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January 29, 2009

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Seriously.

See, this is where the whole thing went tragic. I think one of the truly underrated writing skills is knowing when to just backspace over all that stuff you just wrote, because it's not worth the couple of hundred bytes it too to save it.

"...it took to save it"

I'm glad to know that my ability to be surprised still functions. I always knew the Republicans were weird, but dried scrotum? Most voodoo shamans would think that's out line. That I need to use voodoo as a basis of comparison says a lot. And it's not good. That said, wouldn't your standard brass bearing spheres be sufficient?

Considering their earlier campaign involved sending someone Silly Putty, I'm thinking the Redstate Strike Force is really all about the Amazon commissions.

Do you think we should start a campaign to send Erick Erickson a clue?

Please don't. Their stupidity has been one long string of FAIL and great amusement (for me). I'd hate for it to end.

Susan: I was having fun with this idea for a bit: imagining people sending him a telltale bloodstain, a stray hair, a dog that didn't bark in the night...

It's a bit off topic, but whenever I see a pair of metal Ben-Wa balls, I invariably think of airport metal detectors.

How about if we send him cards from a Clue game?

"It was Erick Redarse in the mailroom with the dried testicles."

Dollars to donuts, Mitch could trade all those balls he's getting in the mail for all the old shoes George Bush has been getting.

You can buy dried scrotum at the grocery store?

Send him a clue? And deprive ourselves of not only a daily laugh and a totally incompetent opponent? Are you kidding me? Let Erick stay clueless, it's too entertaining.

Among the novelty items RS suggests sending are "truck balls" - cast plastic scroti suitable for hanging from the back bumper of one's truck.

I first heard about these dangly doohickies in an NPR story noting that the Florida state legislature had banned them. I thought the whole story was an elaborate prank, the kind NPR likes to pull on April 1, except that it wasn't April 1. I mean: Truck balls? SRSLY? Could someone broadcast their own innermost insecurities in a more outermost way?

Then I saw a set. On a truck. On 5-North in Seattle - but with, I kid you not, Florida plates. And O My Lord...

If you haven't seen them, I suggest you Google them and take a look. "Truck Balls" are indeed a very realistic cast of a scrotum... but JUST the scrotum. Contrary to the boastfulness implied in attaching them to one's vehicle, they are IMO about the saddest things I've ever seen. A sort of reverse-castration, forever floppy, missing the part that gives them any meaning at all...

Aw I think it's cute, let the children play their game.

Could someone broadcast their own innermost insecurities in a more outermost way?

You haven't driven around much in the rural South, have you? I think rubber testicles have to a certain degree displaced Confederate flags as redneck mobile exterior decor. And I'm honestly at a loss to say whether or not that's a good thing.

Fortunately, my daughters haven't been curious enough about them to ask. I really don't know how I'd explain the phenomenon.

There is something deeply sad about the Red State Strike Farce. It's like Erickson et al. saw the whole online-empowered activism of the left that started with petitions from MoveOn, progressed to letter-writing campaigns, thence to distributed phonebanking, and eventually generated massive amounts of actual shoe leather in 2008, and Erickson and his friends realized they wanted similar results - but completely failed to actually understand it. And having failed to understand it, they decided to watch Red Dawn over and over until they got an idea.

The failure of Erickson at al. to understand the nature of the online-organized Left reminds me, in fact, of Red State itself. Although in theory Red State is organized along lines similar to those of Daily Kos, for some reason Red State has utterly failed to become a true mirror image of Daily Kos. Perhaps the claims of John Dean and others are right, and the Conservatives are constitutionally disinclined to bottom-up organization and debate?

The thing they seem not to have realized about the online-organized activism of the left is that whatever they think about its ideas and its motives they can't deny that it's serious of purpose. The online-organized left takes on issues it cares deeply about in a meaningful, even humorless manner. Dumb stunts like balls in the mail, and especially creepy stunts like pieces of livestock anatomy in the mail, it ain't. As was abundantly noted at the time, the first sign of trouble was when they gave their new organization a name as risible as the "Red State Force", instead of calling it something less redolent of adolescent boys' fantasies.

You can buy dried scrotum at the grocery store?

Wait, you can buy not just dried scrotum, but *various kinds* of dried scrotum at the grocery store?

And whose scrotum are we talking about, exactly?

I used to live in a kind of melting pot neighborhood in West Philly. You could buy pig face, tripes, weird organ meats, brains, chicken necks, and parts of fish that are normally thrown out or used for crab bait.

But no scrotum. Not dried, not fresh, not frozen.

Even in Chinatown I don't see any scrotum offered for sale.

Where the heck does Erick live? I want to stay far, far away.

Fortunately, my daughters haven't been curious enough about them to ask. I really don't know how I'd explain the phenomenon.

They're Click Clacks with a handy carrying case.

That'll hold'em until junior high, anyway.

Thanks, russell. Even with the added burden of explaining what click clacks are, that would make my life a great deal easier.

It's not explaining imitation genitalia as ornament that's the problem, it's trying to explain why anyone would want to hang rubber testicles from their trailer hitch. I mean, a guy walks into a convenience store, sees them on display, and thinks...what? Hey, those would look especially dandy on my Peterbilt?

It's not explaining imitation genitalia as ornament that's the problem, it's trying to explain why anyone would want to hang rubber testicles from their trailer hitch.

Sorry, I don't think I can help you with that one. :(

...on the other hand, maybe we ought to send some to Harry Reid.

I mean, its fairly early on the game, but I've still seen no evidence that he has any of his own.

I can't believe that nobody has claimed the low hanging fruit of snark here by suggesting that they should be sending Mitch a set of John McCain golf balls.

Should I be ashamed of thinking of it first? Does that make me a bad person?

truck nutz!!!!!

"Among the novelty items RS suggests sending are "truck balls" - cast plastic scroti suitable for hanging from the back bumper of one's truck."
oh lord.
These are "Truck Nutz". There is a great deal about these at Wonkette.

It's really fun watching the Senate Republicans squirm like this. Perhaps the governor of New Hampshire will appoint a Republican pony! It could happen!

It's all part of the process of the breakup of the Republican coalition of which the just one side of insane, I'm not saying which side, followers of Red Erick show their true colors. The blogosphere is full of moderate Republicans or at least extreme Republicans who can see that the Limbaugh and Red Erick route which they were quite happy about four years ago btw is now the path to destruction, trying to talk some sense into the base. The base of course is not going to take any notice for awhile since they've got used to denying reality. Personally I'm enjoying the process.

CaseyL: "Truck Balls are indeed a very realistic cast of a scrotum... but JUST the scrotum ... A sort of reverse-castration, forever floppy, missing the part that gives them any meaning at all"

I believe the truck itself is supposed to stand in for that part. The force that gives us meaning, as it were.

"There is something deeply sad about the Red State Strike Farce. It's like Erickson et al. saw the whole online-empowered activism of the left that started with petitions from MoveOn, progressed to letter-writing campaigns, thence to distributed phonebanking, and eventually generated massive amounts of actual shoe leather in 2008, and Erickson and his friends realized they wanted similar results - but completely failed to actually understand it."

Did you notice the election of Steele as RNC chairman, the lauding of Sarah Palin as a "true feminist", the appointment of Gonzales and Rice to put "racial balance" into the administration? There is nothing that defines the modern GOP better than "tone-deaf imitation".

"Do you think we should start a campaign to send Erick Erickson a clue?"

No.

This has been another edition of simple answers to simple questions.

There is something deeply sad about the Red State Strike Farce.

I posted the following on Balloon Juice's thread about this, but by the time I did the post had scrolled off the front page, so for what it's worth:

When I read Redstate now, I don’t feel threatened by them, I don’t get angry over the silly and vile things they say. I laugh. It’s part of my morning humor reading list. Reading their sanctimonious, arch posts—especially from Moe, who by now has turned unearned smug sanctimony into an art form—I can’t help but laugh, because they’ve rendered themselves irrelevant through their own idiocy, and they don’t even seem to know it.

Redstate is a failure. Oh, it has a community, it continues to operate, and it gets a pat on the head from the occasional Republican pol who decides that they’re useful idiots for broadcasting his talking points. If Redstate is nothing but Erick’s personal blog writ large, where success is defined simply as having a circle of readers who hate the same things you do, then sure, it’s a success. But as activism, as a contributor to intellectual discourse, as an influential player on the stage of American politics, and most of all as a site for helping Republicans get elected—it’s a failure. It’s even a failure by the modest aims that Tacitus set forth when Redstate was just a glimmer of an idea for a right-leaning community where everyone could come and have intelligent discussions.

To an extent—but only up to a point—I feel sorry for them. They’ve been so consistently wrong about almost everything, it must be tough by now to sustain the cognitive dissonance necessary to keep bleating the same tired lines over and over again, long after they’ve been discredited and repudiated by the country. And I know, from hard experience, what a bitter pill it is to swallow, looking forward to at least four years of having an agenda antithetical to your ideology sail through Congress on the wings of a commanding majority and solid popular support. Four years of hearing "President Barack Obama" every single day, and still believing that if you could just make Chris Matthews say "Hussein" in there with it, that everyone would wake up and realize that the charismatic man in the Oval Office is secretly an Islamofascist who wants to institute socialized medicine in order to pay for the abortions of married gay communist babies.

Can you imagine how terrified they must be right now? A black Democrat is President, and he enjoys a level of bipartisan popular support that Bush needed a terrorist attack and war drums to reach. Congress is firmly under Democratic control. The country is in crisis, and—whether they admit it to themselves or not—is in crisis largely as a result of Republican policies. Clear majorities of the American people support the Democratic solutions to the country’s problems, leaving the Republicans in Congress with a very unenviable choice: come on board and be part of the solution, accepting that you will have to swallow a lot of liberal policies in order to have your own ideas heard; or stand on a soapbox in the town square shouting "NO!" at the top of your lungs while the country is hurting, accomplishing the impressive twofer of alienating the country and getting steamrolled in Congress anyway.

The only ideas they have are the ones that got us into this mess. They know it, and the country knows it. The only hope they have of having any influence for the next four years relies on the Democrats being spineless—and while that is usually a safe bet, Obama has shown signs that he won’t be tolerating the usual Republican games, and the Republicans themselves gave a strategically foolish demonstration of their own powerlessness by unanimously voting against a popular bill that passed anyway. They’ve got nothing. And that’s the Republicans in Congress, elected officials with a nontrivial amount of access, money and influence. Redstate is just their fan site. Is it any wonder they sound like butthurt emo kids who can’t understand why nobody takes their genius seriously?

I really ought to turn that into a post of its own somewhere.

"... it must be tough by now to sustain the cognitive dissonance necessary to keep bleating the same tired lines over and over again, long after they’ve been discredited and repudiated by the country."

I don't think it's that tough for most of them. They live in their own echo chamber.

"The only ideas they have are the ones that got us into this mess. They know it,"

So far as I can see, most of them don't; they're convinced that all the problems are because Bush and the congressional Republicans weren't Conservative Enough. They let government grow, and they allowed all those evil earmarks, and the evil Democrats in Congress are responsible for the country's economic troubles.

I don't see any reason to disbelieve that these are the beliefs of "the base" when they say all this, and more, endlessly, endlessly, endlessly.

Gary, I'm willing to believe that good faith argument in regard to the vast majority of people who identify as conservative or make these arguments because they're simply not informed enough to know better.

I can't extend that to some of their politicians and bloggers, though. We're not talking about Joe the Plumber here, we're talking about /smart/, educated people who are so steeped in political discourse and data that they can't get off on an ignorance technicality. A lot of these people know better, and lie anyway.

I rest my case.

"I can't extend that to some of their politicians and bloggers, though."

You said you were talking about RedState readers and writers, not politicians.

But some of the politicans are dumb as a log, too. Yglesias was mentioning the other day someone in Congress who looked blank when "moral hazard" came up in conversation, and needed the idea explained, and then denied it existed. (He was named, but I'm forgetting who, at the moment, and don't feel like searching Matt's blog.)

We could send brains - pickled, fresh or anatomy models to Erick Erickson because it really sounds like he needs some kind of finial for his brain stem. Seriously, they need to get their hands out of their pants and do some serious "community organizing" and I'm not talking about a circle jerk here. Are these people really a covert comedy team trying to break into show business? The "Don't Go Movement"! These people need a enema and a long sitdown on the toilet. Then they'll be good and ready for the Malkin position "bend over, grab ankles". What is it with these Repubs/Evangels and male genital fixations anyway? Hello! Actual thinking involves the other end of the body!

People at Red State need to be the first in line for unemployment...and if they get bored? They can play with their own testicles......

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