James Clay Fuller

Things We're Not Supposed to Say

Monday, October 30, 2006

Republican candidates: the clone corps

Every time I see Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty on the tube, or Sen. Norm Coleman, or some of the other seal-coated Republicans who now are the standard for the political right, I'm taken with the same thoughts:

Where do the Republicans get these people? And why can't the great majority of the public see through them?

There's a sort of generic β€œnew” Republican candidate/office holder. Good looking in a mass-produced sort of way. Male and female, they wear clothes with the elegance of runway models and always are perfectly and expensively dressed, whatever the occasion. (But a giveaway is that while the real folks in the vicinity are wearing J.C. Penney or Target knits, the candidates sport $300 cashmere sweaters and $250 casual slacks or skirts along with their magazine-ad smiles.)

Under the prettiness, they obviously lack any feeling for anyone not of their sets, which can be the only explanation for the fact that they feel no qualms about slashing funding for education, cutting health care for children or child care help for the working poor and why their answer to most foreign policy questions includes bombs, guns and air attacks.

They believe utterly that the rich have a right to rule unfettered, and that the rest of us should take whatever they choose to allow us, and put finger to forelock in gratitude. In the real opinions they hide from fluttery reporters, we should keep our places and do as we are told.

Given the political structure they must yet contend with, however, the pretend to democratic views, even while passionately supporting a president who attacks democracy on every front. They are masters of faking sincerity when confronting the peasants at a fairgrounds or precinct caucus.

If you're on to them, you might reasonably suspect they rush to scrub their hands after shaking the paws and patting the backs of commoners.

The new Republican models are all over the country, as you can see if you watch the news shows. In Minnesota, their presence is seen not only in Pawlenty but in Minnesota's auditor, Pat Anderson, in Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer and the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, the bizarre anti-gay crusader Michele Bachmann, who stated proudly and publicly a couple of weeks ago that God personally told her to run.

God also told her she will win. We'll soon see how well he knows the Minnesota electorate.

Anderson has used her office to further Pawlenty's right wing positions and his campaign baloney, and Kiffmeyer as gone as far as Minnesota will allow in trying to keep liberal and Democratic voters from the polls. Bachmann walks hand in hand with her deity.

Nutty or extremist, the women, like Pawlenty, all look like mature movie stars and wear coats of plastic populism.

You could swear that despite their play-to-the-dimwits stance against inconvenient science, the Republicans have mastered the art and science of cloning. Somewhere they have a factory –- run by an evil troll who looks like and may be Dick Cheney -– turning out fully grown candidates in five or six models in each gender.

Unfortunately, the Democrats appear to be learning how to produce clone candidates, too, but they have a long way to go. The Republican models are all so rigidly affluent white that you can tell at a glance that they bounce and flap their elbows when they dance at the country club.

Some of the Democrat models still have darker and less-than-perfect hair and skin and express themselves in ways not commonly heard at those country clubs.

But, for sure, no gimpy Roosevelts or dumpy Trumans allowed in politics in these television-controlled days.