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The 10 Dumbest Ideas to Defeat Rove & Progressives Discussed By the Conservative Groundswell Organization

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: John Bolton, republicans, propaganda, ethics, dishonesty, corruption, lies, americans, government, economy, politics )

- 1761 days ago -
David Corn at Mother Jones revealed today. But, perhaps luckily for some progressives and Republicans alike, their proposed methods (and grammar) leave a bit to be desired.

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Sheila D (194)
Thursday July 25, 2013, 5:54 pm
Aliens, I can believe...Thank you for making me laugh. Seriously, these people must be on release from some psych wards - no offense to any who are mentally challenged (is that correct PC??).

Carrie B (306)
Thursday July 25, 2013, 6:29 pm
These people really are pathetic.

Jason S (50)
Thursday July 25, 2013, 7:23 pm
Good posting, thanks

Louise D (44)
Thursday July 25, 2013, 9:39 pm
I suppose the whole throwing water on them and seeing if they would melt or burst into flames hasn't been thought of, alternately they could just drop a house on them and steal their magic slippers would be a good idea too.

Dorothy N (63)
Thursday July 25, 2013, 9:54 pm
They certainly are nuts - but did the article linked to make it clear that one of the biggies in this is the wife of Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court?

If you'll pardon my quoting some of the most pertinent parts of an article I STRONGLY recommend reading in full at source, this is serious and dangerous lunacy, and Clarence Thomas should be off the bench, as his judicial impartiality is - at best - under question:

Inside Groundswell: Read the Memos of the New Right-Wing Strategy Group Planning a "30 Front War"
Ginni Thomas, Allen West, and a crew of conservative activists and journalists have formed a hush-hush coalition to battle progressives—and Karl Rove.

—By David Corn
| Thu Jul. 25, 2013

Believing they are losing the messaging war with progressives, a group of prominent conservatives in Washington—including the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and journalists from Breitbart News and the Washington Examiner—has been meeting privately since early this year to concoct talking points, coordinate messaging, and hatch plans for "a 30 front war seeking to fundamentally transform the nation," according to documents obtained by Mother Jones. ...

... One of the influential conservatives guiding the group is Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, a columnist for the Daily Caller and a tea party consultant and lobbyist. Other Groundswell members include John Bolton, the former UN ambassador; Frank Gaffney, the president of the Center for Security Policy; Ken Blackwell and Jerry Boykin of the Family Research Council; Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch; Gayle Trotter, a fellow at the Independent Women's Forum; Catherine Engelbrecht and Anita MonCrief of True the Vote; Allen West, the former GOP House member; Sue Myrick, also a former House GOPer; Diana Banister of the influential Shirley and Banister PR firm; and Max Pappas, a top aide to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). ...

... A certain amount of secrecy cloaks Groundswell's efforts. Though members have been encouraged to zap out tweets with a #GSW hashtag, a message circulated to members of its Google group noted that the role of certain advocates should be kept "off of the Google group for OPSEC [operational security] reasons." This "will avoid any potential for bad press for someone if a communication item is leaked," the message explained. ...

... Critics have contended that Thomas' work as a lobbyist opposing Obamacare posed a conflict of interest for her husband, who would rule on the constitutionality of the health care reform initiative. (Clarence Thomas joined the Supreme Court minority that favored striking down the law.) And Common Cause has maintained that Justice Thomas had a conflict of interest when he participated in the Citizens United case because his wife at the time was running a conservative nonprofit fighting the "tyranny" of President Barack Obama that would benefit from removing limits on such groups' spending and fundraising. With her involvement in Groundswell—which zeroes in on contentious issues that come before the high court, including voting rights, abortion, and gay marriage—Ginni Thomas continues to be intricately associated with matters on which her husband may have to render a decision. Ginni Thomas did not respond to requests for comment. ...

... How Groundswellers Win "Brownie Points"

Notes prepared after a Groundswell meeting held on March 27 detailed the group's mission and origins:

Groundswell evolved out of conversations among conservative leaders after the November elections. This is the eighth meeting. Now others are asking to be included. Growth needs to be strategic; it should be made up of senior level people willing to collaborate. It is important to keep a balance of social conservatives, national security conservatives, and constitutional conservatives. Outreach has occurred to incorporate groups with extensive reach: Heritage, Heritage Action, FreedomWorks, AFP [Americans for Prosperity], FRC [Family Research Council] and the NRA, among others…Our country is in peril. This is a critical moment needing critical leadership. We want to protect the strategic collaboration occurring at Groundswell and build on it. Please be careful about bringing guests and clear them ahead of time. ...

(My interjection - it seems evident that Supreme Court Judge Clarence Thomas' wife worked toward this:

Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 08:21 AM PDT
Sabotage! FreedomWorks Trying to Dissuade People from Entering ACA Exchanges

by ericlewis0

From Talking Points Memo:

“With the Obama administration poised for a huge public education campaign on healthcare reform, Republicans and their allies are mobilizing a counter-offensive including town hall meetings, protests and media promotions to dissuade uninsured Americans from obtaining health coverage,” Reuters reports. “‘We’re trying to make it socially acceptable to skip the exchange,’ said Dean Clancy, vice president for public policy at FreedomWorks, which boasts 6 million supporters.”

Emphasis mine. It’s bad enough to just not care that much if the U.S. has a large uninsured population. But if there’s an excuse for encouraging people who have the means to remain uninsured, I can’t fathom it.

It almost goes without saying that this effort is being undertaken to keep younger, healthier people out of the exchanges, and send the individual insurance market into an adverse-selection “death spiral.” That would ruin the system for people who want the help Obamacare offers them. And so the campaign effectively amounts to asking people to continue putting their well-being and livelihoods at risk for the good of the cause of keeping health care for sick people unaffordable.

Treasonous assholes. Or you can call it sedition. Whatever. But we have to call out this anti-American ploy loudly and repeatedly, because the mainstream media probably will not.

On its face, the move reeks of desperation, but with enough money behind it, who knows what could happen. It's time to shame the unpatriotic Goposaur saboteurs.


Update 1:

TomP finds evidence that it's not just FreedomWorks - it's also Boehner, McConnell and other Congressional Goposaurs. From an article in the National Journal:

But to do everything possible to undercut and destroy its implementation—which in this case means finding ways to deny coverage to many who lack any health insurance; to keep millions who might be able to get better and cheaper coverage in the dark about their new options; to create disruption for the health providers who are trying to implement the law, including insurers, hospitals, and physicians; to threaten the even greater disruption via a government shutdown or breach of the debt limit in order to blackmail the president into abandoning the law; and to hope to benefit politically from all the resulting turmoil—is simply unacceptable, even contemptible. One might expect this kind of behavior from a few grenade-throwing firebrands. That the effort is spearheaded by the Republican leaders of the House and Senate—even if Speaker John Boehner is motivated by fear of his caucus, and McConnell and Cornyn by fear of Kentucky and Texas Republican activists—takes one's breath away.

(Back to: )

... At the March 27 meeting, Groundswell participants discussed one multipurpose theme they had been deploying for weeks to bash the president on a variety of fronts, including immigration reform and the sequester: Obama places "politics over public safety." In a display of Groundswell's message-syncing, members of the group repeatedly flogged this phrase in public. Frank Gaffney penned a Washington Times op-ed titled "Putting Politics Over Public Safety." Tom Fitton headlined a Judicial Watch weekly update "Politics over Public Safety: More Illegal Alien Criminals Released by Obama Administration." Peter List, editor of, authored a post called "Obama's Machiavellian Sequestration Pain Game: Putting Politics Over Public Safety." Matthew Boyle used the phrase in an immigration-related article for Breitbart. And Dan Bongino promoted Boyle's story on Twitter by tweeting, "Politics over public safety?" In a message to Groundswellers, Ginni Thomas awarded "brownie points" to Fitton, Gaffney, and other members for promoting the "politics over public safety" riff.

There was much more on the agenda for the March 27 meeting than a single talking point. The group routinely addresses an ambitious to-do list for its campaign against the left. At that session, Groundswellers discussed several immigration-related "action items." These included attempting to link the pending reform bill to Obamacare and collecting health care reform horror stories to provide to Cruz, a leading opponent of the Senate immigration reform bill. (Cruz has repeatedly compared the legislation to the health care reform law.)

Groundswell members saw immigration as a life-or-death issue. "If we lose on immigration," the post-meeting memo noted, "we lose on every other issue. The key to defeating this bill is Sen. Rubio. He can gracefully remove himself from the 'gang of 8' and still save face…The messaging on this issue has to be 'we can't trust Obama' to enforce immigration laws after the amnesty." ...

... "We're Failing the Propaganda Battle"
The Groundswellers feel that they too often lose the political narrative to their progressive rivals. One memo that circulated among members declared, "We must reclaim the language and put 'a face' on our messages; tell stories. Write articles on 4th grade level!" ...

... The group's proposed offensive would include hyping the Fast and Furious gun-trafficking controversy, slamming Obama's record, and touting Benghazi as a full-fledged scandal. "The problem," the memo noted, "is Speaker Boehner and [Rep.] Mike Rogers (Intelligence Community) are refusing to deal" with the Benghazi issue. It added, "Leaders can and should be shamed into doing the right thing." ...

... A high-priority cause for Groundswellers is voter identification efforts—what progressives would call voter suppression—and when Groundswellers developed a thread on their Google group page exploring the best way to pitch the right's voter identification endeavors as a major voting rights case was pending in the Supreme Court, the coalition's friendly journalists joined right in. Dan Bongino, the ex-Secret Service agent and 2012 Senate candidate, kicked off the discussion: "We need to reframe this. This narrative of the Left has already taken hold in MD. The words 'Voter ID' are already lost & equated with racism. Maybe a 'free and fair elections initiative' with a heavy emphasis on avoiding ANY voter disenfranchisement combined with an identification requirement which includes a broader range of documents."

In response, Tapscott suggested, "How about 'Election Integrity'?" And Gaffney weighed in: "I like it." Fitton noted that Judicial Watch had an "Election Integrity Project." Boyle proposed, "Fair and equal elections," explaining, "Terms 'fair' and 'equal' connect with most people. It's why the left uses them." Then came True the Vote's Anita MonCrief: "We do a lot under the Election Integrity Banner. Does not resonate with the people. Voter Rights may be better. We really have been trying to get the messaging right." ...

... Ignoring Flynn's missive, Engelbrecht, the president of True the Vote, wrote, "We bill ourselves as an Election Integrity Initiative and have found it strikes the right tone." ...

...But Groundswellers constantly brainstorm via their Google group in search of a magic talking point, or a silver bullet of messaging. On April 24, Keli Carender, the national grassroots coordinator of Tea Party Patriots, posted a message to the Google group, writing, "We should have a unified name for the immigration bill so that as the other side is calling it 'reform,' we present a unified front against that notion. If we're all calling it different things, their 'reform' message will win. We only combat the idea that it is reform if we hammer back with one different phrase/name." She tossed out a few ideas: "Schumer-Rubio bill," "anti-security bill," and "amnesty bill." Sheryl Kaufman, the communications director for Rep. Jim Bridenstine, chimed in that she was fond of a phrase derived by MonCreif: "'OBAMAGRATION'—I love it!! Communicates the similarity with Obamacare."

When Campaign for America's Future, a progressive group, sent out an email regarding the sequester headlined "Don't let Republicans destroy the economy," Carender sent a message to Groundswell members via the Google group: "What about a 'stick with sequester' (or similar) mantra from our side?" Responding to Carender's note, Peter List of wrote, "Most Americans don't understand sequesters. We need to be more clever than the Left on this…Something amusing and easy for LIVs [low-information voters] to understand. Maybe a tie in to Humpty Dumpty (the economy) and all King Obama's men ('tax increases') not being able to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. (I'm open to anything…and just made that up.)" ...

... Sutton suggested using four main themes: Obama and liberal policies fail; Obama and liberal policies make things worse; there is a lack of leadership in the White House; and Obama "puts politics ahead of people/our country/America." These themes, he contended, "are best used sequentially, rather than randomly/haphazardly/isolated…The most important thing is to think thematically and drive these messages." Sutton went on:

Issues matter. Details matter. Substance matters. But theme matters more. Substance matters only as it helps to reinforce the themes.

We all lament the difficulty we have persuading Americans. After all, we have the facts, figures, and data to prove our points. Why can't we persuade? There are many tactics we can use to help persuade (telling stories, finding victims, tempering tone). But these tactics pale in comparison to the importance of providing a context…a theme…to help people organize their thoughts and opinions. ...


Dorothy N (63)
Thursday July 25, 2013, 10:06 pm
Regarding this: ... '... A high-priority cause for Groundswellers is voter identification efforts—what progressives would call voter suppression—and when Groundswellers developed a thread on their Google group page exploring the best way to pitch the right's voter identification endeavors as a major voting rights case was pending in the Supreme Court, the coalition's friendly journalists joined right in. ...'

Just to add, in case anyone missed this, I presume the '...major voting rights case ... pending in the Supreme Court' at that point was likely the Voting Rights Act, doubtless before, among the others, Supreme Court Judge Clarence Thomas, while his wife was fighting for '... voter identification efforts—what progressives would call voter suppression...'

peggy p (43)
Friday July 26, 2013, 1:41 am
earlier, i was upset over reading bad news events over more bad news events...then i laughed myself silly over this stuff and am humming away!

Jonathan Harper (0)
Friday July 26, 2013, 4:36 am

Helen Porter (39)
Friday July 26, 2013, 5:41 am

Ben O (171)
Friday July 26, 2013, 8:13 am
If You don't mind me saying so again;
-Never underestimate the power of ignorant morons in large groups!

Elle B (84)
Friday July 26, 2013, 9:48 am
Ben, your point in caution is heeded. . .please repeat indefinitely it. . .

“Stupidity is an elemental force for which no earthquake is a match.” ― Karl Kraus

“For at least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols” ― Aldous Huxley

“How many consuming fires can there be in the words: freedom, peace and democracy and how easy they can be extinguished by ignorance, stupidity and arrogance?” ―Sorin Cerin

“Stupidity has a knack of getting its way.” ― Albert Camus

Ben O (171)
Friday July 26, 2013, 10:11 am
And, Mark Twain said it:
"Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience"

Boo B (11)
Friday July 26, 2013, 1:09 pm
I agree with Mark Twain

Lynn Squance (235)
Friday July 26, 2013, 3:01 pm
"6. Win the hearts and minds of “minorities” by re-positioning themselves as “Fredrick Douglas[sic] Republican[s],” instead of tea partiers or conservatives."

I didn't know who Frederick Douglas was so googled. Wikipedia says: "Douglass was a firm believer in the equality of all people, whether black, female, Native American, or recent immigrant, famously quoted as saying, "I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.""

There is no way that the members of Groundswell can change their spots to make people think they are something they are not. Conservative and racists is as conservative and racist does!

"10. “Write articles on [sic] 4th grade level!”"

I loved this one. Let all America know that Groundswell, for that matter Republicanus/Teabaggers think they are stupid. Just shows how watching Faux Noise makes one appear dumb, even to the Republicanus/Teabaggers, not only Groundswell

Alexandra Rodda (180)
Friday July 26, 2013, 5:54 pm
Having had a good laugh at their insanity, progressive people need to take stock.
One of the reasons that Republicans try to destroy education and worsen poverty is to dumb down the population so that they can more easily manipulate it with their "themes". They are not stupid. They are manipulating the "stupid" that they have created. They are using every kind of psychology, including depth psychology to do this. The ploys they use are powerful, though applying them is dishonorable and "dirty". Their motives are selfish and dishonorable too.
Progressives really must take this seriously and counter with presenting the truth and justice in a mantle of "memes" and "themes". By all means present the facts and figures, for there is a minority that appreciates reality, but as for the majority that are victims of education cuts, low wages etc, teaching them critical thinking and other attributes of the well educated can be done later. In the meantime, fight fire with fire: themes with themes, memes with memes.

Robert K (31)
Friday July 26, 2013, 8:32 pm
Alan Grayson was right, "The Republican plan is don't get sick, but if you get sick, die quickly."

Carrie B (306)
Friday July 26, 2013, 9:48 pm
Alexandra, we may make fun about "them" and joke about their stupidity, but have no fear, we take the republicans very seriously and recognize how much of a threat they pose.

Past Member (0)
Friday July 26, 2013, 10:04 pm
"These people really are pathetic."

Agreed. Thanks for posting Carrie.

Edward P (7)
Friday July 26, 2013, 11:51 pm
Ben, Elle, never leave the subject of your comments to speculation. He, they, them are undefined and leaves room to be misunderstood by the reader or listener.

Lois Jordan (63)
Saturday July 27, 2013, 1:35 pm
So, this is their chosen path to destroy Progressives....and Karl Rove? As I reread, I couldn't find reference specifically to Rove. It only indicates the split in the Republican party. So, they consider Rove an enemy? I can understand why--with his Fox meltdown after losing the last election, but didn't realize he had any power left within the party. I rarely read his name or hear about him anymore. And, although the 10 ideas are "dumb," they are funded and obviously being worked on quite rabidly.

The groups they're working with are Koch-ALEC supported financially, so this causes me much distress. Definitely not something to laugh about. It is quite worrisome to read this group's ganging up together. Their megaphone, of course is Fux Noise, where their ideas will go to bloom....and these smelly petals will be tossed about by other media, if only to report on them. It hits social media simultaneously, and then is reported by major networks. So, don't laugh at them too quickly.
Progressives need to come together more than ever now, to provide intelligent opposition. These ideas need to be crushed and overwhelmed with clear, honest facts. ALEC and the other groups have been busy sponsoring "anti-women, anti-minority, Corporate-friendly" bills all over the U.S. for quite some time now, with successes. Remember TX recently passing the bill that Wendy Davis filibustered for nearly 12 hours? And, we know they've permeated the heart of our Congress--both houses.
Fortunately, there is a plan brewing: Remember the 5th of November. We can overshadow this, but we have to all link up, join hands and keep the momentum going. They have money, and we'll have to have feet on the ground....and energy and determination. Of course, we also have the best interests of the 99% at heart, and don't have to worry about being "dumb."
Dorothy N.'s comments explained very well how this touches (manhandles?) even SCOTUS--specifically Thomas (and his co-hort Scalia). Yes, they're permeating every facet of gov't and we should do more than take note.
While cheering the split in the GOP, we must also remember the Dem split. Do you notice how often so many Dems vote alongside their GOP counterparts in Congress? My own Rep. voted with them recently on bills that were Progressively strike down those bills, while passing others that Progressives were strongly against. I'm now hoping for a strong Progressive candidate to "primary" my Blue Dog Dem.
So, the GOP gets their members all emotional with social issues playing straight into the hands of Corporate overlords. If this doesn't worry you, it should.

Dorothy N (63)
Saturday July 27, 2013, 8:15 pm
Hi, Lois Jordan, to whom I owe yet another Green Star I can't send yet,

Apparently Rove isn't whacked out enough to suit Groundswell.

Groundswell's Secret Crusade to Crush Karl Rove
Ginni Thomas and her conservative allies have launched a stealth attack on the GOP's top strategist.

—By David Corn
| Thu Jul. 25, 2013

... Rove is a regular topic of discussion—and frustration—at Groundswell's Wednesday morning meetings, according to the documents obtained by Mother Jones. At these sessions, and in messages shared by participants on Groundswell's Google group page, Groundswellers often gripe that the GOP's inside-the-Beltway crowd wants to marginalize the party's ideological die-hards and recruit, promote, and support political candidates deemed less strident and more electable. Rove especially ticked off tea-party-minded conservatives in February when the super-PAC he advises, American Crossroads, announced it was launching the Conservative Victory Project, which would try to block far-right candidates from blowing key races, as Missouri's Todd Akin and Indiana's Richard Mourdock did in Senate contests last year.

Yet as Rove kicked off this project, Groundswellers, in closed-doors meetings, initiated an effort to crush Rove, who they believed had helped shape a post-election post-mortem by the Republican National Committee that called on the party to temper its message to appeal to a broader swath of voters. ...

... During a March 6 meeting, it was announced that the Rove Project would be one of Groundswell's 10 working groups. (Others included national security, messaging, ground game, immigration, and Benghazi.) Sandy Rios, a fellow Fox News contributor, was put in charge of the campaign to discredit Rove. Weeks later, though, a Groundswell memo noted that the Conservative Action Project—a coalition of more than 100 right-wing organizations that is chaired by former Attorney General Edwin Meese—would be "taking the lead" on the Rove Project.

Rove did not respond to a request for comment. Neither did Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, one of the leading members of Groundswell and the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. ...

... The Groundswellers certainly seem to believe they are engaged in all-out combat with Rove and GOP insiders. In February, Blackwell posted an article on Groundswell's Google group page and stated, "War has been declared on the conservative movement." The article was about Rove's effort to back credible GOP candidates.

Hoping they succeed and the lot of them self-destruct in 5...4...3...2...1...any minute now.

Ideally without taking the rest of us with them...

Edith B (146)
Saturday July 27, 2013, 9:03 pm
Noted. I tried to send Dorothy N a green star for her comments, couldn't. Thanks, Carrie, for posting this. These ideas are not just dumb, some of them are SICK>
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