Astroturf fantasies

The left has a fine old time portraying conservative "Birthers" as conspiracy nuts.

Perhaps it's time they looked to their own to debunk the outrageous conspiracy theories being pushed not by fringe elements of the Democratic party, but by the president himself and congressional Democratic leaders.

This was sent by the White House to its millions of cultists:

There's been a lot of media coverage about organized mobs intimidating lawmakers, disrupting town halls, and silencing real discussion about the need for real health insurance reform.

The truth is, it's a sham. These "grassroots protests" are being organized and largely paid for by Washington special interests and insurance companies who are desperate to block reform. They're trying to use lies and fear to break the President and his agenda for change.

"Organized and largely paid for by Washington special interests and insurance companies?" Sounds pretty bad, doesn't it? Those evil big businessmen manipulating the press with fake stories of citizen outrage, right?

Well, liberal blogs like TPM Muckraker and Think Progress found a "smoking gun" memo that did indeed, seem to instruct demonstrators to "shout down" their opponents and engage on all kinds of  thuggery.

The memo flashed across the lefty blogosphere and was held up triumphantly as proof of the conspiracy.

Too bad for them that it proved to be something of a joke. Mary Katherine Ham at the Weekly Standard reveals that the "smoking gun" is a great big dud:

Right Principles PAC was formed by Bob MacGuffie and four friends in 2008, and has taken in a whopping $5,017 and disbursed $1,777, according to its FEC filing.

"We're just trying to shake this state up and make a difference up here," MacGuffie told me during a telephone interview. He's surprised at his elevation to national rabble-rouser by the Left.

Right Principles has a Facebook group with 23 members and a Twitter account with five followers. MacGuffie describes himself as an "opponent of leftist thinking in America," and told me he's "never pulled a lever" for a Republican or Democrat on a federal level. Yet this Connecticut libertarian's influence over a national, orchestrated Republican health-care push-back is strong, indeed, if you listen to liberal pundits and the Democratic National Committee, who have crafted a nefarious web out of refutable evidence.

Think Progress highlighted his memo's directives to "‘Yell,' ‘Stand Up And Shout Out,' ‘Rattle Him'," calling it a "right-wing harassment strategy against Dems." The blog falsely connected MacGuffie to the national conservative group FreedomWorks through the most tenuous of threads. The Think Progress link that purports to establish MacGuffie as a FreedomWorks "volunteer" leads to his one blog posting on a Tea Party website (on the free social networking site, ning.com). Think Progress calls Tea Party Patriots a "FreedomWorks website."

The problem is it's not a FreedomWorks site, according to FreedomWorks spokesman Adam Brandon. FreedomWorks is a "coalition partner" of TeaPartyPatriots.org, but does not fund the site in any way.

"There is no formal structural connection," Brandon told me. "Never has been. Never will be. We're just fellow travelers in the movement."

Sort of like the Birthers who presented a forged Kenyan birth certificate for Obama. In fact, while the memo was genuine, the people who put it out sent it to 8 people - most of them family members, probably. Perhaps the left wants to investigate this fellow's mother and see if she has ties to the insurance industry.

And this is the "proof" that all the demonstrations are nothing more than astroturfing?

The dishonesty has to stop. From calling their fellow citizens who show up at these town halls to voice their concerns about the massive change in health care a "mob," to Obama ordering his millions of minions to report on their fellow citizens if they observe them spreading "lies" about health care reform, the Democrats are exhibiting the classic signs of paranoia; exaggerating a threat, seeing threats where there are none, dividing the world into "us" and "them" where "them are perceived as the enemy - how much more paranoid can you get and not be committed to an asylum?

Perhaps next time the left smears all conservatives as crazy, they should look to their own for signs of mental illness.

Lance Fairchok adds:

In comments to a reporter yesterday, Nancy Pelosi accused town hall protesters of "carrying swastikas and symbols like that to a town meeting on healthcare," a clear insinuation that anyone who is concerned or angry with the healthcare legislation the Democrats are trying to shove down Americas throat is a fascist, fanatic or fool. Her outrageous and over-the-top comments are part of a Democrat smear campaign against the American people. All the talking heads have come out.
"The "shout downs" organized by the Republican right meet one of the classic definitions of "fascist" tactics--defined as using shouting and disruption to deprive the civil and respectful debate of ideas. There is literally no defense to these tactics."
 -
Lanny Davis, Democrat Strategist

Mr. Davis is even calling for investigations as the Democrats frantically try to paint all the embarrassing confrontations at Democrat town halls around the country as a Republican-choreographed smear campaign. Instructed to sell healthcare legislation in their districts during the recess, legislators hoped to use the town hall fora to convince and cajole voters to support socialized healthcare. But their constituents are not buying into the talking points. Just like the Tea Parties that received so much snarky press commentary a few months ago, the Democrats cannot help but fall back into the arrogant elitism that assumes the peasants are too stupid to do this on their own, so someone must be pulling their strings.

It is also a tactic to diminish and demean the opposition. It used to be called turnspeak, a term coined by journalists observing Nazi propaganda during the annexation of the Sudetenland in World War II. You simply accuse your opponent of what you are in fact doing. Political propaganda and sleight of hand has changed over the years, it has become more subtle in the information age, now we have new, more nuanced types of falsehood, this one is called astroturfing.

Democrats are masters of astroturfing, defined as concocting fake "grass roots" or "community action" issues and protests to establish legitimacy and influence the public. It involves bussing in ACORN and union stalwarts to fill the ranks at protests, even paying people to carry signs. They arrive in nice busses with pre-printed placards and scripts of what to chant and say to the press. Just like the Democrat-enabled Code Pink protesters at congressional hearings, Democrats do not like leaving anything to chance, so they stack the deck, as it were, even going so far as to hire paid activists.

If you go to lefty sites like the Daily Kos, the comments are raging spittle-flying diatribes about dark conspiracies and apocalyptic confrontations with the vile bible-believing gun-toting fascists. Some are as hysterical as they are histrionic. They must know at some level, despite the monumental hypocrisy and moral relativism that their accusations very accurately describe the tactics they have been using for decades. Visibly shaken Democrat politicians are unable to calm the angry taxpayers with the normal transparent promises and pandering. What to do; oh what to do?

"This mob, sent by the local Republican and Libertarian parties, did not come just to be heard, but to deny others the right to be heard. And this appears to be part of a coordinated, nationwide effort. What could be more appropriate for the ‘party of no' than having its stalwarts drowning out the voices of their neighbors by screaming "just say no!"
 -
Rep. Lloyd Doggett, (D) Texas

They came to be heard all right, you just did not want to listen. Representative Doggett is careful to follow the talking points in his indignation. It is inconceivable for him to acknowledge that this is a true grass roots movement, with everyday citizen showing up to express their dissatisfaction. His constituents taking him to task over the appalling legislation he supports is nothing but a Republican and Libertarian conspiracy! Before our Democrat politicians became ideologues and socialists, they were merely crooks and panderers who attempted to please everyone and maintain the status quo of power. At least then, they would have pretended to listen. For today's socialist democrat, alienating a majority of your district is a badge of leftist courage.

Democrats want us to believe that they are empowered by a grass roots movement of average and disadvantaged Americans who want "social justice," which translates into massive government involvement in the environment, healthcare and the economy. Framing the debate with the populist language of "have-nots" getting their due from the exploitive "haves," they tell the voter they are leveling the playing field, ensuring "fairness," and righting the wrongs of the past. It is one of many "chicken in every pot" promises that never seems to "right" anything, certainly not crime or poverty in Democrat controlled cities and states. The taxes and capital flight that accompany their enlightened governance never seem to deter those who believe their lies.

The Democrats always forget that America is still a middle-class conservative country, whose citizens still admire hard work, honesty and truthfulness, ideals not common in the Democrat ranks. Democrats lie to themselves, they lie to each other and they lie to the taxpayer. They make no sense; assume we are fools, stacking one falsehood on top of another. Americans are seeing that clearly now finally, and they are mad. They should be. When you look and America in the eye and lie, you deserve what you get.

A well-deserved comeuppance is on the way.



The left has a fine old time portraying conservative "Birthers" as conspiracy nuts.

Perhaps it's time they looked to their own to debunk the outrageous conspiracy theories being pushed not by fringe elements of the Democratic party, but by the president himself and congressional Democratic leaders.

This was sent by the White House to its millions of cultists:

There's been a lot of media coverage about organized mobs intimidating lawmakers, disrupting town halls, and silencing real discussion about the need for real health insurance reform.

The truth is, it's a sham. These "grassroots protests" are being organized and largely paid for by Washington special interests and insurance companies who are desperate to block reform. They're trying to use lies and fear to break the President and his agenda for change.

"Organized and largely paid for by Washington special interests and insurance companies?" Sounds pretty bad, doesn't it? Those evil big businessmen manipulating the press with fake stories of citizen outrage, right?

Well, liberal blogs like TPM Muckraker and Think Progress found a "smoking gun" memo that did indeed, seem to instruct demonstrators to "shout down" their opponents and engage on all kinds of  thuggery.

The memo flashed across the lefty blogosphere and was held up triumphantly as proof of the conspiracy.

Too bad for them that it proved to be something of a joke. Mary Katherine Ham at the Weekly Standard reveals that the "smoking gun" is a great big dud:

Right Principles PAC was formed by Bob MacGuffie and four friends in 2008, and has taken in a whopping $5,017 and disbursed $1,777, according to its FEC filing.

"We're just trying to shake this state up and make a difference up here," MacGuffie told me during a telephone interview. He's surprised at his elevation to national rabble-rouser by the Left.

Right Principles has a Facebook group with 23 members and a Twitter account with five followers. MacGuffie describes himself as an "opponent of leftist thinking in America," and told me he's "never pulled a lever" for a Republican or Democrat on a federal level. Yet this Connecticut libertarian's influence over a national, orchestrated Republican health-care push-back is strong, indeed, if you listen to liberal pundits and the Democratic National Committee, who have crafted a nefarious web out of refutable evidence.

Think Progress highlighted his memo's directives to "‘Yell,' ‘Stand Up And Shout Out,' ‘Rattle Him'," calling it a "right-wing harassment strategy against Dems." The blog falsely connected MacGuffie to the national conservative group FreedomWorks through the most tenuous of threads. The Think Progress link that purports to establish MacGuffie as a FreedomWorks "volunteer" leads to his one blog posting on a Tea Party website (on the free social networking site, ning.com). Think Progress calls Tea Party Patriots a "FreedomWorks website."

The problem is it's not a FreedomWorks site, according to FreedomWorks spokesman Adam Brandon. FreedomWorks is a "coalition partner" of TeaPartyPatriots.org, but does not fund the site in any way.

"There is no formal structural connection," Brandon told me. "Never has been. Never will be. We're just fellow travelers in the movement."

Sort of like the Birthers who presented a forged Kenyan birth certificate for Obama. In fact, while the memo was genuine, the people who put it out sent it to 8 people - most of them family members, probably. Perhaps the left wants to investigate this fellow's mother and see if she has ties to the insurance industry.

And this is the "proof" that all the demonstrations are nothing more than astroturfing?

The dishonesty has to stop. From calling their fellow citizens who show up at these town halls to voice their concerns about the massive change in health care a "mob," to Obama ordering his millions of minions to report on their fellow citizens if they observe them spreading "lies" about health care reform, the Democrats are exhibiting the classic signs of paranoia; exaggerating a threat, seeing threats where there are none, dividing the world into "us" and "them" where "them are perceived as the enemy - how much more paranoid can you get and not be committed to an asylum?

Perhaps next time the left smears all conservatives as crazy, they should look to their own for signs of mental illness.

Lance Fairchok adds:

In comments to a reporter yesterday, Nancy Pelosi accused town hall protesters of "carrying swastikas and symbols like that to a town meeting on healthcare," a clear insinuation that anyone who is concerned or angry with the healthcare legislation the Democrats are trying to shove down Americas throat is a fascist, fanatic or fool. Her outrageous and over-the-top comments are part of a Democrat smear campaign against the American people. All the talking heads have come out.
"The "shout downs" organized by the Republican right meet one of the classic definitions of "fascist" tactics--defined as using shouting and disruption to deprive the civil and respectful debate of ideas. There is literally no defense to these tactics."
 -
Lanny Davis, Democrat Strategist

Mr. Davis is even calling for investigations as the Democrats frantically try to paint all the embarrassing confrontations at Democrat town halls around the country as a Republican-choreographed smear campaign. Instructed to sell healthcare legislation in their districts during the recess, legislators hoped to use the town hall fora to convince and cajole voters to support socialized healthcare. But their constituents are not buying into the talking points. Just like the Tea Parties that received so much snarky press commentary a few months ago, the Democrats cannot help but fall back into the arrogant elitism that assumes the peasants are too stupid to do this on their own, so someone must be pulling their strings.

It is also a tactic to diminish and demean the opposition. It used to be called turnspeak, a term coined by journalists observing Nazi propaganda during the annexation of the Sudetenland in World War II. You simply accuse your opponent of what you are in fact doing. Political propaganda and sleight of hand has changed over the years, it has become more subtle in the information age, now we have new, more nuanced types of falsehood, this one is called astroturfing.

Democrats are masters of astroturfing, defined as concocting fake "grass roots" or "community action" issues and protests to establish legitimacy and influence the public. It involves bussing in ACORN and union stalwarts to fill the ranks at protests, even paying people to carry signs. They arrive in nice busses with pre-printed placards and scripts of what to chant and say to the press. Just like the Democrat-enabled Code Pink protesters at congressional hearings, Democrats do not like leaving anything to chance, so they stack the deck, as it were, even going so far as to hire paid activists.

If you go to lefty sites like the Daily Kos, the comments are raging spittle-flying diatribes about dark conspiracies and apocalyptic confrontations with the vile bible-believing gun-toting fascists. Some are as hysterical as they are histrionic. They must know at some level, despite the monumental hypocrisy and moral relativism that their accusations very accurately describe the tactics they have been using for decades. Visibly shaken Democrat politicians are unable to calm the angry taxpayers with the normal transparent promises and pandering. What to do; oh what to do?

"This mob, sent by the local Republican and Libertarian parties, did not come just to be heard, but to deny others the right to be heard. And this appears to be part of a coordinated, nationwide effort. What could be more appropriate for the ‘party of no' than having its stalwarts drowning out the voices of their neighbors by screaming "just say no!"
 -
Rep. Lloyd Doggett, (D) Texas

They came to be heard all right, you just did not want to listen. Representative Doggett is careful to follow the talking points in his indignation. It is inconceivable for him to acknowledge that this is a true grass roots movement, with everyday citizen showing up to express their dissatisfaction. His constituents taking him to task over the appalling legislation he supports is nothing but a Republican and Libertarian conspiracy! Before our Democrat politicians became ideologues and socialists, they were merely crooks and panderers who attempted to please everyone and maintain the status quo of power. At least then, they would have pretended to listen. For today's socialist democrat, alienating a majority of your district is a badge of leftist courage.

Democrats want us to believe that they are empowered by a grass roots movement of average and disadvantaged Americans who want "social justice," which translates into massive government involvement in the environment, healthcare and the economy. Framing the debate with the populist language of "have-nots" getting their due from the exploitive "haves," they tell the voter they are leveling the playing field, ensuring "fairness," and righting the wrongs of the past. It is one of many "chicken in every pot" promises that never seems to "right" anything, certainly not crime or poverty in Democrat controlled cities and states. The taxes and capital flight that accompany their enlightened governance never seem to deter those who believe their lies.

The Democrats always forget that America is still a middle-class conservative country, whose citizens still admire hard work, honesty and truthfulness, ideals not common in the Democrat ranks. Democrats lie to themselves, they lie to each other and they lie to the taxpayer. They make no sense; assume we are fools, stacking one falsehood on top of another. Americans are seeing that clearly now finally, and they are mad. They should be. When you look and America in the eye and lie, you deserve what you get.

A well-deserved comeuppance is on the way.