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Cuban Crisis! Remember 9/11! Hang Judge Cudahy! A Humorous Analysis of This Week's GOP Propaganda Ploys

By Cheryl Seal

Here's an alert on the latest doings in the "Bull Pen" (as in Bullshit that comes from the pens of rightwing politicians). As the Bush administrations and its wasp's nest of drone-like minions in the GOP begin to feel cornered, they have come out stinging, figthing back with their most creative efforts. Fortunately for us, their most creative efforts are pretty darn sorry, and as transparent as Ari Fleischer's horn-rims.


As their first line of attack, the GOP "think tanks" (yeah, their thinking tanks, alright!) reached back to the early 1960s for inspiriation ("Hey, y'all! Whaddya say we attack Cuba?") The ploy here, of course, was a three-pronged strategy, which has backfired, turning into an embarrassing pitchfork that is currently jabbing White House butt in a most undignified manner.

Prong one: Shove Enron, Afghanistan, Israel, and everything else on the growing list of Bush administration debacles off page one and replace it with CASTRO THREATENS WORLD WITH GERM WARFARE!!!! Trouble is, long about now, few people believe any of the vague unsubstantiated threats emanating from the White House - especially those delivered first over lunch at the Heritage Foundation!

Prong 2: Set Jimmy Carter up for embarrassment while in Cuba, thereby casting dark doubts over the Democratic party. This ploy also went belly-up as Carter - despite Bush's best efforts to torpedo him with his bogus "germ warfare alerts" - came off as an honest, uncompromising elder statesman. Bush's coming attendance at an anti-Cuba rally in Florida will make Carter look even more heroic and Bush more like a weasel! Afterall, here on one hand we have Carter hailed as a statesman and masterful diplomat, backed by a bipartisan coalition of Congressfolks hoping to expand trade with Cuba and thereby open the doors peacefully to democracy. On the other, we have Bush, pitching Cold War babble to an easily-stirred faction, thereby undermining his own administration's purported efforts, while aiding big corporations (who stand to gain more by simply SEIZING Cuba's resources, rather than trading with the country). And the entire performance is being staged under the protection of big brother Jebby's vulture-like wing. The only thing Bush will prove by this routine is that, as ever, he has eyes only for prospective voters, corporate cash, and his own navel.

Prong 3: Exploit a trumped-up "Cuban Crisis" as a way to easily hook and reel in Hispanic voters. Again, the GOP's stereotypical, two-dimensional thinking will backfire. Hispanic voters are not, as the GOP seems to think, a mindless ethnic herd that can be sent thundering off in any direction in response to a few simple-minded ploys. Bush figures that all he's got to do is throw out a few words in Spanish, dangle possible amnesty before refugee workers for a month or two (before reniging), trot out pictures of the phony Crawford ranch with phony cowboy Bush babbling about the cows he doesn't own and the horses he doesn't know how to ride, make a few appointments of Hispanics (whether they are appropriate for the job or not!), and attend an anti-Castro rally or two and voila - ya got the Hispanics behind ya! If Mexico's Fox's present growing disillusionment and disgust with Bush is any indication at all, Bush is losing more Hispanic friends by far than he's gaining. Though his posturing in Florida may win over a few hardline rightwing anti-Castro folks, it will turn off thousands upon thousands.


There is growing evidence - growing hourly, in fact! - that Karen Hughes really WAS the brains behind the White House (what little there was lying around anyway!). Bush's Hughes-less moves this past week have been about his most glaringly idiotic yet in terms of PR strategy. As a cringe-inspiring case-in-point, the two-pronged 9/11 scheme he acted out this past week has turned out to be less like a classic pincer move and more like classic comedy - the two fingers Moe uses to poke Curly Joe in the eyes! Here's how it worked:

Prong one: Release photos of the "heroic leader" peering pensively out the window of the plane in the early hours of the 9/11 crisis. The idea here, was both a preemptory strike and a reminder to the public. The preemptory strike is against the very real possibility that as more information on 9/11 emerges, the question will return: WHY WAS BUSH OUT OF ALL CONTACT WITH AMERICA FOR SO MANY HOURS? The photo attempts to put a pre-spin on this issue. But all it has suceeded in doing is raising new questions in some people while cementing negative opinion in the minds of others. The "reminder" to the public Bush offers through these photos is pitiful. What it says, loud and clear, is that this is a president so weak and without real achievements that he is already resorting to trying to remind people of a disaster that he exploited shamelessly to make himself momentarily look bigger than he really is."

Prong 2: Release a statement saying that the White House TRIED to warn the FBI and thus were conscientious leaders whose warnings fell on deaf ears. But think about it!!! If Bush were innocent of 9/11 complicity in any way, why on God's green Earth would he WAIT until the shit was starting to hit the fan to mention this little bit of info? C'mon! Give us a break! This is a classic strategy used by corporations all the time when they come under fire:When you KNOW you are guilty of something really big, admit to a lesser "crime" and thereby draw off the heat from the bigger, more dangerous issue. In fact, this is the same tactic Ken Lay and his pals are trying to use! Maybe he offered his old buddy Bush another tip! In any case, who in their right mind would buy this lame ploy, timed so obviously to hit the papers the same week as the even lamer photos.


Go up onto the webpage of the Dishonorable E. James Sensenbrenner this week and you will find, under "latest news," two press releases - both dated May 15. One announces the signing of the so-called "NO FEAR" Civil Rights Bill, the other announces Sensenbrenner's intention to drag up the Lewinsky case all over again. Sensenbrenner is being used as the "match man" by the GOP - i.e., his job is to try to relight the Clinton case. Why Sensenbrenner? All part of a shabby two-pronged "evasive maneuver." In fact, it's so evasive that it will evade achieving what the GOP hopes it will achieve - tearing the Democrats, via Clinton, down, while building the GOP up through one highly inflated civil rights bill. Here's how it was supposed to work:

Prong One: Sensenbrenner is touted as one of the Congressfolk who pushed through a piece of progressive civil rights legislation. In fact, on Sensenbrenner's site, the heading of the press release about this bill reads: "The First New Civil Rights Law of the 21st Century." And this is something to BRAG about? Afterall, this bill and others like it should have been passed LONG before the 21st century and most likely would have if Repugs like Sensenbrenner hadn't dragged their feet every step of the way until it became politically expedient to do otherwise! In fact, the only reason this law was even introduced at all by the Republican controlled House is because complaints from INSIDE government agencies like the EPA about intolerance, harassment, discrimination and retaliation had reached such a critical and embarrassing boiling point that action was unavoidable. To read the title of the bill and the press blurbs, you'd think it was some sort of huge Martin Luther Kingesque breakthrough. All it is, in fact, is a requirement that federal agencies pay for discrimination lawsuits out of their own budgets and not a general slush fund, as a way to discourage discrimination.

Prong Two: Rekindle the Clinton scandal. So after over a year of wrangling, the grandiosely named "NO FEAR" civil rights bill is FINALLY signed the same day Sensenbrenner decides to reactivate the Lewinsky witch hunt by going after Judge Cudahy - the person who blew the whistle on GOP impending efforts through Robert Ray to empanel a grand jury in the Clinton case and thereby try to sabotage Gore's candidacy. Sensenbrenner expresses outrage that Cudahy made Robert Ray look bad (hey - making Ray look GOOD would be a much tougher task!), but remains amusingly silent on the outrageousness of the GOP's failed efforts to make Gore look bad! But, in any case, the GOP's interest in the NO FEAR bill amounts to tossing the public a bone so the party can scoop up a little positive PR that will smokescreen their real political objectives - to tear down the party that has, in the past hundred years, done the MOST for civil rights!