Last week, while I was driving to work, I had a premonition that someone would make a weird comment about Bobby Jindal’s Indian heritage. I wasn’t quite sure what it would be — my first thought was that it would be a Politico piece comparing him to Sanjay Gupta — but I knew it was coming. I mulled over a post about this, but before I could write it, Michael Steele had sent some “slum love” to the Rhodes scholar/exorcist/conservative wunderkind and it was too late.
I now have a premonition that Maureen Dowd will write a column about the romantic misadventures of conservatives like Meghan McCain and Dustin Siggins. I just wanted to get that out there so that when it appears you can all see what a genius I am.
But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about the one political theory that I truly believe, the Josh Marshall bitch-slap theory of politics, which asserts that in many political arguments, what matters is who is seen as having delivered the bitch slap and who is seen as having received it. It’s a Republican specialty and the story usually goes like this: Candidate X says some reasonable thing that sounds slightly awkward. The right-wing talk radio crowd jumps all over it and gets its useful idiots (Jake Tapper, Mark Halperin, Marc Ambinder, etc.) all excited about making Candidate X retract it. Finally after about 24 hours, Candidate X does retract it and looks weak for having done so. That sets in motion a Halperin-Politico news cycle about why Candidate X doesn’t appeal to middle Americans who just want to have a beer with a guy who stands up for what he believes in.
We’ve seen it time and time again.
And that’s why it’s so smart to taunt the Republicans about Rush. Some Republicans (to their credit) will chafe against the notion that they orders from an obese oxycontin addict and protest. We all know what happens next. This isn’t just about making it clear that Republicans take orders from El Rushbo, it’s about making them look weak and pathetic. And once it’s all set in motion, it just keeps going — it really is a perpetual bitch-slap machine.
There’s some expression that applies here, like hoisted by their own petards. It’s like when the Jacobins started executing each other (that happened, right?).
What this has to do with my Bobby Jindal and MoDo premonitions is that somebody wrote into TPM with the same idea a few minutes ago. Oh, well.
Update: As long as I’m cribbing from TPM, it sounds like Steele is a goner. So who’s the next head of the RNC: Katon Dawson, Ken Blackwell, or that thirteen year-old kid from CPAC?
Update #2: Plouffe hits Rush in WaPo, it occurs to me that Rush will take credit when Steele is forced out, and TZ has a great idea for an Onion article:
NATION APOLOGIZES TO RUSHBO: WE’RE SORRY FOR ELECTING OBAMA!
The entire country today admitted that it “didn’t mean it” when it elected Barack Obama president, in direct disobeyance of orders from petulant American dictator, Rush Limbaugh.