Lieberman to Play Zell Miller Role at the Republican Convention
Looks like Holy Joe is slithering toward the helmet hair and polyester confab known as the Republican National Convention.
Sneak preview offered in this YouTube -- expect the words "the conscience of the Democratic Party" to be uttered more than once.
Meanwhile, let me fully endorse this counterprogramming note from Spencer Ackerman, who recalls Jeanne Kirkpatrick's appearance at the 1984 Republican National Convention:
On Aug. 20, 1984, Kirkpatrick, the arch anti-communist who served as Ronald Reagan's ambassador to the United Nations, took the microphone at the GOP convention in Dallas and inaugurated a tradition. Kirkpatrick was, she told her audience, a "lifelong Democrat." The trouble, she had come to realize, was that she was also an American. So in an electrifying speech that was at turns vitriolic and sentimental, she implied very strongly that you couldn't really be both.
When the San Francisco Democrats treat foreign affairs as an afterthought, as they did, they behaved less like a dove or a hawk than like an ostrich -- convinced it would shut out the world by hiding its head in the sand. ... They said that saving Grenada from terror and totalitarianism was the wrong thing to do -- they didn't blame Cuba or the communists for threatening American students and murdering Grenadians -- they blamed the United States instead. But then, somehow, they always blame America first.
And on and on in that vein. In one brief speech, Kirkpatrick introduced the world to the phrases "Blame America First" and "San Francisco Democrat"--well understood to mean "Faggot." Subtly, "San Francisco Democrat" had another purpose: it differentiated the alleged radicals in San Francisco from the salt-of-the-earth, America-loving Democrats that could now safely vote for Ronald Reagan.
It was demagogic, incendiary, and ugly. And it was also a masterstroke. The conversion narrative has been a staple in the rise of the New Right since it was new: After all, Reagan himself famously said he never left the Democratic Party, the party left him. But by connecting that sentiment to national security, Kirkpatrick gave her grievance myth a sense of world-historical importance, all before the television cameras. It was a template repeated, among other places, at the 2004 GOP convention by a rabid Zell Miller. Expect Kirkpatrick's bile to be recycled by Joe Lieberman this summer in Minneapolis.But as Spencer notes, Democrats now have within their ranks a superb antidote in the person of one Jim Webb: