In the maiden episode of the classic TV comedy Get Smart in 1965, when Maxwell Smart was going to meet Agent 99 for the very first time, the code phrase for their introduction was "New York Mets Win Doubleheader." The Mets had never finished above last place and the notion of their winning twice in one day was too absurd to contemplate. Just Smart's luck, of course, the unthinkable happened and the Mets took a pair, causing a six-year-old kid to utter the password. If we were writing a pilot for such an episode in 2010 we might try this as the ridiculous headline: "Unemployed Veteran Does Not Campaign, Wins South Carolina Democrat Senate Primary by 18 Points."
The unlikely victory by Alvin Greene in South Carolina was a practical joke of sorts played by the electorate on the powers that refuse to unbe. The image of the four-term state pol who spent a quarter-million dollars to be the butt of that joke is to be enjoyed with a dollop of relish. Not since the Jesse Ventura governorship has plebiscitary contrariness asserted itself so whimsically. True, Mr. Greene has some unwholesome chapters pushing his narrative into pathways too slippery for Cinderella. But what fascinates most about the Democrats' big Greene wail is the plaint over the lack of green expended.
"How can a man win an election without spending money?"
You can hear the hurt in their voices, the feeling of betrayal, like someone who stepped out onto his patio only to find himself at the bottom of a sinkhole. Politics is supposed to be about cash, wads of it, splashing in all directions, enriching the media and the consultants and the candidates themselves. How can folks be rallied to a cause without spending on streamers and balloons and flyers and ominous radio ads delivered in hushed voices? Free votes are an outrage, it seems.
A variation on this showed in the Democrat glee over the victory of Sharron Angle in the Republican Senatorial primary in Nevada. They were gloating that Angle had less money in the bank than the other Republicans, so Reid would have no trouble beating her with his war chest of $25 million dollars. It was so disconcerting on its face to watch the Democrats salivate over the notion that this misunderstood gentle compassionate man-of-the-people Reid could crush that Tea Party wannabe… not with his melty heart but with his multi millions.
To the uninitiated this all surprises. Republicans are said to be occupied with the fiscal while the Dems seek loftier pursuits. They are helpers, givers, ceders of Lebanon, men of the spirit. They hear the cry of the impoverished while the Republicans gorge on their fattened calves. This is what we are told, but by whom? The Democrats themselves are the tellers and it turns out they are passing counterfeit currency. If anything the exact opposite is true: the Democrats are obsessed with money.
In public speaking I often challenge my audiences to name a single famously wealthy American who identifies as a Republican. Buffett, Gates, Soros, the Hollywood billionaires, proud Democrats every one. The New York smart set is all Democrat; any conservative lurking in their midst plies his view furtively, when the camera is turned away. The rich Republican is a hit in the theater of public opinion, but in truth he is a hit-and-myth proposition. He is the exaggerated proto-villain of the fevered fantasies of the self-righteous. Yet this Republican-as-Fagin caricature finds little to reflect him in the looking-glass of real life. It is unimaginable, for example, that a Republican would crow how he will obliterate the Tea Party populist because his rich buddies have fitted him for a suit with deep pockets.
So in the spirit of Global Humidifying I say: "Go Greene." Shrink that campaign footprint. Do the paperless candidacy. Keep those flyers grounded. Let the buck stop here and never give change. It is time to evict those Democrat-qua-plutocrats. Heck, Pluto is not even a planet anymore.
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