Thursday, April 13, 2006

If you're grief is utterly phony, we say you're shedding "crocodile tears." What's the equivalent expression for completely phony outrage?

Obviously we need such an expression on an almost daily basis to describe the behavior of the modern GOP. The latest example is this article, skillfully planted by the Republicans in the right-wing New York Sun. Here's the title of the press release headline:

Democrats Plan Race-Based Campaign Against Black Candidate in Maryland

Here's the lead:

Democrats plan a race-based campaign against a candidate who aims to be Maryland's first black man elected to the U. S. Senate, according to a confidential Democratic Party campaign document obtained by The New York Sun.

Here's the planted, phony outrage by a party shill:

Attacking Mr. Steele's connections to the black community could backfire, warns District Heights, Maryland Mayor Carol Johnson. Mayor Johnson, who is black, represents a predominantly black town in the Prince George's county, a key battleground.

"I was shocked and then I was angry," she said, when she was shown the report. "I've never seen anything like this. It shocked me that they would go so far to smear Steele's identity."

Mayor Johnson represents precisely the kind of black voter that the Democrats are now concerned about. A lifelong Democrat and member of the city council as a member of the party, she decided to switch to the GOP and run for mayor in 2003.

And here's the unconscionable, outrageous, shocking, vile, disgusting, reprehensible -- did I forget anything? -- strategy outlined in the memo:

... a 37-page report, based on a telephone survey of 489 black likely voters and presented by Cornell Belcher, a pollster handpicked by Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean, suggests that some [black] support [for the Democratic Party] may be slipping away...

Mr. Belcher recommended strong action. "Democrats must be aggressive, Steele is a unique challenge," he wrote. "Democrats can not afford to wait until after the primary election to knock Steele down. A persuasion campaign should start as soon as possible to discredit Steele as a viable candidate for the [black] community."

Mr. Belcher spelled out how to discredit Mr. Steele: "Connecting Steele to National Republicans, especially on issues such as Medicare reform and Social Security privatization, can turn Steele into a typical Republican in the eyes of voters, as opposed to an African American candidate."

Oh my God! They want to say the Republican candidate is a Republican! What racists they are!

Oh, and I love this: "Cornell Belcher, a pollster handpicked by Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean...." I know the Sun is a money-losing paper, but at least it should try to pretend that this news article isn't a (barely) rewritten press release aimed at getting blood to boil among the right-wing faithful.

And does the Sun present as undisputed fact the extremely dubious claim that Steele was once pelted by Oreo cookies at a debate? Why, of course, in the fourth paragraph.

Shameless. Shameless.

Now, for Republicans with reading comprehension problems who don't understand why I'm angry, let me explain. Steele is a member of a particular group. The Democrats don't think he really represents the interests of that group, and they want to say so. If that's outrageous, Republicans and right-wingers, then save a little outrage for yourselves:

...Earlier this month, the Republican National Committee launched a website called "" that takes the Massachusetts senator to task for voting against the Defense of Marriage Act, favoring civil unions for gays and lesbians, opposing vouchers for private schools, and taking stands on abortion and other issues that are contrary to church teachings....

Private groups also have been urging Catholics to oppose candidates who favor abortion and other issues the church condemns. Earlier this month, a nonprofit organization called Priests for Life announced a $1 million campaign, including television commercials, aimed at persuading voters to support candidates who oppose abortion. Another nonprofit, Catholic Answers, is issuing millions of voter guides that list five "nonnegotiable" issues for Catholic voters: abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, and "homosexual marriage." ...

But that's the GOP for you -- they'll kick you in the huevos over and over again, then say you have to fight by Marquis of Queensbury rules. And they successfully sell their phony sense of outrage to the media.

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