Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Penn, McCain and Feingold - Oh My!

Sean Penn Movie Handily Skirts McCain-Feingold Just in Time for November Elections

Once again Sean Penn and company have dragged poor old George Bush's dessicated political corpse out of the land of political make-believe where they keep it stored in case an election looks like it's going badly.  Last time it was the dismal "W". They once trotted the Al Gore opus "An Inconvenient Truth" around the track to try and influence public opinion. Then there's always Michael Moor who's good for a "timely documentary". Then there was Nicholson Baker's liberal fantasy novel "Checkpoint" in which he has George Bush assassinated. That one kept many a Democrat up late with their flashlights and a bottle of hand lotion.

And now, just in time to sway the ignorant masses before an election, comes "Fair Game", a fictionalized account of the outing of Valerie Plame for which Bush aide, Scooter Libby, took the fall after an artificially outraged media conducted a witch hunt that lasted for months. I probably should have capitalized the "F" in fictionalized.  Just from the trailer, you can tell it got the full liberal conspiracy theory treatment.  It looks like they turned Valerie into a CIA version of Jane Bond and transformed Sean Penn into her "good as gold", highly moral, man-of-the-people, hubbie the disgruntle ex-ambassador, who attacks the Bush administrations "evil" plot to overthrow that nice man Saddam Hussein in Iraq, who, of course, has absolutely no plans to develop nuclear weapons or, for that matter, any weapons of mass destruction at all.  After all who could doubt the "truth" on which this movie is based.  Sean Penn, playing Joe Wilson in the trailer says, "It is my opinion that a sale that size, could not have happened!" and in the liberal-cum-socialist community, opinion is everything--so long as it's the opinion of someone with the right (actually left) ideology.

Next thing you know, the president (George W. Bush-Republican) is going after poor old Joe's wife.

The Bush administration (surprise and shock) comes off badly in this Hollywood propaganda opus. It's not out yet, but the film company is planning a November 5 limited release, 3 days after the election.  This gives them a month to pummel the voters with ads for the movie. The ads I've seen are basically 30 and 60 second commercials casting Republicans as bad people - especially George Bush.

I wonder if John McCain regrets the whole McCain/Feingold thing yet.  My bet is, that after this election he will. The movie is, in effect, going to attempt to influence an election for the Democrats by smearing good old George Bush again. The trailer makes the case in short order that the Republicans deliberately risked the life of an intrepid CIA agent, her family and Iraqi agents working for her in the Middle East in order to pull a fast one over on the American people and start a war.

McCain/Feingold prohibits "soft money sources" from running issue-oriented ads in support of political candidates or parties 60 days before a general election, precisely the time frame in which "Fair Game" trailers will be hitting the airwaves and theaters nationwide. What's even more fun is that if a "soft money source" like, say, George Soros decides to "invest" in the film, he could pay for as many ads as he wants to run and McCain-Feingold be damned.

I teach a class for 6 to 11 year olds at my church.  Psychologist Eric Erickson, in his "Stages of Psychosocial Development" calls the issues addressed at this stage of a child's development "Industry vs. Inferiority".  At this ages kids learn "what happens if..."  A nine year-old tends to be really concrete in his thinking - very little abstract thinking goes on.  They want to know the rules.  They want to know what happens "if".  The only thing is that in my experience they mostly want to know the rules so they can figure out a way around them.  I promise you if you catch a nine year old breaking a rule, he's got an argument all prepared about how it doesn't violate the letter of the law at all.  "You said I couldn't have a cookie. Those are 'tea cakes' and you never said I couldn't have a tea cake."  Nine year olds are not very big on the "spirit" of the law. 

Reminds me of liberals. They reason like nine year-olds.  If a liberal want to make the rules, you can bet on it that they have already figured out a way around them.  If they want to tax luxuries like yachts, you can bet they have their own 60 footer safely docked at a marina in Rhode Island for repairs (where by sheer coincidence the taxes aren't so high).  If they want to hit the "rich" with high taxes, you can bet that for some reason, they are exempt from paying it. If they make a rule stifling free speech, you can bet they've got a way around it that only they have access to.

This is a brilliant bit of dithering on the part of Penn and Company. By opening the movie after the election they can say they weren't trying to influence the election at all.  "We didn't open it till AFTER the election." they will point out.  While technically true, what they hope you don't notice is that they get to run ads for the movie BEFORE anyone actually sees the movie. That way bad reviews and dismal box office numbers for the film can't dent the Bush-bashing impact of the commercials as it did in the case of "W".  It's a movie that doesn't have to even be any good to accomplish what the Hollywood glitterati hope to accomplish - preserve Democrat seats in the house by frightening voters with the specter of a resurrected George W. Bush.

Sadly, for the liberal establishment, talk radio and growing conservative news source haven't been given the "Fairness Act" treatment yet and the point that the libs are skirting the intent of McCain/Feingold will be made - unless, of course, they throw themselves on the "Fairness Doctrine" hand grenade hoping it won't blow up.  The question they have to ask themselves is "Are enough of these sorts of work-around media blitzes coming to quiet the proletariat again and encourage the huddled masses to, once again, return the 'People's Party' to power?"

I wonder what those rascals are going to do next.  Maybe they'll release a new cleaning product - "Libbo, the soap so powerful it can even get a Republican's hands clean?"

I wouldn't put it past 'em.

I'm just tellin' ya' what I think.

Tom King

Enigo Montoya on the word "Fair"....
   "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
                                                                                    - from "The Princess Bride"

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