Wednesday, March 21, 2007

FNB Politics

Rick Perlstein shows us how -- and how effectively -- conservatives smear Democrats.

Along similar lines, Rush Limbaugh calls the insufficiently martial Iraq Study Group "James Baker's Fruit Salad." To those with good memories who pay very close attention, this is a reference to the former secretary of state's preference that the report be considered in its entirety rather than picked over like a fruit salad. But, to right-wingers who've forgotten that (the lion's share, no doubt), the nickname made just as much sense. The report recommended diplomacy. Isn't that kind of ... fruity? And, in a nod to Ailes, Limbaugh has taken to calling Fox News's chief competitor "PMSNBC."

The only Democratic leaders who aren't feminized, of course, are the women. With them, it's just the opposite. Limbaugh has a phrase he uses to explain why, supposedly, Hillary Clinton is never questioned aggressively: She produces a "testicle lockbox" into which male reporters must deposit their manhood. Nancy Pelosi, in Rush-speak, is "Bella Pelosi," a nice two-for-the-price-of-one slur: For Dittoheads nostalgic for the 1970s, it suggests the mannishness of the loudmouthed New York liberal congresswoman Bella Abzug; for the rest, the homophonology is to Bella Lugosi--the Democratic leader is Dracula.

It's effectiveness lies in its seeming unseriousness. If the smears are responded to, the victims often look like they can't take a joke, "We were only joking. Ha. Ha. Another example of humorless liberals." It's why Ann Coulter won't go away and why the Edwards "faggot" flap will only encourage her to continue on with her stand up schtick. The GOP candidates may feign a fainting spell when they hear her, but they know she's good. Real good. And they need her, because these previously pro-choice, multiple marriage conservatives don't have anything else to offer the meat eaters of their party.


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