Friday, November 17, 2006

Bring On The Angry Liberals, Redux

Sara Robinson
As Digby points out: We're ten days post-election, and the Kewl Kids are already "partying like it's 1999." Every nasty insinuation about the Democrats they spent the 90s perfecting is being dug out of bottom drawers and gym lockers, as the Kewl Kidz gear up the sneering and snide whispering campaign, to make sure none of us get to feeling too good about ourselves.

Back in late September, when Bill Clinton bitch-slapped Chris Wallace for going into this exact same high school act, I wrote:

The truth of the matter is that we are never, ever going to make our message or delivery perfect enough that it can't be butchered by the MSM. Ever. Whatever we do, it will always be wrong. That's their storyline, and they are sticking to it to the end. Anybody who thinks we're going to change that status quo by simply having better manners or eating more cocktail weenies with them is delusional. These people are not our friends.

The first step in dealing with this situation is acknowledging that cold and immutable reality, accepting it, and deciding how we're going to respond to it.

When it comes to the left, the mainstream media have exactly two all-purpose storylines going. We will always be portrayed as either spineless wussies, or angry loonies. The only choice we have here is to decide which one we're going to play to.

Given that choice, I'll go for angry loony every day of the week...Let go of the fear. Accept that they're gonna say what theyre gonna say. Stop apologizing for anything. And let's bring on the angry Democrats.

Of course they're going to paint Clinton as an out-of-control loony. Being who they are, they cannot do otherwise; only a pluperfect fool would expect them to. They're following the storyline, and we have no choice but to let them.

These people are not our friends. We need to tattoo that on our representatives' foreheads, so they see it every time they look in the mirror. Back in the 70s, when the GOP were the media's angry loonies, they played into it without apology. By their analysis, there was plenty wrong with the country, and their rage was totally justified. (As the bumpersticker says: If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.) Their willingness to look angry made them look strong, full of conviction, and worthy of respect. At the same time, fear of the growing horde of furious right-wing letter-writers eventually conditioned every news editor in the country to involuntarily wince before saying anything nasty about these people.

This was a huge part of how the Republicans turned the PR tide in their favor in the late 70s and early 80s. It will work for us now -- but only if we consistently, reliably, choose firm defiance over spinelessness every time, and make it clear that they're taking the risk of devastating public humiliation every time they open their giggling mouths.

The MSM is going to have is own narrative for exactly as long as we let them have it. Clinton's smackdown was important, because it was the first time in ages that a Democrat deliberately forsook the usual spineless wussie choice, and unapologetically opted for to display a well-focused flash of fury instead. Going forward, that's the posture we need to have.

Yeah, they'll hate it. They'll yell and squeal and say all kinds of nasty things about us -- for a while, anyway. The Kewl Kids always hate it when the grownups start messing with their games. They say all kinds of nasty things behind the teacher's back, and start slam books dissing the vice principal. They're adolescents. That's what they do.

But, eventually, they'll have to learn to live with it. Because what we're really after here is to sound powerful and adults who say what they mean and mean what they say, and have better things to do with their time than play high school cafeteria games. They can afford to goof off with trivialities. We, on the other hand, have a country to run, and are not about to let a bunch of stupid children get in our way.

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