Ever noticed how for years it appeared that the right-wing in this country appeared to be working in lock-step? Every right-wing media outlet discussing the same topics in the same way as every right-wing politician? From Benghazi to the debt crisis, the talking points were point for point identical. There was a reason for this, Grover Norquist has held weekly planning sessions for the Republican Party and other conservative groups for years now. Held at the same time every week, this meeting has been the go-to event for those seeking to establish themselves within the conservative movement. As a result, he has been able to control the message by both lawmakers and lobbyists.
This consolidation has made him quite influential, but as with many such sessions, it becomes a case of haves, and have-nots. And with the loss of the election, a coalition of interests has decided on stepping away, and created their own weekly meeting. Calling itself Groundswell, this group has been steadily growing in strength, sapping the attention away from Grover Norquist’s weekly shindig, and the name list is getting quite impressive. With Ginny Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, as the main planner, this group has set as its goal to control the message which Grover Norquist had no masterfully managed, and for doing it, they have embedded themselves with the right-wing media. Not just invited media to observe, as Grover Norquist has done for decades, but actually implanted the media in the brainstorming sessions themselves.
As reported in Mother Jones, Groundswell has tied itself heavily with right-wing media outlets such as Breitbart and the Daily Caller as well as right-wing organizations such as voter suppression organization True the Vote, anti-family organization the Family Research Council, and other similar groups. This is an adaptation of the approach the bi-annual Koch brothers meeting has taken for years. As rightly pointed out by Slate.com, Groundswell is a conservative coördination group, mainly filled with journalists, lawyers, pundits and former politicians. The group has targeted traditional Republican donors to coördinate, enabling the right money to reach the right hands at the right time.
Some have dismissed Groundswell as unimportant, but they are being very short-sighted. With the Republican civil war causing the right-wing to consume its own, Groundswell is well poised to become kingmakers in the next-generation of the Republican leadership. This group is full of people who know where the bodies lie and they have shown no fear in using that knowledge to leverage people into sharing the same message. They are positioning themselves in the same way Grover Norquist did in the 1990’s, but rather than relying upon the right-wing media to pick up their message, they have tapped that media for generating the message itself.
We can expect even more tight integration between politician and propaganda from the right-wing. In the end, this group correctly understands that their problem is that they are losing the message against liberals. After 40 years of power, the conservative message has been heard loud and clear, and the United States is soundly rejecting it. The demographics shift is shifting the population younger, and less white. Even the Republican leadership has come to accept that it must change its policies or it will die out. Instead of change, this group seeks to reframe the message, to create, and push that message onto the public through every avenue they can.
By creating a more solid coördination between pundit and media, Groundswell aims to control the message, to get the people of the United States to march to their propaganda. And it appears that the plan is working, as we can witness in this video on Obamacare. Even Republican politicians are finding themselves frequently at-odds with their own misinformed constituents. And we can only expect this to get worse as Groundswell continues its activities.
Groundswell is the new right-wing media machine, embedding their media outlets not only to report on policy, but to shape it. This is the clearest form of propaganda, and demonstrates how far the GOP will go to gain power. This portion of the Republican Party has clearly aligned themselves not for the betterment of the United States, but for their own purposes. They do not care about me, or you, only the power they aim to wrest from us.