In the epidemic of their corruption and cynicism, the art of Republican political inoculation has built up a more than sufficient case file to come to some useful conclusions. By now we should know the early warning signs that the needle is about to be stuck in by the corporate media. The political inoculation is done using a weakened or dead organism, just like medical inoculation. In about the only failure of the metaphor , in the case of political inoculation, the disease goes on to ravage the body politic and the world at large.
The inoculation will often be done using a sex story on the margins of a wider pattern of corruption or garden variety hypocrisy. The corporate media will go for the flimsiest, most irrelevant, part of the rumors and use that to distract and put aside the really dangerous parts of a truly dangerous pathology. The Iseman scandal for McCain is one of those, the rumors surrounding the pregnancies of Sarah Palin and her daughter are the current ones. Sex is always good for a distraction to start with and our sex addled media loves to talk thingy. It doesn’t help that you just know sex is going to get the bottom of the blogosphere going as well. If talkin’ tail wasn’t possible in our media, Chris Matthews and most of his guest list would be entirely unknown.
Instead of being the thorn in the side of the corrupt Republican establishment, many liberalish blogs are becoming a part of the Crooked Red Cross campaign of innoculation. No matter what part of the blogosphere you’re talking about, someone, a blogger or their comment threads can be counted on to run with a sex rumor. The Republicans just harvest the stuff, attribute it to Democratic or angry liberal bloggers and use it to cover up mountains of corruption and incompetence. They do it over and over again. I don’t think there is much we can do to keep he boys, mostly, from playing their reliable part in that self-defeating game. Even if every single person left of the zero coordinate could be stopped from doing this, some Republican trolls would do it on our blogs.
But sex, unless it is part of an actual crime against a minor or a non-consenting adult, should never be used against Republicans because they are the beneficiaries of the second most enduring of sexual double standards. What will get a Democrat a tabooed as a tramp, will be presented as a badge of honor among Republicans.
Maybe our best hope is the in the fact that it’s mostly the media who are obsessed with sex scandals. When Clinton’s private adultery was being shoved down the nation’s collective throat, non-stop for years, The People took the news in a markedly more adult way than the media or the Republicans wanted us to. It was the hypocrites in the establishment who were disappointed that their smear campaign didn’t do what it was meant to do. We are in the interesting position where The People are generally a lot more sensible than they are hoped to be in the oligarchic imagination. That’s what we’ve got to work with.
Concentrate your fire on John McCain’s hypocrisy in promoting inexperience and extremism. Concentrate on his cynicism and Rovian gambit. Concentrate on Palin’s corruption in office, her ties to extremist and dangerous far right groups and individuals. Concentrate on her being in the thick of the massive give-aways of Republican misrule and you will appeal to the adults among the electorate. Tell the boys on the blogs deploying the “c” word that they’re Republican tools, because that’s what they are.