Dog-Whistling The Frat Boys
Reuters photo of the geriatric frat boys last night
After the expected “inevitability” bubble from the media, Hillary finds herself now getting the “be more specific so we can bash you” treatment from the same media. And she is getting more of the “you were wrong on the war and wrong on Kyl-Lieberman” treatment from both Edwards and Obama today, as well as the media. Maureen Dowd pillories Hillary today for her vote on Kyl-Lieberman, a sentiment I share given that the Cheney wing is angling for war with Syria and Iran before 2009.
On the other hand, Hillary benefits from a stupid editorial attack by the Post’s Fred Hiatt today, who bashes her for questioning the benefits of NAFTA. All you really need to know about Hiatt’s judgment is that he gave George W. Bush a blank check to attack Iraq on false intelligence. From his comfy life inside the Beltway, all Hiatt knows about NAFTA is that he can buy things cheaper, without caring to look at the damage done to this country and the lack of positives for the NAFTA’s intended recipients in Mexico and Canada.
Maybe Hillary needs to change the narrative and turn the attacks against her by the GOP into an advantage that can undermine their general election tirades against her while drawing a great contrast between the GOP field and the Democratic field. At last night’s GOP debate, like geriatric frat boys at the AARP kegger, the GOP field popped their Viagras, each one bragging that they would be the most manly to stand up to Big Bad Bill and Hill. This act is likely to get old before very long, because voters will want to know how grown men can be so out of touch with the challenges facing everyday Americans and still be fixated on stopping Hillary Clinton.
The White House knows dog whistle political messaging, whereby code words and phrases are used in speeches and debates that are instantly understood by the evangelical base without the import of those messages being immediately clear to the rest of us. If last night’s debate is a signpost of what we can expect the remainder of this primary season from the geriatric frat boys on the right in their “my Johnson is bigger than your Johnson” pleas, may I suggest that Hillary and her team develop their own dog whistle messaging, but this time towards women in this country? Why not slyly denigrate the GOP field while talking up the relative energy and yes, appeal of the Democratic field?
Hillary should find some messaging of her own that installs the image of emasculated ex-husbands running around telling fish tales as a metaphor for what the GOP frat boys are doing. (She needs the Flo-Max commercial to run in every woman's head whenever they see this group of GOP candidates together.) This would be especially effective given Giuliani's three marriages and Thompson's trophy wife. By doing this, and repeating this messaging every time the frat boys talk about stopping her, she can undermine the main GOP attack against her, trivializing it as the pathetic preening of a bunch of guys who should be driving golf carts instead of leading the country. And with a well practiced dismissive look on the stump towards this field of losers, she can do some of her own dog whistling to the women in this country that these guys are one Depends short of a full pack.