Whitaker's Current Articles March 13, 2004


March 13, 2004 -- "We Report, You Forget"

March 13, 2004 -- To be Respectable, a Conservative Has to Forget

March 13, 2004 -- We Promise, You Forget

March 13, 2004 -- Memory Rules!

Fun Quote:

We will never know whether ignorance is really bliss.  The only people who know the answer don't understand the question.

Buy Bob's Book "Why Johnny Can't Think" from Amazon here!

                                                 "We Report, You Forget"                                                      

On Tuesday, March 2, 2004 a number of states held their primaries to select the Democratic presidential nominee.   That day there was enormous competition among the media to report every scrap of information that came along.

The problem is that as a primary vote is going on, everything is pretty predictable.  That makes the news reports boring.  Anything that is not routine is pure gold for the media.  One unusual thing did happen: There was private telephone conversation between the two top contenders, Kerry and Edwards.

So the media reported that that talk took place.

Everything else was routine.  Everybody knew that Kerry would win all the primaries with lopsided majorities.   He did.   Edwards was hanging in there despite the fact that he had lost all but one primary.

Then came a real shocker.  Edwards suddenly withdrew his candidacy.

That night, the commentators said something like this:

Liberal: "That was a surprise!  Edwards was hanging in there and suddenly he just quit.  How could that have happened?"

Conservative Commentator: "Gee whiz, I don't know!  It's just one of those things you can't explain, I guess."

Nobody I heard mentioned the unusual private talk Kerry had had with Edwards.

John Kerry is a Massachusetts liberal.  He has an enormous immunity to press criticism.

But what if a Republican front-runner in the primaries had an unusual private talk with his only remaining rival as the primary results came in?   And what if his opponent then suddenly dropped out?

Would anybody forget that that little talk took place?  And would anybody have any doubt about what that little talk was about?

By the way, one successful presidential nominee was reported to have promised the vice-presidential slot to twenty-four different people.

                                To be Respectable, a Conservative Has to Forget                               

You may say, "Well, we all understand that the liberal media would forget that little talk between Kerry and Edwards that took place before Edwards suddenly withdrew.  But surely conservatives would bring it up?

No way.  You have to understand how respectable conservatives act.

If you want to get paid to be conservative political commentator you have to religiously obey certain rules.  Liberals decide which conservative gets the "respectable" label, and no conservative can be on the paid talk shows if he does not have that "respectable" stamp on him.

One rule everyone who wants to get paid to be a professional conservative talker has to obey is the "Don't be a damned fool" rule.

When a liberal says he is worried about prison overcrowding, you are not allowed to say, "Good God, man, you mean you want those animals out on the streets killing people because they don't have enough leg room?"   You have to keep a straight face and argue with the liberal as if he had made a logical point that only his Idealism forces him to make.

You will never hear any conservative who gets paid to be on television say a liberal is a damned fool.  No matter how ridiculous the statement a liberal makes is, no one is allowed to laugh at him.

What if a conservative said, "Look, Kerry had a private talk with Edwards and Edwards dropped out.  What kind of idiot wouldn't know what the talk was about?"

That would violate the "Don't be a damned fool" rule.  The conservative who said that would suddenly be labeled anaziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.  He would be condemned as "simplistic."

In short, he would be ruined.


                                                  We Promise, You Forget                                                      


I just pointed out that, at the climax of his political career, a presidential candidate will lie when he promises somebody the vice presidential nomination.

At this point the dumbest animal on the planet, a person who thinks he is being Shrewd and Realistic, will say, ďSure, politicians always lie.Ē

Dead wrong.

Let me give you an example of why politicians in the big leagues donít lie.  This is an experience I have had many times.

In the US House of Representatives, a bill your congressman has a huge interest in is up for a vote.   He and a senior staffer like me start calling fifty or so congressmen whose votes are uncertain.   On each call, you have a very few minutes to persuade and to trade.

The congressman you call will not be as interested as you are in this particular bill.  That is one reason you donít know which way heíll vote.  He will normally ask you what you are going to do about another bill he himself is more concerned about.  When you tell him what you plan to do about his bill, your word had better be pure, 24 karat gold.

If you get a reputation for welching on political deals with other politicos, you are dead.

The reason your word in big-league politics has to be good is because major league politicians remember what you promised.

The Shrewd person who thinks he is wise because he says, "politicians lie" misses the truth.  The Shrewd guy is so busy trying to show how Rough and Tough and Realistic he is that he misses the whole point completely.

The real question is, why do the people you elect lie to voters when they have to keep their promises to each other?

In the article above, I explained that the media reported that private conversation between Kerry and Edwards, but after Edwards suddenly withdrew, every commentator had a memory lapse.

Millions of voters heard the news about that private talk and then listened to the commentary that evening where both conservative and liberal analysts forgot the earlier Kerry-Edwards conversation.

I would be willing to bet that not twenty people in the whole country noticed this lapse.  If conservative pundits and liberal pundits forget it, so does the public.

The public has the attention span of a five-year-old.  How does a grownup treat a five-year-old?   The adult tells the child whatever the child wants to hear right now, be it Santa Claus, tax cuts, or anything else.

Political pros treat each other as adults.  They treat the public like children.

It works.


                                                          Memory Rules!                                                            


Politicians donít lie to other big-league politicians because they are dealing with adults.   They will treat the public with contempt as long as the public keeps up its political amnesia.

And the proof of the pudding is that we keep electing them.

Thatís why the titles of so many WhitakerOnline articles start with ďA Man With A Memory Looks at ....Ē

If you are sending frantic e-mails out about Iraq or the Ten Commandments or homosexual marriage or how Kerry's feet stink, you don't matter.   Those issues were were settled many years ago in quiet little precedents that were set while you were frantically forwarding e-mails about the Clinton scandals or whatever the big thing was at the moment.

Iraq may be as big a deal to you today as Vietnam was to conservatives in 1968.   But the war that counts is not in Iraq and the issue that counts today is not the sellout in Iraq.  The sellout in Iraq was being set up while conservatives were trying to show that Bill Clinton was a meanie and his feet stank.

Lots of people vote but very few matter.  You would be astonished to learn who they are.  They are the people with a memory.   By the time conservatives start sending out their frantic e-mails, the pros have already set the precedents and moved on.

I know.  Setting those precedents was my specialty.  When I needed them to help me with these critical matters, all those conservative activists were frantically talking about whatever the  buzz was at the moment.

My little first book alone, which only sold one or two thousand copies, had more long-term effect on public policy than most professional politicians have in their lifetimes.   Within a month after it came out, the head of the staff of the Speaker of the House was placing bets based on it with the staff heads for the Republicans.

My first book got recommendations from the Library Journal, Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus and others.  These left-wingers recommended that people buy and read it despite the fact that it was a worst seller.

Why on earth would the flagship publications of the left-wing publishing industry give so much attention to a hard right book that didn't sell?   They did it because they are professionals.  This book was important.  What sounds to you like Bob Whitaker bragging was something they recognized instantly as a fact of real life in big-league politics. 

I dedicated my life to having a real influence on public policy, not to fame or money or book sales.   That book was an accomplishment.  My new book is in the same vein.  Help me a little on that and it will go a long way.

I personally saved the Hubble Telescope while other people were worrying about The Issue of the Day in 1977.

I have a memory.   That makes me a power player.

If you don't have a memory, you are just one more baby rattle.




Current Articles

Article Archive

Whitaker's World View

World View Archives

About Bob Whitaker

Contact Bob


Privacy Policy


Email List
Sign up for our email list to be notified of site updates:

© Copyright 2001. All rights reserved. Contact: bob@whitakeronline.org

Hit Counter