A Flea in the Fur of the Beast

“Death, fire, and burglary make all men equals.” —Dickens

Go Bloomberg

by evanmcmurry

As John Cassidy pointed out the other day, like or hate Mayor-for-life Bloomberg for whatever reasons you want—and there are arguments in both directions—but respect the man for standing up to the NRA and refusing to let gun control dissipate as a serious policy issue, an effort no better realized than in his counterpunch to Wayne LaPierre’s horrific press conference this morning.

The Value of Blaming Video Games For Mass Shootings

by evanmcmurry

Blaming video games for violence is so 1990s, yet there Mr. LaPierre was. Any port in a storm, I guess. But a commenter on WaPo’s transcript of LaPierre’s remarks shows the value of the impugning video games, even today:

The problem is with the media, the video gaming industry, and Hollywood moguls who backed Obama’s re-election campaign with the money made from violent games and movies; not the NRA or their stupid idea to arm teachers.

In one sentence, a man shooting 27 people with a bunch of guns he never should have had becomes Obama’s fault. I can’t imagine that anybody, even diehard gun advocates, honestly thinks violent video games played any role in the Newtown shooting. But they’ll eat up the image of Obama stuffing his pockets with blood money, whether or not it has anything to do with anything.

What It Takes To Get Steve King To Shut Up

by evanmcmurry

One minor (but embarrassing) Republican surrender, apparently:

Representative Steve King of Iowa, a frequent Boehner critic, looked at me, shook his head, and said, “I have nothing to say.”

Server, I’d like to order four more of those, please.

Get Ready For The Conservative Version Of Cosmo!

by evanmcmurry

Glenn Reynolds:

Which is why I think that rich people wanting to support the Republican Party might want to direct their money somewhere besides TV ads that copy, poorly, what Lee Atwater did decades ago.

My suggestion: Buy some women’s magazines. No, really. Or at least some women’s Web sites.

One of the groups with whom Romney did worst was female “low-information voters.” Those are women who don’t really follow politics, and vote based on a vague sense of who’s mean and who’s nice, who’s cool and who’s uncool.

Since, by definition, they don’t pay much attention to political news, they get this sense from what they do read. And for many, that’s traditional women’s magazines — Redbook, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, the Ladies Home Journal, etc. — and the newer women’s sites like YourTango, The Frisky, Yahoo! Shine, and the like.

The thing is, those magazines and Web sites see themselves, pretty consciously, as a propaganda arm of the Democratic Party. So while nine out of 10 articles may be the usual stuff on sex, diet and shopping, the 10th will always be either soft p.r. for the Democrats or soft — or sometimes not-so-soft — hits on Republicans.

When a flier about getting away with rape was found in a college men’s bathroom, the women’s site YourTango (“Your Best Love Life”) led with the fact that the college was Paul Ryan’s alma materin a transparent effort to advance the Democrats’ War on Women claim that Republicans are somehow pro-rape. A companion article was “12 Hot Older Men Who Endorse President Obama.”

Similar p.r. abounded across the board: Sandra Fluke is a hero; Sarah Palin is a zero. Republicans are all old white men (women or minority Republicans get mocked or ignored).

This kind of thing adds up, especially among low-information voters. They may not know or care much about the specifics, but this theme, repeated over and over again, sends a message: Democrats are cool, and Republicans are uncool — and if you vote for them, you’re uncool, too.

Republicans aren’t going to place ads in Cosmo—those glossies reek too much of the “culture” conservatives long to be a part of hate so much—but don’t put it by them to start their own rag mimicking the style of an established magazine but ever-so-subtly replacing the content with ideological garbage. They’ve done it before, and it’s even better if it can be ghostwritten by people like Glenn Reynolds.

Alicublog with another point: what is it with conservative writers insisting women are vapid, insubstantial nitwits, and then wondering why the nitwits won’t vote for them?

Gun Control Solutions Are Simple (If You’re Simplistic About It)

by evanmcmurry

Fareed Zakaria rolls his eyes at Obama’s proposal to send gun control measures to Congress. “The problem is not complex,” Zakaria writes, “and the solution is blindingly obvious.”

Roughly 500 words or pretty standard (though not wrong) arguments about how other countries have less gun violence than we do, Zakaria’s blindingly obvious solution is…”limit access to guns.” That’s it. That’s all. That’s his solution. “We do not lack for answers,” Zakaria concludes. “What we lack in America today is courage.” Actually, it sounds like what we lack is specifics from our pundits.