News Many Americans are Simply Dumber Than Bush

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russ_watters said:
Certainly, but the question of whether that is enough is unavoidable and completely opinion-based. Do I even need to go through the thread looking for other pure opinions? Sorry, but you set yourself and fell into your own trap. Everything the President needs? Does it offer him a silk robe and slippers? Computergeek - you tripped over your own opinion. There really isn't any way to undo that, but it doesn't much matter because you are still doing it.

And now I simply cannot believe that you think that you removing your opinion of the law somehow means no one can have an opinion about the law. Those numbers are facts - sure - but how do you think those numbers came to be in the first place!? :bugeye:
The difference Russ is that my opinions are back up with reasoning, where as you have YET to provide anything beyond "its my opinion". Opinions are fine as long as you can back them up with REASONING.

and please, could you stop kicking up dust when you have no argument? I mean seriously... rather than admit that I might have a reasonable stance, you protect your ego by ignoring my argument and saying "does it give him silk slippers and a robe?" In the context of the discussion, you know I meant as far as wire tapping americans to fight terror goes.

For the sake of argument I will concede that the FISA law sucks for fighting terror and did not offer bush everything he needed........ Answer me this then, WHY WHY WHY did Bush NOT go to congress to change the law!!!!!!!!!! 3 years, not a single petition. maybe if he had tried and failed and then tried again and failed again and continued on like that while at the same time doing his domestic spying, he MIGHT have had an argument that he has been trying to get the FISA law changed but congress kept blocking him.

Bush did not do that, he just ignored the law and did not even try to fix the law to meet what ever ambiguous and undefined needs the administration keep s sighting.
 

Art

russ_watters said:
But people are predicting the Republicans will lose a number of seats in the next election - surely that is because the people are not happy with the Republicans' reaction to Bush?
It's a question of degee. If people were fully informed (interested) then the republican party would be run out of town, as it is they might lose a few seats. Even that IMO will be mainly because people are concerned with the economy. They see massive amounts of money being spent, debt piling up and their jobs being outsourced to China. Even the GOPs spin machine cannot hide reality totally. Even stupid people know when they are struggling financially.
 

Gokul43201

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russ_watters said:
That is relevant to this conversation how?
It's relevant in that it raises the possibly forgotten point that you could be impeached for injustices inflicted upon people who are not your country's citizens (ie : maybe it's not enough to say "this hasn't harmed me, an American")
 

russ_watters

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ComputerGeek said:
The difference Russ is that my opinions are back up with reasoning, where as you have YET to provide anything beyond "its my opinion". Opinions are fine as long as you can back them up with REASONING.
C'mon, ComputerGeek - reasoning is easy: Take this one , for example: "FISA Court is secret... so who are they keeping secrets from?" Secret from the court, of course. Bush doesn't want oversight because there is no guarantee that a judge will agree with him.

Besides - why do I need to provide support for all these opinions when I'm sure that law didn't pass unanamously? It doesn't matter if your opinion is that the opinions of others are unreasonable - it is still an opinion and you know it because you stated as such.

Lets just be clear again: the issue here isn't whether one opinion is any more or less reasonable than any other, but that they are all opinions regardless of who thinks which opinion is better. That's the whole point of opinions!
and please, could you stop kicking up dust when you have no argument? I mean seriously...
Kicking up dust? Huh? You provided the argument by which your own point failed.
rather than admit that I might have a reasonable stance,
You do have a reasonable stance - the entire point here is that that doesn't mean your opinion is the only possible reasonable opinion.
For the sake of argument I will concede that the FISA law sucks for fighting terror and did not offer bush everything he needed...
Great! So we agree that you have an opinion, other people have opinions, and neither are necessarily just plain right or just plain wrong.
Answer me this then, WHY WHY WHY did Bush NOT go to congress to change the law!!!!!!!!!
Pretty simple - he didn't want to risk losing that fight.
 
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russ_watters said:
Bush doesn't want oversight because there is no guarantee that a judge will agree with him...Pretty simple - he didn't want to risk losing that fight.
And you have no problem with Bush doing any of this? What is the standard for impeachable offense? A high crime? Well, a federal felony charge seems to be a high crime to me.

He broke the law. He did something highly illegal, you seem to be admitting it, he admits it, yet you do not care?
 

BobG

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President Roosevelt's buzzword was "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Kind of a stark contrast to Bush's buzzwords.

Admittedly, Roosevelt was referring to an economic crisis vs. terrorism. But I'm still surprised it has worked. Americans usually prefer the more optimistic view - consider the difference between Carter's "American malaise*" and Reagan's much more optimistic tone.

Ironically, Carter never mentioned the word malaise in his "American malaise" speech. The point of his speech was that America needed to have more confidence - he just did a very, very bad job of getting his point across.

Carter's speech said:
I want to talk to you right now about a fundamental threat to American democracy.... I do not refer to the outward strength of America, a nation that is at peace tonight everywhere in the world, with unmatched economic power and military might.

The threat is nearly invisible in ordinary ways. It is a crisis of confidence. It is a crisis that strikes at the very heart and soul and spirit of our national will. We can see this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for our nation.
Unfortunately for Carter, he didn't come up with the bright idea of color coding America's lack of confidence. Color coding America's level of fear has been one of Bush's great successes in swaying American support for his war on terrorism.
 

SOS2008

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russ_watters said:
Sure, why not. What's your point? You do realize that Bush is a politician, right? :surprised
I'm glad you asked so I can explain it all again, because I realize it is hard for some Americans to understand some of things that have been going on.

As Bush prepares to deliver the State of the Union address, he knows his presidency is in trouble. Bush has spent his so-called political capital in failed attempts to overhaul social security and his so-called “democracy projects.” Hamas won by a landslide, and things don’t look much better in Iraq. What visionary topics will he have now?

Two-thirds of Americans are dissatisfied with the direction our country is going, particularly in regard to Iraq and the economy. There is no end in sight to the war, which has contributed to a budget deficit of around $337 billion—with federal spending expected to increase. Most Americans don’t feel better off than they were a year ago, or five years ago. Wages have not kept up with inflation, gas prices have increased, health care costs have exploded, and jobs are going overseas.

Bush will focus on all he has left. He will tell Americans he is looking out for their security. And he will do so by twisting illegal activities into a good thing (yeah, heh-heh, a good thing). And he will do so with the same old propaganda tactic of fear mongering via word repetition.

My point is: Are Americans dumber than Bush, or will they realize that Bush steps beyond the bounds of normal politicians by seeking to manipulate them in particularly despicable ways to cover up his numerous and apprehensible misdeeds--Or will Americans be smart enough to see through the propaganda? I’ll be interested to see how many times he uses various fear mongering words in the speech, and what happens with his approval rating afterward.
 

SOS2008

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ComputerGeek said:
Terrorism/Terrorist = 40 times

Terrorist Survalance program = 10 times

War = 20 times

Security = 30 times

9/11 = 10 times
Holy cow that would indicate major desperation!

I do agree with your view of opinion, and that it is unreasonable to expect members to accept one person as the authority on a matter, especially in contrast to credible sources. Granted the media in America does not do its job well, but I would still prefer this to some member’s personal opinion. To that point, here are excerpts from Meet the Press:

MR. RUSSERT: Kelly O’Donnell, let me show you some polling data and get your sense of how the White House is thinking, the beat that you cover. Los Angeles Times Bloomberg. The president’s approval/disapproval: 43 percent approval, 54 disapproval. What about the war in Iraq? Forty-one approval, 56 disapproval. Terrorism, the war. Approve 48, Bush performance on that; 49 disapprove. And economy. Only 37 percent approve, 59 disapprove. And look at this, health care. The president’s handling of it: 27; disapprove 64. Is the White House aware of those numbers?

MS. O’DONNELL: Aware and trying to respond in ways that we’ll certainly see Tuesday night. ...advisors…say he will continue to talk about the war in Iraq every single week. They learned that when they sort of shifted gears and didn’t have as much of a public message about that, it hurt them. They also know when the president acknowledged some of the mistakes there, he seemed to have a little inching up in the polls. And of late, on the spying issue for example, where he has been so assertive in his view, we now also see that the numbers have edged back ever so slightly.

MR. RUSSERT: Do State of the Union messages, do they matter, David?

MR. BRODER: Well, of course they matter. I mean, it’s the largest single audience that the president will have for any speech this year. And it also really does set the agenda. I mean, we tend to forget. A year ago, he was talking about reforming the Social Security system. It didn’t happen, but it consumed six months of the public debate. Presidents still have that capacity. And even as we can—as Kelly points out, he is at this point. His speech will set an agenda.

MR. RUSSERT: There has been a lot of discussion, as Kelly mentioned, about this whole notion of domestic eavesdropping and how the White House has been extremely aggressive trying to seize that as an issue, move it from being a civil rights and liberty issue to an anti-terrorism issue.
Again, some polling data was quite constructive. The American people, would you give up some civil liberties to prevent terrorism? Yes, 51; no, 40. What about monitoring U.S. phone calls and e-mails without a warrant? Forty-nine say acceptable, 45 say unacceptable. Would you mind if your own calls were being monitored? Fifty-three say yes, 46 percent say no. Who do you trust to protect the country against terrorism? President Bush 45, the Democrats in Congress, 32. Has the president’s policies made us more secure, 52 yes. Less secure, 21, no. No different, 25.

Byron York, has the White House politically achieved some results over the last few weeks by saying, “This is an anti-terrorism message. You heard that Osama bin Laden tape, I am the protector in chief,” in effect?

MR. YORK: Yes, they have. You know, obviously they didn’t want the leak to happen. They didn’t want this to come out. But since it has, they believe this is actually a big political winner for them. And Republican pollsters tell me it’s all in how you label this. The president’s adversaries want to call it domestic spying. The president is saying this is—we’re looking in on the international communications of people with known al-Qaeda connections. If you ask people in a poll, what do you think about warrantless domestic spying? They’re against it. If you throw in the word “al-Qaeda,” the approval goes through the roof. And so this is all a fight over how to label this.

MR. RUSSERT: The president seemed to suggest in his news conference on Thursday, Roger Simon, that he was anxious for the mid-term elections. His last one, as he said, as a sitting president. And that his message was going to be, “I will protect you and I’m going to cut your taxes.”

MR. SIMON: Sure, it’s the same message we heard at the Republican Convention. “Keep fear alive, vote for us or die.” The poll, what we like to call the Bloomberg/LA Times Poll, show that on the question of terrorism, that’s the only area in which George Bush and the Republicans get a high marks.

This is a weakened president. You saw on the show today, a majority leader, his majority leader, disagreeing with the president on a number of issues. What the president has, the last arrow in his quiver, is protecting the United States against terrorism. And that’s what he’s going to have to use.

MS. O’DONNELL: …Terrorism works for them in part because there is that fear that is hard to describe, and people do have a fear about it. And so when you bring up eavesdropping, if you say al-Qaeda, people will think, “Well, it’s not me and my phone calls. So maybe it’s OK.”

It’s hard for people to understand what domestic spying might intrude upon, because we know so little about the program. So this is a strong area for them. Will it be as strong as it was the last go-around? Probably not. But it is an area where they can continue to fight and say, ‘We will protect you more than, than the Democrats.’ And Democrats have trouble there, because when you bring up civil liberties it seems much more of a fuzzy argument to many people, because if you put that on a scale against protecting the country, often people are more willing to say, ‘I want the country secure.’
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11047820/

“I will protect you and I’m going to cut your taxes.” I forgot to mention tax cuts, which will be in the speech too. :surprised

"Only 7 percent chose reducing taxes as their No. 1 goal." -- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11103804/

The top 7 percent of wealth?
 
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SOS2008 said:
Bush will focus on all he has left. He will tell Americans he is looking out for their security. And he will do so by twisting illegal activities into a good thing (yeah, heh-heh, a good thing). And he will do so with the same old propaganda tactic of fear mongering via word repetition.

My point is: Are Americans dumber than Bush, or will they realize that Bush steps beyond the bounds of normal politicians by seeking to manipulate them in particularly despicable ways to cover up his numerous and apprehensible misdeeds--Or will Americans be smart enough to see through the propaganda? I’ll be interested to see how many times he uses various fear mongering words in the speech, and what happens with his approval rating afterward.
With all of the color coded fear mongering Bush has made a great number of people believe something. Once people, dumb or smart, believe something it is difficult for them to change their minds. That is human nature because changing their minds would be admitting that they were wrong in the first place. Doing this is difficult for most people to do.

The power of suggestion has also been used extensively to make people believe. To the best of my knowledge Bush never made a claim that Iraq was behind the 9/11 disaster. Yet at one point well over 50% of the American people believed that it was true. A lot of them still do, including my sister in law.

I don't give Bush the credit for accomplishing this belief phenomina. Bush was just the front man. Rove and the PR people worked the process out a along time ago. And they are still using it.

The big problem is that once people believe something they quit thinking and put their brains on auto pilot. That is why we are now faced with a large number of people who do not want to look back at all of those broken promises, failed programs, and repeated fear phrases that we have been seeing and hearing for the last five years.
 
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SOS2008 said:
Come on; let's get wagers going for the State of the Union. I say the words terrorist/terrorism will be used tens times--mixed with either "war on" or "surveillance." I say the word “security” will be used eight times, and 9-11 (in some way) will be used at least once.
I think the term "al qaida phone calls" will be repeated at least five times.

Iran and nookler will be right up there on the charts also.
 

SOS2008

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edward said:
With all of the color coded fear mongering Bush has made a great number of people believe something. Once people, dumb or smart, believe something it is difficult for them to change their minds. That is human nature because changing their minds would be admitting that they were wrong in the first place. Doing this is difficult for most people to do.

The power of suggestion has also been used extensively to make people believe. To the best of my knowledge Bush never made a claim that Iraq was behind the 9/11 disaster. Yet at one point well over 50% of the American people believed that it was true. A lot of them still do, including my sister in law.

I don't give Bush the credit for accomplishing this belief phenomina. Bush was just the front man. Rove and the PR people worked the process out a along time ago. And they are still using it.

The big problem is that once people believe something they quit thinking and put their brains on auto pilot. That is why we are now faced with a large number of people who do not want to look back at all of those broken promises, failed programs, and repeated fear phrases that we have been seeing and hearing for the last five years.
I agree with your assessment of how our country has deteriorated to this point. And I agree Bush can't be given all the credit, but for a different reason. I feel Americans must take responsibility for their culpability in the matter. They need to own up to their role in a democracy by investing more time, thought, and effort into the world around them, and stop relying on Uncle Joe, or water cooler conversation, or what was said at Church, and start thinking on their own.
 

Amp1

Good topic SOS, this ties into my thread a little. So if anyone noticed an inordinate amount of trigger words such as SOS mentioned, please feel free to include the observation in a reply should you post in my thread about the SOTU speech.
 

Xenophon

While agree with SOS in the fact that many Americans need to start thinking on their own, I'm not sure that's a viable option.
Many working- or middle-class Americans most likely do not have the time or patience to discover facts until election year, when the facts are colored by each opposing party. So, unless you plan a massive factual revolution, don't plan on most of the average Joes to do more thinking than they have to.

-Xenophon

By the way SOS, why did you capitalize church. To do so would imply just the Catholic Church, which would appear bigotted, something I doubt because your other arguements seem educated, so you would know that generalizations are a bad way to go. I just noticed it because I know some Catholics who are moderate and do not support their church fully in all respects and do think for themselves. Don't generalize.

Edit: Sorry to sound so touchy, they're good friends.
 
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SOS2008

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Xenophon said:
While agree with SOS in the fact that many Americans need to start thinking on their own, I'm not sure that's a viable option.
Many working- or middle-class Americans most likely do not have the time or patience to discover facts until election year, when the facts are colored by each opposing party. So, unless you plan a massive factual revolution, don't plan on most of the average Joes to do more thinking than they have to.

-Xenophon

By the way SOS, why did you capitalize church.
The capitalization was not done with any intent—I’m agnostic, but for example capitalize God out of respect for those who do believe (I think other organizations capitalize the word church--not just Catholics).

Back to the topic: I find the “working, middle class American doesn't have time or capacity” to be a poor excuse, because the same socio-economic classes in other countries are much more politically aware.

We could have a massive factual revolution via better education, better support of independent media (e.g., PBS), exposure of media that spreads lies (right wing talk radio, Rush Limbaugh), and encouragement of good citizenry. This becomes more clear when we analyze why there is so much disinformation and denial.

The polls show that millions Of Americans now realize that Bush/GOP are not about conventional politics, but rather the dirtiest politics yet seen in U.S. history. But what about the approximately 178,815,518 Americans who still support Bush? Here are excerpts by blogger Dan Merica “Bush/GOP Supporters and the Phenomenon of Delusion Why Many Americans Cannot See the Truth”:

Described below are some psychological phenomena, very much useful to the Bush/GOP regime, which enable their lies, crimes and treasons to go unnoticed and unchallenged. Many people accept being deluded for reasons that may be conscious or unconscious.

Disbelief
· Many people won't believe alternatives to the official story because they didn't read about it in the New York Times or hear it on CNN.(unanswered 9/11 anomalies)
· Denial is widespread when the enormity of a situation is so unprecedented that people lack past experience to base acceptance. For example, many European Jews failed to recognize their impending extermination. To quote an old German adage: 'Things whose existence is not morally possible cannot exist.' (Bush stealing the 2000 and 2004 elections)
· Many people are 'mystified' when a plausible misrepresentation of reality in which forms of exploitation are presented as forms of benevolence. (Bush's 'Clean Air Act' increasing pollution) (Bush's 'Save Our Forests Act' permitting logging in national forests) (Bush's attempt to privatize Social Security)

Conformity and Herd Mentality
· 'Unity' in a community comes as the phenomenon of 'One Mind' develops.
· 'One Mind' is each individual in a community aligning their thoughts with what the other members are thinking. This occurrence is motivated by the sense of comfort it provides.
· It can be described as collective hypnotic induction, which creates an illusion of a consensus that is hard to challenge.
· Many people lead their lives enslaved by artificial belief systems imposed by others. The few that are courageously critical are not heard, or else they are severely shamed, ridiculed and viciously accused of causing problems. (thousands of American soldiers unnecessarily killed and maimed)
Learned Helplessness
· Psychologist Martin Seligman's theory of 'Learned Helplessness' explains how when one's repeated actions have no effect, people learn that what they do doesn't make a difference and give up, even in situations where they can potentially make a difference. (Bush stealing the 2000 and 2004 elections)

Cowardice
· The thought of challenging powerful, dominating authority with the prospect of losing is overwhelming. It is too big for most individuals at this level. This fear becomes part of the problem and rewards domination.
· As long as people remain silent and isolated from one another, they don't realize the protection of collective action - safety in numbers.
· 'The Passive Bystander Effect' (psychologist Stanley Cohen) Individuals wait for someone else to act and diffuse their personal responsibility into the collective responsibility of the group. Also, the larger the group the lower is the likelihood that any individual person will spontaneously take action himself.
· More information alone is unlikely spur action. People need the social support and the validation of others. They will not accept the reality of the problem unless they see others engaging in emotionally charged debate, protest, and meaningful, visible alternatives. (The alternative media)(Air America)(Impeachment efforts by a few in Congress)

Denial and Psychic Numbing
· It is frightening, unsettling, and intolerable for many Americans to question these core beliefs about our leaders and to accept the reality of extensive fraud. Also, ignorance is bliss, but for the moment, and knowledge implies responsibility, which may be feared and avoided. (Bush stealing the 2000 and 2004 elections) (Bush's AWOL from the National Guard and cocaine use)

Avoidance and Compartmentalization
· People want to retreat, to focus on their own survival, family, daily life and pleasure, which are manageable.
· Stanley Cohen in his book States of Denial wrote that the capacity to deny particular levels of awareness is the normal state of affairs for people in an information-saturated society. In order to deny the moral implications of something it is necessary at some level to recognize its existence. It is a state of simultaneous 'knowing and not-knowing'. (Bush's reluctance to accept Global Warming)
http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_dan_meri_060122_bush_2fgop_supporters_.htm

Still, propaganda is at the heart of it:

The Bush administration's Orwellian logic, particularly since the events of September 11, 2001, is clearly exemplified by the endlessly growing list of Congressional acts, programs, and initiatives--and language--which are described or employed in such a way as to convey the opposite of what they actually do or intend.
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Bush_administration_Orwellian_logic

In his June 25, 2003, New York Times' article "Still plenty of newspeak, but it's less Orwellian," Geoffrey Nunberg writes:

"...Orwell is the writer most responsible for diffusing the modern view of political language as an active accomplice of tyranny. As he wrote in 'Politics and the English Language,' 'Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.'

Orwellian resonances in phrase like 'weapons of mass protection,' for nonlethal arms, or in names like the Patriot Act or the Homeland Security Department's Operation Liberty Shield,

...an Orwellian note in the name of the Pentagon's Total Information Awareness project, which was aimed at mining a vast centralized database of personal information for patterns that might reveal terrorist activities. (The name was changed last month to the Terrorist Information Awareness program, in an effort to reassure Americans who have nothing to hide.)"
Now this interests me. Because of all the deception, I find the NSA spying the most difficult to understand in regard to American acceptance.
 
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