Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Coming Bitter And Divisive Super-PAC Driven Anti-Obama Media Tactics

The Democratic Strategist

The Republican primary campaign has provided a foretaste of the bitter and divisive super-PAC driven media tactics that will be used against Obama in the fall. The fundamental and inescapable fact is that Democrats will be on the receiving end of a propaganda campaign of a scope and ferocity unparalleled in American history. Democrats must begin planning now how they will respond.

The attack will be three pronged:

First, there will be a "high road" attack directly sponsored by the Republican presidential candidate - now almost certainly Romney - and the RNC. It will be based on sanctimoniously accusing Obama of having "failed" -- that he has not fulfilled his campaign promises and that his policies have proved ineffective.

Second, is a feverish invocation of the culture war narrative -- one that will far excel Sarah Palin's sneering and divisive "we're the real, the good America; they are the degenerate coastal elites" framework that she used in the 2008 campaign. The ads - which will come from Super-PAC's more than official sources -- will be ugly and distasteful: they will portray Obama as deeply "un-American" - foreign and alien to the heartland values and daily life of the "real" America. Romney and the Republicans have already made this the centerpiece of their "hardball" attack.

Third, is a flagrantly dishonest and utterly propagandistic "low road" attack - one that will be conducted both above and below the radar. The below the radar attack will be the most important and destructive change in 2012 will be in the vastly expanded online networking dissemination of anti-Obama propaganda person to person through social media, e-mail lists, discussion boards, and comments by trolls across the spectrum of online media publications, in addition to traditional robo calling and snail mail circulars.

In 2008 the low road attack on Obama was conducted largely outside the official candidate and Republican party media or the major PAC'-s (one clumsy ad by the McCain campaign that attempted to make a "dog-whistle" suggestion that Obama was the anti-Christ was a notable exception). Most of the 2008 low road attacks circulated under the radar - through distribution to informal e-mail lists and comment threads, through micro-targeted direct mail, through robo-calls and through phone banks run by shadowy outside firms. Within these closed communication channels the claims were widely circulated that Obama was a secret Muslim, a radical/communist, a sympathizer with domestic terrorist bombers, and that he was behind a range of "Birtherist" and other conspiracies.

It may seem premature to predict an attack of this extraordinarily grotesque character but there are two reasons why a massive "low-road" campaign of this kind is quite literally inevitable.

Continue reading the full article @ The Democratic Strategist

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