I touched on the Sheryl Crow-Karl Rove incident at the painfully unfunny White House Correspondents Association dinner, where Crow and Laurie David tried to engage Rove on the subject of global warming and Rove snapped "Don't touch me." Rove's take on the matter was that “She came over to insult me and she succeeded.”
Top Democrats will never do this, but it seems to me that this would be the perfect opportunity to give the Republicans a taste of their own medicine. Republicans live to feminize Democrats; see the fake Edwards haircut controversy for an example. Now we have the GOP's top strategist running away from two women, shrieking "Don't touch me!" like Margaret Dumont in an old Marx Brothers movie, and snootily harrumphing that he was o-ffended by the whole thing.
What a little baby! If the Republicans are always trying to frame the Democrats as the Mommy Party, why aren't we similarly always framing them as the Baby Party?
The GOP's culture of babyhood is certainly well-documented; we have a President who makes a living out of throwing temper tantrums, we have a Congress that whines and cries at every opportunity.
The recent filibusters in the Congress should be construed "baby-like obstructionism." The entire conservative worldview can be boiled down to the behavior of a 4 year-old at the mall stamping her feet and yelling "I don't WANT to help people! I don't WANT to pay taxes! I wanna go home!" They always whine and cry about "personal attacks" from the other side of the aisle and the "politics of personal destruction." And the issue that occasioned the Rove-Crow controversy is global warming, which the Republicans have used the logic of two year-olds to deny, looking outside their window and seeing snow and thinking "See, there's no global warming," which is no different than infants who think that toys disappear when they're out of their sight.
These are the characteristics of children, and I don't think the American people want a Party full of mewling little babies running the most powerful nation on Earth. After all, they've seen the effects of that for six years.
This goes along with the need for Democrats to fight back, and that's not always simply with a litany of facts. Kevin Drum found a great example of this, some advice on how Edwards could defuse the haircut non-controversy and attack Republicans in the same breath.
Imagine if Edwards said something on these lines:
Yeah, I'm rich; I get $400 haircuts. I started out poor, and today I own a big fancy house; I drive my favorite car, and I don't have to look in the price column of the menu when I eat out. You media elitists and right wingers can't keep all the good things in life just for yourselves. I don't intend to give any of it up; I just want everybody to have the same chance at getting rich I did. And I want anybody who works hard to have some of the good things in life whether they get rich or not. That's the American way; everybody gets to dance, and there are lots of prizes besides first.
Now that is not exactly what I believe, but from his public statements, I'd say that it is exactly what Edwards believes. It is a pretty mainstream take.
It demolishes the "Democrats are sissies" trope that is the main point of all this, by fighting back with tough fighting words. It even includes an appropriate country music reference for that dog whistle politics.
Furthermore, Edwards could go on to say "Why do Republicans hate it so much when poor people rise up and do well? They seem to do everything they can to keep the poor entrenched in their own station while their rich fatcat friends continue to benefit enormously from the policies of inequality. If anyone beats the odds and actually rises their station in life, Republicans attack them for being too rich like them. Why can't they stand it when the poor get rich?"
That's a class warfare attack I could really get behind. It portrays the GOP as hiding behind castle walls and shooting crossbow darts at anyone who tries to make their way inside. Time after time, the Baby Party tries to pull up the drawbridge on every American but themselves and their rich friends. When Edwards accomplishes the amazing feat of actually scaling those castle walls, they whine and cry and bluster about it like the babies that they are.
I really think this can fly. Mockery is a dynamic element in American politics, and so is slotting stories into a familiar narrative. The GOP is The Baby Party. Learn it. Live it. Know it.