26 April 2009
What was accomplished by Team Obama in last fall's presidential campaign regarding the Internet has been widely considered to be historic- changing the way that political campaigns are organized, strategized, financed, and implemented. Julius Genachowski -who worked on the Harvard Law Review with Obama- is the high-tech entrepreneur behind the use of technology in the presidential campaign. He is the one that convinced Obama that the Web had powerful implications for his ideas about "empowerment" and connecting people.
But Obama's 2008 campaign has never ended- it's now employed to to push-through massive spending programs and other initiatives, as well as keep real (and perceived) enemies back-on-their-heels. Barack is still out there on the stump, on YouTube, in tightly scripted-and-'Prompted pressers... with continuing grassroots door-to-door operations and TV ads funded by the DNC. Of course, Team Obama web-based efforts continue as a high priority... and this seems to include a comprehensive and organized effort to control political discourse on the Internet-with a disciplined message and Obamamania cheerleading, coupled with Alinsky-style attacks and diversions when useful.
According to Politico, "Obama for America, the fundraising juggernaut that powered Obama's ascent to the presidency, spent nearly $9.5 million in the first three months of this year", including on telemarketing and print and online advertising, event staging, money for the DNC, the Obama political group Organizing for America, and the Obama family. The report also shows that Obama for America contributed $4 million to the DNC. Organizing for America is funded by the DNC... and operates Obama's continuing effort on the web.
Vladimir Lenin had said of the cutting-edge media of his day: "Of all the arts, for us (communists), the cinema is most important." The Bolshevik was clearly not referring to artistic or cultural value of the film industry; rather, cinema's usefulness as a medium for propaganda and tool of agitation. Today's equivalent -the Internet- is more far-reaching, wide-ranging, powerful, and effective than Vlad ever dreamed of. But it's also harder to control- thus the unprecedented efforts we are seeing from Team Obama to both utilize and contain it.
And the Democrats appear to have all avenues covered: far-left to moderate, as well as more innocuous Hope-n-Changey blogs supporting the President; systematic trolling on blogs' comments sections; manipulating political message boards; mass-rating of news items on aggregators such as Digg, etc. Team Obama also installed tracking-cookies on the computers of those visiting the Obama '08 website to track their online history for use in a DNC data base.
And anyone reading message boards these days -such as Politico, Topix, or Yahoo!- can see what appears to be organized Obama-ites jumping on fresh conversation threads thoroughly and promptly, gaming the ratings-system with multiple IDs (I once had a message on Yahoo! rated over 100 times- curiously, with zero written responses)- as well as attempting any other imaginable manipulation perceived to be to their propaganda advantage. Sometimes, the goal seems simply to clog the board with so many new posts and topics as to render conservative messages unreadable.
There are taunting statements and personal attacks on what they call the "cons"- burying their posts in gobbledygook. Steer the topic. Change the subject. Deflect and divert. And they're at it all day long- in a comprehensive and systematic way. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that there are organized trolls attempting to hijack and control all internet debate, all to maintain momentum for The One as he rams-through an ultra-liberal agenda while also focused on 2010... and 2012.
Using ID's as "Little Bam" and "USA_4_Obama", you see them on there spinning every reality like the Tasmanian Devil... i.e.- the New Deal was just great (but perhaps not big enough), everybody loves Barack, all his opponents are retrograde racist/anti-progressives in the "Party of No"... or are somehow allied with the evil and greedy "rich".
They interestingly stick tightly to DNC talking-points ala JournoList regarding Michael Steele, Rush Limbaugh, anything to trash Palin, Jindal... even shameful slander of Ronald Reagan's legacy, all in an obvious effort to distort the truth and destroy any potential GOP rallying-points for 2010/2012. They seem to be working off the same list of accusations, targets, and historical revisionism as the White House and their media allies- as they display precious little variance that would indicate free-thinking, good faith discourse.
And it's not difficult to see why the Democrats might prefer to banter playfully about made-up GOP "scandals" and irrelevancies like Meghan McCain's latest drivel than debate Obama's ongoing destruction of the country. When most of his domestic and foreign policies are a carbon copy of serial-failure Jimmy Carter's, and there's no other historical prededent to suggest potential for success -and when today's Republicans demand proven solutions- might as well just attack them personally, or employ some diversion, eh?
Breitbart.com actually polices nonpartisan newswire stories for such obviously coordinated attacks. According to Andrew Breitbart "Much of Mr. Obama’s vaunted online strategy involved utilizing “Internet trolls” to invade enemy lines under false names and trying to derail discussion. In the real world, that’s called “vandalism.” But in a political movement that embraces “graffiti” as avant-garde art , that’s business as usual. It relishes the ability to destroy other people’s property in pursuit of electoral victory." Other right-leaning sites such as Instapundit and Nadtional Review Online even refuse to allow comments, so as to not provide a platform for the mischievious activist left.
Sadly, similar efforts from the Democrats have been with us for some time, and in various forms. During the Clinton impeachment scandal, a then-new leftist group out of California called MoveOn.org employed a plan to get its members to dial into right-leaning talk radio shows such as Rush Limbaugh with scripted talking points falsely claiming that they were Republicans. They then feigned revulsion and said they "would never vote for the GOP again if the case against Bill Clinton was pursued." The same MoveOn.org is, of course, today in the vanguard of the web's leftist-activists.
"This is nothing more than the Internet version of Soviet disinformation," Human Events editor Jed Babbin told Brietbart. "MoveOn.org and the little boys from Lord of the Flies who run Media Matters want to make it appear that there's huge dissension within conservative ranks on issues on which we're most united."
Breitbart continued: "The right, for the most part, embraces basic Judeo-Christian ideals and would not promote nor defend the propaganda techniques that were perfected in godless communist and socialist regimes. The Huffington Post, Daily Kos and other left-leaning sites benefit from the right's belief that there are rules and decorum in political debate and civic engagement. Of course, every now and then, a curious right-winger will go in and engage in discussion at a left-wing site, but rarely under purely disingenuous and mass coordinated means."
I myself have received numerous hostile messages that ring similar and hollow on this blog, the Reaganite Republican Resistance- and I moderate them for that reason: it's not the specious taunting, but there's a transparent focus and agenda. This includes repeated messages by the same two or three of the same people attacking the GOP, Reagan, or myself; kindly reminding me that "Ronnie is dead, and so are his ideas"; "the GOP has no leader", I'm a "racist" and a "coward" not to post their messages; then telling me what mental-problems I have (they obviously operate under the directive that no conservative message should go unchallenged- so do what it takes). Note that one of Alisky's most valued techniques is "ridicule" to "provoke" the "target" into responding.
Creatively, one of these online charlatans has now taken to informing me that he has "Republican friends who complained that I wouldn't publish their messages"- which is, naturally, sheer fiction- I publish anything that doesn't reek of troll. There have also been a dozen dubious "I'm a Republican", but shouldn't we all "just get along" and "give Obama a chance"- with almost identical scripts... while the real Obama we're supposed to try and get-along-with charges an ultra-liberal multi-trillion-dollar spending orgy to your great-grandkids' Visa-card. Things that make you go hmmm.
Young and net-savvy Obama campaign manager David Plouffe has admitted that there is such a web-based effort in support of Obama... he runs it... and it's funded by the DNC:
"David Plouffe, who ran Obama's campaign, now runs "Organizing for America" out of the Democratic National Committee. It uses the same Web-based tactics that won the presidency to mobilize public opinion behind Obama's initiatives."
The Yes-We-Can wolfpacks on the blogs and message boards may be paid by this program, but who knows- Plouffe is notoriously stingy with campaign funds. Regardless, there is surely a residual supply of enthusiastic volunteers to staff any effort he has organized to flood the net. Mr. Plouffe operates out of the DNC's offices-- same place the anti-Limbaugh ads came from (some even is Spanish) to dovetail with attacks from Obama, Emanuel, and their media allies. The DNC is basically evolving into a propaganda ministry for Obama- now with Plouffe bringing ACORN-style community-organizing to the web to support Obama's agenda.
But employing such a manipulation on blogs and message-boards serepticiously is really not clever, slick, or anything to be proud of... rather, it's underhanded, cowardly, and ethically dubious. If Obama's wisdom and moral supremacy are so self-evident, then why such fear of an open discussion of the issues?
It's all pretty anti-democratic... un-American... and the whole thing stinks like trash-truck juice: an appalling mix of internet-savvy trickery and borderline fraud, Chicago-Machine thuggery, with a little ITAR-Tass mixed-in. Such efforts to control public discourse are far more totalitarian-propagandist Stalin-Goebbels-Castro than the fair-play democracy of Washington-Jefferson-Lincoln. The development and implementation of such tactics by Team Obama should be disturbing to anyone who values the good-faith discourse traditional in our country.
President Obama is apparently not satisfied with just purporting false intentions and misleading, vague "plans" -like that he intends to halve the deficit while simultaneously spending like a billion drunken sailors- he has also felt the need to fund a propaganda campaign to drill what he wants (and needs) you to believe into your head... and while neutralizing any opposing voices. But the recent TEA parties seems to have stuck a nerve with the President and his sycophants... they showed that many of the less-smitten amongst us are fast becoming wise to this habitually-dishonest closet socialist.
Now we are told that pending legislation before the US Congress would allow Obama the power to shut down the entire Internet whenever he deems appropriate- talk about the wolf guarding the henhouse.