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COUP WATCH: Political Projection--Driving Engine of Rightwing Coup -- From Red Rock Eater News Service
By Phil Agre
Thu Nov 23 08:51:21 2000
Something happened today that epitomizes the last decade of American history. As election workers in Miami sat recounting the votes in the presidential election, a right-wing mob screamed outside, pounded on furniture, attempted to force their way into the building, surrounded a Democratic Party official and falsely accused him of stealing a ballot, and kicked and punched a Democratic spokesman as he attempted to hold a news conference. Amidst this evil display, Republican representative John Sweeney of New York announced that "thugs in that building are trying to hijack this election". Shortly afterward, the Miami election commission abandoned its attempt to count the votes.
The projection here is staggering. This has been the pattern for ten years: preternaturally aggressive people who falsely accuse others of doing what they are doing themselves. They project their aggression into the objects of their aggression, so that as they attack others they experience themselves as the objects of the attack. This makes them even angrier and intensifies their displays of aggression.
This positive feedback loop is not just a personality problem, but is abetted and encouraged by irrational rhetoric that is mass-produced by right- wing think tanks and recirculated without question by the mainstream media. Thus, for example, the mass-produced lies and exaggerations to the effect that Al Gore lies and exaggerates. And it has escalated to the level of physical violence and an attempted coup d'etat. Listen to one of the most extreme of the propagandists for the coup:
Republicans are convinced, and for good reason, that Bill Daley, who learned at his father's knee, and Al Gore, who learned at Bill Clinton's, are fraudulently attempting to carry out an anti-democratic strategy that is a classic of vote stealing: Keep counting until you win, and the minute you "win" announce that the American people are tired of waiting for an answer and deserve to know who won.
Peggy Noonan on the op-ed page of the 11/17/00 Wall Street Journal This is surreal: the "strategy" she is describing is precisely what the Republicans have done. That "the American people are tired of waiting for an answer and deserve to know who won" is virtually word-for-word the Republican talking point that the media has been iterating since the first count of ballots on election night. The Republicans' own campaign co-chair illegally halted the hand counts that are provided by Florida law, and ever since then they have engaged in a vast range of tactics to sabotage the vote-voting: frivolous lawsuits, spurious challenges of unambiguous ballots, deliberately bad legal advice to county election officials, false claims that institutional stability and popular opinion both require an abrupt end to the count, a propaganda campaign organized by the same operatives who destroyed John McCain in South Carolina, and now physical threats and violence. Meanwhile, Republican legislators in Tallahassee and Washington talk openly of overturning the vote if their candidate does not win.
This is what it's like when the far right is taking over your country. This is a coup. That's what it's called. It is entirely clear that Al Gore won the election, and that is why the votes aren't being counted. Our nation is being abolished before our eyes. It lasted for 225 years and very soon, barring a miracle, it will be gone. It wasn't perfect, but it was good -- precisely because of its commitment to get better. And it will get better in the fullness of time. But for now a dark age is upon us, and we must learn to confront it and nonviolently resist it.
-- Driving Engine of Rightwing Coup (email@example.com), November 24, 2000
Good. This piece shows Peggy Noonan for the vile drip she is. Yesterday Borowitz called Al Gore guilty of "serial atrocities." This is the language the right wing uses to distort and inflame violence and anger. If you say something long enough and loud enough, no matter how false and nasty, stupid people start to believe it.
-- Noonan Guilt as Charged (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 24, 2000.
Peggy Noonan has always been a "vile drip". I never really understood why Eve couldn't see this, but I was grateful that Eve included Peggy's name in the titles of her threads so I could avoid them.
-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), November 24, 2000.