June 25, 2004

The VRWC Hates and Fears Farhenheit 911

It is evident that the right wing is very bothered by Michael Moore's latest film because they understand how effective it can be. If there is one area the VRWC has spent time on, it is in how to sell product. They know how powerful and effective images and stories are in shaping public opinion. (And Bush's Mission Accomplished, flyboy photo-op was a very carefully planned image plus story designed to seal the next election.) The rightwing has spend enormous effort to use advertising to "sell" the Republican worldview and to sell their selected "great leader", George W Bush, (the "strong, capable, bold, and optimistic leader") who they think should be given all deferrence due a dictator (oops, make that a wartime president that shouldn't be constrained from doing whatever he deems necessary to protect the homeland including putting aside laws he doesn't agree with).

The propaganda that the Bush crew used to sell the Iraq war showed that images and stories can make large numbers of people back their justifications even when there is no real basis anchoring the "story" to reality. This week we've seen how actively the Bush regime will work to maintain their worldview (Saddam was in cahoots with bin Laden) even if there is not the slightest trace of evidence to support this assertion. The Bushies know they must keep this particular belief engrained in the public because if the public ever realizes that this was a BIG lie and they were royally conned, the Bush regime will be out so fast their head will be spinning.

For a very long time, many of us were horrified that nothing seemed to affect Bush's approval numbers, even though it was so obvious that Bush was a terrible leader. The problem for the anti-Bushes was that many people were stuck in Bush's worldview and new information was creating a tremendous problem of cognitive dissonance. Many Americans signed up to Bush's worldview (Iraq is responsible for terrorism AND the only way to deal with terrorism is through massive and lethal strikes). And for months, indeed years, the polls showed that the majority of Americans believed that Bush was very good at dealing with terrorism and they were inclined to support him in whatever he said or did. This was a terribly frustrating time for people who realized Bush was a TERRIBLE leader and could only be relied on making things worse because nothing seemed to shake this inherent belief that Bush was a strong leader on terrorism.

Today, things are starting to get dicey for the Repubs because it is clear that more and more people are starting to see what a colossial error Bush made with his elective war on Iraq which redirected the energy and focus needed to address the real problems of terrorism. If people start to believe that Bush screwed up bigtime, nothing will save him, not even the Supreme Court.

So Michael Moore's shot across the bow is a huge problem for the Bushies. First of all, he is using the truth to back up his assertions (unlike the Bushies who have to back up their assertions with outright lies). Second, he has a compelling story that destroys the Bush story. Third, Moore, an incredibly gifted film maker, is better than they are at using images and stories to create a compelling and integrated story -- this will show the Bush story (aka: strong, bold, optimistic leader) as the piece of crap it always was. The right wing believed that they could create the "leader" they needed in Bush. (Looks good in a suit. Knows how to collect money from the Patriots. Is charming - see how he spins foreign leaders with his nicknames and barbeques at the ranch.)

They had so much arrogance that they thought we would buy Bush the leader story forever. Too bad reality interrupted their fantasy. It took an incredible arrogance to believe that they could take a third-rate "every man" and pass him off as a "strong, capable, optimistic" leader and no one would notice. Kudos to Michael Moore because he can break through the fog of lies that the Bush regime spun to justify their massive power grab.

Posted by Mary at June 25, 2004 03:43 PM | Media | Technorati links |

I think the Republicans would have been better off to ignore the Moore film, I don't think the film would have had much of an impact on the "cognitive dissonance" crowd. Now they have given the film all sorts of geat PR and media exsposure and more people will go see it than would have.

Cornered rats do stupid things.

Posted by: Ron In Portland at June 25, 2004 05:11 PM

After reading this about how the Naderites are being used by the Repugs, I have to believe that Bush supporters are not the only ones suffering from "cognitive dissonance", the Nader supporters are as well.

Posted by: Ron In Portland at June 25, 2004 06:44 PM

Hateful, scared, angry people... shouldn't be running countries, especially countries with nuclear megatonnage as part of their arsenals.

Posted by: Darryl Pearce at June 25, 2004 07:04 PM

I think it would be fun to take that film tribute to the heroes of the White House that came out about a year ago (?DC 9/11?) and intercut the exciting scenes of George et al. being heroic and all with actual footage, testimony, documented statements and what-have-you showing what this collection of incompetents were actually doing on September 11, 2001. Split screen, anyone?

Posted by: VKW at June 25, 2004 08:40 PM

Shot across the bow? Hardly! I just saw the film late this afternoon... it's no shot across the bow; it has a guidance system taking its message straight at the good ship George W. Bush.

And yes, Moore has given us a powerful setting of an already well-documented story. The Bushies are right to fear this movie. Now if only we could get undecided voters to view it...

Posted by: Steve Bates at June 26, 2004 05:16 AM

Considering the packed houses this movie is playing to, and the Passion level controversy, I think a lot of people will go to see it out of curiousity that might otherwise have not bothered. Inevitably, when a lot of people go to see something, lots of others want to find out what all the fuss is about.

And that bit with Wolfowitz in the beginning was *disgusting*. I mean, I'd heard it described, but, eeeeewww. No one who sees this is ever again going to be able to look at the guy without the term 'spit-shine' coming to mind.

Posted by: natasha at June 26, 2004 07:29 PM

Look up the Filipino American war. Arthur MacArthur was made the Military Governor of the Philippines, and the Army killed all males over nine years old.
Are we going to liberate Iraq the same way we did the Philippines?

Posted by: Dr. Phil at June 28, 2004 01:39 AM