Do Some Americans Worship George W. Bush?

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In summary, at the Conservative Political Action Conference, attendees were told that liberals hate America and that weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq, despite the findings of the David Kay report and other reputable media outlets. The crowd, filled with right-wing stars, seemed to believe these claims without question. The conference also highlighted the cult-like devotion to President Bush among his most committed followers. Additionally, a study found that 80% of Fox News viewers believe certain claims about the Iraq War, showing the impact of biased media. Finally, the conversation also touched on the polarizing figures of Ann Coulter and Michael Moore.
  • #1
Grace
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At the Conservative Political Action Conference, where rabid Bush-worshippers learn that liberals hate America and that we really did find WMD in Iraq.

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By Michelle Goldberg

Feb. 19, 2005 | WASHINGTON -- It's a good thing I went to the Conservative Political Action Conference this year. Otherwise I never would have known that, despite the findings of the authoritative David Kay report and every reputable media outlet on earth, the United States actually discovered weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, vindicating all of George W. Bush's pre-war predictions. The revelation came not from some crank at Free Republic or hustler from Talon News, but from a congressman surrounded by men from the highest echelons of American government. No wonder the attendees all seemed to believe him.

The crowd at CPAC's Thursday night banquet, held at D.C.'s Ronald Reagan Building, was full of right-wing stars. Among those seated at the long presidential table at the head of the room were Henry Hyde, chairman of the House International Relations Committee, Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman, Dore Gold, foreign policy advisor to former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and NRA president Kayne Robinson. Vice President Dick Cheney, a regular CPAC speaker, gave the keynote address. California Rep. Chris Cox had the honor of introducing him, and he took the opportunity to mock the Democrats whose hatred of America led them to get Iraq so horribly wrong.

"America's Operation Iraqi Freedom is still producing shock and awe, this time among the blame-America-first crowd," he crowed. Then he said, "We continue to discover biological and chemical weapons and facilities to make them inside Iraq." Apparently, most of the hundreds of people in attendance already knew about these remarkable, hitherto-unreported discoveries, because no one gasped at this startling revelation.

And why would they? Like comrades celebrating the success of Mao's Great Leap Forward, attendees at CPAC, the oldest and largest right-wing conference in the country, invest their leaders with the power to defy mere reality through force of insistent rhetoric. The triumphant recent election is all the proof they need that everything George W. Bush says is true. Sure, there's skepticism of the president's wonder-working power among some of the old movement hands -- including the leaders of the American Conservative Union, which puts CPAC on. For much of the rank and file, though, the thousands of blue-blazered students and local activists who come to CPAC each year to celebrate the völkisch virtues of nationalism, capitalism and heterosexuality, Bush is truth. They don rhinestone W brooches and buy mouse pads, posters and T-shirts showing the president as a kind of beefcake Uncle Sam, with flowing white hair and bulging muscles threatening to rend his red, white and blue garments.

It's not only liberals who have noticed that Bush's most committed followers are caught up in the fact-filtering force field of a personality cult. In January, Paul Craig Roberts, assistant secretary of the treasury during the Reagan administration and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal's far-right editorial page, published a damning column in the progressive Z Magazine about fascist tendencies in the conservative movement. "In the ranks of the new conservatives, however, I see and experience much hate. It comes to me in violently worded, ignorant and irrational emails from self-professed conservatives who literally worship George Bush," he wrote. "Even Christians have fallen into idolatry. There appears to be a large number of Americans who are prepared to kill anyone for George Bush … Like Brownshirts, the new conservatives take personally any criticism of their leader and his policies. To be a critic is to be an enemy."

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  • #2
i found out on cbc's 5th estate (http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/sticksandstones.html ) that 80% of fox viewers really believe at least one of the following, despite what official US government documents have said:
a) the rest of the world thought bush was right to attack & take over iraq
b) the US found WMD in iraq
c) saddam hussein was teamed up with (his sworn enemy, i can imagine) osama bin ladin & had a role in what happened 9/11/01
here's the study they cited (see p.15):
http://www.pipa.org/OnlineReports/Iraq/Media_10_02_03_Report.pdf

says a little something about fox news i think...


(ps- check out the mckeown/coulter exchange re: vietnam! :smile: )
 
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  • #3
fourier jr said:
i found out on cbc's 5th estate (http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/sticksandstones.html ) that 80% of fox viewers really believe, despite what official US government documents have said, the following things:
a) the rest of the world thought bush was right to attack & take over iraq
b) the US found WMD in iraq
c) saddam hussein was teamed up with (his sworn enemy, i can imagine) osama bin ladin & had a role in what happened 9/11/01
here's the study they cited (see p.15):
http://www.pipa.org/OnlineReports/Iraq/Media_10_02_03_Report.pdf

says a little something about fox news i think...


(ps- check out the mckeown/coulter exchange re: vietnam! :smile: )

I was browing the cbc site and came upon Ann Coulter's website http://www.anncoulter.com. Talk about rabid! :eek: :bugeye:

I never knew someone could be that right-wing.

Just read some of her articles... geez. She is the polar opposite of Michael Moore. Imagine what firestorm could occur if you put them both in the same room. yikes.
 
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  • #4
Did you kiddo's ever actually read the full Duelfer report in full? or did you settle for someone elses summation?
 
  • #5
kat said:
Did you kiddo's ever actually read the full Duelfer report in full? or did you settle for someone elses summation?
Naa, its best not to read things that you don't want to know about. What, we did find banned weapons in Iraq? If I hold my hands over my ears and sing lalalalalalalala, it isn't true.

Regarding that study, fourier_jr, its brought up a lot, and I wonder what the results would be if someone did a study like that targeted at Democrats. It could ask things like: Did Al Qaeda exist before 2001? Was the US economy going up or down a the end of 2000? Are the poor getting poorer? Its been my experience that both sides have certain things they want to believe. By biasing the study in one direction or the other, you could "prove" that Fox viewers or MSNBC viewers are misinformed (and that's without throwing in all the errors in that study).
 
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  • #6
russ_watters said:
Regarding that study, fourier_jr, its brought up a lot, and I wonder what the results would be if someone did a study like that targeted at Democrats.

The study wasn't targeted at Republicans, even if the Democrats want to claim it was.

From that study:
Looking just at Republicans, the average rate for the three key misperceptions was 43%. For Republican Fox viewers, however the average rate was 54% while for Republicans who get their news from PBS-NPR the average rate is 32%. This same pattern obtains with Democrats and independents.

The bold highlight is mine. The percentage of Fox viewers with one or more misperceptions really isn't that much different from the percentage of CBS viewers.

My own interpretation is that those who are likely to get their news from PBS and NPR are also the ones more likely to dig around to find more information about the sources of that news than to just rely on a single view. I thought there was a pretty low percentage of respondents who get their news from more than one source. That, in and of itself, would explain a high rate of misperceptions. If someone only follows one news source, are they even really paying attention, or does that mean that's the channel the TV is on while they are busy preparing dinner and making sure the kids are getting their homework done? If you can listen to NPR without falling asleep, you must have a far better than average attention span. (I can't stand how they all talk like they're stoned; are they not allowed to show any inflection in the tone of their voice?)

They do ask how closely people watch the news, but considering that's a self-perception type question, it's hard to know how reliable it is.
 
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  • #7
kat said:
Did you kiddo's ever actually read the full Duelfer report in full? or did you settle for someone elses summation?

I know I didn't, but did you?

Here it is just in case you have the time.

As for a summation, I guess the CSMonitor can be considered 'reliable', of course we all know what a bastion of liberalism they are!

As for what has happened in Iraq and Afghanistan, I'll take my cousin's word for it. Maybe being on the ground and reporting for a major syndication as a military correspondent who served as well may have something to do with it, but then again he is family so I may be a little biased as to his reportings. :-p
 
  • #8
Polyb, I think you and I are on opposite sides of the cause-effect relationship here: you seem to think people get their ideas (misperceptions, as the study calls them) by watching Fox. I think people watch Fox because they hold those ideas. Watching Fox just reinforces what they already believe/ want to believe. And vice versa for MSNBC (or, say, F911).
 
  • #9
russ_watters said:
Polyb, I think you and I are on opposite sides of the cause-effect relationship here: you seem to think people get their ideas (misperceptions, as the study calls them) by watching Fox. I think people watch Fox because they hold those ideas. Watching Fox just reinforces what they already believe/ want to believe. And vice versa for MSNBC (or, say, F911).

HUH?

I think your getting me mixed up with moonbear. :rolleyes:

OK, I'll give you a response:
Yes people seem to seek out sources that fit their preconceptions, but FOX news does have a tendency to skew more than anyone else! I thought CNN was pretty bad with their bubble gum/candy warpper presentations, but FOX beats them!

Myself, I get my news analysis from the only fake news organization that admits it: The Daily Show! :biggrin:
 
  • #10
polyb said:
HUH?

I think your getting me mixed up with moonbear. :rolleyes:

Err...I don't know who he was responding to. I don't think it was me either, because I'm pretty sure he just said the same thing I did.

The problem with that survey though is that a lot of that hinges on the "one or more misconceptions" category. Since one of those "misconceptions" is up for debate (whether there were WMDs), it makes it pretty tough to gauge the usefulness of the survey. In the Duelfer report, they do mention finding some old chemical weapons. There wasn't any evidence of any new manufacturing, and it seemed these chemical weapons may not have been useful and were "missed" when the rest of the stockpiles were destroyed in the 1990's, so if you want to be very technical, they did find WMDs, though the significance of that finding in terms of whether there was any indication there was intent to use them or to reestablish production of them seemed pretty low. So, you can simultaneously argue there was no proof of any significant stockpile or threat that Iraq was going to use WMDs while also recognizing they did possesses some.

All that survey really shows is how woefully misinformed most of the public is, which we already knew. It certainly isn't just in the political arena, or restricted to members of one or the other party.
 
  • #11
russ_watters said:
And vice versa for MSNBC
Huh ? :bugeye: I find MSNBC a little too right wing !
 
  • #12
Moonbear said:
Err...I don't know who he was responding to. I don't think it was me either, because I'm pretty sure he just said the same thing I did.

I think russ's brain is snapping from some form of cognitive dissonance from to much exposure to FOX and having to maintain the status quo they are purporting! :smile:

Gokul I think MSNBC is trying to play both sides of the perceptual divide, though lately I think they have been leaning in that so-called direction. Probably either sponser or ratings pressure.
 
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  • #13
russ_watters said:
I think people watch Fox because they hold those ideas. Watching Fox just reinforces what they already believe/ want to believe. And vice versa for MSNBC (or, say, F911).

I totally agree. (As a side note, how do you classify MSNBC?) I also agree with Moonbear:

"those who are likely to get their news from PBS and NPR are also the ones more likely to dig around to find more information about the sources of that news than to just rely on a single view."

Back to the topic of Bush-worshippers, here's an example: I've mentioned attending a seminar a week ago. It was supposed to be an educational seminar about sales and marketing, time management, increased productivity, etc. Aside from frequent references to belief in God and how religion makes a person more successful, one of the speakers (in addition to Guliani) was General Tommy Franks. Gen. Franks began to list the various and numerous terrorist attacks over the years, which have been attributed to Al Qeada, concluding by saying this is why it is important we went into Iraq. Here I am, in a stadium full of Arizona fundamentalists and Bush-worshippers, not to mention a group of military attendees seated by the platform (who apparently need to learn about sales and marketing) and security up the yin-yang, and do you suppose I could have let out even a whimper of a boo to this statement? No indeed, and time and again such BS received standing ovations. I did manage to keep from throwing up.
 

Related to Do Some Americans Worship George W. Bush?

1. What are "rabid bush-worshippers"?

"Rabid bush-worshippers" is a term used to describe people who are fanatically devoted to a political figure or ideology, specifically former US President George W. Bush.

2. Is there any scientific evidence to support the existence of "rabid bush-worshippers"?

There is no scientific evidence to support the existence of "rabid bush-worshippers" as a specific group of people. This term is often used as a metaphor to describe extreme political devotion and is not based on any scientific research or data.

3. Are "rabid bush-worshippers" a dangerous group?

As a scientist, I cannot make a definitive statement on the danger posed by "rabid bush-worshippers" as this term is not based on any scientific concept or research. However, extreme political devotion and fanaticism can potentially lead to harmful actions and behaviors.

4. Can someone become a "rabid bush-worshipper" through brainwashing or manipulation?

There is no scientific evidence to suggest that someone can be brainwashed or manipulated into becoming a "rabid bush-worshipper". Extreme political devotion is often a product of personal beliefs and experiences, rather than external influences.

5. How can we prevent the emergence of "rabid bush-worshippers" in society?

As a scientist, I believe that promoting critical thinking, open-mindedness, and respectful discourse can help prevent extreme political devotion and the emergence of groups like "rabid bush-worshippers" in society. It is also important to encourage diversity and tolerance of different ideologies and opinions.

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