Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

You see it on Fox News, the Drudge Report, Breitbart… You hear it on Rush Limbaugh and all the guys who sound like Rush Limbaugh.

Republicans in Congress pick up the message, nearly word for word, and soon it spills into network news for a “bombshell report.” Next thing you know, mendacious Mitt is on CBS This Morning saying that the president was “dishonest,” moments after the former GOP nominee for president admitted that his entire stand on immigration was a sham.

It’s moments like this that the right-wing attack machine lives for.

This is exactly why former TV producer and Nixon operative Roger Ailes created a nationwide “conservative” news network. This is why right-wing “think tanks” spend millions creating and disseminating talking points. This is how Republicans won a massive landslide in 2010, as America was in the midst of a Great Recession, two wars and record deficits—all things a Republican president had led us into.

President Obama handed Republicans a gift in the form of a promise that could not be kept. While the line, “If you like your plan, you can keep it” is technically true and is still valid for 95 percent of Americans with insurance, it was proven a “lie” by the right-wing media using a mountain of cancelation notices as evidence.

The truth about these cancelations is astoundingly complex.

Private insurers often made the notices seem more dire in order to try to push their customers into more expensive plans. Most of the millions who got them will end up in plans just as good as or better than what they had before. Many will pay less. All will be accepted into some plan if they want one. This wasn’t true of the pre-Affordable Care Act (ACA) world, where millions had their insurance canceled each year and millions more couldn’t get coverage at all because of the discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions. And all of the troubles were multiplied exponentially by the disastrous launch of, eliminating any hope that the negative stories might be balanced by the more than 25 million Americans who will get partially or fully subsidized health insurance.

The right-wing media, of course, had no interest in the vagaries of the cancelations. They had a “lie” and suddenly President Obama had a “Katrina.”

There are two examples of the right-wing attack machine in action that can give us a preview of how this will play out.

The worst-case scenario for Democrats, recently, was the stimulus. Before it even became law, conservative operatives trumped up examples of “wasteful spending” that they said would be a part of the bill. “A private listserv served as the stimulus wing of the ‘vast right-wing conspiracy,’ injecting Republican talking points into the media bloodstream,” Mike Grunwald wrote in his book The New New Deal. 

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • TZToronto

    There will always be the ones who who object to having to purchase health insurance the don’t “need.” They’ll call it the first step onto the slippery slope toward socialism. Well, that first step was taken long ago, and the U.S. still hasn’t slid to the bottom–or anywhere near the bottom. In fact, the corporatocracy is alive and well and doing its best to backtrack to a time before Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security–not to mention trying to strip millions of people of their right to vote. ACA is so far from socialism that you can’t even see socialism from where ACA is. If anyone thinks ACA is socialism rearing its head, ask why the insurance industry isn’t complaining about having to work within ACA’s framework.

  • charleo1

    What percentage of the Right Wing’s message has at this point, devolved from spin,
    to out right propaganda? Who doubts Roger Ailes, made his pact with the Devil, along with Rupert Murdoch, Rush Limbauh, the Koch organization, and the entire Repub.Party? What percentage of Americans are so averse to believing this is the case, they are actually supporting the corporate takeover of America? Want to see what kind of world these corporations would create for the citizens of this Country? Just look how they are treating those citizens with totalitarian, or Communist Governments, that they are doing business with. Those Governments that make no accommodations within their systems for Civil Rights, or Labor Rights. What is being drilled into Americans on a daily basis, is that these giant corporations must have their taxes drastically reduced. That we the people must not let America to slip into Socialism. Because those systems always fail. And Europe is failing today, because of Socialism. What is never said, although it’s true, is Americans are being treated by these corporations, with nearly the same contempt that third world labor is having to endure from them today. Or, on the other hand, talk to employees of Walmart in Germany. Their pay nearly double of their counterparts here. A National Health System, that covers all German citizens. And Walmart even has a retirement plan, like they used to here, in this Country. Because the German Labor Unions demand it. To listen to the Right Wing, Walmart would be going broke. Then how are they expanding in Germany, at a rate that surpasses their growth here. How can that be? Livable wages, healthcare, retirement plans, and taxes to the German Government, And profits to expand the franchise. Something the Right Wing has millions, upon millions of people in this Country convinced, that simply can’t happen.

    • dtgraham

      It’s the theme of the last part of your post that always comes back to me whenever I listen to the far right. I think those exact same thoughts so often. Without good explanation, you can’t just tell me that labour unions or universal health care or an increased minimum wage will destroy an economy when I can see clear evidence elsewhere that it doesn’t appear to be the case. When describing an exception, you have to tell me why it’s an exception and why comparative data are not applicable.

      • charleo1

        Evidently, I need to make a correction of information I learned from a documentary entitled, “Walmart, the High Cost of Low Prices.” As
        has been pointed out here in the NM. Due to Walmart’s hiring, and wage policies, each store, depending on it’s size, cost the communities in which they are located more than 1 million dollars per year in subsidization of their poorly paid employees, in a wide variety of government assistance programs. It is my opinion this
        kind of predatory, corporate business model Walmart employs is
        contributing, in no small part, to many of our entrenched economic
        problems. Such as weak consumer demand, caused by sub-par
        wages. And increasing Government debt, as other retail outfits
        join Walmart on the Federal gravy train. As the following article
        describes. Walmart, and the very vibrant German economy, were
        not a compatible mix. For many of the same reasons I personally,
        hope we wake to here in this Country. The Germans did not see
        Walmart, as the job creator, contributing to the overall economy. But being as they are, wherever they set up shop. They quickly
        become, the biggest hog at the public trough. Even as they destroy, and run out of business, using their billions to undercut those enterprises, who believe in, and run their businesses with a sense of responsibility to the people and communities in which they do business. While many townships in this Country have been successful in keeping Walmart out of their areas, for the reasons I previously mentioned. This article demonstrates why Germany’s economy is the envy of Europe. And why the U.S. over the last 25 to 30 years, has become the biggest corporate chump, in the modern world. The following is a reprint describing Walmart’s
        problem with the Germans. Walmart, the most successful retail operation in the US, failed to make even a dent in the largest and most vibrant European economy (Germany) after losing a billion dollars in the process of bungling their German market experiment with so much failure it is now the stuff of local urban legend.. Let’s examine the reasons.

        Cultural Hubris

        “The problem was the company’s business philosophy, which had always worked so well,” wrote Frankfurt’s Börsenzeitung in what pretty much amounted to an obituary. “It’s people-centered – but that doesn’t actually work when the people aren’t American.

        The company gave the job of masterminding Wal-Mart Germany to an American who didn’t speak a word of German.

        The Germans weren’t fond of the Walmart practice of hiring old people to accost greet them at the door, nor were the German workers impressed with morning warm-up sessions (“Higher Profits Uber Alles! — Can I get an Amen there Fritz!!”)

        Economic Hubris

        They have all kinds of laws over here against the kind of disruptive market “capitalism” that has decimated small towns across America, (and still threatens the world economy IMHO):

        1. You can’t sell below cost in the Eurozone countries just to run your competition our of business, even if you have a billion dollars to give it a go. Helps to level the playing field. Gives the small guys half a chance to compete with the bigger players.

        2. You can’t abuse the workforce with “falling wages” and expect the government to subsidize your slave-wage workforce with food stamps and healthcare just to make ONE corporation rich at the expense of the society at large. Something else the German workers were repulsed by? A ban on flirting in the workplace. Germans to Walmart: You Don’t Own Us.

  • moelarryandjesus

    The Republican Party now resembles a collection of cracked, vintage douchebags with bad portraits of bald eagles painted on them. Only more useless.

    • Garmin Woods

      LOL. Awesome! I hate Republicans too. A lot of people think hating is uncool, but not if you’re hating the right people, right? I don’t know them all personally, but I know for a fact that they’re all useless douchebags. These people deserve to be hated. Losers!

  • Vinny Gordon

    They live in a fantasy world, yearning for a past history that never existed. Leave it to Beaver was a TV show, but to them that was what America was in the 1950s.

    But reality has a way of shaking their believes.They complain about government spending, want to get rid of FEMA. People can use self-responsibility to survive. But when a disaster strikes them, where is FEMA we need FEMA help NOW>
    Just like those ranchers in the Dakotas. A freeze decimated their animals. The government was shut down, which they of course wanted. Demanding FEMA help, which of course they did not want victims of Hurricane Sandy to get.

  • George Allegro

    In a collectivist system, those chosen to try new things are selected according to the political whims of centralized authorities.