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August 18, 2010

Howard Dean: We Must Defend That Mosque's Location Till Our Last Patriotic Breath We Should Probably Find a Compromise Where We Move That Mosque


Via Allah's tweet. At his blog, Obama announces, with typical arrogance, he has "no regrets" for his support of the Ground Zero Mosque, not even to those families forever scarred by 9/11.

The most important part of the post, though, is this:

On a serious note, though, I do agree with Rove and various other GOP strategists that it’d be foolish (and potentially destructive) for Republican pols to hammer this issue too hard. I think centrists and indies are looking, above all, for seriousness of purpose from the GOP about digging the country out of the near-bottomless pit of Obamanomics, especially given the rap on the party in the past for getting “sidetracked” with cultural issues. For every one part mosque messaging, I’d prefer 10 parts messaging on jobs and the economy. Besides, Democrats are in full meltdown over this anyway; if any indies are ripe for the picking on the mosque issue, it’ll be the spectacular idiocy and sneering contempt of Madam Speaker and her colleagues that turns them to the GOP, not anything coming from Newt Gingrich. Rock on, Nancy!

A thousand times yes. Because the thing is, gut issues move people on a subconscious level. And they move them hard.

Except... when people realize that a gut issue is driving them on an emotional level, conditioning kicks in and their reason engages and the fight the urge to be driven by a subterranean impulse and begin growing angry if they feel they are being emotionally manipulated.

You don't have to push these issues very hard. You let them do their own subterranean subconscious work, drip-drip-dripping on the mind, shaping it like rain shaping a cliff-face, with only the smallest amount of prompting. You don't come off all angry, nor do you make it sound as if they only thing you have to offer is this position; you say, "I call upon my Democratic opponent to join with me in persuading the Ground Zero Mosque developers to compromise and find a more sensitive and more appropriate site for their mosque."

And then you focus on the economy, on he brain issue, because you are supposed to be engaging the intellect (and no one can hold that against you).

And while you're engaging on the brain issues, pulling people along little by little with reason, you let the gut issue do its work, in background, underneath.

I'm always suspicious of candidates on the Republican side who base their appeal too much in gut-issues or values-stuff because I'm hardwired to be suspicious of that -- I react away from it because 1, I feel like I'm being conned, and 2, because I consider these issues intellectually easy (intellectually easy, even if morally hard) and thus sort of assume the guy pushing it must be a lightweight, or he'd engage me on some higher-brain issue.

So that's what I think. Sell the brain issues, the economy, security, free-market capitalism. Don't sell so much as merely offer the gut issues. If people want them, you understand.

The thing is, gut issues don't need to be sold. They sell themselves. Like drugs. But no one likes a pusher. Even addicts craving their next fix don't really like pushers.

So keep the heat on, yes, but a light heat, almost seeming as if you're just plum exasperated that Obama's making you discuss this issue while you'd so much rather be discussing getting the economy back on track.

Is this dishonest? No. It's craft.

Like I've said about politics: If you want a woman to come upstairs so you can sleep with her you don't say "Come upstairs so I can sleep with you."

You say: "Come upstairs so I can make you pancakes."

Is that dishonest? No. As if she thinks you're just skillet-crazy to make pancakes for brief acquaintances or something.

Look, if she comes upstairs, she's interested in more than pancakes. But you don't put it all on the line like that.

Baby steps, baby steps. Low buy-in.

"It's So Wrong:" Oh, yeah: and let guys like this tell their stories.

The strategy has to be to raise enough pressure to stop this, and offer the Muslim developers some compromise site so they can save face (because, frankly, I have never encountered a more thin-skinned or face-saving culture in my life).

We do have to pressure them to keep up the rage and keep them from going ahead with this. And so we do have to offer them a safety-valve site.

But we can't appear to be looking too much to score politically off it. Then we lose. If it looks like we really just want to make political hay and let the mosque be built because it's bad for America but good for us, we lose.

We have to focus on actually stopping it.

Oh: I keep saying "we." I mean, specifically, candidates and actual political leaders.

It's completely right -- and necessary -- for Pam Gellar to charge hard on this. She is critical in stopping the mosque. Of course it can be her main issue (or one of them).

I didn't mean to say that everyone has to be careful about overemphasizing this. I meant specifically candidates, who can't appear too greedy to profit politically off this shonda.

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posted by Ace at 04:39 PM

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