« Crack! -- and it's outta here | Main | A kinder, gentler thumbscrew »

Popeye the windsurfer man

By Owen Paine on Thursday May 18, 2006 12:34 PM

Just read a remarkable, scalpel-worthy post at tompaine.com. Excerpt, just to give you the flavor:
... stand up to the South. Stop telling Southerners what you think they want to hear. Stop worrying about losing votes you probably aren’t going to get anyway. If Democrats can do that, they might just do better than they thought they would.

The samurai treatise Hagakure , written in the early 18th century, explained that the samurai considered himself to be already dead. Because he did not fear death, his courage in battle grew. Democrats need to apply this lesson to their situation, and consider the South lost to their presidential candidates.... Once Democrats no longer worry about winning the South’s electoral votes, they’ll find themselves liberated in ways that benefit them everywhere.

The samurai reference is delightfully pretentious; what's even better is that in this rather lengthy essay about the South, our man doesn't mention Black folks even once. Talk about the missing-mass problem.

Our guy frames the problem in terms of a classic DLC Volvo-versus-pickup line, but re - packaged as a brave resolve to stand up for who you are, like Barry Goldwater did.

Standing tall as a yuppie elitist has its chest-puffing side -- imagine this refined, secular bicoastal shouting at the yahoo majority "I am what I am what I am," like the Peter Lorre character in M.

Well, if you're going to walk the plank, you might as well stride right out there. Only our fellow seems to be hoping to hover over the deep blue sea, halfway between a DLC yacht and a crowded, malodorous barge laden with the hooting millions, all lifetime members of the fellowship of shitty jobholders.

Comments (6)

J. Alva Scruggs:

I think the entrenched donk hacks prefer to keep losing, region by region, to whittle down, demoralize and defund some of the intra-party activism they've managed to generate. That strategy is also good for sales of hand-wringing books, replete with political self-help nostrums, filled to bursting with quivery lipped determination.

Would it really kill the donk wonks, any one of them, to go talk some people and ask them what they need? The scene they dread, the one from Deliverance, is unlikely to be their fate and it should be remembered that that was a movie.

All right, I'll bite. What would you say to Joe/Jo Average, that elusive and supposedly oh-so-coveted heartland swing voter, to persuade them that while keeping queers from marrying might get them in good with a few church leaders, it doesn't actually do shit to benefit 'em in any material sense ?

I don't ask this as an exercise in bashing the South. You can find these folks all over the nation, though their particular circus/pet issue may vary somewhat. I'm genuinely curious as to what you all think. Myself, I would just do pocketbook, pocketbook, pocketbook issues all the livelong day. And if anyone tried to make me do a Dean spin-out, I'd just say, "Queers are taxpayers and they get the same rights you do. Finito. Shut the fuck up."

I am not politician material, needless to say.


Alsis --

I think your pocketbook, pocketbook, pocketbook idea is exactly right -- and also your idea of just leaving the "cultural" issues alone, after having made your own views clear.

This is why I was so encouraged by that poll I mentioned here a while back -- the one that showed a minimum-wage hike would pull exactly as many votes away from the Republicrats as a Mexican border wall would.

I've always argued that the necessary and sufficient counterweight to these idiotic "cultural" issues is the class issues -- it's even in my embryo book:

One of the most important asymmetries is that while the Republicans can be as ferocious as they please on matters relating to culture -- sex, religion, and so on -- the Democrats are not prepared to be ferocious on the only possible counterweight to culture, which is... class. In fact, not only are the Democrats unwilling to be ferocious, they're unwilling to raise the topic at all. It's the Great Unmentionable of American politics.

J. Alva Scruggs:

Some people are truly awful in their bigotries, however I've yet to meet a wage earner or small businessman who thinks Uncle Sam picking up the tab for their healthcare or their employees' is all that bad an idea. It would keep us "competitive". A little gleam comes to even the most small gubmint of eyes when you invoke the divine mantra, "economy of scale".

Tim D:

Yes, and don't forget the Newsweek/MSNBC article that I mentioned before (aptly titled "Nader was Right").

By the way, I sadly report that when I e-mailed that Clinton - Murdoch merger article to friends and family with a simple "Anyone still voting for here in 2008?", I received a startling amount of responses that amounted to "I'll vote for her over any Republican they put up."

I admit that they have dragged me down though, the Democrats. I have been telling my Democrat friends and families that I narrowed my demands to three simple items: 1)National, single-payer health care per the plan of PNHP; 2)Living wage indexed to inflation and the local cost-of-living; and 3)Withdrawal from Iraq - and I'll even settle for withdrawal a la Murtha!! All three are supported overwhelmingly by the American public, so there is surely no reason to reject them out of hand.

I know, I know, where are my principals!?! But my friends, I grow weary and yearn for change...

Tim, if I had a dollar in my pocket, I'd happily wager it on you not getting anything approximating any of those three. Which means that you're stuck here with the rest of us weirdos.

I'll bake us some fresh rolls and brew us some fresh coffee. We'll swap our favorite 9-11 theories in best long-winded indymedia fashion. It'll be fun.

Post a comment

Note also that comments with three or more links may be held for "moderation" -- a strange term to apply to the ghost in this blog's machine. Seems to be a hard-coded limitation of the blog software, unfortunately.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on Thursday May 18, 2006 12:34 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Crack! -- and it's outta here.

The next post in this blog is A kinder, gentler thumbscrew.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Creative Commons License

This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 3.31