The last 2 weeks’ worth of discussion around discourse hasn’t paid much attention to the fact of The Big Lie. The Big Lie is what has defined Republican politics for decades, but never has it been as sharply deployed as it has in the past two years. Never. And never have I been more astounded by the intentional willingness of mainstream media sources to ignore it as I have over these past two years.
Compare and contrast these two statements surrounding the Big Lie, one from digby in response to Jon Stewart’s rant about Rep. Steve Cohen daring to call the Big Lies out and put them on the record, and one from the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent expressing wonderment over how the Big Lie has worked politically for conservatives:
In August of 2009, polls showed that nearly half of all Americans believed the health care reforms included these Death Panels. A year later, nearly half of seniors still believed it or weren’t sure.
If that isn’t The Big Lie at work in our time, in living color, I don’t know what is. I’m sorry the term was coined by Nazis, but that’s an inconvenient fact for those who use the technique. It was coined by the Nazis, they did use it to convince the people that Jews were the reason for all their problems. These are just the facts. When you reference the Big Lie you reference the Nazis, whether or not you use the term or say the “H” word or bring up Goebbels. You can leave those out, but it doesn’t change the fact that this is a Nazi propaganda technique .
2. Greg Sargent
What McConnell was really saying here is that if any Republicans signed on to Obama’s proposals, it risked suggesting to the American people that Obama’s governing approach was moderate or even somewhat centrist — something that could command some agreement. By contrast, when no Republicans signed on to Obama’s proposals it made it far easier for them to paint Obama’s agenda as ideologically off the rails to the left, which is exactly what they did.
If no Republicans were willing to sign on to Obama’s proposals, that had to indicate that something was seriously amiss and that there was cause for real alarm about the overreaching nature of his agenda, right? And judging by the outcome of the midterms, this strategy worked.
Should digby even have to defend calling something a Big Lie? Are we so afraid of Nazi references we’re afraid to call Nazi techniques what they are? And on the other side, we have a writer/blogger published on the Washington Post applauding the effectiveness of the Big Lie strategy.
If ever there were two statements that indicted the state of our corporate media today, these two qualify. Identify the Big Lie as a Big Lie and Jon Stewart takes you to the woodshed for being hyperbolic. Tell the Big Lie for strategic political gain and it’s called “brilliant political strategy”.
Nothing illustrates the principles at work here more clearly than Rep. Paul Broun’s claim that President Obama spews venom and so Republicans and Democrats should not sit together at the State of the Union address. Remember, part of the Big Lie that Sargent applauds is the ideological divide that doesn’t exist but is created by standing in unified opposition against Democrats in order to signal to observers how “radical” Democrats are. And yet, the question lingers: Who spews venom, again?
On Thursday, Georgia Republican Congressman Paul Broun insisted he would not sit with Democrats during next week’s State of the Union address when “Barack Obama spews his venom.” That’s quite a charge, coming as it does from a man who equated health care reform to the “War of Yankee Aggression”, compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler and Karl Marx, and warned Democrats would declare martial law.
See how that works?
- For Julie Amero, this message: There’s still light
- Right on cue, a perfect example of the Big Lie