I was at the State Fair today when I heard some worked up guy on the stage at the Patriot Radio booth bitching about the DFL and the Franken campaign. I walked down front to hear just what his beef was and it turns out he had his shorts all in a knot because those heartless liberals had insulted Norm's son. This was just wrong and evil and uncalled for he said. Attacking a candidate's child was just the kind of thing Democrats do in a campaign. So I yelled out, hopefully loud enough to be heard on the broadcast, "You mean like Rush calling Chelsea Clinton the white house dog?" (For the record she was 12 at the time, Norm's son is in his 20s.) He claimed he didn't approve of that either but I'd love to see some evidence that anyone on the right took Rush to task at the time. He then told me that the DFL had up a sign that said Norm was ugly and his son was a jerk. That did seem a bit coarse (at least by liberal standards if not by right wing radio's) so I told him I'd check it out. It wasn't until they went to commercial, I believe it was for tinfoil hats or ED medication or something, that I found out the spittle spewer was Michael Brodkorb, a former Republican party hack who runs the MDE blog.
I'd been by the Franken booth earlier and seen nothing of the sort so I headed to the DFL booth and get this. You know what he was whining about? The DFL booth had a big board next to a stack of post-it notes with a sign asking people to list their reasons to vote against Norm next year. There were hundreds of them stuck up there and tho I didn't see the one in question I have no doubt that is the source. [Checking out the MDE web site later that was indeed the case.] These guys kill me. Bitching about some guy who scribbles on a post-it at the fair is even dumber than claiming that comments on blogs somehow represent the stance of the Democratic party. I take that back, it's not dumb, because these guys know it is crap but say it anyway knowing that people not paying close enough attention will think it's true. No doubt there are scores of Patriot Radio listeners today who think the DFL has actually attacked Norm's son, so mission accomplished for Brodkorb. But this is par for the course for Republicans. Dishonesty is about the only effective tool they have.
And just so you know what crocodile tears Brodkorb is shedding, his radio station says that liberalism is a mental disorder (I saw the shirt) and he himself said "Democrats are assholes. Juvenile, hateful assholes." Hey, it's right there in the comments on his blog, isn't it? That must be his official position.
But even leaving all that aside, I have to ask (about the right wing minions, if not the strategists) when did the Republicans, the tough guy daddy party, become such a bunch of whiners?
If booth traffic was any indication (granted it's hardly scientific) the future is not good for the Republicans. While there were a number of people at the Franken booth picking up pins and such we passed the Coleman booth twice and both times there was no one there other than the staffers. Not a single person. The same was true of the DFL vs. the Republican booth. There were quite a few at the DFL booth and people seemed pretty energized but at the Rep booth there were a few staffers and only two people visiting. In fairness I was by the Rep later in the early evening when I think there are fewer people in that area of the fairgrounds in general. When I went by I couldn't resist stopping and asking if they had a men's room. I don't think the middle aged guy working the table got it even when I expressed disappointment because I had been hoping to hook up with someone. I suggest that everyone who goes to the fair the next few days stop in and ask about the men's room. If enough people do it they might eventually catch on that they're being mocked. (I have to admit it's not as funny a gag as when a friend of mine went to the Rudy Bostwich flavored milk booth the year of his rematch against Wellstone and asked for sour grape flavor.)
Also when you're out there stop in to the horticulture building (where they have the giant pumpkins and such) and look for the seed art, a wall covered with pictures made from various seeds. Some of them are pretty amazing in their own right but I was pleasantly surprised to see that several of them (about 4 or 5) were political slams of Bush and company. Cheney being the root of all evil was good but the cleverest one was a take off on the Looney Toons with Bush as Yosemite Sam saying "mission accomplished" while Foghorn Leghorn, Tweety ("I thought I saw a hypotwit") and others comment. I wish I had brought my camera so I could post a few of them. Seed art is an even better predictor than booth attendance so it looks like we'll clean up in 2008.
I love it -- "Some guy with a Post-It note" is the new "Some guy with a website".
There's a lot of name-calling in politics. I've certainly been guilty of it myself. For the most part, the insults don't really mean anything (yet another reason I should avoid them). Calling someone a "wanker" or saying liberalism is a "mental disorder" remains largely harmless.
I am far more concerned with the repeated assertion that liberals want the United States to lose a war or that we hate our country or fellow citizens.