Wednesday, September 07, 2005

A little anecdotal relief from White House spin

Although I reside in a teeny-tiny patch of blue due west of one of the reddest blotches marring the landscape of this great land of ours, I work in the depths of that red scourge. Indeed, I have to cross it every day (a commute that is killing me with current gas prices) with eyes wide open and head held down.

A strange phenomenon: prior to the November election, you didn't see all that many 'W04' stickers on cars. As I've heard from different corners, the last Presidential election wasn't so much about showing support for Bush but stating distaste for Kerry. That seems to have been borne out days before the election because, as I traversed the red sea hereabouts, my count of Kerry stickers relative to Bush stickers was a dead heat.

What I found interesting was that, after the election, 'W04'stickers bloomed, as if local drivers felt confident enough to slap the damn things on their SUVs as if to say, "Oh yeah, Oh yeah, I supported the WINNER!" Before the election, my count of 'W' stickers amounted to about 1-in-20 cars; after the election, that count jumped to about 1-in-6.

Until this past week. Oddly enough, the 'W' stickers have disappeared. No shit, for the last two days I have not seen a single 'W' sticker anywhere on my trek across town (and today I had several errands to run, so my drive was considerably longer and more circuitous.

Believe me, I've had my eyes peeled because I've wanted to roll up on some winger with a Bush sticker so I could shout, "Nice job he did while on vacation, huh?" but no such luck.

I'm not sure what that means but I have my suspicions.

Adding to that, my groups have been given the opportunity to process their feelings regarding the Katrina disaster (I'm a therapist for court-ordered DUI therapy groups). I've listened to roughly 60 clients regarding the disaster and only two were in Bush's corner. Not everyone expressed anger at Bush and the Federal government but I have to say the vast majority said "Bush should be impeached."

Anecdotal evidence, I know, and it probably doesn't mean much, but it tells me that not many people have been swayed by the whirring of the White House spin machine's spew of fallacies over the past couple of days.

It's been widely reported on the blogosphere (but it bears repeating here), that the MSM has been dizzied by Rovian spin. A prime example from TPM today:
While watching the MSNBC program, CONNECTED, COAST TO COAST with Ron Reagan, a man from the Evergreen Foundation was on air spinning the myth that the President had to "beg" the Governor of Louisiana to take action. Having been on this show several times I called one of the bookers, Susan Durrwatcher, to alert her to the fact that this man was misrepresenting what happened. I offered Susan the following objective, documented facts (see timeline below). Susan thanked me for my "opinion" and said "we just have a different perspective". Stunned, I asked her by what standard of journalism that an objective fact was mere opinion? I asked her to simply look at the documents and correct the record. She declined.

Perhaps the left is gun-shy when considering the intelligence of the average American (echoing the Daily Mirror's post-election headline, "How can 59,054, 087 people be so DUMB?") and although the left blogosphere is rightfully exasperated by the media carrying White House water, it's not as though this battle is brand new. Although the MSM did an admirable job in its criticism of the delayed response to the disaster, we all knew that their week of sobriety was short-lived and a relapse was imminent.

Sure, recent polls find most Americans ambivalent regarding Bush's performance but in my own little corner of the universe, people are saying something different. As the stories of the evacuees make the rounds, as the true death toll begins to get reported, and as the results of an independent start to come to light, the things the vast majority of my clients are saying will be repeated, louder, with more anger.

As far as the sudden dearth of 'W' stickers in this area? My own interpretation is that, although people aren't exactly blaming Bush, they can't exactly bring themselves to support him. And that's not something the polls are reporting.


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