Archive - Jan 27, 2005

Bleak, Post-Apocalypitic Democratic Future: The Finale

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Memo to the DNC Chair wannabes: AND THEN THERE WERE TWO.

Finally, we finish our series of PROFILES IN A SORT OF THING VAGUELY APPROACHING A HINT OF COURAGE, IF YOU DON'T MIND, in which we discuss the seven candidates who are vying for the chance to run the Democratic National Committee. Tomorrow we'll get back to mocking backwoods pigfuckers, crappy movie-makers, stupid celebrities, Republicans, and people who think Spongebob's heading to Massachussetts to get married.

I mean, I know every goddamn comedian and pundit on the planet has commented on this already, and I know it's trite and a cliche, but how fucking deep in denial of his own man-lust does Dobson have to be to single out Spongebob? He must have seen all those holes and just gone completely mind-blank, overwhelmed with the possibilities of penetrating them all. And hey, now that I think about it, didn't a bunch of giant Spongebob balloons get stolen a few months ago? It's a good thing making any kind of connection would be journalistically poor.

But I appear to have digressed.* Democrats. Looking to ringlead the circus. Right.

PROFILE IN SORTA-COURAGE: David Leland

David Leland is the former chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party. I want to make the obviouis joke, too, turns out he hasn't held the job since mid-2002. So we can't lay the blame for THAT particular clusterfuck on his head. Leland's big claim is that he helped deliver Ohio for Bill Clinton in 1996. Yippee fucking yahoo. Somebody give him a gold star and check into what he's done for us lately, because he's got no website or presence or anything and he ain't gonna win anyway, so fuck him.

PROFILE IN SORTA-COURAGE: Howard Dean

And we save the best, such as it is, for last. Howard Dean, the man who briefly captured our attention in a way not seen since Ross Perot was buying hours of airtime and thorwing line-graphs at us like ninja-stars. Dean, former Governor of Vermont, where gay people can at least get full benefits, even if they can't actually get married. Howard Dean, beloved by the grassroots, hero of the anti-war left.

Howard Dean, loser. Howard Dean, whose last real public graven image was the Red-Faced Scream. Dean's got a bit of a P.R. problem, there. Nothing like a National Laughingstock Moment to throw you off your horse.

He's tried to do a bit of the "reclaiming it" ju-jitsu, making fun of his own mistake, but that isn't really enough to rehabilitate a political career. Which is why he's running for DNC chair instead. The only people he has to convince are a coupla hundred delegates, who probably won't be fazed by The Scream in the same way that John Shithead Public and the media were. But as we've said before, the DNC chair will be the public face of the party for the immediate future.

And you gotta wonder. Every time Dean steps up to speak for the party, will people see the guy that was going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico and California and Texas and New York and South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan and let's not forget the great state of West Yeeargh?

On the one hand, Dean made an ass of himself, and put the blood in the water that the sharks had been waiting for. On the other hand, at least Dean made an ass out of himself because he was too into it. In that sense, he's the anti-Kerry, who would never, ever, have screamed like that. Mostly because his voice wouldn't last for three full paragraphs and a rambling digression.

The real problem with the Democratic Party is that the fundamental public image of it needs to change. Dean, for all of his problems, is the only one of the seven with a proven track record of sounding like he believes in something. Well, OK. Roemer sounds like he believes in something, but that something is that a blastula is sentient, so fuck him. There's no time these days to win people over on the issues. They're not listening. You just have to sound sincere. You have to create the impression that you don't care what people think of you, even though the fundamental essence of politics is caring what other people think of you.

Howard Dean has, at the very least, a very convincing simulacrum of artificial sincerity, and that's a quality Democrats lack. It's the same quality that makes Barack Obama seem so appealing, but Obama can't run for the DNC chairmanship because he's got a real job. Of the famous Loser Septuplets we've been learning about all week, Howard Dean is by far the tallest midget. And the least dumb. Pity about that thrice-forsaken scream, really, but they should pick him anyway. Will they? Well, after all, they ARE the Democratic Party.

*That phrasing saves me five bucks in royalties to Peter David.