Someone with the Republican National Committee got a little bit careless down in Florida recently. He – or she – left behind a presentation during a fundraising retreat at a Boca Grande hotel that basically confirmed what many people already know.
The RNC, it seems, believes its best bet for stirring up voters is by stirring up fears of the black man in the White House.
According to Politico, the 72-page presentation lays out a strategy to scare people into believing that President Barack Obama is moving the country toward socialism. It is filled with cartoonish images of President Obama as the Joker, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as Cruella DeVille and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as … Scooby Doo?
What’s that all about?
And, in a stroke designed to tap into paranoia more than passion, it describes the small donors that the RNC is aiming at as being motivated by “fear,” “extreme negative feelings toward existing Administration,” and “Reactionary.”
They forgot to add “racism.”
Then again, I guess they didn’t need to. Fear is kind of a proxy for that. And the Republicans are banking on riding the ridiculousness that comes with fear to victory this fall.
How else does one explain Liz Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, whose organization recently resorted to attacking the patriotism of Justice Department officials who formerly represented terrorist detainees?
As if people don’t understand – or at least, ought to understand – that ensuring that all defendants have an adequate defense is a principle as old as the Constitution that Cheney and the Tea Partiers have discovered a newfound affinity for?
How else does one explain Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, who constantly tells outlandish, verifiable lies designed to vilify Obama?
One of the GOP congresswoman’s lies, according to Politifact.com, was one in which she claimed that the last time swine flu broke out, it was under another Democratic president, Jimmy Carter.
Apparently Bachmann, in her typical wing-nutty way, was trying to imply that the election of Obama had brought a plague upon the land. No matter that when swine flu broke out in 1976, Gerald Ford, a Republican, was president.
Politifact rated that statement as a Pants-on-Fire lie – as well as three other statements out of eight that it rated.
The other four were simply rated false.
And how else do you explain conservative talk show host Glenn Beck, who, among other things, once claimed that Obama’s director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy proposed forcing abortions and putting sterilants in the drinking water to control population?
That too, was rated as a Pants-on-Fire lie.
The explanation for Liz Cheney and her father, as well as Bachmann and Beck, is woven in the GOP strategy that someone left behind in Boca Grande. Make Obama scary. Make him look psychotic and cartoonish, and intertwine his image with fears of disease, death and dictatorship.
And hope that his blackness and otherness invokes more skepticism than their claims.
Unfortunately, that strategy might work for the some of the small donors that the RNC is trying to reach. Some of the large GOP donors, however, are already appalled – the strategy suggests that they can be reached by appeals to their egotism – and are distancing themselves from it.
Good for them.
But the Democrats ought to see an opportunity in that leaked document – an opportunity to craft a strategy to persuade voters who may be leaning Republican to feel insulted instead of wooed by the RNC’s plan.
They ought to find a way to appeal to people’s pride; to get them to feel offended that …..