The 30 Minute Obama Ad . . . (If this goes on?)

As promised, Senator Barack Obama infotained Americans for thirty minutes, starting off with amber waves of grain. Hope, change, plus incredibly coincidental family spotlights in several “battleground” states – that seemed to be his basic message.

I watched twice, first to get the full flavor, then next, with the sound turned way down. I suppose we have Robert Heinlein to thank for the result. This infomercial reminded me of “If This Goes On.” In one of his scariest future history stories, Heinlein described the life of one John Lyle, a young military man serving the Prophet. The Prophet, Nehemiah Scudder, has become the nation’s ultra-conservative religious/political/military leader. Think of a genetic clone of Pat Robertson, James Dobson, and several of those greedy televangelist brain-washers who wish to separate your soul from the devil, and your money from your wallet.

Anyway, Lyle falls in love, gets in trouble with the Cabal, runs and joins the underground which wishes to depose the country’s Prophet. The good guys win, and take over much of the country.

New Jerusalem, Scudder’s capital, is the last to fall. Before the invasion of the capital, the insurgents taste test a 30 minute movie that is intended to close the sale on the Revolution. If watched by the great unwashed masses, it would prove to them that the Prophet is false, the Revolution is great, and that people should join the good guys. It is hypnotic, seductive, and convincing – much like what Barack Obama showed us last night. Luckily, in Heinlein’s book, someone wakes up and stops the propaganda before they are all seduced.

That didn’t happen last night. People, some people, were seduced. From a quick taste of the conservative blogs, people were upset because they saw the ad as unfair, and convincing. On the liberal blogs, people wrote of tears, conviction, happiness, excitement, even one orgasm.

Not me.

For the past eight years, we have been the victims of the most corrupt government our country has ever had. BushCo effectively used religious symbols to get elected, truly breath-taking spin to entice the most cold hearted, and Goebbels’ suggestions of using fear and danger to energize the people, and to get them to support his war plans. Bush, desite his numerous, even constant administrative, leadership, social, economic, judicial, ethical, moral, and practical failings, was a huge success where it counted. He won two terms, and his legislative agenda was almost completely unchecked by Congress or by the people. Even after 2006, when Congress should have gotten the hint, those spineless bastards still passed FISA II, continued to feed the war machinery behind Bush, and even now, our congress, media, and the people ignore our recent invasions of two other countries, Syria and Pakistan.

While Bush was a complete, abject, and utter failure as a leader, as an image maker and spinner, his administration outdid Nazi Germany. Had he not been so successful, instead of getting ready to retire, Bush would have been hung, drawn and quartered, tarred, feathered, hung again, then boiled alive by an angry mob. But his spin worked for as long as he needed it to. Now, he simply doesn’t care anymore.

What Obama fed us last night was all spin, Goebbels-ian propaganda in the worst sense of the word. Beautifully shot, emotional, convincing, warm, tender, strong, and “Patriotic”, we witnessed the best mind-bending propaganda that the slickest psycho-soldiers from Madison Avenue could muster.

Sorry, I am not buying it.

As much as I hated Bush, and thoroughly support massive changes in direction, I hate the idea that Obama resorted to this type of brain-washing, even using a Delicate Rinse cycle, instead of a more heavy handed Permanent Press setting. I want a leader to realize what our problems are, tell us, give us alternatives from which WE CHOOSE, then do his best to effectuate the will of the people. Using the bully pulpit, the power that any president has over the media, and appealing to Americans about what we need to do in IraqNam, Afghanistan, the thoroughly corrupted, castrated Department of Justice (talk about oxymorons), the religious leadership in the DOD, the domestic surveillance of US citizens, and of course, the economic disaster that BushCo and their exec fiends on Wall have visited on America.

Obama did not do that yesterday. He spun beautifully, the message was extremely well crafted, but, after eight years of Bush, the last thing I want in power is another spinner messing with my mind.

Leave my mind alone, and let me choose a government that will be responsive to me, and quit trying to make me responsive to my government. I will not stand for four more years of spinning and brainwashing. No longer.

I suppose that the underlying issue is the difference between Patriotism and Nationalism. Oxford defines Nationalism as, “Patriotic feelings, an extreme form of which is marked by feelings of superiority over other countries.”

Patriotism is the support of one’s country. Not one’s government, but one’s country. The difference is huge.

Patriotism has never meant the unbridled support of one’s government. Rather, it is the love one has for the possibilities that our democracy once promised. Before Bush, our constitution was the best example of both our soaring dreams and our realistic view of human nature. I would go so far to say that our nation’s most famous revolutionaries were patriots, in that their goal was for the greater good.
Even as a compromise, and ignoring our despicable treatment of slavery, our Constitution represents the best that humanity can offer.

Nationalism , constitutes a misbegotten love of country for better or worse: “My country right or wrong,” is a disease that we better cure, or else we risk utter failure. Nationalism refuses to see our own faults or mistakes. Nationalism was probably best expressed by Britney Spears, “But of course I support President Bush. I mean, he’s like the president!” Nationalism is a danger to us all. What we saw last night was edging far to close to Nationalism, rather than Patriotism.

Two thumbs down, Senator Obama. I really hope that when you govern, you don’t use this kind of Nationalistic propaganda tool ever again. Good intentions eventually pave a superhighway to someplace, and I have no wish to visit that destination. It would be unsafe at any speed.

Yes, you still have my support, only because we must remove every last vestige of BushCo, neoconMan-ism, religious infiltration of our government, PNAC, and the current corrupted cabal that took over today’s GOP. In that respect, you are the only choice for change. I just hope that as president, you reconsider how you craft your message. My support is not blind, nor is it emotional. It is calculating, in that you are the only rational choice at this time in history.

You have earned a modicum of respect and support. Please don’t squander it in office. I do not suggest that you act timidly, because these dangerous times call for much more than that. But, quit the goddammed propaganda, sir, and quit messing with my mind. I’d rather keep my eyes open, thank you very much.


  1. Rob Kezelis

    not ALL truths are ugly. Some are simply hard, and others, painful. But you are right, we better start now, otherwise it will be too late.

  2. DejaVuAllOver

    The problem is, Rob, Obama CAN’T tell the ugly truth. One can’t start leveling with Americans without quickly getting to a VERY inconvenient truth: The world hates us because of our rabid support for the most successful racist enterprise of all time, Israel. Israel is the main reason we were attacked on 9/11, which in turn is the reason things have spiraled out of control since then. It’s not like we’re the only ones, since it was Britain who really started the problem when it’s own fundamentalist nutjobs in Parliament effectively created Israel with the Balfour Declaration in 1917. But Britain learned quite a while ago to mind its own business, which is NOT in Palestine. WE, on the other hand, have not.

    Anyway, Obama can’t talk about foreign policy, our Middle East wars, our torture policies, our twisted Christian-based imperialist ventures, our freedoms being taken away by the neocons (formerly called zionists) or much of anything else without some fairly harsh realities being spoken of Israel and our blind support of it. And we all know what happens when anyone DARES to criticize the Jewish State. Political suicide is one of the nicer ways of putting it.

    I imagine this post will prove my point. But anyway, I think (and hope) Obama’s touchy-feeley approach helps him win, even if it’s more than a little wimpy. At least it’s a start. Otherwise, we’re toast. One more Arab-neutralizing war for the zionists and we’re gonna have much bigger problems to worry about, if we survive long enough to have problems, that is. We have a lot of untangling to do for the last 100 years of our arrogant behavior in the M.E. and elsewhere. So if Obama needs to teach woefully ignorant Americans some historical perspective, starting at the kindergarten level, it’s better late than never. It’ll be hard on the nerves of intelligent people, but this country needs some BIG changes and Obama’s right to start at the beginning, and at the bottom.

  3. woody188

    I guess Rob is finally seeing there really is no difference between Obama and McCain. Both want bigger government, more war, and more control over our lives. American Empire lives on and the Imperial Presidency will continue with either one of these clowns.

  4. Carl Nemo

    I concur with your sentiments Judy B. In spite of the shallow ad hominem “attacktics” the rethuglicans employed during the campaign, Obama truly stands out as a class act!

    He’s wrapping up his campaign on a positive, energizing note and to me and no doubt many others it’s impressive!

    The McCain campaign mantra was simply… “POW, maverick, and my friends” ad nauseam ad infinitum with nothing of substance to follow.

    Carl Nemo **==

  5. JudyB

    For 30 minutes Obama told us what his plans were if elected POTUS. He did not once bring up McCain or anything McCain said..he spoke ONLY of what he would do if he were elected. This “my dear friends” is what people say they want presidential campaigns to consist of…but from all the belly aching going on here today, I’m having a hard time believing it.

    I am not foolish enough to believe all that Obama or any other presidential candidate hopes to accomplish will actually get accomplished, but I welcome the opportunity of hearing a candidates plans, instead of merely refuting what another candidate has said he or she was going to do. Like it or not, that is what Obama used his 30 minute “infomercial” to do.

    I congratulate Obama for having brought together an excellent innovative campaign team. His team has worked tirelessly in this unbelievablly long race, successfully enabling him inspire millions of potential voters into trusting and wanting, what it is he’s offering them if elected.

  6. griff

    I came across this last week and considered posting it here, then thought better of it. Kudos to you for having the cajones to do so.

    I stopped watching TV altogether last January and was a sporadic viewer before then. I find myself thinking more clearly and independently every day, and have not even been tempted to turn it back on.

    It is a very interesting study and something reasonable people should be able to get their minds around. No one wants to consider that they are not the owners of their thoughts and ideas, but anyone that watches TV for more than ten minutes a day can be rest assured that they are not.

    Of course, you’ll have your detractors that will call it a partisan piece. Perhaps it is, but that doesn’t mean that the scientific basis is not real.

  7. CheckerboardStrangler


    This is nothing new.
    From the Delta Technique developed as a psyop tool by Rand to verbal imagery persuasiveness techniques used by Obama to the emotional anchoring techniques used on us these last eight years, it’s all from the same toolbox.
    Utter the word 9/11, insert the words “American soil”, and you get the clenched fist and lump in the throat reaction from the right wing faithful, mention “inside job” and legions of tinfoil hat types stand at attention and proffer everything from remote controlled jets to the jewish cabal that secretly controls everything including your mind.
    Why is it so surprising to find out that a Harvard trained lawyer utilizes speech techniques designed to relax the listener and make them more receptive?
    In the end it turns out that Bernard Baruch and Madison Avenue learned long ago to manipulate the masses and convince us we weren’t man enough without the right beer, or a big truck and if we’re female, our nether regions would set off airport security without FDS spray and a dollop of Clearasil to deal with our facial insecurities.
    We’re a society of transistorized steel belted humanoids, just as Howard Beale said we’d become, and we’re programmed from birth to respond to signals.
    Barack, like most anyone running for office, is well versed in how to use them.
    Stay awake and read through them.

    Jeff H in Occupied TX

  8. ralphcat

    I thought the 30-min spot was pitch-perfect.

    Given the relentless sliming and fear-mongering that is the endgame for McCain/Palin & friends (“socialist,” “Marxist,” “anti-America,” “anti-Israel,” “palling around with terrorists,” trying to steal the election, ACORN voter fraud, ad nauseum), Obama needed to leave a final impression that accomplished several objectives:

    1. To show that he listens to, understands, and will tackle the problems of “real” Americans.
    2. To reassure doubters about his “American-ness.”
    3. To be likeable.
    4. To be seen as the more “presidential” candidate in the race. [It was interesting that he never once mentioned John McCain; yet anyone paying attention could easily contrast Obama’s dignity and gravitas with the whiny, sarcastic and angry John McCain of the past 8-12 weeks.]
    5. To once again inspire and excite his base so that they will not take this election for granted and will get out and vote next Tuesday, if not sooner.

    Nailed it.

    Oh, yeah, and the seamless shift from taped message to live feed was stunning. Gotta love a show of competence!

    Like a bolt out of the blue, fate steps in and sees you through — Jiminy Cricket

  9. gazelle1929

    You may not know what to make of it, but I do. That is pure unadulterated horse shit of the finest kind. This is oh-so-typically the stuff that the right wing pulls out of its nether parts when it is losing.

  10. RSW

    I started to watch the Obama-mercial, but had my belief suspended almost immediately — Amber Waves Of Grain, indeed. I spent the rest of the night doing other things. I will say, though, that my almost 26 year old son was deeply moved by this. That being the case, I suppose that the baton of politics (or should I say the fasces of politics) is in the process of being passed to those younger that the current crop of the corporate corrupted to a fresh crop offering different spin. The older I get, the less I’m inclined to believe any of this simian theatre. To paraphrase Frank Zappa, the present day Hegel refuses to die!

    I ran across this pdf document about a week ago. I’m not sure about it, because it’s new ground, to some extent, for me, but I couldn’t help but wonder.


    I found the link here:

    If you are interested, you need to follow down the page a bit for the link to the pdf file. Look for the link.

    I’m not sure what to make of it, but it sure is interesting when you consider how the corporate world has supported him, and how he seems to have been “guided” from at least the time he spent at Columbia.

    In any case, it’s worth the read, if only for its potential resurrection of Edward Bernays and his influence on us in the marketing world. I wouldn’t care so much, except Corporate America has been doing this to us for years and years.


  11. Timr

    I think that the infomercial was aimed at the “low information voter” what I call the “sheeple”, Who can be swayed by whatever they see on TV. Its just like selling a “Sham-Wow”. There was a very good reason for the timing of the show, it got all of the networks except ABC, now lets sit back and watch what the “sheeple” do, because in the end, they will be the ones who decide who wins.-Now isn’t that a scary thought 1 day before holloween

  12. Kibitzer


    “Leave my mind alone, and let me choose a government that will be responsive to me, and quit trying to make me responsive to my government. I will not stand for four more years of spinning and brainwashing. No longer.”

    Very well put. The art of propaganda is getting more and more honed. We have been close to a fascist takeover; we certainly don’t need a similar takeover from the left – similar, in the sense of elevating the state and its acolyte to holy status. “Our Master, who art in Washington, give us this day…”

    I’m thinking of this in particular because of coming across a report just recently – presumably true; at least in essence, if not in every detail – on a conservative blog about the stacking of the Iowa Democratic caucuses by Obama supporters bused in from out of state. This is reprehensible stuff; Rovian in spirit, no more acceptable just because it’s an example of ‘business as usual’ in political matters. And so the whole Democratic primary campaign is thrown into question, because of that beginning to the Obama surge. ‘Hey, if he can win in Iowa……’

    Not a good augury of things to come. I salute you on your gimlet-eyed take on this matter, Rob. Keep it peeled.