Sunday, November 07, 2004


Salamanders and schoolchildren

Press Democrat editorial director Pete Golis explained today why the Democrats lost the election (11/7, "Democrats adrift"); or as the subhead put it, "How the party of working people lost its way and became the party of elites".

Pete wrote,

"Democrats managed not to notice how they have come to be portrayed in places--like Kansas and Mississippi and Wyoming--where Karl Rove and others spin their cartoon versions of Democrats."

And he concluded,

"Karl Rove must be very smart. Or maybe Democrats need to look in the mirror."

Golis' list of eleven Republican propaganda stereotypes began,"This is the world in which Democrats are: The party that never saw a government program it didn't like."

And his eleventh example was, "In Sonoma County, the party that cares more about salamanders than schoolchildren."

That one got my attention. Did Karl Rove really spin that cartoon version of elitist Sonoma County Democrats to Kansas voters?

Following his eleven examples Golis wrote,

"These broad-brush characterizations are unfair, you say. Well, yes, they are. But they are not without a grain of truth--and what is not in doubt is that Democratic party regulars are several miles past clueless when it comes to defending themselves against such parodies."

Pete calls them "parodies". But Webster says a parody is, "1 : a literary or musical work in which the style of an author or work is closely imitated for comic effect or in ridicule; 2 : a feeble or ridiculous imitation".

The ten examples Golis listed--and the local one he made up himself--aren't clever parodies of Democrat elitism. He said himself they were caricatures, spun as political propaganda.

And then he added, "but not without a grain of truth". Not so the eleventh example. Pete made that one up himself, out of whole cloth.

Now it's up to him to justify his unfair statement that Sonoma County Democrats care more about salamanders than schoolchildren.

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