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WHEN PROGRESSIVES ATTACK! Throw back your heads and laugh out loud as we “Dems and progressives fight back:” // link // print // previous // next //
FRIDAY, AUGUST 4, 2006

WHEN PROGRESSIVES ATTACK: Finally! Finally, we clicked to a liberal site and got to read some street-fighting words about the deserving White House hopeful who got mistreated during Campaign 2000! That liberal site was The Huffington Post, where today’s savvy Democrat goes to vent spleen. But omigod! Who was that poor abused 2000 hopeful? You guessed it! Blogger James Boyce was shedding live tears about poor abused John McCain!
BOYCE (8/3/06): Something very important for the Democrats and Progressives happened this morning in the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

We fought back.

As I noted in my post yesterday, this week has been full of activity in Pennsylvania, for and against Representative John Murtha—a decorated veteran and a man who has done as much for the troops and veterans of this country than anybody.

But unlike 2000, when John McCain was swift-boated. Unlike 2002, when Max Cleland suffered the same fate and unlike 2004, when the Kerry Campaign was slow to react to the lies and distortions of his record by the not-so-Swifties, this time, not only did we fire the first shot, but we also we fired louder and stronger.

Good God! According to HuffPo, when we “Democrats and progressives” finally start to fight back, we pimp the great secular saint, Saint McCain! Readers, throw back your heads and emit those dark chuckles! Only we—only we modern liberals—could possibly be this inept. (For the record, Cleland appeared on Hardball last night, rattling the same list of victims.)

Was McCain mistreated during Campaign 2000? In South Carolina, yes, he was—and it lasted about two weeks, possibly costing him the state. On the other hand, he was pandered to by the national press corps for about seven months, turning him into the secular saint who will probably whip our “Democratic and progressive” keisters in the 08 election. By the way, here’s what Kevin Drum said, only yesterday, about that unlovely prospect:

DRUM (8/3/06): John McCain may seem like an affable guy when he hits the Daily Show or pops up on Good Morning America, but his foreign policy would be a gold-plated disaster. We just can't afford another four years of Republican macho posturing in place of actually making progress against Osama and his buddies.
Drum was responding to a report that McCain is such a cinch in 08 that even Bill Clinton has started to sour on the idea of Hillary’s running.

In the face of all this news, might we offer a small suggestion? Might it be better if we “Democrats and progressives” stopped trying to build public sympathy for poor abused Saint John McCain? He has an entire mainstream press corps for that—and they’ve been slavishly serving his interests for years, even reciting his slogans for him when he turns up on their programs. When we “Democrats and progressives” finally start to fight back, is there any way we could possibly consider promoting our actual Democratic Party heroes? Could we possibly consider informing the public about those who have served on our team?

We think, of course, of the man who was actually savaged and slandered during Campaign 2000. Let us help you recall what James Hansen recently said about that endlessly slandered individual (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 7/27/06). Hansen is one of the world’s top climate scientists. Last month, he reviewed An Inconvenient Truth in The New York Review of Books:

HANSEN (7/13/06): I did not hear from [Al] Gore for more than a decade, until January of this year, when he asked me to critically assess his slide show. When we met, he said that he “wanted to apologize,” but, without letting him explain what he was apologizing for, I said, “Your insight was better than mine.”

Indeed, Gore was prescient. For decades he has maintained that the Earth was teetering in the balance, even when doing so subjected him to ridicule from other politicians and cost him votes. By telling the story of climate change with striking clarity in both his book and movie, Al Gore may have done for global warming what Silent Spring did for pesticides. He will be attacked, but the public will have the information needed to distinguish our long-term well-being from short-term special interests.

How does a party build its brand name? In part, by refusing to let its leaders be slandered; in part, by reminding the public of those leaders’ achievements. Indeed, even we Democrats know how to do this, up to a certain limited point. As a general matter, we know to mention and praise FDR. We know to mention and praise JFK. We know to state that the federal deficits disappeared under President Clinton. But we are so cosmically, world-class inept that we still don’t have enough simple sense to inform the public about Al Gore—to challenge the slanders they’ve heard about him, to tell them about his massive achievements. “Your insight was better than mine,” this world-class scientist said to Gore, referring to one of the era’s greatest issues. So how do we “Democrats and progressives” react? Of course! We wander the countryside, boo-hoo-hooing about the way poor McCain got abused! Good God! Our question, and it’s an obvious question: Is there a group—has there ever been one—as dumb as “progressives and Democrats?”

FOR CLERICAL PURPOSES ONLY: For clerical purposes, file this under “irrational fear of hippies.”

POSTPONED: We’ll plan to revisit Lieberman versus Cheney in our Monday post.