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DEMOCRATS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS! Dee Dee, playing a Dem on TV, trashed Kerry for his wind-surfing: // link //

DEMOCRATS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS: How does our political discourse now work? For a brilliant glimpse of a fallen culture, consider Dee Dee Myers’ appearance on Tuesday evening’s Hardball.

Myers, of course, is former press secretary to President Clinton, a Democrat. She was on Tuesday evening’s show as a Democrat, balanced by Republican stalwart Jack Kemp. But in today’s culture, Democrat pundits mouth GOP points. Early on, Matthews asked Myers about the attacks that have been killing her champion:

MATTHEWS (9/7/04): Well, let me ask Dee Dee about these three charges against Kerry which have been consistently made for months now, not just in August. That he’s indecisive—he voted for the $87 billion before he voted against it, he was for the war and the resolution, against supplying the troops. That he’s unreliable, because there are so many questions raised about his war service, questions—attacks about his anti-war testimony in the Senate in 1971. And the fact that he just seems so damn aloof.
There was nothing really wrong with that question, except for the fact that it had several parts. Matthews listed familiar attacks against Kerry—attacks that have helped define this White House campaign. But a Democrat could have gone to town with these charges. For example, here’s what Myers—a Democrat, we’re told—could have said:
WHAT MYERS COULD HAVE SAID: Chris, let’s take that $87 billion, which is just a completely phony issue. Kerry voted for a version of this bill he approved of—in which the $87 billion would have been paid for by a partial roll-back of Bush’s tax cuts. He voted against a form of the bill in which the money is simply borrowed—in which your grand-kids, not you, are going to pay for this spending. Make you feel good? And that’s what senators are paid to do—they’re paid to vote against bad bills and in favor of bills that are better. Meanwhile, how phony is Bush in the way he presents this? Bush also worked to defeat a form of the bill he opposed—he aggressively said he would veto this bill if it included any loans to Iraq. So Bush supported certain forms of the bill and worked against others, just exactly the way Kerry did. When Bush says “there was nothing complicated” about the bill, he’s simply deceiving the voters again, it’s just as simple as that. And by the way, Kerry was right about that $87 billion. Kerry kept insisting that Bush should provide a better plan for the $20 billion that was going to reconstruction projects. Well guess what? It’s ten months later, and that money still hasn’t been spent! But this is just a typical scam in which voters are fooled by a president they trust. Play that tape of Bush again—he’s flatly deceiving those voters.
That’s what a Democrat might have said if a Democrat had been on that program. And a Democrat might have shown annoyance at the president’s garbage-can campaigning—at a president who says there was“nothing complicated” when this bill was, in fact, quite complex. But let’s face it—Dee Dee Myers isn’t a Democrat; she just plays on TV. Instead, she’s a Storebought Conventional Pundit. And SCPs say weird things like this. No, we aren’t making this up:
MYERS (continuing directly): Yes, I think you’re right. Those have all been effective attacks against Senator Kerry. He hasn’t done as good a job as he should have or needed to in rebutting them. I don’t think it helps to see pictures of him wind-surfing. I mean, why not a game of pick-up basketball someplace?


Say what? Asked to respond to a list of silly attacks, Myers replied by adding another! As she continued, she helped us see how troubled she was by that surfing:
MYERS (continuing directly): I mean, he does play other sports that actually involve other people at times. So—

MATTHEWS: Yes. Hockey.

MYERS: Yes. Hockey. I mean, we saw a little bit of that a year ago, but maybe—I don’t know, maybe when the weather turns cold in December, it might be a little late by then. But look, I think—

MATTHEWS: Dee Dee, you’re so good. How about half-ball on a—how about half-ball on a stick in South Philly?

MYERS: Yes. There you go!

Let’s repeat what we’ve told you for years. If we couldn’t observe such inane conversations, it would be hard to believe they were humanly possible. When you were an idealistic kid in high school, had it ever so much as crossed your mind that humans engaged in conversations like this? Had it ever crossed your mind that adult humans could be half this stupid?

But this is the way conventional pundits now frame your White House elections. And remember—Myers was there as the Kerry supporter! She was there to support the Dems’ man!! But of course, this is the way your pundits behaved for twenty straight months during Campaign 2000. Every type of moronic issue was raised against Dem hopeful Gore. Powdered faux-Democrats—people like Myers—mouthed these moronic memes too.

So gaze on the soul of Pundit Overpaidus—a scripted creature of her pay-masters. And enjoy the humor as she continues. “You know, why is George Bush getting a free ride?” she soon asks. Myers—paid to peddle pure pap—ought to go take a look in the mirror.

YEAR THREE OF THE WIND-SURFING WARS: When you were a kid, could you have dreamed that White House campaigns would one day be turned into jokes in this manner? That Campaign 2000 would be about earth tones? That Campaign 04 would be Wind-Surfing Central? But the worrisome matter of Kerry’s wind-surfing has disturbed troubled scribes since the start of the race. All the way back in 2002, the New Republic’s Michael Crowley called the wind-surfing a “character flaw,” saying that the troubling practice displays Kerry’s “distinctly self-indulgent streak” (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 9/10/02). And Crowley had other concerns that day; he was also disturbed by the fact that Kerry plays show-tunes on his guitar! That too was “distinctly self-indulgent!” By the way, Crowley co-wrote one of Campaign 2000's most disingenuous (and influential) attacks against Gore. His clowning was simple as 2 + 5. See THE DAILY HOWLER 5/12/00. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for links to all parts of our series.

RE-SPINNING THE WAR AGAINST WOLF: And remember—they’re never truthful about their own cohort. In a generally insightful piece this Sunday, Frank Rich recalled the spinning of Wolf:

RICH (9/5/04): But with the high stakes of an election at hand, it's not enough to stuff socks in the president's flight suit. Mr. Kerry must be turned into a girl. Such castration warfare has been a Republican staple ever since Michael Dukakis provided the opening by dressing up like Snoopy to ride a tank. We've had Bill Clinton vilified as the stooge of a harridan wife and Al Gore as the puppet of the makeover artist Naomi Wolf. But given his actual history on the field of battle, this year's Democratic standard bearer would, seemingly, be immune to such attacks, especially from the camp of a candidate whose most daring feat of physical courage was tearing down the Princeton goalposts.
But the spinning of Wolf didn’t come from Republicans; it came from Rich’s mainstream press corps (links below). It started in Time, and then the next day, it was the Washington Post (Ceci Connolly) and CNN who started to pimp the pleasing idea that Wolf had somehow told Gore to wear earth tones. (The tale was built on one piece of “evidence,” a “speculation” by Dick Morris.) Within days, the New York Times was improving the story; Maureen Dowd and a Times editorial both asserted, completely falsely, that Time had reported this part of the tale. (Time, which had researched its detailed piece, didn’t say a word about earth tones.) Yes, Republicans also jumped on the bandwagon as the press pimped this tale for a month, often in ways that were deeply repulsive. But it’s utterly false to spread the idea that this episode came from the RNC. This episode came from the mainstream press; they repeatedly showed their smutty inner selves as they staged what Rich now calls a Castration War Against Gore.

By the way: Years ago, a major scribe who surely would know told us where this story began. We were told that the story began with disgruntled Gore aides—aides who were annoyed and threatened by Wolf’s increasing influence. No, this story didn’t begin with the RNC; it started with repulsive, self-serving “Democrats.” And then it was pimped by the mainstream press—a fact that is abundantly clear, but a fact the mainstream press corps won’t tell you. Today, they’re disturbed when Kerry surfs. Back then, they were troubled by earth tones.

VISIT OUR INCOMPARABLE ARCHIVES: The spinning of Wolf may well have been the most repellent episode of Campaign 2000. To gaze on the smutty soul of your “press corps,” see THE DAILY HOWLER, 3/10/03, with links to our five-part report. The trashing of Wolf went on for a month. Rich himself did not take part. But it happened in his own New York Times.