Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What Happened, or not

buy at Overstock.comSounds like the soon to be released book "What Happened" by former Whitehouse press secretary Scott McClellan will be the big read of the political season. I predict that this will be the single most quoted book of the year, if not of the decade.

Apparently the gist of this book is that the Bush Administration engaged in propaganda and we are to be outraged. I doubt, however, that the book will actually reduce the use the number of times that the rich and powerful misdirect people to gain more power. I suspect that the primary use of the book will be groups using it to project their methods onto the Republicans. Bush did this; therefore, I am justified in doing that ...

In many minds the book justifies the far left's anti-Bush propaganda campaign that took place during the war. Since Bush engaged in the lead up to the war, we are justified to engage in anti-Bush propaganda while the troops are fighting the war.

Quite frankly, I think the book is an nonevent. Both George W. Bush and Scott McClellan went to modern schools where they sat through numerous classes where the professor bubbled on and on about propaganda. Propaganda is, after all, the preoccupation of the modern age. Not surprisingly, when Bush and McClellan were in power, they used the techniques they learned in school.

It is unlikely that Bush or McClellan would have used traditional logic in their administration. Logic was yanked from the curriculum before they were born.

Back to propaganda ... I've tried in the past to point out that there is no objective definition of what is or is not propaganda. To those who become preoccupied with propaganda, everything becomes propaganda. So the question is not if someone engaged in propaganda, but how successfully one engages in propaganda.

From this perspective, McClellan's story is that the Bush administration engaged in propaganda in a way that clouded their decision making process, and left them exposed for propaganda attacks by their partisan enemies.

The left engaged in effective propaganda by pullint the trick of supporting the war during the decision making process and turning against it while American soldiers were in harms way. When you accept that everything is propaganda, then it is all about how you time the propaganda.

The book is destined to be the most cited book of the year. But I think I am going to pass on it. I find the mincing of partisan propaganda tedious. Since this book is having Harry Potter style success in the stores, I really just wanted to put up an affiliate link and tell everybody that Overstock has the lowest price on the title, and they have $2.95 shipping. (Yes, I would get a commission from sales.)

A note to any student reading this: The way our school system works is that you get extra points when you use Republicans as negative examples; so this would be a valuable source material.

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