Thursday, July 29, 2004
What the DNC is really all about
Yes, yes, unity. Blah, blah, optimism. Yadda yadda, hope. Never mind all that-- the real objective of the Democratic National Convention is to make wingnuts’ heads explode. This is not a trivial matter-- every wingnut whose head explodes between now and November is a wingnut who won’t be casting a vote.
The good people at townhall.com and worldnetdaily.com (sorry, no links to these-- we don’t want to be opening any mystic portals to Ben Shapiro or Suzanne Fields on this blog) are absolutely furious that the Democrats have given them so little to be furious about, which, they note, just shows you how devious Democrats are! (Yep, they got that right-- we were hoping for paralyzing paroxysms of right-wing rage at having nothing to rage about, followed by the distinctive sounds of wingnut-skulls-a-poppin’.) They’re also furious at USA Today for spiking Ann Coulter’s column on Monday, when, of course, they should be thanking that branch of the SCLM for sparing them the embarrassment of having the ravings of an incoherent, dessicated harridan represent them in the hotels and airports of the nation. Here are the first few grafs of Coulter’s convention coverage, along with the editorial remarks (and remember, humaneventsonline.com-- sorry, no link-- ran this in the belief that it justifies the right’s complaints about the media):
Here at the Spawn of Satan convention in Boston, conservatives are deploying a series of covert signals to identify one another, much like gay men do. My allies are the ones wearing crosses or American flags. The people sporting shirts emblazoned with the “F-word” are my opponents. Also, as always, the pretty girls and cops are on my side, most of them barely able to conceal their eye-rolling.
USA Today: EYE-ROLLING? AT WHAT?
Democrats are constantly suing and slandering police as violent, fascist racists—with the exception of Boston’s police, who’ll be lauded as national heroes right up until the Democrats pack up and leave town on Friday, whereupon they’ll revert to their natural state of being fascist, racist pigs.
USA Today: WHAT DEMOCRATS SUE THE POLICE? BUT THEY WON’T ACTUALLY REVERT TO BEING FASCIST PIGS, DON’T YOU MEAN THE DEMS WILL THINK THEY HAVE REVERTED TO BEING FASCIST PIGS?
A speaker at the Democratic National Convention this year, Al Sharpton, accused white police officers of raping and defacing Tawana Brawley in 1987, lunatic charges that eventually led to a defamation lawsuit against Sharpton and even more eventually, to Sharpton paying a jury award to the defamed plaintiff Steve Pagones. So it’s a real mystery why cops wouldn’t like Democrats.
USA Today: IS THAT LAST SENTENCE SARCASTIC? IF SO, YOU SURE LOST ME.
Apparently, the liberals at USA Today just didn’t get the humor in Coulter’s idea of mangling the syntax in the second graf and then using the ha-ha double-or-triple-twist punch line of the third to undermine the ha-ha mangled-syntax punch line of the second. But Ann’s Fans get it: Democrats only pretend to like cops but really think they’re violent fascist pigs and then sue them and then have to pay them money, so it’s a mystery why cops don’t like Democrats! Spawn of Satan! Humorless Spawn of Satan!
Whew. But I’m not here to talk about poor, pickled Ann. I’m here to talk about what happens to a hapless nationally-syndicated wingnut who writes about the Democratic National Convention and doesn’t have the good fortune to be screened by a competent editor.
I don’t usually devote my precious time and energy to Cal Thomas, but I couldn’t avoid him today: his scary pasty face-- and his column-- were in my hometown paper. And here’s what he’s saying about what he calls the Democrats’ “convention cover-up”:
The Democratic National Convention, designed for television with so many flat-screen TVs in use that it looks like Circuit City on steroids,
Good one! Damn those Democrats and those flat-screen TVs and the rampant steroid use against which the President has spoken so eloquently.
is trying to steal Ronald Reagan’s optimism.
Um, no. Ronald Reagan does not actually own the rights to optimism. Even Ronald Reagan’s estate does not own the rights to optimism. What we’re trying to steal is Reagan’s “mojo” by travelling back in time to 1980 and . . . but of course I don’t want to give away the details.
The “no Bush bashing” and the ban on talk about “gay marriage” messages went out early and are being (almost) enforced. There are references to President Bush’s “dishonesty” and laments about the federal deficit, which never seemed to bother big-spending Democrats when they controlled the checkbook.
Oops! It’s blue-pencil time. WHICH DEMOCRATS SPENT BIG? THE ONES WHO WERE SUING THE POLICE? IS THAT LAST SENTENCE SARCASTIC? BUT DIDN’T THE DEMOCRATS LEAVE US WITH A SERIES OF BALANCED BUDGETS THAT THE REPUBLICANS THEN USED AS THE PRETEXT FOR TAX CUTS THAT HAVE NOW TURNED A PROJECTED $5.8 TRILLION SURPLUS INTO A PROJECTED $5 TRILLION DEFICIT?
See, Cal didn’t pay much attention to the budget numbers in the last few years of the Clinton Administration. He was distracted by a young woman. Which brings us to matters of public morality:
Former President Bill Clinton, who wowed the delegates and caused most of the big media to swoon, was at his best (worst?) as he spun his new rich-guy image and non-military service. Clinton wants to sell the idea that draft dodging and enlisting are morally equivalent.
Blue pencil again. DID CLINTON SAY THIS? AND SHOULD YOU REALLY BE TALKING ABOUT SERVICE RECORDS WITH BUSH AND CHENEY AT THE TOP OF ONE TICKET AND KERRY AT THE TOP OF THE OTHER?
But this is tricky stuff, this draft dodging and enlisting, and Democrats should probably say something between now and November to clarify this moral murk. After all, draft dodging and enlisting are not morally equivalent! And we don’t want any of that nasty postmodern relativism around here. So let’s try to sketch out the relevant moral positions involved:
Serving country in armed forces: good.
Not fighting in war you oppose: also good.
Fighting in war you oppose: complex.
Serving country in armed forces and then fighting to end war you oppose: doubleplus good.
Not fighting in war you support: deeply hypocritical.
Not fighting in war you support and then blaming black people for not letting you serve (known to ethicists as “the DeLay conundrum"): hypocrisy so deep it cannot be plumbed by known moral instruments.
Having “other priorities” during war you support: vacuous.
Enlisting in National Guard: good.
Using one’s father’s connections to jump the line waiting to enlist in National Guard, in order to avoid service in Vietnam: bad, but widely practiced and considered merely venial in some cultures.
Using one’s father’s connections etc. and then not fulfilling obligations to National Guard after all: unambiguously bad.
Using one’s father’s connections etc., not fulfilling obligations etc., then serving as commander-in-chief, waging war under false pretenses, and extending reservists’ terms of service in war while cutting veterans’ benefits: kind of like being on Tom DeLay’s moral level, only worse.
OK, that should clear things up.
Now, back to Cal and his unedited, “rough cut” exposÈ of the convention cover-up. What made him write such horribly self-undermining things about budgets and draft dodgers? The person of Bill Clinton, that’s what. And that’s why we need Clinton on the campaign trail this fall: as this week’s convention demonstrates, a publicly visible Bill Clinton, talking pleasantly and self-deprecatingly about his tax cut and John Kerry’s courage, will cause roughly 3.6 million wingnuts’ heads to explode by November 2 (margin of error plus or minus 3 percent). In Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Florida, that could make all the difference.
Kerry-Edwards: for a stronger America.
Clinton-Obama: for wingnut-skulls-a-poppin’.