Unsolicited Advice from a Friend: An Open Letter To MoveOn.Org:
Dearest MoveOn and/or Eli,
Here's a couple of things that need to be said up front: Rudy Giuliani is the kind of narcissist who masturbates to pictures of himself in drag, thinking that if he was a woman, he'd give head better than any of the other transvestites at the Halloween Parade. John McCain is a deranged misanthrope, so damaged by battles military and political that all he has left is to lash out at the ghosts he thinks are constantly assaulting him.
That they, Fox "news" tools, and anyone else spent time lashing out at your recent ad in the New York Times bespeaks their own fears of obsolescence or their whorish desires to make headlines in any way possible. That goes, in this case, for Joe Biden, John Kerry, and a few other Democrats so afraid of their own shadows that they'll bite at any ray of sunshine.
And, frankly, the Rude Pundit was wondering when someone was gonna use the obvious "Petraeus/Betray Us" rhyme, a couplet just aching to happen. He figured it'd be some blog or other. But there it was, big as all get out, with a big goddamn picture of the "ass-kissing little chickenshit." With ad copy that was, essentially, a Paul Krugman editorial, and, hell, we all read him anyways. (You guys really need some better ad writers.) The first thing the Rude Pundit thought when he saw it was, "Aw, fuck, this is not gonna go well," even if he agreed with its sentiments.
Here's the deal, MoveOn. You're big time. You're the mainstream, no matter what assholes like Glen Beck or Howie Kurtz or Bill O'Reilly wanna say. And, yes, shitty as that is, that means you gotta play like you're part of the big show. See, this citizen-driven lefty movement that you started, one that rose along with and because of Left Blogsylvania, can keep extending its successes and learning from its failures.
When you've gotten as big as you are and as influential, you don't have to modify your message or your goals. That'd be a big fuckin' betrayal. But you gotta modify your rhetoric. You wear the suit now, whether you like it or not. In order for a movement to spread beyond the faithful, the leaders of that movement need to find a language that doesn't alienate, but doesn't punk out. It's a fucked-up kind of balance to maintain, but if you find it, ah, if...
Obviously, the Rude Pundit doesn't believe in the Bob Shrum/DLC school of cautious political rhetoric, where you try real hard not to piss off the other side 'cause they might hit back. The language of inclusion, though, need not be the language of capitulation. Let's put this in historical perspective: You're Tom Hayden. Let the Rude Pundit and others be Abbie Hoffman. Out here in the blogworld, we can say shit like "Petraeus/Betray Us" because, well, shit, that's what we do. Let us be the dirty fuckin' hippies.
We need you to be mainstream, MoveOn. We need you to be the grown-up. The mainstream media is distracted by shiny objects. Don't actually try to dangle a sparkly charm in front of them.
The Rude Pundit loves ya, MoveOn, really. He's been to a couple of your benefits. And he's behind you, even when you stumble (and, to give some credit, Hillary Clinton fuckin' nailed it when it came to dealing with the ad and Giuliani's stupid attack on her). And, Eli, if you ever want a kick-ass subversive ad, you know who to call, even as you read this and tell yourself that the Rude Pundit can go fuck himself.