Village rule number one:
You can't employ a play on words that any Republican might be able to use as an excuse to run to the fainting couch and have a good old-fashioned cry. Democrats must be as bland and technocratic as humanly possible in their political rhetoric. If they can put their audience to sleep within the first five minutes, so much the better. But that doesn't mean Republicans and the media can't have loads of nasty "pun" at the expense of Democrats. For instance everybody loves a good joke conflating Senator Obama with Osama.
Chicago: Thanks for taking questions. What do you see at the event(s) that could really shake up either of the presidential primary races between now and January? I'm not talking about Osama blowing up the Sears Tower or 1,000 GIs being killed in Iraq next month but regularly scheduled events or debates, or the beginning of the millions in TV ads, things within the campaigns' control.
Jonathan Weisman: How about Obama blowing up the Sears Tower! I never liked that building anyway. (Just kidding, folks.)
Haha! That's a good one. He's only a Democratic United States Senator. It's not like he's a General or anything. No biggie.
And the jokes are everywhere. Hilarious stuff. Here's GOP's most prized, and important, supporter, Rush:
The left has core values. They're just not ours. But I mean, if Obama Osama -- here's the story. It's in the Orlando Sentinel. "Obama Osama Leads Star Power or Lends Star Power to Nelson. A Democratic U.S. senator campaigns for his colleague in a town hall forum in Eatonville. About 500 people rose to their feet in a standing 'O' worthy of a rock star, as U.S. Sen. Barack Obama Osama hit the stage."
Well, we've got another tape from -- I get these guys confused -- Usama bin Laden. Another tape says he's going to invade Pakistan and declare war on Pakistan and Musharraf, which, ladies and gentlemen, puts him on the same page with a Democrat presidential candidate -- that would be Barack "Uss-Obama." And let's go back to August 1st: "U-Bama" gave a speech on counterterrorism, and here's a portion of what he said.
And it is true that Barack Obama is on the move. I don't know if it's true that President Bush called Musharraf and said, 'Why can't we catch this guy?'
Funny, funny stuff. And with no political intent, which is what's so hilarious.
Then there's the middle name. OMG.
If you thought Obama's last name was enough of a political pitfall, get this: Last night on Hardball, GOP strategist Ed Rogers ridiculed a potential Obama candidacy by using — possibly for the first time on cable news — Obama's little-known and politically unfortunate middle name. "Count me down as somebody that underestimates Barack Hussein Obama," Rogers said.
The media, the drive-bys, are in the midst of Obama-gasms. Because Obama -- that would be Barack Hussein Obama -- has announced the perfunctory and predictable exploratory committee to go out there and ask people what they think he ought to do. And on February 10th, he will announce his intentions -- which we all know. Really gutsy of Obama to do this while Hillary's out of the country. Hillary had a 2 p.m. press conference today, but she canceled it because Obama's making such big news today. It's kind of like the "Breck girl" was in New York yesterday ripping into Hillary while she was out of the country. Shows that they still fear her.
That was a triple serving of civil goodness, wasn't it?
I don't actually mind them playing around with names. It's as old as the nation. But I'm very well aware that rule number on is that we can only do it with Democrats like Hitlery, the Breck Girl and Obama Hussein Osama. I wouldn't want to cause the Village to have another meltdown over an improper play on words. They need some rest.
Thanks to Media Matters, Here's some more of that good fun from the man on whose radio show the president and vice president frequently appear:
LIMBAUGH: Right. By the way, we had a caller call, couldn't stay on the air, got a new name for Senator Hagel in Nebraska. We got General Petraeus, and we got Senator Betrayus. New name for Senator Hagel. Here's now one final bit -- well, two more. Question from Blitzer: "Here's the problem that you have. The administration, credibility in Congress with the American public, because of the mistakes, because of the previous statements, the 'last throes,' the comment you made a year and a half ago, the insurgency was in its last throes. How do you build up that credibility because so many of these Democrats and a lot of Republicans now are saying that they don't believe you anymore."
From the February 4 edition of ABC's This Week:
STEPHANOPOULOS: You're taking a lot of heat from conservatives over your position. Here was Rush Limbaugh this week.
LIMBAUGH [audio clip]: If Chuck Hagel had been around during D-Day with the same kind of media we have today, he would have demanded that the invasion stop after the landing because there had been so many deaths. War is not something you put on a timetable.
STEPHANOPOULOS: He calls you "Senator Betrayus."
HAGEL: Well, listen, everybody has to be somewhere. Everyone has to make a living. Rush has to make a living. And he has a right to say whatever he wants.
Hagel, needless to say, voted to condemn Move-On.
But this one, is the piece de resistance of bold, aggressive Republican rhetorical in-your-face hypocrisy. It's beautiful.
From the September 11 broadcast of The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: The Democrats are accusing Petraeus of being a patsy. The Democrats are accusing him of lying. I've suggested to you that if you ever -- 'cause, you know, I'm talented here, folks. I can read the stitches on the fastballs. I can see between the lines. I know these people like every square inch of my glorious naked body, and I am telling you that when they say Petraeus is lying, it means they are. When they say that Petraeus is a puppet, they are.
And I'll tell you who's pulling their strings: MoveOn.org and that -- that contemptible, indecent ad that ran yesterday in The New York Times. The kook, fringe, left-wing blogosphere -- that's who they're afraid of. They're not afraid of U -- Ubama -- I'm sorry, Usama. They are not afraid of the enemy.
Democrats: don't try this at home. This stunt was performed by a professional hypocrite and character assassin. It takes years of practice to develop the skills to speak out of both sides of your mouth while eating freedom fries, which is why the Village Rules expressly prohibit any outsider progressive group from participating.
H/T to Media Matters for listening to all these bastards and compiling their fetid rhetorical compost.