The 527 Meme

Just for the record.

Every time Bush has been asked to denounce the vicious and slanderous attacks on Kerry’s Viet Nam record by the so-called ‘Swift Boat Veterans’, whose allegations have been thoroughly debunked and whose lack of credibility is second only to Junior’s, he has responded by denouncing not the SBV but all 527 groups. All of his spokesmen, including Scott McClellan do the same; all the B/C’04 spokesmen do likewise. The corporate media Echo Chamber, needless to say, copies both.

This seems to be taken as an attempt to sidestep the B/C campaign’s ultimate responsibility for both the group and its ad, which we now know were each bought and paid for by Bush Buddy and multi-millionaire (that’s redundant, isn’t it) Bob Perry. It isn’t, at least not primarily. If it were, the many voices of the Mighty Wurlitzer would be in full attack mode against SBV critics, and they aren’t. No, the Admin is responding as it is because that’s a sizable chunk of the point for them. It’s part of the plan.

It isn’t hard to figure that Rove is behind this–it’s a fairly standard tactic he’s used with great success the last few years: libel the opposition with outrageous, attention-getting, corporate media-loving lies and then turn all that attention toward the real target. In this case, the real target is the 527 groups who have neutralized the Rich Man’s Party’s fund-raising advantages and closed a lot of glaring loopholes in the Democrats’ spending strategy. Remember, these are people who went before the Supreme Court and argued that ‘money=free speech’. SG Olson said at one point that people were entitled to as much free speech as they could afford to buy. Now that stance has come back to bite them in the form of 527 groups like who have been extremely successful doing just that. The last thing Karl needs is for the left and center to exercise that right, a right that conservatives accept as Gospel, and remove the RMP’s only real weapon–the staggering sums the rich (and those they control) can and do donate to Republican campaigns.

Rove is perfectly aware that that the RMP has nothing and does nothing that the mass of American voters wants from them, that in fact most of the RMP agenda is anathema to them. That’s why so much energy goes into governing in secret, that’s why they tell so many lies, that’s why they distort, deny, and spin the facts at every turn. If people knew and understood what they were doing, their hold on power wouldn’t last five minutes, and preventing that means controlling the debate. Controlling the debate means spending huge sums of money your opponents can’t hope to match. In other words, they can’t win elections so they buy them.

Liberal and progressive 527’s endanger that control by going a long way to level the monetary playing field, so Rove is using the SBV to build a wall of opinion against all 527’s. It’s the ancient lawyer’s trick of attacking the credibility of the witness when you can’t attack his testimony on its merits. While we’re arguing about the SBV’s credibility, Rove is using them to convince the country that 527’s are anti-democratic, laying the groundwork for outlawing them later.

Misdirection: Palm the coin while everybody’s watching the fluttering bird.

Don’t fall for it.

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