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October 25, 2008

“One Party” Scare Tactics


With not much left in the playbook, the GOP is launching a last-ditch effort to scare voters over one-party rule.

Today’s NYT reinforces that anxiety, playing on the tentativeness and submissiveness of the Democratic congress over the past two years. Juxtaposed with this ghastly and context-free picture of a sleepless Hoyer and a worn- and disaffected-looking Pelosi, the article mixes the prospects of a filibuster-proof Democratic Senate majority with such terms as: “risk,” “damage,” “high expectations,” “mistakes” and “overconfidence.”

If the vocabulary is depressingly familiar, it’s because this language, and all kinds of variants, permeated the lyrics of the (largely successful) intimidation tactics directed at congressional leadership by the Bush-era fear and intimidation machine.

From what we know of Obama, however, a blue governing majority — driven by the White House, as opposed to the weak-kneed team of Pelosi, Hoyer and Reid — will neither be unsure nor overconfident. In the meantime, however, the prospect of new characteristics didn’t deter The Times — amplifying Republican desperation tactics — from taking this cheap visual swipe at Pelosi in a visceral warning that the Dems can’t seem to manage power and authority.

(image: Brendan Smialowski for The New York Times)

  • Jan Kees

    The 3-1/2 figures appear to be standing more or less at attention, military like, facing something we do not see, which is what I guess you mean by “context-free.” The context is off-screen: Pelosi knows what it is but we don’t.
    When I see pictures that make people lean back like this I often try to re-crop them in my mind or with my hands to see what they would look like if they were standing upright. Here, the stiff leaning-back makes them look more formidable, as if we are looking up at them from a lower angle.
    The flags are interesting: there are many of them, but they do not wave. They stand at attention like the political heads. And only only their blue shows. Blue America, not waving o’er the land of the free.
    I had read the article earlier today, accompanied by the picture, and thought how important it is after Obama wins that the 3.1 million of us who have donated an average of $86 for his election remind him and WP and NYT that he is responsible to US, not to them and the big corporate donors, who haven’t given near as much as we have.

  • Stephen Rose

    Not as bad as the Times shoddy reporting on the transition which suggests Obama wrote his inaugural already. I admire Pelosi. She has done very well indeed in a difficult time and I would anticipate a partnership with a high degree of coordination, not a White House-centric governance. Obama is too smart for that.

  • Rightwingsnarkle

    I think Hoyer’s a dirtbag, and the only time Pelosi didn’t sound like an inept hack at Netroots Nation last summer was when she talked about the need to protect women’s reproductive rights – I thought she had real confidence and passion at that point.
    But I don’t serve in Congress and don’t know the intricate ins and outs of things, so I’ll just shut up on all of that.
    Speaking of people who should just shut up, David Frum’s piece in tomorrow’s WaPO indicates just how deeply panicked the Village is at what’s coming down on them. He calls Mad Jack a lost cause, and urges everybody to make sure that the dems don’t control the agenda from both branches.
    I hope to see the photo that accompanies the online version of Frum’s worst nightmare deconstructed here. They couldn’t make McP.O.W. look more pathetic if they submerged him in a dark pond.

  • Different Clue

    I’m not able to dispassionately analyze this photograph. When I look at the Hoyer/Pelosi faces, I
    see the Faces of Evil. Hoyer was very much in favor of HAVA which was a conspiracy to fraudulize American
    voting even more than before; under a lovely false-flag cover. Pelosi took impeachment “off the table” in order to keep Cheney and Bush in power as well as in office. Different theories are advanced as to why
    she did that. Whatever theory one subscribes to, the fact remains that she willfully betrayed her oath
    to protect the Constitution from all enemies “foreign
    And DOMESTIC”. (Of which she has proven to be one herself.) So I’d say the photo looks just fine.

  • Kevin Hayden
  • Megan

    Curled flags look like dunce caps?

  • Perry

    From what we know of Obama, however, a blue governing majority — driven by the White House, as opposed to the weak-kneed team of Pelosi, Hoyer and Reid — will neither be unsure nor overconfident.
    You evidently believe that your messiah is infallible. Are you over 21?

  • jonst

    definition of “infallible”: “1. incapable of failing…..; 2.incapable of erring”
    definition of “unsure”: “1. Lacking confidence.
    2. Uncertain of the facts.
    3. Precarious; unstable; unreliable”
    definition of “overconfident”: “1. Excessively confident; presumptuous”
    And so the debasement of language by GOP supporters continues. Including; by those, ostensibly, “over 21″ in both the biological sense and the intellectual sense. I won’t even get into “messiah”. In a sense I welcome the pejorative use of the word by those like Perry. Why? Because I imagine it has to frustrate the hell out of them every time they employ the word…that, seemingly, Obama goes up in the polls. So they keep smashing their teeth, metaphorically speaking, of course, against the stone wall of failure. The old tricks, the tried and true tricks, just don’t seem to be working this time. How that must sting.

  • garyb50

    Love Pelosi’s green hair.
    It just occurred to me that her ‘impeachment’s off the table’ may have been a smart move after all. No sideshow & distraction to Obama’s campaign of Hope. Nothing for the Republicans to unite behind and bolster McCain’s base.

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