Memo to the Left: PICK A SCAPEGOAT, ALREADY.
I never thought I'd say this, but man, I sure miss Ralph Nader. I remember those bygone days when everything was Nader's fault. Wasn't that great? For nearly four years, Democrats were focused like a laser, and it paid off. Nader got 2.9 million votes in 2000, and only 400,000 in 2004. Why, that's two and a half million votes! If we hadn't spent four years blaming Nader, and yelling at Nader voters, and trying to make sure Nader voters understood that voting for Nader ruins everything, we'd have lost by SIX MILLION instead of three and a half.
The Race for Blame for 2004 seems to be settling down to a horserace - the two frontrunners being Hollywood and Team Selfish Hedonism. Both bring a lot to the scapegoat party. They're small, easily-stereotyped groups. They have a polarizing effect on the population. And neither one caused the loss in 2004. So you can see why it'd be tough for Democrats to decide which ones to blame.
For those who've closely following the campaign of Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe, who seemed to be throwing his hat into the blame ring by being completely incompetent and by saying, on November 4, that "This party is stronger than it's ever been," we have an update. McAuliffe is now running a distant 47th, behind "voter fraud conspiracy theories", "sunspots", and Ralph Nader.
Looking at the frontrunners, the Celebrities have won the most important endorsement of the post-election blame campaign - the Republican Party. A close examination of the roughly 3% of Republican talking points that don't include the word "mandate" reveals that the country wasn't really voting FOR George Bush last week, they were voting AGAINST Susan Sarandon.
The right's pushing this one hard, hoping that they can get the left to turn on Sarandon, and Tim Robbins, and Michael Moore. Especially Michael Moore. To hear them tell it, this election proved that Michael Moore is completely irrelevant and wrong and meaningless and a big fatty, and so it's vitally important that nobody in America ever listen to him again. Thankfully, an intelligent and well-informed electorate will see through such petty tricks, and the instant anybody finds one, please notify the authorities so that they can be dealt with.
The biggest problem, for me, with scapegoating Hollywood is that Drew Barrymore would get away scot free. I didn't actively make fun of Drew Barrymore before the election, but man, did I want to. She was doing the talk show circuit because she'd taken a year to learn about politics and make a documentary on learning about politics. And she was so very eager and so very motivated that it was tough to smack her down just because she was also really stupid. She was like a puppy who'd mistaken your scrotum for his favorite squeaky chew-toy. It hurt like hell to put up with her, but you had to begrudgingly respect her enthusiasm in trying to make a difference with the youth of America. But now, we know that it didn't fucking work, so it's open season. But she's not one of the Elite Hollywood Liberals. If you'd like to know who is, just check with your nearest Republican, and they'll be all too willing to hand you a glossy flyer listing them.
I wish I could pin the gay backlash on the Republicans, but this one, sadly, is all ours. The logic seems to be that by fighting for their civil rights, those pesky minorities galvanized the opposition and brought the homophobes to the polls in droves. Of course they were asking for it, Your Honor. Look at the way they were dressed!
Let's all blame Gavin Newsom for marrying gays in San Francisco. After all, given the Kerry/Edwards ticket's unwavering support for gay marriage, this election was obviously a national referendum between the guy that thought gay marriage should be banned in the federal constitution, and the guy who thought gay marriage should be banned in the state constitutions. For fuck's sake, those of us who are strongly for gay marriage had no candidate we could get behind, because Kerry and Edwards kept saying "between a man and a woman" every time a camera was pointed at them.
And second, if the Democratic Party has become so ethically bankrupt that they're willing to ask minority groups to stop fighting for their rights because it's politically inconvenient, then all the scapegoating in the world won't do any good, and we're wasting our time looking for one. And I'd hate to see the Democratic Party start wasting its time on counterproductive activities.