Message and fact

Tom Coburn in the WSJ:
The culture that Mr. Obama campaigned against, the old kind of politics, teaches politicians that repetition and "message discipline"—never straying from using the same slogans and talking points—can create reality, regardless of the facts.  Message discipline works if the goal is to win an election or achieve a short-term political goal.  But saying that something is true doesn't make it so.  When a misleading message ultimately clashes with reality, the result is dissonance and conflict.  In a republic, deception is destructive.  Without truth there can be no trust.  Without trust there can be no consent.  And without consent we invite paralysis, if not chaos.


Cass said...

Tex, you ignorant slut.

You just don't understand that Reality has a liberal bias. Repeat a really big lie often enough and it becomes.... well, a really big lie :p

Grim said...

"VictoryGirls" has a similar essay. It starts with the odd proposition that Edward Snowden, traitor, is a great benefactor to the American people. And maybe that's even true, though he is clearly a traitor out to hurt the United States as a political institution.

raven said...

The United States as a political institution lost credibility years ago. After the exit from Saigon any country's that trusted us were fools.

If Snowden has woken up folks who were somehow unaware the USA is turning into a corrupt police state, well, good for him.

Cass said...

...American intelligence has become nuanced in the shadows

What does that even mean?

Snowden’s whole purpose, in his mind, was not to condemn the intelligence community, or give our enemies an advantage.

Says who? The guy who fled to Communist China and now resides in Russia?

His end goal, it seems, was merely to put the information in the lap of the American people—who, by the way, are supposed to be running the government, not the other way around.

I don't even know what to say about this. It seems kind of bizarre to point out that the vast majority of folks are totally uninterested in what the government is doing, and then turn around and imply that we should be overseeing the intelligence community.


I worry about this country. I really do.

Dad29 said...

There's a lot of feigned shock over the revelation that the US spies on everyone overseas. They do it to us, we do it to them, it's mainline intel gathering.

Of course, spying on every US citizen with email, a cellphone, or a 'net connection.....well......that's something else.

It's not "US credibility" at stake in the world that matters so much; that has been tattered ever since VietNam as mentioned above.

What IS at stake with the Obozo Regime is the liceity of Government. He's made it clear that breaking laws is part of his personality; it's who he is.

So others will conclude that breaking laws, big or small, is just fine and dandy. The conclusion is wrong, of course, but not unreasonable.

Grim said...

Snowden is clearly a traitor, as I said. His move to release only US intelligence secrets -- and Five Eyes, but not what we know about enemy intelligence gathering -- demonstrates that his purpose is not openness generally, but harming the United States intelligence capacity and its allies'.

But 'oft evil will evil mar,' as the old saying goes.

raven said...

A traitor to whom? The Government? Or the people? The actions of the US government are looking more and more like the actions of a hostile power, as far as their effects on the people.
I think people have the NSA SS (snoop and store) backwards. The purpose is not to sift data and identify targets-the purpose is to identify targets, and sift data. Thus any potential threat to the throne can be targeted, and every detail of their life pulled up for examination and further research to crush them. remember those "sealed" divorce records that were conveniently revealed during the zero's senate run? He is well versed in this sort of stuff.

Read in Investors Business Daily that buried in zerocare is a section giving the Sec. of HHS complete authority over ALL treatment by physicians,regarding both public AND private plans.You pay for a private plan, your doctor prescribes a course of treatment unapproved by our masters, they cut off the doc's payments for any federally funded patients. At least that was how I read it.

Happy New Year all, may the new year bring you love , joy and peace.

E Hines said...

If Snowden were on the side of us people, he wouldn't have run off to the PRC and then to Russia; he'd have stayed here, making his civil disobedience case in front of us. He'd have found quite a bit of support, and "us," in the form of a jury of his peers, would have given him a fair, serious hearing.

That his actions happened also to expose a matter about which we needed to know more is just a side effect of his perfidy, and nothing more.

The enemy of my enemy isn't my friend; although, he might be an ally under a confluence of forces. But not in this case.

...but not what we know about enemy intelligence gathering....

I can make a case for this apparent imbalance: don't give up what we know about enemy intelligence collection M&P. Let them go right along using those techniques so we can go right along feeding them bad information. Given Snowden's overall behavior, though, I'm not convinced that was his motive.

Eric Hines

raven said...

If Snowden had remained here, he would be locked in a cell, incommunicado, labeled a traitor and never heard from again. Examine the fate of whistle-blowers in this administration and their subsequent treatment. It is pushing the frontiers of naivete to believe he would have been allowed to speak.
He ran to the only places he could not be gotten at.(by the US)

Grim said...

To the government, which may not be a wholly bad thing; but it's hard to forgive that he hasn't tried to show the harm being done by any except the US and its allies. That they are doing some harm is not in question.

I don't blame him for running, given his plans. I do think he has done a kind of service. But he and Greenwald are clearly against the United States, and working their magic to harm her and her interests -- at least, as you say, the government's.

But perhaps the name of 'traitor' will be better than it has been, if you're right. We'll see where that ends up.

E Hines said...

I guess I'm on the frontiers of naivete, then, not to buy every conspiracy idea that wanders by, including those about Snowden's being held incommunicado, being murdered, being what-have-you.

He bypassed--skipped out on--every avenue that was open to him, including his and others' Congressmen, the IG functionality within the Intelligence agencies, US newspapers, etc. He could have leaked representative examples of what he was talking about instead of giving away the whole thing.

Yes, as a whistleblower, he would have led a hard life for awhile--that's not all bad. It helps hold down the crap and the whiners. Yes, the life of a civil disobedient is hard. That's the point of civil disobedience. Some of our guys froze to death in an ugly winter a couple hundred years ago, demurring from a misbehaving government.

Color me unsympathetic to his his...plight.

Eric Hines

raven said...

He did not escape consequences- He is in exile. Traditionally, a severe punishment. Beyond the Pale, eh?. And I do not think he is snow white- but I am quite sure that had he tried to use "channels",his testimony would have been either completely silenced or diluted to the point where no one would have paid attention. Conspiracy? Well, yes. Have we not had numerous examples from the dear Leader and his associates of exactly this type of behavior? The term "conspiracy" is used like an automatic tin foil applicator, implying that anyone who thinks there may be an organized covert threat is nuts.

As far as the term "traitor" goes, one would have to determine who is on who's side to apply that- one side's traitor is another's patriot.

E Hines said...

Exile from what, exactly? From a country he no longer loves. Rough duty.

Indeed, we have had numerous conspiracies from the Obama administration. Not well hidden, though, and so not very successful.

As to "channels" (sort of like your "conspiracy" conspiracy, eh?), he didn't even try.

Eric Hines

Grim said...

The evidence doesn't suggest that he was interested in trying the channels, but it does suggest that the channels don't work very well. I could excuse someone who, on the evidence, decided that things were far enough along that he had to go right to the people. What's harder to excuse is that he has gone to the people only with things that would hurt US interests, and not (say) Chinese. He knows that stuff too, but neither he nor Greenwald wants to hurt the Chinese.

E Hines said...

He chose to go to the press as his first move--after having bolted the country.

If going to the press were legitimately a first move (your point on this isn't invalid), there are plenty of American papers to which he could have gone first, and from within the US. Which would have given his act of civil disobedience a large measure of credibility.

He also chose not to burn Russia....

Eric Hines

raven said...

If one thinks going through the channels is not going to work, and will result in being silenced, why on earth try it? There would be no second chances.

Speaking of US news media, they have been carrying the zero's water now for 5 years- Snowden's chances of getting his info aired there would be zip. Evidence of the US media suppressing info that is detrimental to the administration is everywhere, they are a defacto arm of the Democratic party.

And the Russians and Chinese- if Snowdens ease of penetrating the NSA is any indication, the opposition probably already had all of his info anyway-

We are far more likely to lose all of our freedoms at the hands of our own government than by the Russians or Chinese, IMO.

Texan99 said...

Whether Snowden should have been silenced is a difficult point, but that he certainly would have been silenced if he had chosen any less extreme strategy admits of very little doubt, in my view.

Grim said...

That's a fair point.