Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 30, 2006

WB: The 51% Solution


[T]he important lesson (one the Ronald Brownsteins of the world will never, ever mention in print) is what Rove's 51% strategy says about the America's future. Because if Turd Blossom is right (and he may well be) then this isn't really one country any more. It's a battlefield divided between two bitterly hostile partisan armies, with an indeterminate number of undecided or uncommitted voters -- "the civilians" -- left stranded out in no man's land.
But while Karl may be OK with this, and the pod people of the authoritarian right may be OK with this, and I may be OK with it, I don't think the indeterminate number of uncommitted voters who are stranded out there between the partisan lines are OK with it. They seem to want something more than a 51% solution, and they don't seem to understand why they can't have it.

The 51% Solution

Posted by b on October 30, 2006 at 20:59 UTC | Permalink


For the record, KS was paraphrasing Baudelaire: "la plus belle des ruses du diable est de vous persuader qu'il n'existe pas."

Posted by: Qlipoth | Oct 30 2006 21:04 utc | 1

Ah, Billmon's depressed again!

...but then, he's got good reason. Can I get another Boddington's here in the Whiskey Bar?

Posted by: Darryl Pearce | Oct 30 2006 21:07 utc | 2

I work with victims of domestic violence so Karl is a very familiar adversary. Within "the movement", as we refer to ourselves, we dont see anything less than social change ending domestic violence. There is no middle ground. No comfortable place where men who believe in ownership of women and women who believe in their own autonomy can co-exist.
The national political scene mirrors the DV scene. There is no way to co-exist with people who hate you, hate your values, lie, cheat, bully, and think it is okay for them to do so, either because they have the power to do so or their God endowed them with the right.
Social change is scary for those that are comfortable with the status quo. It is even scary for the losers in the current system. It is also alot of work, and does not happen overnight.
I too welcome Karl's fight, lets get it over with. Let's see these a-holes in their full authoritarian glory; and then let's pitch them into some prison cell somewhere and go back to working on being a democracy.

Posted by: peonista | Oct 30 2006 21:16 utc | 3

Well, I kinda miss "the plutocratic fraud that goes by the name of 'democracy' in this country."

But, as always, love your analysis.

Posted by: Coral | Oct 30 2006 21:26 utc | 4

"There is no surer way of corrupting the citizens, and to divide the city against itself, than to foment the spirit of faction that may prevail there; for each party will strive by every means of corruption to secure friends and supporters."
-- Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.
I am not ok with it, but I understand why.
Let there be light...

Posted by: Fiat Lux | Oct 30 2006 21:45 utc | 5

Isn't faction what ultimately tore the Roman Republic apart, just at the moment when it had assured its safety in the Mediterranean basin. I guess we couldn't live with having won the Cold War. Too bad that it's happening in a country which has multiple firearms for every citizen in the country, firearms which don't require any particular training as compared to using weapons in ancient times. Wielding an AK-47 or a pump-action shot-gun is a lot easier than knowing how to use a sword or spear. That's where Rove's vision leads.

Posted by: PrahaPartizan | Oct 30 2006 22:12 utc | 6


"The Pentagon has set up a new unit to focus on promoting its message across 24-hour rolling news outlets, and particularly on the internet.
The US Defence Department said it would expand its public relations work to fight "inaccurate" news stories.

Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has said media manipulation by enemies of the US is the only thing keeping him awake at night."

sometimes, it is almost impossible to believe a breath of the shit these organs of state power puff

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 31 2006 1:02 utc | 7

Because if Turd Blossom is right (and he may well be) then this isn't really one country any more. It's a battlefield divided between two bitterly hostile partisan armies

Right on, Bartender, but still I have to wonder just how large those armies really are. Call me Mr. Pessimistic, but it sometimes seems as if we have two 5 percents facing off while the great Mooing Middle munches on. Perhaps historians can point out that this is usually the case.

Posted by: m | Oct 31 2006 1:35 utc | 8

M's post reminds me of an incident I saw in a restaurant about five years ago. A mother and father were trying to get their five-year-old boy to settle down and be good. They obviously had little control over him. Finally, the dad told the five-year-old, "You be quiet or no 'Fear Factor' for you tonight".

That's America now: a five year old who gets to watch Fear Factor if he shuts the fuck up.

Posted by: NickM | Oct 31 2006 1:51 utc | 9

"...I don't think the indeterminate number of uncommitted voters who are stranded out there between the partisan lines are OK with it. They seem to want something more than a 51% solution, and they don't seem to understand why they can't have it."

They seem to be fine with it from where I'm watching. Exactly how will the war progress on the front lines of the "No Man's Land" of uncommitted voters? Expensively.

*cue Twilight Zone theme* Picture, if you will, the ultimate showdown between the forces of fascism and the forces of indolence. I'm hard pressed to figure out which side disgusts me the most.

Posted by: Monolycus | Oct 31 2006 4:33 utc | 10

From monolycus link:

"The city is usually spying on us and watching us carefully, so we just figured they understood there wasn't a demonstration today," said Beecham.


Posted by: a swedish kind of death | Oct 31 2006 17:00 utc | 11

But the irony is that 9/11 also thrust upon the Rovians what they had deliberately not sought at the polls: a broad, sweeping majority. If they had adapted accordingly, and revised their fundamental strategy (or at least done a better job of camouflaging it) we'd probably be a hell of lot closer to the GOP equivalent of the thousand year Reich (well, twenty years, anyway). ...


The invasion and bombing of. Afgh was decided on before 9/11 and was given the nod. The Russkies would be trumped and the West would crush, take over, secure pipelines, make noises about the Taliban, etc. It would be a money maker, as it has been, and no problem with ‘the people.’ After the success in Yugo, (destroyed forever) it was considered a natural progression.

The Iraq invasion was before 9/11 still hanging in the air; a surety for some that I spoke to, a non starter for others, such as the xxx of the Foreign Legion, who believed Chirac and Shroeder would stop it easily. And a top Swiss pol. Same.

After 9/11 it seemed inevitable, but old Europe, Russia, and China were against it. (India, I don’ t recall established US ally by now, at the time.. ?) New Europe, hustling for bucks, legitimacy, and reacting against their old enemies and oppressors, were smarmily for it, used as they were, and are, to taking BS public stances to get gold spoons. They were warned, and warned again, and hit over the head, but for them it was an opportunity to side with some entity and show muscle, play a role, be someone. South America kept quiet. I remember an e mail from a friend, oh she said, it is awful, I am ashamed, I weep, N, please call, but if the US could be busy elsewhere, maybe I can save 1000 lives. But then, probably more would die elsewhere...

9/11 was in a way an unexpected, surprising gift. It was exploited politically, but clumsily so, in a short-term way. It provided and easy, flag-waving, sentimental patriotism, recruits, etc. The emotion was ersatz; who today knows who died at the Pentagon? And who survived? Say, Uncle Scam. Me - A European. Others - far less than one thousands of a % in the US. Who cares? Nobody. Are they buried at Arlington? Heh - go find out. No books were published in the US about those victims - nor about the terrorists for that matter. (Of course, there are reasons for that, but they are not to be examined.)

The return or backlash of that kind of fakery is inevitable. At some point, the hype rings thin; people intuitively understand they have been duped.

Posted by: Noirette | Oct 31 2006 19:15 utc | 12

A good tactician does not to what the opponent expects: Why hold a demonstration and be outnumbered by the police? Much better not to show at all! I love it! This approach has promise!

Posted by: Gaianne | Nov 1 2006 6:20 utc | 13

Actually, Gaianne, in principle, it was a very effective (if inadvertent) move on the part of the protesters. They certainly got many Chicago residents alarmed by a huge police presence in full riot gear apparently warding off stray cats. Probably had a bigger impact on the psyche than a few flyers and chants would have. And the best thing about "assymetric" tactics is that the police are complaining about how much it cost them to mobilize.

What concerns me most is this snippet:

"The Chicago Police Department would not provide an exact figure as to how much money was wasted. But the deputy superintendent says the department will look into recouping some of its costs."

Recoup the costs from whom, precisely? Fine the protesters an undisclosed amount for not having the decency to be unruly at a convenient time? Fine the Thought Police for sleeping on the job and not updating their calendars? Or just fine the taxpayers, as usual, to subsidize incompetence?

In any case, it's bleeding dry the people who support Das Amerikanische Gestapo, and, as such, I actually am kind of behind it. Maybe non-violent absenteeism... like having the temerity to kill oneself in Gitmo... will be the new "Face of Terrorism".

Posted by: Monolycus | Nov 1 2006 7:30 utc | 14

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