frightening at the same time. It is beyond my comprehension to think that Mitt and his team truly believe that continually taking President Obama out of context and making political commercials using those out of context clips is a winning strategy. But what frightens me is that this tactic might actually be working. Mitt is counting on never being asked to explain this, that Fox News will always have his back, and that if some reporter does find a way to ask about this ridiculous approach, Mitt will just ignore the question or else pretend that this is a perfectly valid tactic. “What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, my friend.” As if that explains anything.
I was going to write a post about this subject today, but of course, someone much higher in the food chain who writes much more thorough and succinct posts that I beat me to the punch. From Crooks and Liars:
As we discussed last week, at this point in the race, Republicans aren't just occasionally taking Obama quotes out of context; they're actually building their entire 2012 campaign strategy around sentiments the president didn't actually say. I've honestly never seen anything like it.Let's start a running count:
1. The Romney campaign took Obama out of context in its very first television ad of the race.
2. When the president told business leaders that U.S. policymakers have been "a little bit lazy" when it comes to attracting businesses to American soil, Republicans took that out of context and launched a series of attacks.
3. When Obama said private-sector job growth is "fine" relative to the public sector, Republicans took that out of context,
4. Obama said public institutions help businesses succeed, and Republicans continue to take that out of context.
And 5. Obama said Clinton's tax policies were better than Bush's, which the RNC is taking out of context.
Remember, in theory, none of this should be necessary. If the president were the radical leftist his attackers make him out to be, Republicans wouldn't have to resort to cheap garbage like this. They'd be able to use real Obama quotes and real Obama policies.Instead, we're left with ridiculous tactics that treat voters like idiots.
It’s a great read. Go look at the entire thing, including clicking through the links.
Again, in normal times, I should think that a major campaign tactic like this would be laughed out of the court of public opinion and ridiculed in every major news outlet in the country. Just think if John Kerry or Al Gore had tried something like this.
But these are not normal times. Nope, they are not.
First of all, a vast majority of the voting population has already made up their minds about how to vote. On the right, we have people who are willing to believe anything at all about President Obama, Democrats, and liberals in general as long as it reinforces their preconceived notions that are already carved out of bedrock. Obama is a Muslim socialist who hates America and is just itching to take people’s guns away. Democrats are evil and want to give MY hard earned tax money to blah people. They will absolutely love this kind of attack. They will just lap it up. “Look! This validates everything I believe about Obama!” This is the same bunch of people who believe that a top advisor to Secretary Hillary Clinton is a covert agent of the Muslim Brotherhood. It seems as if no one in the right mind would believe something like that, but it is treated like gold by 30% of this country.
I just do not understand how this can happen. How could we, as a nation, be that stupid, so unwilling to see the actual truth behind some terribly, terribly obvious lies?
And what’s doubly amazing about this is that Romney apparently lies every time he opens his mouth, or else he goes and insults most of England the day before the opening of their Olympic Games for which they have been preparing for seven years.
What has happened to logic and reason in this country? Or even fair play? I understand that politics is a bloody knuckle kind of affair, but isn’t continually taking your opponent out of context every week, especially when it is completely obvious what President Obama was saying when you look at the entire clip, pretty much out of bounds if for no other reason than respect for basic dignity (including your own)? This has moved way past normal propaganda and fear mongering (e.g., the Daisy ad from the Lyndon Johnson campaign) into uncharted waters.
I want to know when conservatives will move on from taking complete sentences out of context and just splicing together words that would make Obama sound completely unhinged.
But what is absolutely the killer for me here is that George Romney provides ample ammunition for attack ads against him almost on a daily basis, without any need for deceptive editing whatsoever. The man is a walking gaff machine. Oh, he certainly comes off as more sophisticated and polished than someone like Dan Quayle (p-o-t-a-t-o-e), but what comes out of his mouth is just about as nonsensical.
And all of this is going on before the political conventions. The next four months are going to be hell. I am not sure how a rational, thinking human being is going to make it out of this unscathed.