Former Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee gave a speech today and got a lot of laughs when he said this about Sarah Palin: "People were coming into my office, phone calls were flooding in, e-mails were coming in, 'I just sent money to Obama, I couldn't sleep last night' - from the left. To see this cocky wacko up there." Now, Chafee was never that convincing a Republican, but here's the thing: neither, for the vast majority of his career anyway, was John McCain. And if Palin energizes the Republican base, she's sure as hell alienating a huge portion of the John McCain base. Let's call them "Angry White Men With Working Brain Cells."* My brother is one; he used to have a mild hardon for McCain; this morning I got an email from him about some Palin nightmare he had last night followed an hour later by an email from the Obama campaign informing me he'd donated a hundred bucks. He is part of the niche that gets riled up not over the idea bombing Iran, or even dumfuckedly joking about bombing Iran, but becomes suddenly borderline rabid over stories like this (as told to Bob Woodward.)
"I think we need to do something to get engaged with these guys," Fallon said. Iraq shared a 900-mile border with Iran, and he needed guidance and a strategy for dealing with the Iranians. "Well," Bush said, "these are assholes." Fallon was stunned. Declaring them "assholes" was not a strategy. Lots of words and ideas were thrown around at the meeting, especially about the Iranian leaders. They were bad, evil, out of touch with their people. But no one offered a real approach. No one wanted to touch diplomatic engagement.
Liberals self-servingly think of themselves as the masters of the "Working Brain Cells" niche. We buy into the myth that Daily Show watchers are so much better-informed than everyone else. This is deeply self-destructive. Democrats are on average no better-informed than Republicans, and the political group with the highest percentage of "highly-informed" voters is registered independents. In addition, almost twice as many men than women fall into the "highly informed" camp, and men have long leaned Republican. And when liberals cave to defeatism in the face of all the shameless falsehoods and mendacious lowest-common-denominator Roviananities, they risk pissing off the very niche of McCain-friendly independents who so badly want to help them right now. All of which is why it's so counterproductive to worry about shit like Obama's "lipstick on a pig" gaffe. It was not absolutely not a gaffe! In fact, I think it was intentional — not intentional in the sense that Barack Obama intended for the right to idiotically mix up their antecedents when anyone who passed fourth grade grammar (and the AWMWWBC do respect grammar!) (also: phonics) could tell you he was NOT CALLING HER PIG — but intentional in the sense that it was a clever bit of worldplay capitalizing on the insipid "lipstick meme." And in that sense, it was funny. An AWMWWBC would certainly think so, I think; he's sure as hell not going to be offended by anything other than the disingenuous PC fakeness of the ensuing controversy, though I'd bet right now he's stopped reading stories on the matter. He's not answering calls from Zogby either. He's too angry! Which is funny, because the AWMWWBC always thought Barack Obama was pretty impressive (if not quite ready) he probably found Michelle a bit on the angry side, probably just because she reminds him of some girl who told him off once and was right. (There is also the matter of the AWMWWBC worshiping the Hitch, who for whatever reason detests Michelle.) But whatever, all that was before the AWMWWBC got an earful of Sarah Palin's pitbull. Suddenly Michelle Obama is looking pretty sweet.
*It would generally befit Gawker to employ a term like "Non-Retards" to the same effect, but I'm refraining here for obvious reasons!