Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Old Razzle-Dazzle


It is ironic for a man whose entire political career has been based upon the artful exploitation of spin, illusion and dazzle-dazzle

The Old Razzle-Dazzle

By Peter Farmer (Bio and Archives) Thursday, May 16, 2013
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Give 'em the old razzle dazzle
Razzle Dazzle 'em

Give 'em an act with lots of flash in it

And the reaction will be passionate

Give 'em the old hocus pocus
Bead and feather 'em
How can they see with sequins in their eyes?

Give 'em the old double whammy
Daze and dizzy 'em
Back since the days of old Methuselah
Everyone loves the big bambooz-a-ler

Give 'em the old three ring circus
Stun and stagger 'em
When you're in trouble, go into your dance

Chicago lawyer Billy Flynn, as played by Richard Gere in Chicago: The Musical (2002),
Miramax Films

"Inexcusable… I am angry about it. I will not tolerate this kind of behavior"

The foregoing words were spoken by Barack Obama in response to the growing scandal at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), after disclosures that the agency was targeting the Tea Party and other conservative groups, in effect using the IRS as a weapon against the political enemies of the White House. Obama announced that Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew had relieved IRS acting commissioner Steven Miller of his duties. Obama continued,

"I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in any agency, but especially in the IRS, given the power that it has and the reach that it has into all of our lives. As I said earlier, it should not matter what political stripe you're from, the fact of the matter is that the IRS has to operate with absolute integrity. I'll do everything in my power to make sure nothing like this ever happens again,"

Just how gullible and stupid does this man think we are? From the looks of it, Obama and his top people think the citizens of this nation just fell off the turnip truck yesterday on the way into town. Does he really think anyone is still buying his line of unmitigated bull? What a liar this man is! In reality, Obama is using one of the oldest and most-underhanded political tricks in the book, a tactic some folks would call the "Potomac Two-Step." Obama probably learned it from former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley or maybe former President Bill Clinton – both of whom were past masters at the art of committing dirty tricks while keeping their hands clean. Here's how it works…

Once you move into the corner office and are in charge, you select your administration – the people who will actually implement your agenda. You choose carefully, and make certain your people know exactly what you want done, down to the smallest detail. You are careful not to leave your fingerprints on any of the instructions, but that isn't too tough, because – away from the cameras and microphones, of course – you have thoroughly briefed trusted subordinates on what you want. If anything is committed to paper or saved electronically, you are careful to cover your flanks in case anything goes wrong… what the pros call plausible deniability. That done, you get out of the way and set your people loose.

In this case, Obama and/or his top lieutenants undoubtedly made it clear at some point that they wouldn't be at all displeased if something "unfortunate" happened to those folks at the Tea Party or some of the other "conservative" groups on the political enemies list of the White House. Gee, wouldn't it be a shame if they were audited unexpectedly? Something along those lines. The way the game works is that the boss makes his wishes known implicitly, but not so explicitly that anything can be later tied to him. He must remain above the fray and appear as clean as driven snow – even when his arms are elbow-deep in the mud.

Now comes the tricky part: if things go according to plan, and that unexpected audit or other dirty trick punishes your political enemy and no one is any the wiser, you quietly congratulate your staff for a job well-done and go on as before. However, if your ploy backfires and blows up in your face – you need to do some fancy footwork. If public opinion is indifferent to your actions or otherwise preoccupied, you might be able to get by with a pro forma expression of sympathy and regret that things didn't go as you intended. Schedule a low-key press release for Friday afternoon when all of the media people and their readers are looking forward to the weekend and have tuned out hard news.

However, if the public is upset, this is when you really show your mettle as a song-and-dance man. You put on your best game face, and appear as emotionally-upset and concerned as possible that such an outrage could happen to your friends, neighbors and fellow Americans on your watch. Whatever you need to do to sell the con, you do. To add a flavor of authenticity to the proceedings, you throw a few subordinates under the bus. In Obama's case, that meant relieving IRS acting director Steven Miller. Of course, you make no mention of the fact that Miller was a temporary appointment, and slated to leave the post shortly anyway. Nor do you mention that the IRS attacks on the Tea Party did not originate with the acting director's office, but perhaps with your own. You appear genuinely upset, but of course not for the reasons you claim. You are angry that your subordinates "screwed the pooch" and now it is up to you to clean up the mess. Last but not least, you do not mention that those same "friends" about whom you expressed such apparently genuine concern are the very people you tried to have destroyed a short time before.

This, then, is the Potomac Two-Step - the means by which dishonest and ruthless political leaders spin their way out of being the bad guy and into being the good guy. Giving the devil his due, Obama is quite skilled at this little song-and-dance routine, being the gifted con artist and grifter that he is. The fact that the whole process is blatantly dishonest and about as venal as Washington politics gets, matters not. What matters is whether or not the public buys your act.

Like the fictional street-smart lawyer Billy Flynn, Obama is working as hard as he can to sell the con. The trouble for him is that all of the razzle dazzle and flash – the beads, feathers, and sequins and all the rest that so used to mesmerize his audience – the American public – are now wearing thin. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice shame on me. The public may have been gullible before, but finally they seem increasingly skeptical of Obama's explanations and excuses. The magic, so-called, is wearing off.

It is ironic for a man whose entire political career has been based upon the artful exploitation of spin, illusion and dazzle-dazzle, but the only course left for Obama is to try, for a change, to tell the truth. He has tried every rationalization, half-truth, prevarication and falsehood in the book – and none of them work anymore. This writer is not in the business of supplying political advice to his ideological opponents, but if he was – he would remind the man at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue of that old southern folk expression that says, "Shame the devil and tell the truth!" So, what about it, Mr. Obama?


1 comment:

  1. No doubt about it, you racists are sick in the head! Anyone who hates Obama IS in fact and racist, bigoted, hateful asshole. and that's you scumbags all over!

    Hateful Racist, bigoted Lying Sack of Shit Calls Obama A Liar? PLEASE! You racist hypocrites don't ever to get to call anyone a liar for the rest of Obama's term!

    Stop watching Fox news, you moron. Everyone knows they're not a real news source, and everyone knows that nobody has any real evidence of him being a Muslim, Marxist, Anti-American or any of the crap. Its all lies created by you racists because you can't call him the N-word! of course he hasn't been impeached, the average American citizen isn't stupid enough to believe this crap.

    Now you guys apparently believe that shortly after being sworn into office, during an economic crisis and 2 wars, he got with some IRS agents in Ohio and conspired to make Tea Party people fill out extra paper work. How can there be a "debate" when one side is that crazy?

    Nixon lied, cheated, directed the IRS to target his enemies etc, etc. Reagan ran illegal wars funded by CIA drug-dealing into the US, both routinely broke every law they could find, and NOW the Republicans get picky because of stuff in no way linked to the current President?

    And Bush administration's was great lol.

    What about the people killed in Iraq because of Bush lies. WMDs? Any of you remember HW Bush's Remark regarding Iran-Contra "I was out of the loop" how many of you believe that a former CIA director and VP was out of the loop on that issue. Where was all the GOP blather and impeachment talk them? How many believe Reagan did know what was going on?

    America was only a few months away from total collapse when he took office. If he wanted the country destroyed, he could have just let it happen. Instead, the legislation he passed saved the country. That's why conservatives are so mad. America still exists, despite their best efforts.

    Any of you remember HW Bush's Remark regarding Iran-Contra "I was out of the loop" how many of you believe that a former CIA director and VP was out of the loop on that issue. Where was all the GOP blather and impeachment talk them? How many believe Reagan did know what was going on?

    Republicans have hated this President from day one. Why? Racism? No: Embarrassment that Bush left a mess that a Democrat has to attempt to clean up.

    Obama has never tried to do anything about the economy and jobs? Are you nuts? This President has tried putting forth numerous jobs bills that the GOP has knocked down in order to keep the economy in the dump so they can blame him for it. They simply don't want him to succeed.

    This President is not far enough left to suit me. He's more centrist than you'll ever admit. His protection of Wall Street and expansion of the Patriot Act and extention of the Bush tax cuts are awful.

    I don't think it's purely coincidence that the first black President we've ever had has been so savagely attacked, stymied, and maligned by conservatives since day one. Obama literally brings the absolute worst out of his critics and race has everything to do with that especially when you take into consideration that the largest demographic for conservatives is over 65 and those people lived at a time when there was still institutionalized racism in many parts of the country. It was certainly in the culture everywhere. Because of that they will always see a black man, no matter how accomplished or smart as somehow bad, less then, or up to no good.