American Crossroads GPS and America Rising devote their pages to providing materials for Social Media to use to bash Hillary Clinton. In addition groups like "Project Veritas" (James O'Keefe) and The American Mirror devote time and effort to creating bogus allegations to convince people that folks are doing dirty Business. And huge sums were invested into trolling the left, baiting the left and "coming at them from the left". They had already spent nearly a million on attacking her by the beginning of 2014. For the right wing it's just "business" as usual. For the left, once they get the scent from Right Wing supplied opposition research, it becomes a cause. Both are getting their funding (unwittingly for Bernie Sanders followers, whose campaign admitted they weren't doing their own Opposition research) from the Right.
This continues the subject of the Stop Hillary Movement that follows on other "attack from the left" designed to spin Democrats into not voting for their own people.
Steven Law, of American Rising, is quoted in a New York Times article:
"the goal was simply to erode what should be her natural core of support."
“It can diminish enthusiasm for Hillary among the base over time,” he said. “And if you diminish enthusiasm, lukewarm support can translate into lackluster fund-raising and perhaps diminished turnout down the road.” [NY Times Article]
Matt Rhoades of America Rising went further:
“The idea is to make her life difficult in the primary and challenge her from the left,” said Colin Reed, America Rising’s executive director. “We don’t want her to enter the general election not having been pushed from the left, so if we have opportunities — creative ways, especially online — to push her from the left, we’ll do it just to show those folks who she needs to turn out that she’s not in line with them.” [NYTimes]
And with help from embedded Bernie Sanders "Busters" and duped and deluded Sanders supporters alike, it has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.
"For months now, America Rising has sent out a steady stream of posts on social media attacking Mrs. Clinton, some of them specifically designed to be spotted, and shared, by liberals. The posts highlight critiques of her connections to Wall Street and the Clinton Foundation and feature images of Democrats like Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York, interspersed with cartoon characters and pictures of Kevin Spacey, who plays the villain in “House of Cards.” And as they are read and shared, an anti-Clinton narrative is reinforced." [NY Times Article]
More like years at this point as the article is from last May and the attacks are still unrelenting a year later.
"America Rising is not the only conservative group attacking Mrs. Clinton from the left. Another is American Crossroads, the group started by Karl Rove, which has been sending out its own digital content, including one ad using a speech Ms. Warren gave at the New Populism Conference in Washington last May." [NY Times Article]
America Crossroads is still pushing Right Wing tropes, warmed over to try to impress generations that weren't around when they happened such as "Chinagate" (whatever that is) and of course Whitewater. But they've added "Benghazi", "Inspectorgate", and daily dozens of attacks to the list. And the irony is that the powerful interests are going all out to stop Hillary Clinton -- by claiming that they are backing her!
“Powerful interests have tried to capture Washington and rig the system in their favor,” intones Ms. Warren, as images of Mrs. Clinton with foreign leaders flash by." [NY Times Article]
And in addition to the media that is cobbled together from clippings from legitimate interviews and news there is of Course James O'Keefe and Breitbart. O'Keefe was too much even for Breitbart, so now he runs his own web-"news" site "Project Veritas" [http://projectveritas.com/]. O'Keefe specializes in pseudo journalism with doctored videos. He's accused both Hillary and Sanders supporters of election law violations though currently he seems to be aiming at "Common Core." But he also likes to foment trouble by feeding on the paranoia of the various camps.
Feeding Rumor-Mills, Blogosphere and Paranoia
The result is that they are feeding the rumor, blogosphere and posting spheres with anti-democratic propaganda that feeds on the natural paranoia of many progressives and liberals. Naturally the Cons will demurr:
"Conservative strategists and operatives say they are simply filling a vacuum on the far left, as well as applying the lesson they learned in 2012, when they watched in frustration as Mitt Romney was forced to expend time and resources in a protracted primary fight. By the time he secured his party’s nomination, President Obama hardly had to make the case that his opponent was a coldhearted plutocrat; Republicans like Newt Gingrich had already made the argument for him in the primaries." [NY Times Article]
Agit-Propaganda, Disinformation and Newspeak
But this is agit-propaganda not that dissimilar to the stuff put out within Totalitarian Countries. They are using every means to paint us Democrats in a way that gets us fighting each other (as I noted in my previous post). We Dems can be powerful social media messengers. And when we are wise we use such messages to target folks who deserve targeting as we did with Romney:
"Few Republicans are more familiar with that nightmare than Matt Rhoades, who was Mr. Romney’s campaign manager. He founded America Rising in response to a recommendation contained in an autopsy of Romney’s failed presidential run that was ordered by the Republican National Committee. The group’s original goal was to compete with American Bridge, the Democratic opposition research group, but its focus under Mr. Rhoades has been to subject Mrs. Clinton to an ordeal similar to Mr. Romney’s." [NY Times Article]
And so far they've been successful. Largely thanks to the help of some of Bernie Sander's supporters, who lap the stuff up.
“The idea is to make her life difficult in the primary and challenge her from the left,” said Colin Reed, America Rising’s executive director. “We don’t want her to enter the general election not having been pushed from the left, so if we have opportunities — creative ways, especially online — to push her from the left, we’ll do it just to show those folks who she needs to turn out that she’s not in line with them.” [NY Times Article]
A lot of these articles get fed into the blogosphere, and from there they sometimes make it into the reports of muckrakers and alternative media reporters. Thus we Democrats start to think that they are actually true.
So do we let them get away with it?
America Rising's about page:
"America Rising PAC was set up in Spring 2013 to serve as an organization on the right for the sole purpose of exposing the truth about Democrats through video tracking, research, and communications. By cataloguing every Democrat utterance we have the data to ensure they are held accountable for their words and actions." [About]
You won't find such explicit hate on American CrossRoads About Page. They talk about taking back America against professional politicians and bureaucrats.
- The Right put big money into doing opposition research on Hillary Clinton and "baiting Clinton" from the left:
- Big Money Behind The Republican Super PAC That Is Already Attacking Hillary Clinton: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/31/super-pac-hillary-clinton_n_4705099.html
- Destroying The Opposition Is A Business For the Right, A Cause For The Left: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/09/oppo-groups-america-rising-american-bridge_n_4564780.html
- Center for Public Integrity: American Crossroads revs up attacks on Dems
- STING OF MYSELF Amateurish spies like James O’Keefe, by Jane Mayer:
- Project Veritas:
- James O'Keefe [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_O%27Keefe]
It's hard to get objective numbers on the spending either. The PACS boast raising and spending amounts in millions. But when I go to Open secrets they report less than a million for America Rising raised and claim that they've only spent 54,000. Which is an absurdly low sum. Given the boasting you hear from them.