October 3, 2006

Culture Maven: Dear John: Fight fire with fire

Bill Clinton’s back in the spotlight.For Democrats that’s a good thing. Al Gore and Barack Obama notwithstanding, the former president remains the best and brightest.Oh, how he rankles those Republicans. These days Chris Wallace is none too fond of him either.Only recently has it come clear, to me anyway, why the former president has been and continues to be so despised by the opposition party. Sure, he’s a lot smarter than them. But that’s not what they hate. He’s more perceptive and compassionate than they are. Yet neither of those are the nexus for their loathing.A recent profile in The New Yorker helped clear it up. Then Clinton’s smackdown of his adversaries about bin Laden solidified it. Republicans hate Bill Clinton because he’s simply better. A better politician. A better and smarter fighter. A better strategist. He doesn’t back down.As I said — just better. He will have none of the GOPers self-serving foolishness. He’s a legit populist, pragmatic and assertive.Oh for the days when a Democrat would knowingly and with admonishment wag his finger at the braying backbenchers. Comfortable that he was correct, Clinton did it during one of his State of the Union addresses. What a delicious moment.So, thinking locally with all that in mind, I have these words for my longtime friend, congressional candidate (and former boss) John Yarmuth.Yo, dude, carpe the friggin’ diem.Take off the kid gloves.Fight fire with fire.Get up, stand up, don’t give up the fight.Make the electorate an offer they can’t refuse.Capeche, my friend?There’s not a person in this district following politics who didn’t know that Anne Northup was from Day One going to unleash a negative, misleading avalanche of invective against Yarmuth. It’s what she does.So she did, taking John’s words out of context, mislabeling their intention, failing to mention their timeframe and generally beating Yarmuth to the punch.Were I advising John — which, contrary to what a lot of folks apparently believe, I am not — I’d have cut her off at the pass. John should have warned the public what Northup was going to do. He could have taken the wind from her sails.OK, so he and his handlers didn’t do that. Nor, frankly, did they come back counter-punching with any authority.John, today’s a new day. It’s time to kick some major elephant butt.From under her cloak of wife, mother and friend of the working guy and gal with the best interests of Louisville in mind, Anne Northup will pull out a scalpel and cut the heart out of an opponent. Then she’ll grab a machete and cut off his or her legs.I’m told by people who know her personally that she’s a decent human being. I have no reason to doubt that.It’s also a reality that, when it comes to being elected, she’s a rabid, frothing-at-the-mouth advocate of the Sen. Mitch/Karl Rove School-Of-Anything-Goes-No-Matter-How-Heinous-If-It-Gets-You-Elected. She adheres to that theory known as The Big Lie.Of course, she rarely does the dirty work. While she’s looking all prim and proper and kissing the kiddos, her phalanx of henchman are out and about spreading the poison.So, John, it’s time to take her to the woodshed.Let ’er rip. No more Mr. Nice Guy, no more Mr. In Between.The facts are clear. Northup and her ilk, the Bush crowd, their mentors and those that feed their coffers, have undermined our grand and glorious republic. They would have the citizenry believe that their opponents are traitors, un-American.John, it’s time to set folks straight.Forcefully.It’s time to feed your opponent a knuckle sandwich.Buckle the chinstrap.Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.John, all you gotta do is press the flesh and tell it like it really is while doing so. Run some ads with Northup’s head on Bush’s body, parroting his words.Northup can run but she can’t hide.Pull a Clinton. Wag your finger when she misleads. Let your intellect, understanding of the issues and truly compassionate vision shine through.With terrible swift sword.It’s time to come out swinging.The polls show you two running even. Which means she’s running scared. She’ll do or say anything, no matter how irrelevant, misleading or abusive.Kick it up a notch.John, show the voters what’s really goin’ on.Tell Northup: “You can’t handle the truth.” Contact the writer at cdk@culturemaven.com