Why do I frequently re-post a lot of articles by the Atlantic’s Charles P. Pierce? Simply because his arguments are so compelling. Exhibit A below demonstrates this perception.
By Charles P. Pierce on September 29, 2014
Back in 2010, as part of a biannual act of madness by which the magazine endeavors to analyze every congressional race in the country, I had occasion to talk to Tarryl Clark, who was challenging Michele Bachmann on behalf of the splendidly name Democratic Farmer-Labor Party for Bachmann’s job in Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District. How, I asked Clark, does one make good use of the rich trove of lunacy that is Bachmann’s entire public career.
“Well,” Clark told me. “I’m not going to call her crazy, if that’s what you mean.” In fact, that was exactly what I meant.
The great failing of the Democratic party over the past three-and-a-half decades has been the party’s failure to take political advantage of the obvious prion disease that has afflicted the Republican party since it first ate all the monkey-brains in the mid-1970’s. Whether this was out of cowardice, incompetence, or an overly optimistic view of the inherent sanity of the electorate, is no longer an issue. The failure to make the Republican crazee the Republican party’s standing public identity has encouraged the increased spread, and the increased virulence of the prion disease, with disastrous consequences for the rest of us. Why, in the name of god, would you not call Michele Bachmann crazy? Because it might offend the people who vote for her? It’s supposed to offend those people. Those people beg to be offended, and, by doing so, you at least inject into the discussion the notion that the Republican party has thrown its marbles gleefully to the four winds. A few elections later, that may become the general opinion. After all, the Permanent Republican Majority wasn’t built in a day.
Joni Ernst – Newest member vying for the Looney Tunes Hall of Shame
– can a smile be anymore forced than hers?
We are seeing yet another example of this failure at the moment in Iowa. Bruce Braley is running for the Senate against the famous swine de-baller Joni Ernst, and recent polls are indicating that Ernst has broken open something of a lead. Further, she is starting to get something of a pass on not knowing fk-all. (In their debate over the weekend, she cited cap-and-trade as something devastating to Iowa agriculture. Cap and trade, of course, never passed.) All of this despite the fact that Joni Ernst is a complete fking loon, and she has been a complete fking loon ever since she put down the de-balling blade and ran for office. She supported a Personhood Amendment. She has called for the impeachment of the president and the nullification of federal laws, putting herself on the wrong side of political issues for over 150 years. She is a lifelong Truther regarding our old pal, Agenda 21, the secret UN plan to steal all our golfs. She shouldn’t be allowed into the United States Senate on a tour, let alone as one of its 100 members. This is more than just a message sponsored by the Committee To Not Electing Morons. There are only 100 senators. If Iowa elects this crackpot, it is going to affect all of us in some very important ways.
But it looks like it just might. In one of those quirks that mark conventional political journalism as being anything except a job for grown-ups, it seems that Ernst is now getting credit for designing a lovely, gleaming structure of platitudes over the batshit positions she previously held. The success of that project, in the world of campaign journalism, is supposed to trump everything she once stood for. She is now considered to be a “great campaigner,” because she’s proven somewhat gifted at avoiding drooling in public. Since the press won’t do it, it’s up to Braley, and Braley seems to have fallen down completely on the job. He keeps slanging her about the Koch Brothers, and about the minimum wage, but not about the fact that she spent her entire career prior to this race in a lovely little bungalow on the outskirts of Krazytown. If there were already an existing narrative about how the Republican party has rendered itself into Bedlam, it wouldn’t be so hard for Braley to make the case now, because the campaign press loves it some existing narrative. Beats working for a living.
Consider, for a second, how many Democratic candidates had to labor under the narrative that their party was “soft on defense” because a narrative had been established for that in 1972, when a decorated combat pilot named George McGovern was routed by history’s yard waste, Richard Nixon, and how we then watched the celebrated rise of Ronald Reagan who, when McGovern was crash-landing his crippled bomber, was defending the bar of the Brown Derby against the infiltration of starlets. Imagine if, after electing the fools and lightweights to the Senate in 1980, the Democrats were able to construct and sell the notion that the Republican party had surrendered itself to its fringe. If they’d been able to do that, Joni Ernst could be seen as a symptom and not a senator. Ah, well…