Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Killer Crossovers 

How nice to see the Republican right "triangulating" for a change:
Ben Lopez, the chief lobbyist and spokesman for the Traditional Values Coalition -- the Anaheim-based evangelical advocacy group led by the controversial Rev. Lou Sheldon -- has been fired from his new job as an outreach worker with the California Republican Party, sources said Tuesday.

Lopez's hiring had been hailed by conservatives, who have been concerned about Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's moves to the political center, when it was made public late last week as the state Republican Party opened its convention.

But gay and lesbian groups criticized the decision by the state Republicans to add Lopez, a well-known evangelical advocate, to the party's payroll and called on Schwarzenegger to renounce Lopez and Sheldon as intolerant.

Mike Spence, who heads the conservative California Republican Assembly, said the decision to dump Lopez brings "frustration that the governor's organization is not about the whole team effort. We're supposed to be unified behind the governor's staff like (Democrat) Susan Kennedy, and yet they fired the only person who could do [evangelical] church outreach."
The bad news, we need not explain, is that the Republicans triangulate much more effectively than Democrats, and invariably they do so by moving away from the standard party line toward the moral high ground. (We leave it to you to draw the obvious conclusion about the nature of the GOP party line.) The downright tragic news is that triangulating Dems -- who should, of course, be starting from the moral high ground -- cannot resist the impulse to renounce their natural advantage and dive headlong into the cesspit. From Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone:

Q: Are bloggers too powerful?

A: Do I think they're important? Yes. Do I think the [bloggers] and Al Sharpton alone are the future of the Democratic Party? No! Welcome in, contribute, but it's about winning in November and moving the country forward, not about a firing squad in a circle.
-- Q&A with U.S. representative Rahm Emanuel,
Aug. 28th issue of New York magazine

What exactly does self-appointed congressional mega-celebrity and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair Rahm Emanuel mean (says a friend of mine in Congress of him: "He's an amoral, showboating cock") when he says, "Do I think [bloggers] and Al Sharpton are the future of the Democratic Party?"

That's actually not hard to figure out; it's political hack-ese for the human sentence bloggers = Al Sharpton. As for what he means by that: Just think about the thought process that had to go into Emanuel's adding of the phrase "and Al Sharpton," when Al Sharpton wasn't even part of the question. Ask yourself if you really believe Emanuel isn't aware that he's addressing the mostly white, Upper West Side readers of New York magazine when he "offhandedly" ties bloggers to the legendary gold-medallion-wearing icon from forty blocks north in Harlem.

These DLC types are amazing, they really are. Their pathology is unique; they all secretly worship the guilt-by-association tactics of Lee Atwater and Karl Rove, but unlike those two, not one of them has enough balls to take being thought of as the bad guy by the general public. So instead of telling big, bold whoppers right out in the open, they're forever coming out with backhanded little asides like this one, apparently in the hope that only your subconscious will notice. I won't be surprised if they respond to the next electoral loss by a DLC candidate by having Bruce Reed argue in the Wall Street Journal that "bloggers, Queer Eye, and Arabs with syphilis are not the future of the Democratic Party."

Then there is the phrase, "Welcome in, contribute, but . . . "

Welcome in? What is this, a political party, or a house in the fucking Hamptons? Who died and made these people gatekeepers to anything?

What Emanuel appears to be saying here is that "bloggers" -- by which he really means "people who voted against Lieberman" -- are welcome to "contribute," but not welcome to actually decide elections. In other words, we'll take your votes, but we'll decide who you vote for. An admirable sentiment for an elected official. How is it that these people have avoided being pitchforked to death for this long?

Finally, the "firing squad in a circle" line has been a DLC favorite for years. DLC chief Al From has been pimping it at least since the last presidential race. It's time we officially retired this line, which is really just a sorry take on the lame old high-school guidance-counselor saw: "Now, Jimmy. When you shoot spitballs at Vice Principal Anderson, you're really shooting spitballs at yourself." And little Jimmy thinks: No, actually, I was shooting spitballs at Vice Principal Anderson . . .

What's amazing about the "firing squad in a circle" line is that it is inevitably used less than five seconds after the DLC speaker has just finished dumping on Michael Moore, peace activists or whoever the party's talking-points-vermin of the day is (in this case, Sharpton and bloggers). He denounces Michael Moore as a disgrace to the party, then turns around and says that when we attack the party leadership, we're only hurting ourselves. These tactics are so transparent and condescending that one longs for some kind of cosmic referee to just drop down from the heavens and unilaterally disqualify their users on the grounds of their overwhelming general wrongness -- but the maddening thing about these DLC creatures is that that referee never arrives, and Al From is back on page one again the next day, shaking his head and grumbling piously about "unity" and "consensus" and "the lost art of bipartisanship."
RELATED SIDEBAR (via Zemblan patriot J.M.): After the release of polls showing that his lead among potential voters has largely evaporated, Virginia's Republican Senator George F. ("Felix," not "Fucktard") Allen has graciously consented to apologize for referring to a Democratic campaign worker of Indian extraction as a monkey. No word yet on whether the apology has damaged Allen's credibility among the white supremacists who comprise such an imposing percentage of the GOP's "base," and whose affections Mr. Emanuel and his DLC ilk are plainly so eager to reclaim.

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