I was reading an article, over at DailyKOS quoting Glenn Greenwald, about an interesting pattern that keeps coming up about lost information. What comes to mind first is the iconic patterns of corporate denial by representatives of the Tobacco industry testifying in front of congress and denying knowledge of anything. So, the model of corporate ignorance is well established in the minds of the corporate raiders that are in the executive, and now judicial, branch.
One needs only read Irons’ “People’s History of the Supreme Court” to get an idea of what happens when corporate lawyers take over the halls of justice. You see, the railroad lawyers are pervasively on the bench again.
And, I started to think about another pattern I see related to the US Attorneys and the search for voter fraud. I think there’s an interesting pattern that keeps repeating. I’ll call it the Pot-Kettle pattern. Most recently noticed in relation to a crusader that espouses the mission to fight corruption, but is corrupt:
“When Paul Wolfowitz, a primary architect of the Iraq war, assumed his post as World Bank President, he claimed the the new boss was going to be tough on corruption. Yesterday, he acknowledged that he â€œmade a mistakeâ€ when he became personally involved in securing a promotion and a pay raise far in excess of the normal maximum for his girlfriend, Shaha Riza.” [via]
But, do I detect the same Pot-Kettle pattern in the kerflufle over voter fraud which is the espoused reason for the politically guided US Attorney shuffle? Here’s a political party that just knows there’s corruption in local election process, and is desperate to seek it out. TPMmuckraker is all over that one, but so is ThinkProgress, and others.
And now, the US Attorney issue comes full circle to the pattern at the top over lost documents::
“The White House said Thursday that missing e-mail messages sent on Republican Party accounts may include some relating to the firing of eight United States attorneys.” [via]
And, why are they so adamant about fighting corruption and desperately sure that there’s a there there to find? Because they know they are corrupt, and if they can find corruption elsewhere then they aren’t as evil in comparison to others as they, at some deep level, fear they are?
It’s an attempt to respond with a “Billy did it too!” defense. Unfortunately, as it turns out, they are themselves so corrupt that there’s no one worse to point to, and so all their finger pointing accusations seem wildly contrived and delusional. Hmmm, so maybe there’s a bit of a psychological defense mechanism in their projection of what they know they are doing onto others.
Not only is this a Pot-Kettle pattern, but there’s an element of the Downplay/Intensify Schema going on here. Because while they are desperately seeking the wrong doing of others, they also are desperately covering up their own actions of a similar nature. So, that results in the dynamic where seeking voting irregularity becomes active voter suppression. The crusaders crusade against their own demons.
So, maybe, it’s actually a Pogo Pattern: “We met the enemy and he is us.”
I guess that naturally leads to the question of which came first, the corruption or the corrupt?
Update @ 3:37pm:
I noticed over at USA Today there’s an article which highlights the way that science is subjected to a Downplay/Intensify process also. Science that supports is used, but science that does not is ignored or criticised.
Thinking about the way that the US Attorney scandal has developed, I’m reminded of the way that political appointees have been put in charge of science. So, the second layer of the attack is to manipulate the information before it has to be subjected to downplay and only allow information that supports the propaganda model. So, while everyone’s been pointing to conflicting data, the propaganda machine has been at work to try to ensure that only policitally useful information is available.
That’s Orwellian par excellence.