Friday, April 14, 2006

Guest Blogger Jack Serpentine: An open letter to the Democrats: Pull the Saab over, it's time for someone else to drive

V Note: As promised, here is another Jack Serpentine joint. Stay tuned for another great guest post on Monday.

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A bold idea struck me last Sunday while watching my staples Meet the Press and the journey to the depths of lunacy that is The McLaughlin Group—that the true blame for the Democrats’ current malaise is Harvard University.

But what kind of liberal would I be if I made it that simple? Of course “Harvard” is a metaphor for a much larger problem with the party today, but it’s definitely a problem. A more popular way of wording it is “liberal elitism.”

Now, I had no idea what this was before I moved to the east coast. I’m a Midwesterner, and more specifically a Kansan. If you’ve picked up a Washington Post or New York Times in the past six months, you’re intimately familiar with my home state’s spiraling back to medieval philosophy and mores. So you can understand how I had no idea how accurate conservative commentators were when they continuously characterized the out-of-touch, sushi-eating, latte-drinking liberal. Any of my friends who were not die hard Republicans were just people who read an occasional book that wasn’t the Bible and witnessed the fact that conservatives cannot govern.

But as I started spending time in Washington, D.C., New York and several other eastern places, the idea of liberal elites started make sense as to why the Democrats can keep losing. The party is run by people who know nothing about middle America and look down on everyone who does not hold an advanced degree and isn’t from a handful of states that touch on an ocean.

I don’t want to sound like a victimized guy from the Heartland who blames the decadent coasts for all my problems, but you have to understand that there are millions of people who actually do feel that way. They believe that Democrats talk down to them, want to spend their money, and want to outlaw going to church on Sunday. Is this grossly unfair to the overwhelming majority of moderates and liberals? You bet your Saab it is, but that it is how people view those who are left of center. And the reason is that the Democrats do nothing to combat this image. They just keep hiring the same people from the same places that went to the same schools to trot out the same message, and you know, I’ll be damned if it doesn’t sound close to, “We know what’s best, we’ll spend your money, and church is for stupid people.”

Don’t believe there’s a problem? Let’s look at the leadership of the Democratic party:

There’s Howard Dean, a man who went to Yale, and then off to a prestigious medical school. He made his political career being the governor of Vermont. I mean, Vermont. Enough said.

Next is Nancy Pelosi. Oh yeah, San Francisco is totally mainstream.

How about Harry Reid: I’m pretty sure this guy just came from the moon to actually make Bill Frist look like a competent Majority Leader.

How about the people who run the campaigns? Let’s see. John Kerry used Bob Shrum and Mary Beth Cahill, both of whom are from the bluest of blue states, attended prestigious schools on the east coast and couldn’t win a national election if a drunken frat boy with no record of achievement from Texas ran against them.

How about the last time a Democrat won a national election? The candidate was from Arkansas and the genius who ran the campaign was from Louisiana and went to LSU.

Now, I clearly don’t idolize the “common man from middle America.” I moved east as soon as I got a clear shot, but come on. Does everyone in the party need to have gone to an Ivy League school and have no record of actual political success?

I fully recognize that this point has been made in several different ways over the past couple of years, and I do not in any way condone the anti-intellectualism that we have to admit happens on too large a scale.

However, I do have a proposal: Let’s rest the starters this election cycle. Let’s have all the elites of the Democratic Party, the ones who can’t seem to pull their heads out of their asses, sit this one out.

If you meet the following criteria you’re a valued member of the Blue Team, but you may want to take some time off through the remainder of this election cycle:

1. You had no idea that there is a civilization west of the Hudson River with buildings and cars and people and stuff.

2. You’ve actually been rowing on the Charles or Potomac River.

3. You don’t know what a megachurch is and certainly have never seen one.

4. You think a Blue Devil is a more prestigious figure in basketball than a Jayhawk.

5. You thought nominating a liberal Catholic from Massachusetts made sense in 2004.

6. You thought nominating a liberal Catholic (yes, Eastern Orthodox counts) from Massachusetts made sense in 1988.

7. You think nominating a liberal Catholic from Massachusetts ever makes sense in any year that is not 1960.

8. You’re pretty sure that blonde who died in Teddy Kennedy’s car was asking for it.

9. You have a degree from an Ivy League school or you say, “A small liberal arts school in the Northeast” when asked where you went to college.

10. You don’t think Red Sox fans turned into totally obnoxious pussies after they won the World Series.

I know this list may seem harsh, and after all, you did get six more questions right on the SAT than I did, but let’s try something new this election cycle. Let’s talk about how conservatives cannot fucking govern, how the environment is a vital issue, and how it’s fundamentally unfair for rich people to take a massive tax cut when we’re waging two expensive wars and revving up for our third. If we get really excited, we can point out that Osama keeps sending us his greatest hits while our soldiers baby sit assholes who want to blow up each others’ mosques.

Let’s stay away from “conservatives are idiots” and leaving it at that. At least not until we take a nice long look at ourselves.

14 Comments:

Anonymous Shawn said...

Yeah, it's pretty sad when I almost dislike my own party's leaders as much as the Republicans' leaders. Almost.

Serpentine, who would you put in the mix for '08?

2:07 PM  
Blogger Complacent Chase said...

Yeah! So true! The Dems need to shake it up or get ready to lose another round of elections at a time when a win should be a given.

2:29 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

Not that I care either way, but kicking the liberal "catholic worker" types out of the party (offend the hell out of them) would be a great start. Although to me, the idea that there's much difference between the R's and D's inside the beltway is naive at best. It's a game of Two Card Monty. I mean come on, the congress has a turnover rate resembling that of the Russian State Duma. In the WH we've had Bush-VP, Bush-VP, Bush-P, Clinton, Clintion, Bush, Bush, and next Clinton???? That would be 32 years of Bush and Clinton. This is the ultimate puppet show.

3:11 PM  
Blogger Lonnie Bruner said...

Have you ever seen fthesouth.com? (not worksafe)

5:11 PM  
Blogger Complacent Chase said...

Oh Lonnie, that was awesome!! I just read the essay...so so good!

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Days of Brojken Arrows said...

Don't forget, though, that W is an Ivy Leaguer. I think the Republicans largely have the same pedigrees and disdain for the public that the Dems do. The difference is that they somehow figured out how to appear "down home" by copying Reagan.

11:29 AM  
Blogger dn said...

I would have said Jetta, but Saab is funnier. You've done it again, Serpentine!

11:48 AM  
Blogger J. Serpentine said...

Thanks a lot for all the comments.

Shawn, I don't really have any picks for '08 yet. I'm kind of digging Mark Warner right now, if he can stop looking like such a creepo deluxe. I'm pretty sure Hillary would get killed in a general against McCain, but who knows at this point.

Lonnie, thanks for the link.

Dan, I'm just trying to follow that outstanding baseball piece.

2:30 PM  
Blogger Diet Coke of Evil said...

I'm tracking on most of your statements here, but I'm confused about how being a liberal elite has anything to do with being Catholic? Are we saying that the middle americans think church is super important, but only if it's not the Catholic church? I don't think that has anything to do with E. Coast liberal snobbery.

Also, Eastern Orthodox does absolutely NOT count as Catholicism. What you MEAN to say is "Anyone not protestant" because that's what it's REALLY all about.

7:04 AM  
Blogger J. Serpentine said...

Well, I used the "Catholic from Massachusetts" thing as an example of the people in charge of the Party being out of touch in that they try the same formula over and over again. Hence, I pointed out three examples of the same move in a row in a list of ten. And aside from some unpleasantness in 1054 and some good ol'excommunications, the Eastern and Roman churches are essentially the same with respect to dogma. Anyway, thanks for making me explain the joke so I could remove any remnants of humor from it and take away from the larger point. Oh, and the last sentence is sarcasm, since you probably didn't catch that.

8:40 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

As a well known right-winger, I must say this is a well thought out and sensible post.

When John Kerry's "travelling companion" he met "windsurfing" becomes just as prominent in the media as he does during a presidential election, the dems should know something isn't right.

10:17 AM  
Blogger J. Serpentine said...

I totally agree, Phil. Thanks for the comments. I just hope we can beat you right-wingers in an election sometime before the Party reaches a Chicago Cubs-esque losing streak.

10:57 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

I have said this before: If Al Gore would agree to run with full beard, I will vote for him.

11:47 AM  
Anonymous cjt said...

11. You say "pasta" instead of "noodles".

12. You subscribe to periodicals such as "Russian Antique Music Box Review".

13. You are considerably more than annoyed when your flavored bottled spring water becomes tepid.

12:25 AM  

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