Advice To Democrats -- Time To Go Saxby Chambliss On Their Asses:
So, no one anticipated the bounce? Or is it that everyone anticipated the bounce? Or is it that the polls are wrong and that there was no bounce? Or does it depend on the poll you read? Or does it depend on how the questions were framed in the polls? Either way, John Kerry is now officially in the area of the major media known as "Fucked and Floundering." When one is perceived as Fucked and Floundering, it means that, no matter how cogent your message is, no matter how much of a fuck-up your opponent is, you are seen as flailing about without a real agenda, without a way of fighting back. It is accompanied by questions like, "Can John Kerry climb back?" You are a fish on a dock, a turtle on its back, and we're all just watching you die in the sun. True or not, it's the storyline. And you need some serious juice in order for the media to back off the Fucked and Floundering storyline.

Everyone and their goddamned hippie uncle is offering advice to John Kerry this week, and the Rude Pundit will give in at some point. But let us pause here to offer advice to the Democratic Party in general, 'cause, face it, even if Kerry wins, he's gotta have at least one house of Congress on his side or it's just gonna be another four years of meaningless Congressional investigations, failure to pass any large-scale meaningful legislation, and the like. So this bit of advice is to all the Democrats running for office in tight races: It's time to go Saxby Chambliss.

What that means is you tarnish your opponent and destroy his/her reputation by association. The strategy of the Saxby Chambliss is based, of course, on the infamous campaign where, in Georgia, Republican Saxby Chambliss was running against Democrat Max Cleland for the Senate in 2002. Cleland, a definite moderate, had lost three limbs in Vietnam, and Cleland, like many Democrats, voted against the creation of the Department of Homeland Security because the Department would deny the workers in the new enormous bureaucracy the union protections they had in other areas of the government. (And, remember, that the President threatened to veto the bill if it passed including the protections.) Chambliss, in a tight race with Cleland, ran an ad that showed Bin Laden and Saddam and said that Cleland did not support the war on terror because, in essence, he did not walk in lock-step with the President. The ad, by the way, only shows Cleland's face because, you know, everyone would have gotten way too queasy at the idea of calling the crippled vet a traitor. (In a shockingly obvious roadmap of strategies to come, the ad said that Cleland voted against the "war on terror" "11 times" and also some right wing lunatics suggested that Cleland's wounds were not heroically gotten.) It was one of the more odious political ads in the pile of shit that is post-Atwater politics.

So now let's turn it back on them: let us use as an example the Senate race in South Carolina. It's Democrat Inez Tenenbaum, the very popular State Superintendent of Education, versus Republican Representative Jim DeMint, Bush stooge and Tom DeLay butt boy. Among the bills DeMint voted against include one that would have increased funding for Boys and Girls Clubs and drug courts. He voted against a bill to promote stronger fatherhood. He voted against restoring funding for child care programs. DeMint voted to eliminate the Clinton-era rule allowing the government to enforce ergonomics standards, which oughta mean something in heavily industrialized South Carolina.

Now, how do we go Saxby Chambliss on DeMint? It's simple. On the ergonomics rules, you show workers and suffering old people and say that because of DeMint nothing can be done to help these poor suffering old people with their repetitive stress injuries. On the other stuff, show families with the fathers missing or something. Say that because of DeMint, children suffer. There you go: because of the very existence of Jim DeMint, old people and children must suffer. Who wants to see the agonies of the elderly and the little children? Why, Jim DeMint must. Why do you hate the children and the senior citizens, Mr. DeMint? Why? And Tenenbaum, being a woman, could get away with this bullshit.

Oh, how the Saxby Chambliss strategy could work. And it's wonderful because it takes the truth and gives it a little rhetorical tweaking and makes it into an uber-truth, a way of taking some small detail and demonstrating something larger about the character of a person that may or may not have anything to do with who that person actually is. But an uber-truth is more important than actual truth. The Saxby Chambliss is shameless, barren of ethics and morality, and vile, but it works.

Democrats have to have the stomach for this kind of shit. They are still playing by old rules. Sorry, gang. But we live in an era where people watch Survivor and The Apprentice and ESPN Poker and believe they've learned something about human nature. You got to pay if you wanna play, Democrats. Ante up your souls, motherfuckers, 'cause the Republicans have already tossed theirs in the pot.