Yesterday, I wrote about how unconcerned some of Missouri’s leading Republicans are about adhering to normal standards of decency in political discourse. I was talking about rhetoric that employs outright lies, distortions and the amusingly, old-fashioned effort to label Obama’s rather modest tax plans “socialism.” I noted that Senator Bond, though inclined to participate in his patrician way, had seemed to be less willing to wade knee-deep into the B.S.
Well, I’m here to tell you I was wrong! Bond may be embarrassed by the crudeness of the smears, but he is undisturbed by the smell.
Today, while pimping Palin at her rally in Cape Giradeau, he trotted out an old Republican pickup line, one that has been a surefire success with a lot of the electorate in the past. Like a drunk siddling up to an lonely young thing at a bar, Bond began:
Just this past week, we saw what Barack Obama said about judges,” Bond said. “He said, ‘I’m tired of these judges who want to follow what the Founding Fathers said and the Constitution. I want judges who have a heart, have an empathy for the teenage mom, the minority, the gay, the disabled. We want them to show empathy. We want them to show compassion.’
OMG! Empathy for the GAY! Not to mention COMPASSION! But don’t worry, real, manly Republican men like Senator Bond will keep the gays and the compassionate out of our courts! Of course, he would never, ever, ever acknowledge the expertise that a Professor of constitutional law like Obama might bring to the question of original intent–after all, its not really sexy, and the campaign trail, like a smoky barroom, is not the place for subtleties.
In his efforts to tie the word of the week, “redistribution,” to something that might possibly be considered a legitimate issue, like the judiciary, Bond tried a little sleight-of-hand, referring to:
… Obama’s comments to Joe The Plumber, saying the Democrat wants to redistribute wealth.
“He thinks this country should be a government-not a government of laws, but a government of compassion and empathy, not of laws,” Bond said.
This line of reasoning offers a major non sequitur, though. To be honest, there is nothing to keep redistribution from becoming the law of the land. In fact, one could say that it has been the law since the creation of the income tax in, I think, 1913. If we want our laws to be fair–even toward Gays–and if we believe that we all do better together, then we can choose legislators who will so legislate. And it is perfectly American and lawful to do so.
This fact is probably what explains Republican malaise this time around. The Republican pickup lines have failed to produce a happy-every-after result, and now, in the cold light of the morning after, the electorate may well be a little more careful.
But hey, that’s what happens when one tries to pretend that sleazy efforts to seduce amount to true love. In general, cheap pick-up lines may be good for a one-night stand, but somebody ought to tell Bond that familiarity breeds contempt and Republicans may have to try to come up with something new.
UPDATE: Bond had company. Hulshoff and Kinder evidently brushed off their favorite lines as well. Seems like more than a few metaphorical blowsy blondes were willing to buy what they had to say. Accordingly, one supporter:
… , when asked what America would look like under a McCain presidency, said “Our children get to keep their Halloween candy,” in a barb aimed at Obama’s controversial “share the wealth” remarks.
To paraphrase somebody (Ringling?), “there’s a sucker born every minute.”