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April 23, 2008 2:15 PM

Karl Rove's demographic Ginsu

Posted by Lance Dickie

Poor Hillary Clinton. She wins the Pennsylvania primary by 10 points, and her double-digit victory is sliced and diced into the oddest political sociology lesson. Not a word about policy, but more name, age and gender information than a marketing manual.
Karl Rove mastered the art of mincing the electorate into digestible bits. Democrats, please note, he is now unemployed and his former boss is widely considered to be irrelevant, incompetent and immaterial. Except, of course, for two wars that rage, an economy circling the drain, a shriveling national currency and a long list of ignored domestic problems.
Voters beware.

The more Democrats embrace Rove's campaign cutlery, the less any candidate will make the mistake of talking about real issues: the war, the economy, health care and environmental stewardship.
Let's all believe Pennsylvania was the wretched exception. Indiana is a fresh start, where Hillary and Barack Obama will reveal their plans for national health care, tax equity and using real diplomacy to restore international confidence in the United States.
On the other hand, if the race for the presidency has been reduced to ZIP Codes and targeted sales, then Obama has a great smile and wonderful sense of himself as he revealed in his obligatory comedy bit with Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show." Hillary has to muzzle Bill to make me smile.

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Posted by Ron R

10:45 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Lance,

I could not agree more. For a while now I have been wondering aloud if Rove had gone to work undercover for the Clintons. The dishonest, slimy tactics might as well have Roveprints all over them. I worked in marketing for 20+ years, I can see what they are doing with total clarity, and it disgusts me beyond words.

One of my favorite internet age marketing acronyms is FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt)- for those who, rather than attacking a competitor directly on substantive issues, seek to just instill enough Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt to prevent a sale. It's a teflon technique, since it allows you to create any number of dishonest or leading questions without directly asserting anything that could be refuted. And when the competitor who is being targeted responds, it gives the questions even more credibility while further diverting attention from substantive issues.

The Clinton campaign has been practicing this since Obama picked up real notice, by taking Obama's or other's comments out of context and using them in an intellectually dishonest way to create a series of false associations- that he loves Regan's policies, that he hates America, or most recently that he complained the Pennsylvania debate was "too tough". He did not complain that it was too tough, but rather that it was too trivial, too focused on manufactured non-issues. These are of course the same sort of issues that have formed the foundation of Republican diversionary tactics- by creating a series of moralistic assertions and calling them "character"; by engaging in lots of ritual flag waving while they trample the constitution into the muck; and by "supporting our troops" while sending them in inadequate numbers, under equipped, into an impossible situation. While Obama seems to want to confront these contradictions directly, Clinton seems intent on creating a Democratic brand of the same tactics.

My fear is that the Democrats may be discovering another new and creative way to lose.

Ron R

Posted by DJ

10:47 AM, Apr 25, 2008

It is very funny how the stretch is made to somehow blame this on Bush and his buddies. Will the blame shifting ever end? Or will people eventually learn to take responsibility for their own fodder?

Truth is, the democrats are resorting to these numbers because it is the only substance they have. Especially for Obama.

All this article says to me is what's the sense in being stupid unless you can go around proving it?

And no, I am not a republican!

Posted by Andrew

10:56 AM, Apr 28, 2008

actually, Lance, Rove's not unemployed. he's still doing what he does best, only in Newsweek.

not the point, i know, but worth pointing out.

this race is irritating me now. why can't Hillary do math? she used to be so good at it!

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