30 January, 2006

With The Furies Breathing

I had precisely two reactions when I got down to Ezra's spot in my daily blogrolling. Specifically, when I read Pepper's latest weekend-guest posting. (Question for the Big Media Manners one: If someone is a regular guest poster on one's blog, when would it be correct blogger etiquette to no longer refer to them as "guest"?)
This announcement is more than enough to send a rumble through DiFi's base:

Cindy Sheehan May Run Against Feinstein

First, prolific swearing, as in a combination of Marine Corps Drill Instructor in creativity and/or absolute volume and drunken longshoreman in sheer vocabulary.
Sheehan accused Feinstein of being out of touch with Californians on the issue.
Sheehan said running in the Democratic primary would help make a broader point.

"If I decided to run, I would have no illusions of winning, but it would bring attention to all the peace candidates in the country," she said.
"I can't see --— if they think it's going to help peace --— that they would be opposed to me doing it," she said.

Second, I started getting the lyrics to REM's "It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" stuck in my head. Why? Because this is precisely the same kind of inane babbling that tends to bring on such an attack of the memory. (And just for future reference, when I start getting "Shiny Happy People" stuck in my head, it's time to run for cover.)

First off, Sheehan is the one that is majorly out of touch with pretty much everyone who would be politically this side of Chairman Mao Tse Tung. Albeit, she does call Berkeley her home town, so that may explain some things. If folks on the far right think Dianne "Tax-enstein" Feinstein is the far-left of the Democratic party, they haven't seen anything yet. Sheehan's political views are so far to the left, they make Lenin look like Limbaugh. Part of me wants to think that's simple alliteration, but from everything I've read and heard about/from her, it seems to be closer to the mark than I consider comfortable.

Second, the most insane thing to say at the start of your prospective candidacy is that you "have no illusions of winning." The moment that comes out of your mouth, you should save your supporters from the headaches and campaign donations and not run as per Rule One of Candidate Intentional Reality: If you don't think you can win the election, don't run for office. I've been involved with some extraordinarily vicious political campaigns, both at the primary and general levels, and the general stress it places on the staff (from the campaign managers down to the phonebank-calling and doorknob-shaking volunteer folks) is of incredible levels. Why allow yourself to put people in that position if you don't expect to come out of the victory party with your hands raised in victory?

Oh yes. To "bring attention to all the peace candidates in the country" was her reason. I suppose that Mother Sheehan has forgotten about that huge toolbox she already has at her disposal: The Daily Kos. There are few more potent arenas to "bring attention" than showing up with a new diary entry over as Markos' site, particularly as a big-name activist. That will get front-paged and commented and thoroughly googlebombed throughout the blogosphere within 2 hours of hitting the ENTER key (with entries such as this post you're currently reading, more likely than not). Which will make her the featured topic on every single FOX News Channel show (in addition to the frequent mention of her name on CNN, most probably with Jack Shafferty wishing really hard that he could use vulgarity on live television without losing his job), 24 hours a day, with the fervor and mayhem normally reserved for missing high school girls (but only if they're white, cute, and visiting Aruba). Which will, in turn, trickle down into every single 9 o'clock newscast in every single market in the entire country, at least some of which will use the national-event-turned-local-news-angle and mention a pro-peace candidate within the broadcast area in order to bring a personal touch to their reporting, thus bringing attention to peace candidates all across the country, if not a good chunk of the English-speaking world.

This power isn't huge enough already? She has to consider a Senate candidacy in order to get an even bigger soapbox? I really don't think so.

And finally, she has to ask her family what they think of the idea. Just as with our local Most Rising Star, Denver mayor John Hickenlooper's yet-to-be-announced maybe-intention to run for governor, if you have to publicly state that you need to ask your family of their opinion as to your election plans, it is best to NOT DO IT! To make an announcement to the media about needing to speak to your family before running for public office is the surest sign that you haven't thought things all the way through yet. Anin electionon politics, not thinking things through is the surest way to miserable defeat in the most abjectly humiliating way possible. Anything less than complete and thorough planning, including for contingencies more unlikely than Osama bin Laden turning himself in at the nearest American Embassy to stand trial for more counts of murder than all serial killers in American history combined, is a disaster in the making. So if Cindy decides to go along with this horrible plan, it will probably be the antithesis to the Rovian masterful execution.

Oh yes. If she does decide to run, it will definitely be time to have Shiny Happy People stuck in my head ad nauseum. Because doing so will increase the odds of the Democratic Party getting a majority on November 7th in either house of Congress by, at minimum, an order of magnitude. And that is what A. A. Milne would refer to as being a Very Bad Thing.

Cindy, for the love of all the Democratic Party stands for, don't do it. Keep with the soapbox you have available to you. Anything else is either just getting greedy or having an ego larger than reality can support.


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