Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

"How Stupid Can You Be?" Is Not Necessarily a Rhetorical Question

The American Prospect’s Paul Waldman, for example, makes a living contributing these reflections to help sustain the American experiment in self-government:

"Though there was no particular evidence that the tire-gauge attack was having an effect, the McCain campaign’s glee was evident. Just days before, they had alleged that Obama’s criticisms of their tactics constituted ’fussiness and hysteria,’ and now here they were brandishing small, phallic objects bearing their opponent’s name.

"Meanwhile, McCain himself was sent out to pose in front of working oil rigs, to testify to his thirst for pulling more black gold from the earth. The message couldn’t be plainer: See that itty-bitty, little tire gauge? If you vote for Obama, that’s how big your penis is. If you vote for McCain, on the other hand, your penis is as big as this rig, thrusting its gigantic shaft in and out of the ground! Real men think keeping your tires inflated is for weenies."

And: "Republicans . . . have been expert at setting up their rigs to drill deep into the male voter’s lizard brain, down to where sexual insecurity resides. This is where they draw the line connecting the voter’s own worries to the Democratic candidate. This is how they turn fear into contempt and hostility, the same psychological move that makes some men react to an advance from another man – or even the sight of an effeminate man – with hatred and violence. See that Democrat over there? He’s a little prissy, isn’t he? Kind of girly. And if you vote for him, what are people going to think about you?"

Discussions - 13 Comments

Shudder.

Do you actually get paid to write bs like this? The Obamanation made completely idiotic and moronic claims and the McCain vids and tire guages were doubly effective because it showed that the Obamanation's energy policies were overinflated hot air.
The post doesn't touch, because it can't touch the central thesis of McCain's brilliant counterattack, which is that the gas allegedly saved by the three percent increase in mileage for the 25 percent of vehicles allegedly underinflated does not come close to the recoverable oil from Oil Shale (ONE TRILLION BARRELS of oil) or from the known recoverable oil in the OCS (ONE HUNDRED TWENTY BILLION Barrels of oil) or from the ANWR (about ONE HUNDRED BILLION barrels), let alone, the energy that's recoverable from coal (five hundred years' worth). The Obamanation did not have the grace to 'clarify' his statement thereby looking even more idiotic than he did when he first made his unsupportable statements.
If you want to turn this factual dispute into a my rig is bigger than your rig juvenile argument, well that shows that there is something missing between your ears and it rhymes with McCain.

the same psychological move that makes some men react to an advance from another man – or even the sight of an effeminate man – with hatred and violence

What IS it with the left and homosexuality?

The funny thing is that McAmnesty has a long history of opposing drilling. Nice of the Dems to forget that awkard fact, in their eagerness to depict him as the standard repressed-homo Republican.

I'm surprised nothing was said about the sexual implications of boring holes into Mother Earth ....

Camille Paglia (on her blog) makes the same point--no surprise there--regarding Obama's tire pressure gauge and McCain's oil rig.


I find the way the left has been psychoanalyzing every aspect of the McCain campaign to be utterly hilarious.

Having worked in consumer advertising for the past 15 years I am continually amused by the way that the left - academic types and pseudo-intellectuals more generally - perceive the thought processs and nefarious intent which corporations put into selling. Penises, penises everywhere. Imagery designed to manipulate people both overtly and subliminally. And of course they ratchet up the nonsense tenfold with regard to political advertising.

Normal people do not view advertising and other communications with an "inside baseball" degree of attentiveness. To normal people it is an unwelcome intrusion and your deepest wish is that they absorb your most basic message. This Freudian subliminal crap is, to paraphrase Orwell, something only an "intellectual" could believe in.

Okay, so let me see if I've got this right.


Waldman says that McCain's appearance in front of a drilling rig sends a clear message.


"The message couldn't be plainer... If you vote for McCain, on the other hand, your penis is as big as this rig, thrusting its gigantic shaft in and out of the ground!"

But wait a minute, Waldman also writes:

"But mostly, it's Republicans who have been expert at setting up their rigs to drill deep into the male voter's lizard brain, down to where sexual insecurity resides."

Excuse me... But did he just use a drilling rig metaphor as a symbol of Republican male on male penetration?

Seems to me that Waldman's message "couldn't be plainer":

If you vote for McCain you're letting yourself be penetrated by his rig.

I'm sorry. Was my heterosexual male insecurity supposed to be emboldened or threatened by this?

I'm having a tough time keeping it... ahem... straight.

If someone has an answer, please speak up. It would be nice to know whether it's John McCain or Paul Waldman that wants to f*ck me!

Seems like Waldman could make a better case for the way he makes his living than, say, Bill Kristol could for being so consistently wrong on so many things for the last half-decade or so (at least).

I won't dare utter the "h" word in yet another thread, but I must wonder if political psychoanalysis is yet another activity that is self-indulgent intellectualizing when Dems or libs or leftists do it, but is perfectly alright when Lucianne's son, Bill Kristol, Ann Coulter or the conservative radio talkers go at it?? (IOKYAR - It's OK If You're A Rightie)

Maybe he's stretching his concept a little thin with the oil rigs vs. tire gauges thing, but I think his essential point about "It's the sexual insecurity, stupid" is solid. It doesn't take an Ivory Tower psycho-babbler to notice how many married-with-kids Defenders of Family Values pols have been caught in situations that they themselves would have surely denounced as inappropriate for Manly Men. In other words, when in DC, keep your kids away from the congressmen most concerned with protecting them, or if you're looking for some anonymous gay sex, try cruising the neighborhoods with the most legislators adamantly opposed to gay marriage (or just gays).

But these extremes aside, this very site is praising Manliness/manliness ad nauseum. It's just chest-beating machismo with an intellectualized veneer. It frequently reaches the same absurd heights/depths as the example Waldman cited of Sen. Inhofe's bizarre testament to heterosexual virility.

If you vote for Obama, that’s how big your penis is.

Well. That explains why stupid women everywhere love him so much...

I think his essential point about "It's the sexual insecurity, stupid" is solid. It doesn't take an Ivory Tower psycho-babbler to notice how many married-with-kids Defenders of Family Values pols have been caught in situations that they themselves would have surely denounced as inappropriate for Manly Men.

Solid? Really? I've noticed how many there are, too. And compared to the numbers of "Defenders of Family Values pols" that haven't been caught in such situations, the number seems pretty vanishingly small.

In other words, when in DC, keep your kids away from the congressmen most concerned with protecting them...

Why? That surely seems like a sexually insecure thing to say.

Well Craig, I guess there are some gay men who overcompensate just as I personally know a 1,001 straight liberals who are so secure in their orientation that they are perfectly comfortable being sensitive, emotion-driven pussies. Good for them.

Well Scott, Zzzzzz.....

Then we're agreed Craig ... the truth is boring. :-)

Funny how within a few days we've had Bob Herbert suggesting that McCain placed large phallic imagery in a spot to play on white people's racist fear of large black penises and now the suggestion is that McCain used phallic imagery to suggest Obama has a typically small liberal thingy.

It would seem that the only way to determine which segment of the left is more foolish would be for Barry to whip it out at the convention.

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