Last week, Meghan McCain–who, for better or worse, has become a player in the game of politics–went on Al Sharpton’s unwatchable show on MSNBC (which is most famous for being mocked on SNL) and stated the following with regard to Michelle Malkin and the late Andrew Breitbart:
I really don’t understand the popularity of Michelle Malkin and Andrew Breitbart who exacerbate people’s fears.
(The video of this exchange is below.)
Shrug. My first impression of the above exchange was that it was kind of a nothing burger. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around, does anyone hear it? If Meghan McCain says that she doesn’t understand the appeal of a couple of conservative bloggers on a show that nobody watches (except for a few writers over at SNL so they can get some good material for a skit), does anybody know about it, or care?
Well, apparently, people did seem to care because the internet has been ablaze this week with righteous indignation from conservatives who seemed to be offended that Ms. McCain implied (but didn’t actually state) that Michelle Malkin and the late Andrew Breitbart are extreme. Many bloggers that I respect, like my good friend Robert Stacy McCain, wrote posts condemning her. Not to mention, Twitter lit up like a Christmas tree with criticisms of Ms. McCain’s statements on Sharpton’s show.
Finally Meghan McCain responded with a post of her own titled, Cut it Out, Internet Bullies! Being somewhat sick of this story (and not quite understanding its appeal myself), I begrudgingly read her column. Then I got to the part where she discussed what people were saying to her on her Twitter feed. I gotta admit, it was pretty appalling–I’ve pasted a quote from Ms. McCain’s column below:
I am fat pig. I am ugly. I am disgusting. I am an embarrassment to my family, and they should be ashamed of me. I am an anti-American extremist. I am a clueless whore. I should drink a bottle of alcohol and pills and kill myself.
Now, being the diligent blogger that I am, I clicked on the link to Meghan McCain’s Twitter feed to check out the scene for myself. Holy crap. The Tweets that I saw on her Twitter page were worse than some of the things that she printed in her column. I’ve pasted a few of them below:
*Breitbart had more class in his pinky finger than @McCainBlogette has in her entire 4 foot, 300 lb body.
*Her boobs weigh 300 lbs.
*Probably just missed snack time. We know how she gets when she misses snack time!!
*@McCainBlogette is an anit-american extremist who hates her country or origin.
*@McCainBlogette Man, you’re a disgusting person. May God have mercy on your soul.
*@McCainBlogette is what the leftist MSM wants to make Americans think fits the conservative label, she doesn’t, she a lazy little bitch.
*If @mccainblogette’s daddy wasn’t a senator she’d be a pole dancer in Phoenix.
*@McCainBlogette apparently subscribes to the theory that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, wrong chunky. #IAmBreitbart
*You are as big a disappointment as your dad, he could have stopped Obama but refused, that is extreme betrayal! #war @McCainBlogette
(Not to mention, there was a Tweet talking about how her dad cracked under torture, but now it’s been deleted. Like the mouthbreather who wrote it would have lasted a day in a North Vietnamese prison camp–much less five years. But, I digress.)
*@mccainblogette at what point is this clueless whore(attention whore,but I wouldn’t doubt the other kind too) going to shut up?
Facepalm. My initial gut reaction after reading the above Tweets was, “We’re better than this”. I am no fan of Meghan McCain, but the vitriol that she received for just stating her opinion with regard to what websites she doesn’t find appealing seemed way over the top. She didn’t say anything bad about Breitbart or Malkin personally–she just implied that she found their websites to be a bit extreme. I, personally, love Michelle Malkin and all of the Breitbart sites (and I think that the late Andrew Breibart was a huge asset to the conservative movement), but, hey, it’s a big internet and conservatives are all about choice. Meghan McCain does not have to validate my opinions and sense of self-worth by reading the exact same sites that I read, any more than she does by liking the exact same flavors of ice cream that I like.
However, I thought that I might be over-reacting (everyone in the conservative blogosphere seemed to disagree with me), so I called up my dear friend John Hawkins to ask him his opinion on the McCain matter after reading him a bunch of the offending Tweets over the phone. (He gave me permission to discuss our conversation in my column after urging me to write about this topic). John told me that he “wasn’t a fan of the sexist stuff” and that “when a person uses personal attacks in an argument, it sounds like he or she is losing the argument”. I couldn’t agree with him more. So therefore, I decided to take John’s advice and write about my thoughts on the McCain matter.
However, to be fair this column is really not going to be so much about the McCain internet brouhaha (please save me from comment hell) as it is going to be about how to engage in politics in a smart and productive manner (unlike those poor, misguided souls on Twitter). I have wanted to write about this for some time now and the whole Meghan McCain cyber-bullying incident has provided me with the perfect segue into this topic (if it wasn’t Meghan McCain it would be somebody else).
On my new favorite show, Game of Thrones, Tyrion Lannister is most famous for uttering the chilling phrase, “I understand the way this game is played”. (See the embed below.) Bottom line, if you are on Facebook, Twitter, write blog posts, comment on blogs, or volunteer for a campaign, you are playing the game of politics–so if you are going to play the game, you should know the rules and play to win. So without further ado, here are the five rules of politics as I see them:
1.) NEVER cede the higher ground to your opponent when you are winning on an issue.
Conservatives are clearly winning the civility war: we have the liberals on the run. I mean, David Axelrod was going on TV and actually defending the Obama Campaign’s acceptance of a one million dollar check from Bill Maher, who is famous for calling conservative women like Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin (as well as Hillary Clinton) disgusting four letter words. Oh, and Hustler recently Photoshopped conservative writer S.E. Cupp in a disgusting and misogynistic pose (please read Michelle Malkin’s excellent column about the sordid incident). Even liberal columnist Kirsten Powers has grown tired of liberal commentators on MSNBC, as well as Bill Maher, getting a free pass with regard to their flagrant misogyny. Not to mention, a group of conservative women who call themselves ShePAC, made a video montage of Bill Maher and David Letterman’s greatest sexist/misogynistic hits (see the embed below–NSFW).
Oh, and who could forget that God-awful column about Trig Palin courtesy of Wonkette, or the imfamous “hate-f**k column via Playboy. Enough said.
The American people are smart. They are starting to catch on to the left’s and the MSM’s little game of calling conservatives “uncivil”, all the while referring to conservatives as “teabaggers” and calling conservative women misogynistic four letter words.
However, the MSM is extremely biased and they will downplay flat out vile comments by liberal pundits and comedians, but will pounce like a hungry cheetah stalking a gazelle on the slightest infraction by any conservative–even random people on Twitter. I know this is not fair, but life isn’t fair. You have accept the world how it is–not how you want it to be. Just ask Rush Limbaugh (and he had the decency to apologize, unlike Bill Maher and co.). Sandra Fluke should have been known as a law student who (while testifying in front of a fake congressional hearing) displayed a shocking lack of knowledge of the US constitution when she demanded that the government pay for her birth control. Instead, she was made a martyr by the MSM simply because Rush Limbaugh used a very poor choice or words. And now, to the outside observer/swing voter who might read The Daily Beast, but doesn’t follow politics all that closely, Meghan McCain will appear to be the victim of right wing cyber-bullying. Even though the people on Twitter might have had fun calling her “a 300 pound whore who should kill herself”, she and Al Sharpton actually came out of this episode as the true winners–Ms. McCain just got a whole lot more blog hits and Al Sharpton just got more than five people to watch his show. Don’t get me wrong–these little snafus pale in comparison to the incivility that the right has had to endure from liberal pundits and comedians. However, since the left does have an advantage in that the MSM is in the bag for them, we have to try our best to always behave with class and dignity–and most importantly, we must never hand them the club to beat us with. We must think long term if we are going to play this game to win.
2.) People hate the thought police.
Another advantage that conservatives have over liberals is that we don’t tell other people how to live their lives or what to think–i.e., we don’t call people “racists” if they don’t like a particular politician, tell them that they need to redistribute their wealth, accuse them of waging a “war on women” if they disagree with us, tell people what kind of light bulb to buy or grocery bags to use, try to ban Happy Meals, or tell people “Good for you!” because they drive a Prius. In other words, if people wanted someone to tell them that they had to read/like certain websites, drive a Prius, use certain kinds of light bulbs, etc. or face vitriolic attacks, they’d probably vote for the Democrats. Therefore, independent swing voters who don’t follow politics closely but are watching this Meghan McCain incident unfold from a distance (and who voted for Obama the last time, but might be leaning towards Romney this time) might not like the idea that they have to be ardent disciples of Breitbart and Malkin or face exclusion of vicious ridicule. Those voters probably don’t want to be told what websites to read or what pundits to listen to anymore than they want to be told what food to eat or what car to drive. Furthermore, conservatives are supposed to be all about freedom of choice, remember?
Almost a year ago, I wrote a column where I chastised Dan Savage (who recently bullied a room full of high school students) and comedian Marc Maron for implying on Bill Maher’s panel that they would like to rape Michelle Bachman and Rick Santorum simply because they disagreed with them with regard to homosexuality and gay marriage (they also strongly objected to Marcus Bachman’s program which attempts to convert gays through prayer). To be specific, I wrote the following with regard to how intolerant that entire panel on Maher’s show was:
FYI, I’m not a huge fan of Marcus Bachmann’s whole “pray away the gay” crusade, just like I’m not a huge fan of Dan Savage’s claim that married people–gay or straight–shouldn’t be monogamous because it is “unnatural”. However, what I like less is the growing idea in leftist circles that it’s OK to fantasize about raping people that you disagree with politically. Newsflash Lefties–people have the right to be misguided, give bad advice, disagree with you, or be flat-out wrong without being bombarded with threats of sexual assault.
However, in light of the recent Meghan McCain internet brouhaha, I would like to amend my statement to the following:
Newsflash–people have the right to be misguided, give bad advice, disagree with you, or be flat-out wrong without being bombarded on Twitter and blogs with verbal abuse, such as calling them “a 300 pound whore who should take a bottle of pills and kill themselves”. And besides, voters really hate the thought police with an unbridled passion.
3.) People don’t vote for people they don’t like–i.e., mean people suck.
….So try to avoid personal attacks if at all possible.
Hypothetically speaking, if during the upcoming presidential debate Barack Obama turned to Mitt Romney and told him, “You’re ugly, weird, stupid, hate your country and should take a bottle of pills and kill yourself”, then he would probably lose the upcoming presidential election in a spectacular fashion. Why? Because like John Hawkins said, when you engage in personal attacks, you automatically sound like you are losing the argument because you have nothing factual to offer. (And, if you are choosing to play the game of politics by participating on Twitter, writing blogs, volunteering for a campaign, etc., then you should always remember that you are representing the Republican Party with your written words/actions.)
Furthermore, what’s so exasperating about this whole Meghan McCain situation is that we do have the facts on our side. John Nolte of the Breitbart site Big Hollywood wrote an excellent column where he pointed out that the late Andrew Breitbart actually hosted the GOProud event at CPAC this past year, and that he would never marginalize anyone over their views with regard to same sex marriage or “exacerbate people’s fears”. Furthermore, Nolte even explained that Ms. McCain had been recruited by Andrew Breibart back in 2008 after her dad’s loss, before she had become a well-known pundit; therefore, Ms. McCain was displaying a stunning lack of gratitude and was frankly wrong on the facts when she implied that Breitbart was “extreme” on Al Sharpton’s show. See how much more effective Nolte’s approach is (i.e., using the facts to back up one’s argument) than calling Ms. McCain “a 300 pound whore who should take a bottle of pills and kill herself” is? I rest my case.
Now, I realize that Meghan McCain frequently plays useful idiot for the left by going on MSNBC and saying rather catty things about the Palins, Michelle Bachman, the Tea Party, etc.–and, I wrote a very detailed column where I called her out on her bad behavior….and I did it without resorting to any personal attacks on Ms. McCain’s appearance. (However, I think that Meghan McCain is very attractive, so the above offensive Tweets don’t even make any sense to me.) So, by all means, if a liberal or a RINO on MSNBC is behaving badly, then don’t hesitate to point out their bad behavior–just don’t emulate their bad behavior (or behave even worse yourself).
4.) Don’t eat your own–you’re wasting valuable time and energy.
During the recent Republican primary, I saw the following comments with regard to Mitt Romney littering the internet: “I will NEVER vote for Mitt Romney for president”, “Mitt Romney is a weirdo”, “Mormonism is a cult”, “Mitt Romney hates the poor and likes to fire people”, “Mitt Romney engaged in vulture capitalism”, “Mitt Romney is an animal abuser”….and these comments/sentiments were ALL made on conservative blogs! Look, I get it that people want to shill for or strongly support their candidate of choice and explain why the other guys are unacceptable. However, there is a big difference between supporting your candidate with gusto and demonizing the guy he’s running against. For example, if a person was a Rick Perry supporter, he or she could point out that Rick Perry had more experience and a better jobs record as governor, and that Romneycare was a bad idea…or if he or she happened to be a Newt Gingrich supporter, a good tactic might be to tout Gingrich’s fiery debate performances as a big plus for going up against Barack Obama. See, it is completely possible to explain why your guy is better than the alternative without going nuclear on the alternative. Bottom line, the guy you’re demonizing as Mephistopheles today might be the guy that you have to help get elected tomorrow….not to mention, everything that you write on the interwebs is permanent, so people can go look and see that you said a few months ago that you would NEVER vote for the guy that is now your party’s nominee.
Furthermore, now because of such a vicious primary season filled with personal attacks (many of them that sounded like they came from the left), Mitt Romney had to start out his general election campaign from a position of weakness instead of from a position of strength and waste valuable time explaining away bogus charges (for example, that he engaged in “vulture capitalism”), instead of immediately leaping into general election mode. And, in the game of politics, you always want your candidate/nominee to start out from a position of strength–whoever he or she might turn out to be.
5.) Stay away from conspiracy theories.
I’m really don’t think that I need to spill too much ink explaining why it’s a bad idea to toy around with conspiracy theories. Just Google Donald Trump/Barack Obama/Birtherism or Dan Rather/Bush National Guard if you don’t believe me. Conspiracy theories may be fun to ignite for the moment, but eventually, they will blow up in your face like a stick of dynamite does to Wile E. Coyote every darn time.
So, in conclusion, I am not suggesting that we don’t be committed–or even ruthless–when we play the game of politics. I’m only suggesting that we play the game smart and that we play to win. And, to play to win, we must not let ourselves get sidetracked or distracted. Remember, the actual prize, (or throne, if you will) is winning the White House–not winning an almost week long Twitter war with Meghan McCain or some other RINO from MSNBC. Furthermore, I am also suggesting that we not waste too much time whining about how “liberals get a free pass for their bad behavior, so therefore, we should also be allowed to engage in bad behavior”. Two wrongs don’t make a right; moreover, people follow leaders–not whiners. Let’s lead by example and win back the White House come November. Let’s play the game of politics to win.
The White House is resisting Poland’s demands for an apology for President Obama’s recent gaffe, which occurred, ironically enough, during an awards ceremony honoring Polish resistance fighter Jan Karski. The president referred to one of the scenes of Nazi atrocities as a “Polish death camp”, which sent shockwaves through a nation where memories of Germany’s brutal occupation during World War II are still strong.
As gaffes go, this one is a humdinger. The White House is offering regrets but no apology, showing a rather high-handed disregard of Polish sensibilities, and by an administration that likes to contrast its superiority over the Bush Administration when it comes to understanding other cultures.
Read the complete story at Yahoo News.
Well “Everybody Write about Brett Kimberlin day” has come and gone and there have been some interesting developments since then:
- Item: Hundreds of bloggers wrote about the Kimberlin case, it’s history and the attempts by Kimberlin and his friends to silence conservative bloggers. It dominated the stats at Memeorandum Friday
- Item: Patrick Frey known as the blogger Patterico came out publicly on his “Swatting” providing audio of the actual 911 called used to summon police to his house. He and Aaron Worthing appeared on Glenn Beck’s program to tell their stories of harassment that took place after they choose to write about Kimerlin as his associates
- Item: Robert Stacy McCain appeared on the WCRN Morning show on Memorial Day to speak about his own family’s flight for their safety to an audience reaching six states
- Item: Red State Writer and CNN contributor Erick Erickson found himself the latest victim of the tactic of “Swatting”, Fortunately he had the foresight to inform local authorities before writing about Kimberlin that such an event might take place.
- Item: The Wikipedia entry for Brett Kimberlin was removed and then replaced after an exchange where an editor at Wikipedia argued that the entry was “overly negative” and when the entry returned a new edit from Kimerlin associated Franz Libekin Ron Brynaert stated that Kimerlin was the victim of right wing harassment.
- Item: In a court hearing before a retired judge that apparently had little understanding on what the internet is blogger Worthing was placed into custody the court deeming his writing about Kimberlin as a violation of a peace order.
Most amazing of all in the days preceding and following this Memorial Day weekend, the day when we as a nation remember those who died to secure our rights under the 1st Amendment we have American writers, harassed, Swatted (at risk of their lives) , forced to flee from their homes and states, and now imprisoned for daring to use their first amendment rights to write about Brett Kimberlin and his band…
…and the mainstream media has not a word to say.
That this is happening to Americans in America is a shock, that the media is not reporting it is a bigger shock but the biggest shock of all is that the left is apparently standing behind Mr. Kimberlin and his buddies, when normally such a guy would have been thrown off the bus a long time ago.
What on earth can these guys have on the left and the media that they would cover for them for so long? Or are the prospects so slim for the left in election 2012 that they can’t spare a single ally, not even this one?
As Glenn Reynolds might say, “They told me that if I voted for John McCain allies of the president would intimidate and jail those who would oppose those who support him and they were right.”
BTW by the time you read this I will have met with local detectives, as I’ve written a bit about Kimberlin and his band including Franz Leibkin Ron Brynaert in order to make sure no surprises take place. It’s true Sicilians are rarely the target of this kind of thing but you never know.
One last thought, when my oldest found out I was writing about Kimerlin he told me he would be leaving any unmarked packages for me to open. It’s kind of sad when your children have to think about things like that.
Another small irritant this weekend was the Boston Celtics victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. As a New Englander the victory itself was most welcome but the constant drumbeat about how poorly the Celtics played and the burying of them as a team before a single minute of the Eastern finals had taken place is just ridiculous.
Of course it seemed less ridiculous when the Heat slaughtered them in game one, but that why these series are the best of seven.
Russia and China are blocking any possible UN action on Syria as the government slaughters their own civilians. The most extraordinary thing about this action is how unextraordinary this is to anyone who has followed the cold war.
Many of the youth of the left might be confused by this as their elders have talked about the evils of the US and extolled communism and socialism, what they forget is their older leaders are the same guys who defended these types for decades.
One can debate if the US should or should not intervene in Syria, that’s legit, but the reality that Russia and China will always do their best to protect any nation that chooses to slaughter their own people can’t be debated. It is a simple fact.
Remember when everybody told us how people would like us better once we had Bush out and Obama in?
Poles and Polish-Americans expressed outrage today at President Obama’s reference earlier to “a Polish death camp” — as opposed to a Nazi death camp in German-occupied Poland.
“The White House will apologize for this outrageous error,” Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski tweeted. Sikorski said that Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk “will make a statement in the morning. It’s a pity that this important ceremony was upstaged by ignorance and incompetence.”
The president had been trying to honor a famous Pole, awarding a Presidential Medal of Freedom to Jan Karski, a resistance fighter who sneaked behind enemy lines to bear witness to the atrocities being committed against Jews. President Obama referred to him being smuggled “into the Warsaw ghetto and a Polish death camp to see for himself.”
Good thing we have someone that Europe can respect in charge
Oh and you know how everyone gets their knickers in an uproar if anyone calls Obama a socialist? Well while the press has focused on Bob Dylan getting the medal of freedom another recipient of the award for some reason didn’t draw much attention:
President Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Tuesday to Dolores Huerta, an 82-year-old labor activist and co-founder of the United Farm Workers union.
Huerta is also an honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America.
DSA describes itself as “the largest socialist organization in the United States, and the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International.”
Yup, keep moving, nothing to see here.
Lyla Rose has struck again at Planned Parenthood with a series of stings that not only showed the group doing sex selective abortions
Planned Parenthood railed against the sting and claiming the video is “edited” but still fired the staffer in the video while saying:
This spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Federation of America also told The Huffington Post that the organization condemns seeking abortions on the basis of gender, but its policy is to provide “high quality, confidential, nonjudgmental care to all who come into” its health centers. That means that no Planned Parenthood clinic will deny a woman an abortion based on her reasons for wanting one, except in those states that explicitly prohibit sex-selective abortions (Arizona, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Illinois).
Hot air asks a logical question:
Far more troubling is the statement in the first excerpt that at once condemns gender-selective abortion, then insists that Planned Parenthood will provide them, apparently as a privacy issue — but not in four states that explicitly prohibit the practice. If Planned Parenthood really “condemns seeking abortions on the basis of gender,” then why perform them at all on that basis? They don’t have any specific obligation, legal or otherwise, to provide services that truly contradicts with their value systems.
That’s a good point but the real question is one I’ve asked before: Why would Planned Parenthood condemn sex selective abortions?
Either abortion kills a human child or it does not. If an unborn child is just a clump of cells, if abortion is not the taking of a human life then it doesn’t matter why a person chooses to have an abortion any more than why they might have plastic surgery?
The moral and intellectual circles one has to navigate to support Planned Parenthood and abortion are getting harder and harder to navigate.
Do you remember this funny scene from the Big Bang Theory featuring Barry Kripke and his IPhone.
Well I have good news for Barry Kripke my son Sam just picked up an IPhone with Siri and as of the latest version if you asks Siri to “Wecommend a Westurant” it gives you the name of local eating places.
I wonder if Barry might can trade in his old version for the latest model?
Finally last week I commented on my recent Instalanche drought, well Glenn Reynolds promptly lanched that column but of course that didn’t apply to my blog. Monday however he linked to my post announcing I was covering the morning drive on WCRN. I looked at my stats and that lance provided a total of …16 hits. That had to be the smallest Instalanche ever.
Bottom line, God has a sense of humor.
See you next week.
Discovery News -
UNDERWAY ON THE U.S.S. MISSISSIPPI — The Navy’s newest fast-attack submarine is speeding down the Florida coast, on its way to its commissioning ceremony in its namesake state, at 15 knots. And it’s getting outraced by dolphins.
Hours before the U.S.S. Mississippi dives several hundred feet beneath the Atlantic, its sail juts proudly into the warm, whipping southern air. Submariners allow me to see the highest point on the sub for myself — provided I can keep my balance up three steep levels’ worth of ladder and hoist myself out onto a platform the size of a fancy refrigerator. A harness hooked to an iron bolt on the sail keeps me from falling to my death. There’s no land in sight, just blue water turned white around the sub’s wake, a tall BPS-16 military radar spinning in front of us, and a family of dolphins jumping out of the surf in front of the 377-foot boat.
The good: The Samsung Chromebox offers an attractive, low-risk entry point to the experimental world of Google’s Chrome OS.
The bad: Absent features and occasional software and hardware incompatibilities mar a supposedly simple user experience.
The bottom line: The attractive, fairly priced Samsung Chromebox desktop turns Google’s Web-based Chrome OS into a not entirely unreasonable option for certain low-cost PC shoppers.