Rovian rules & SOTU: Pysch of propaganda

Bush's speech last night was a prime example of applied cognitive psychology and the science of communication, linguistics and propaganda.  While much of the speech was very humdrum - the listing of Clinton-esque programs and a series of claims for how well things are going and how things should go, or why they should go one way or another.  The following are examples from three applications of the Rovian Rules for Effective Communication (humdrum removed).

  1. Rovian Rule: Thou shalt associate one's own weakness with thy enemy's great moral stances
  2. Rovian Rule: Thou shalt create false categories
  3. Rovian Rule: Thou shalt speak in the logic of false dichotomies

cross posted: Political Porn at

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The State of Our Union

Once again, tonight President Bush used those words inevitably linked to Presidents on this night: "the state of our union is confident and strong".

Sure, we're confident if we're oil companies. Oil companies are bathing in money these days. Record profits are being made at the expense of consumers at the pump.

We're confident if we're the richest 1%. The biggest worry of the richest 1% would be having to pay their fare share of taxes, and even then we're talking about pocket change.

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Addicted to Rhetoric: Bush's State of the Union

Senate Candidate Calls President Out for Empty Rhetoric

Cincinnati, OH - Paul Hackett, Iraq War veteran and Democratic candidate for Senate in Ohio, responded this evening to President Bush's State of the Union address.


The President said America is addicted to oil and far too energy dependent.

Paul Hackett said, "A former oil executive telling us we are addicted to oil is like a tobacco company executive complaining that their employees take too many smoke breaks. Exxon made almost $11 billion last quarter, while Americans are paying surging prices to fill their gas tanks and heat their homes. The President should stop blaming Americans and put pressure on his cronies in the oil industry to develop and sell the technology we need to become less energy dependent on foreign AND domestic oil."


The President wants to change the healthcare industry in America.

Paul Hackett said, "The last time this President `fixed' healthcare, senior citizens were left with a confusing Medicare prescription drug plan. Here in Ohio only 11 percent of our seniors that need drug benefits have actually signed up. That is no way to `fix' healthcare."

The President said "we must confront the rising cost of care, strengthen the doctor-patient relationship, and help people afford the insurance coverage they need."

Paul Hackett said, "How? The 1.3 million Ohioans without insurance would like to know. The hard working men and women of Ohio wanted to hear specific plans to help them, not more meaningless political rhetoric. I believe every single American should have access to the same healthcare offered to members of Congress."


The President said that he would strengthen our economy "by strengthening our economic leadership in the world."

Paul Hackett said, "Well, the 347,000 unemployed Ohioans would disagree with him. You strengthen the economy here in Ohio by keeping plants open, keeping jobs in Ohio instead of sending them to China and Mexico and giving people a living wage, healthcare and educational opportunities so they can provide for their families and improve their lives."


The President said, "If we were to leave these vicious attackers alone, they would not leave us alone."

Paul Hackett said, "One question for the President: Where is Osama bin Laden? And why did you direct American forces to stand down when he was trapped at Tora Bora?"

The President said "to defeat the terrorists is to defeat their dark vision of hatred and fear by offering the hopeful alternative of political freedom and peaceful change."

Paul Hackett said, "Well, Mr. President, you surely don't do that at the business end of an M-16. At this point, we have accomplished all we can militarily and are doing little to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people, and THAT is how you bring about true political freedom and peaceful change. Our armed forces are painting schools in Iraq - a terrible misuse of American military power. We need to let the military set a timetable to bring our troops home safely."


The President's lack of attention to the culture of corruption on Capitol Hill and in his White House.

Paul Hackett said, "President Bush recycled ideas from State of the Unions past and threw in some empty political rhetoric. He helped spread the crisis of confidence Americans have in their government by ignoring rampant corruption and cronyism on Capitol Hill and the White House. It is unfortunate that the President did not take head on the Republican culture of corruption with a true plan for reform."

Visit our new Hackett for Senate blog

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Live Blog Discussion with Peter Welch, VT Candidate for U.S. Congress

Join Peter Welch, Vermont Senate President Pro Tem and candidate for U.S. Congress for a "live blog discussion" at Blog for America immediately following President George W. Bush's State of the Union address tonight.

Below is an outline of some of the things Sen. Welch will be listening for in the President's speech.  Following the SOTU, he will discuss the issues facing voters in the November elections with the BFA community.

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How WE should respond to the SOTU - "Fool me once, shame on you..."

Today, President Bush will deliver his State of the Union and one of his major themes will be "Let's Work Together." WE CAN BEAT HIM ON THIS!  Everyone repeat after me and keep repeating after me until the Traditional Media picks up on our narrative.

The president once said in a speech:
Fool me once, shame on... shame on you.
You fool me... you can't get fooled again.
We agree Mr. President. Democrats tried to pass legislation to strengthen American families but The Republican House has locked Democrats out of debate.  Democrats tried to punish corruption but the Republican Senate has threatened away to take away our right to speak. Democrats trusted the President to command our armed forces but he misled us into the Iraq mess and couldn't even handle the threat of a hurricane that was forecasted a week in advance.

We won't get fooled again Mr. President.  It's time that America have a government it can trust to work for the benefits of ordinary Americans and to, above all, always tell the truth to Americans.  Enough is enough and it's time for a change.

Spread the word.Crossposted at DailyKos and The Dem IM

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