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Did you see Brian DiPalma's The Untouchables?  There's a great scene with Sean Connery as the tough Irish cop Jim Malone challenging do-gooder Elliot Ness to recognize that to take down Al Capone, you have to fight by a different set of rules:

Malone: You said you wanted to get Capone. Do you really wanna get him? You see what I'm saying is, what are you prepared to do?
Ness: Anything within the law.
Malone: And then what are you prepared to do? If you open the can on these worms you must be prepared to go all the way. Because they're not gonna give up the fight, until one of you is dead.
Ness: I want to get Capone! I don't know how to do it.
Malone: You wanna know how to get Capone? They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That's the Chicago way! And that's how you get Capone. Now do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that? I'm offering you a deal. Do you want this deal?
Ness: I have sworn to capture this man with all legal powers at my disposal and I will do so.
Malone: Well, the Lord hates a coward.
[jabs Ness with his hand, and Ness shakes it]
Malone: Do you know what a blood oath is, Mr. Ness?
Ness: Yes.
Malone: Good, 'cause you just took one.

To beat the Republicans, and beat them good, Democrats need to recognize that it's going to take a war on multiple fronts.  One of them is cultural.  Culturally, the Democrats are a center-hip party, while the Republicans are an extreme-unhip party. The Republicans are so extreme as to be beyond compromise. Remember, their vision of culture and entertainment is so extreme that at the 2000 Republican convention in Philadelphia, their musical headliners included Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell and Fabian.  Their revered entertainers and cultural figures include Chuck Norris, Bo Derek and Tanya Tucker.  The closest they get to having "humorists" who are actually funny is probably P.J. O'Rourke, who about 30 years ago wrote "How to Drive Fast on Drugs While Getting Your Wing-Wang Squeezed and Not Spill Your Drink."  But that was written almost 30 years ago.  Besides, O'Rourke is really more of a libertarian entertainer than a Republican or a movement conservative.

So, never mind, they don't have any humorists who are funny...intentionally.  

Many people frame our current politics as an epic war between good and evil, light and darkness, like something out of Lord of the Rings.  I don't know that I'd go that far, but it is an article of my political faith that there's no compromise with a party that attracts the reverence of both Pat Boone and Ted Nugent.

The Republicans are losing young voters.  There are many more substantive reasons young voters are trending Democratic, but it helps us that most voters see the Republicans as incredibly un-hip.  The Republicans hate gays, they love crap, and their idea of new and edgy is The Osmond family.

Thus, anything that reinforces the association of Republicans with cultural products that are tired, stale, 40 years out of date or just plain bad will help us win in November.  Therefore, I'm happy to see that somewhere some Democrats decided to bring a gun to the cultural knife fight by producing and disseminating horrifically bad YouTube videos that are so awful that they couldn't possibly be the honest product of people who really do like John McCain.  It's great to see Democrats putting out something that will cause a backlash against McCain by emphasizing that the closest the Republicans have gotten to hip in the last 50 years was probably when Richard Nixon met with late-era, peanut-butter-and-nanner-sandwiches-eating Elvis.

As an example of an apparent dirty tricks campaign by some Democrat somewhere, I present you with this:

I mean, that's not real, is it?  It is fake, right?  


Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 06:20 PM PDT.

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