John Thune: A simple-minded campaign of flag-waving and heterosexualityRead about the rest here.
Of all the freshmen Republican senators-elect, there is one celebrity -- John Thune, of South Dakota, who knocked off Senate minority leader Tom Daschle. But though Thune, a former congressman, is an ultraconservative with ties to the religious right, he doesn't stand out for any particular policy outrage. Rather, Thune is a master of the sort of political cheap shot that excites the imaginations of those who like their symbolism both simple and stupid.
Take, for instance, a debate between Thune and Daschle on NBC's Meet the Press. Thune was agitated over something Daschle had said in March 2003, just before the war in Iraq began -- that is, that "this president failed so miserably at diplomacy that we're now forced to war." Never mind that a) Daschle was speaking the truth, b) he had voted in favor of the war resolution and later backed the $87 billion in reconstruction money for Iraq and Afghanistan, and c) he was a veteran and Thune was not. Thune took the opportunity to accuse Daschle of something close to treason, saying, "What it does is emboldens our enemies and undermines the morale of our troops."
Or take a proposed constitutional amendment against flag-burning -- a cause that you might have thought had gone out of style with George H.W. Bush way back in the 1980s. Not, apparently, in South Dakota. "Unfortunately, Senator Daschle has consistently voted against this amendment. My record on this is very clear," Thune said at an event in Rapid City featuring some three dozen veterans, the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, and the singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner." Don't you wish you'd been there?
Or, finally, take a radio ad that the Thune campaign broadcast this past summer that attempted to lump together Washington, Massachusetts, gay marriage, and Daschle in one unsavory stew. "The institution of marriage is under fire from extremist groups in Washington, politicians, even judges who have made it clear that they are willing to run over any state law defining marriage," Thune intoned. "They have done it in Massachusetts, and they can do it here."
This is just ugly, nasty stuff. The intellectual dishonesty of it all is matched only by its sheer brazenness. By appealing to voters' fears and by demonizing anyone who would get in his way, Thune, unfortunately, demonstrated that he is well-qualified to join the Republican majority.
Thursday, November 11, 2004
OBAMA ISN'T THE ONLY NEW SENATOR?
Although Barack Obama isn't the only new face joining the Senate, he may be the only one that isn't a harbinger of the Apocalypse. The Boston Phoenix's Dan Kennedy gives us the run down on "five genuine specimens of right-wing Republicanism." I will just subject you to South Dakota's own:
- ► 2008 (244)
- ► 2007 (349)
- ► 2006 (418)
- ► 2005 (555)
- RED CROSS: U.S. TACTICS AMOUNT TO TORTURE
- BABY "ELEPHANT" STEPS
- BLAGO-MOJO REVISITED
- TRIB YANKS FUZZY
- THE EFFICIENCY OF PRIVATIZATION
- TRIBUNE HAS OBAMA/LETTERMAN SPOILERS
- BLAGO-MOJO DECONSTRUCTED
- OH... CRAP!
- BARACK OBAMA ON THE CBS EARLY SHOW
- STOP FIGHTING WITH YOUR FATHER
- DON'T THINK *LIKE* AN ELEPHANT!
- THE CURSE REMAINS
- THE PRESIDENTIAL YACHT
- OBAMA TIED FOR SECOND
- REPUBLICAN PRIORITIES
- REPUBLICANS CHANGE STORY ON IRS SPYING
- DREAM CHILD OF JOE McCARTHY AND J. EDGAR HOOVER
- DUBYA THE MOVIE.
- DOCTOR'S ADVICE
- REPEALING THE 20th CENTURY
- THE STAIN OF KEYES
- THREE CRANKS: 1, FIRST AMENDMENT: 0
- NEW ANTI-OBAMA BLOG
- OBAMA ON ELECTION "IRREGULARITIES"
- YASSER, WE HARDLY KNEW YE
- OBAMA ISN'T THE ONLY NEW SENATOR?
- THE HILARITY OF FORCED PROSTITUTION
- WORD ON NEW OBAMA BOOK
- BEST BUY DOES NOT LOVE YOU
- LIBERAL SO-CALLED "MORAL VALUES"
- Obama visits capitol in capital to resign Senate s...
- OBAMA ON VALUES AND FRAMING
- "CALL ON GOD, BUT ROW AWAY FROM THE ROCKS"
- Chin Up.
- HE WOULD NEVER VISIT SPRINGFIELD AGAIN
- EVEN NOW, THE WHEEL OF KARMA IS TURNING
- NO SELL OUT
- MOURNING HAS BROKEN
- ▼ November (39)