Saturday, January 29, 2022

Weekend reading - the RW are the REAL affrimative action cases. Dems must break the Bubble of BS

With the inevitable whining that we'll hear from GOPs about how President Biden is going to live up to his promise of putting the first Black woman on the Supreme Court, let's not forget who really gets the breaks in these times.

This tweet sums up one of the more infuritating things of the last few years, which turned an already annoying trend into hyperdrive.

And boy have we seen that in Wisconsin, most notably in the increasingly absurd (and expensive) Gableman investigation.

Assembly Republicans last summer hired former state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman to look into the election. His work is expected to cost taxpayers $676,000....

[Speaker's Office attorney Steven] Fawcett's testimony came in one case that has centered on whether Vos did enough to identify records that were responsive to some of the group's requests. American Oversight has asked Bailey-Rihn to hold Vos in contempt of court for how he handled the requests.

In more than two hours of testimony, Fawcett acknowledged he had not initially asked Gableman to search his records in response to requests from American Oversight. In addition to the shoddy record-keeping of both communications and expenses, Robbin' Vos' attorney admitted that he wasn't doing much to follow up on making sure whether Gableman was doing the taxpayer-funded work that he was contracted to do.
Gableman's initial contract with the Assembly requires him to keep a weekly report of the findings of his review. Gableman publicly released a report in November but has never made available any weekly reports...

The judge expressed surprise that Fawcett does not know whether Gableman is producing those reports given that the contract names Fawcett as the "point of contact" between Gableman and the Assembly.

You tax dollars at work under the "fiscal watchdogs" at the Republican Party.

But when you're not held accountable for such incompetence and scumbaggery, there's no incentive for you to stop it. And a big part of that is the Bubble of BS that is built from the RW disinformation and propaganda complex that pollutes cable TV, AM radio, and the Internet. Which is how the Big Lie still festers today, to the point that retiring GOP State Senator Kathy Bernier says "conspiracy theorists have taken over the party" in Wisconsin.

Too many Dems still seem to be stuck in a 20th Century mentality of "let reason the System win out over time" instead of actively fighting the 21st Century propaganda war that we are in. This article came out last month, but we re-brought to my attention this week via social media, and hits it right on the head.

The article features an interview with Matthew Sheffield, who founded the anti-liberal Website Newsbusters in the early 2000s, but now has backed away from much of RW World as their media world view grew darker. Sheffield talks about how the Human Centipede of GOPWorld operates, and how Dems still haven't caught on as to how to properly respond in these times.
When the right has problems, it gravitates toward tactical modification, not policy modification. Instead of changing the policy ideas they want, Republicans focus on how to better engage their base of voters. Democrats seem to think the public is more aware of their policy ideas than it actually is. This is likely a function of most left-leaning economic and social policies being more popular.

When polling showed weak support for the Republican tax cut bill, they passed it anyway. This was the story of most of Donald Trump’s administration. They’d come up with ideas and then just do them. By contrast, with Joe Biden, Democrats seem to be focusing their efforts on policies they see as popular. This is an obsolete approach.

Instead of focusing on how to alter larger political dynamics, as Republicans do, Democrats suppose that passing popular legislation, and spending nothing to market it, will prove beneficial. It hasn’t. People aren’t aware of what’s in the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
Republicans are all about marketing and use their media to test their messages. It doesn't matter to them if what they say is easily-provable BS and is destructive to the state/country, as long as it works with enough voters.

While socially it is a good thing that Dems respect voters enough not to outright lie to them, they don't make Republicans pay a price for being such amoral, lying scum. And far too often, they trust voters too much, expecting them to pay attention to issues and nuance when most people simply don't have the time or interest to do so. While Patrick Marley and a few others in Wisconsin media have done a good job calling out the wasteful sham "investigation" that Gableman and WisGOP are doing Sheffield notes that it is a rarity that "regular" media will actually hold GOPs to account for their BS.

But Dems still often pass off the duty of exposing those shenanigans to a mainstream media that doesn't want to tell the full truth. Sheffield says that passive approach by Dems and belief in "governance over politics" (especially in DC) means that the voters who decide elections often don't hear Dem messages and attacks on Republican awfulness until it is close to elections - a point at which many casual people tune out everything political.
[Sheffield:] The mainstream press is interested in “filling the news hole” more than anything else. The profusion of elite journalists who withheld critical information about Donald Trump to make money selling books has demonstrated that media elites are not interested in public service.

Elections are decided by both swing voters and by casual party loyalists, that is, people who are more against the opposition rather than in favor of the party for which they vote. For all the focus in DC on physical infrastructure by Democrats, they have spent almost nothing on creating an infrastructure of democracy. You have to go where the people are and to explain yourself. Flushing millions of dollars down the TV ad toilet is not explaining yourself.
And no, knocking on doors in the sticks and giving a friendly smile isn't going to counteract the constant barrage of GOP BS that many WIsconsinites are subjected to every day. Dems need to be blasting out billboards, radio ads, digital communications and mailings that remind people of the clownery and repressive garbage WisGOPs are pushing on a daily basis.

This tweet should be turned into billboards and pamphlets all over Wisconsin suburbs.

Dems should follow those anti-GOP messages with targeted, positive ones to casual voters, which state that they are only ones that care about whether policies work, and are the only ones trying to change the failing status quo into something that actually helps communities and everyday people. None of this needs to go to Dem primary voters, who generally know better already.

We also can flip "divide and conquer" and the culture war, portraying the GOPs as whiny book banners - weak people who can't deal with the reality of the 2020s, don't want Wisconsin to compete and excel in the modern world, and don't have the ideas to win in a fair fight.

You got 8 months, Dems. GET TO WORK NOW. Make Wisconsinites know who the bad guys are, and what they're doing.

Fight the war, fuck the norm
Now I got no patience
So sick of complacence

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