Monday, April 18, 2005

OF COURSE YOU KNOW THIS MEANS CULTURE WAR! PART 4,388. While, like all thinking people, I am just about convinced that the Jesus freaks will soon rampage through our cities, torching libraries and forcibly installing v-chips, I have to admit that at this moment they just seem pretty silly.

Here, for example, is a Democrat preaching Culture War to whatever Democrats read rightwing nutmag OpinionJournal -- though as the author, Dan Gerstein, was Joe Lieberman's communications director, he must be used to small crowds.

Gerstein starts by attacking Frank Rich, whose "arrogance and narrow-mindedness... typifies the cultural thinking of our elites," etc. As this familiar rite is enacted, one's attention wavers, leaving time to wonder how many of those gosh-darned wonderful, salt of the earth moms and dads out there even know who the fuck Frank Rich is, and how folks like Gerstein would fare at an actual meeting of these folks if he seriously tried to convince them that their TV is full of swears because the former drama critic of the New York Times failed to criticize the coprolaliac excesses of Friends.

He may get away with it; his caution against "cynical Sister Souljah moments" suggests that he actually believes this tripe, and sincerity plays well in the heartland. Better, his model for winning over the values voter -- replicating the fight against Joe Camel by substituting a potty-mouthed David Schwimmer for the decommissioned cigarette spokescartoon -- further suggests that Gerstein is the sort of fellow who could do something that cynical without ever realizing how cynical he is being, and America has always cherished such types (high self-regard plus low self-awareness -- presidential timber!).

Hey, wait a minute. Why am I even accepting the possibility that anyone involved in this crap is in any way sincere? How could I let Small Precautions beat me to the obvious conclusion:
...the weakness of the argument aside, I couldn't help wonder, What is the WSJ doing giving space for "us" to talk about what the Democrats ought to be doing in the culture wars. The answer appears in the last two paragraphs: it turns out that the author of the article wants to promote Hillary as the proper moral face of the party.

And promoting Hillary is, of course, a highly desireable thing for the WSJ, since Hillary is exactly whom the Republicans would most like to see the Democrats nominate in 2008, since Hillary is unelectable nationally.
Am I losing my edge? I must go stare into the abyss for a while; watching Hewitt denounce comparisons of the Fundies with the Taliban as "anti-Christian rhetoric" and "hate speech" (we like Unitarians, Hugh -- do they count?) ought to sharpen me up.

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