Political Animal


March 27, 2012 2:24 PM The Free Beacon’s Big Scoop

By Ed Kilgore

So the Washington Free Beacon, that self-consciously vicious new outlet for right-wing investigative journalism, has a big new scoop on the Trayvon Martin case. Don’t read this without a paper bag near if you are prone to nausea or dangerously violent laughing fits:

The individual at the center of the controversial Trayvon Martin shooting is a registered Democrat.
George Michael Zimmerman, born Oct. 5, 1983, registered as a Democrat in Seminole County, Fla., in August 2002, according to state voter registration documents.

I just love this next sentence:

It is unclear whether he voted for President Barack Obama in 2008.

I’m shocked the Free Beacon let a little thing like ballot secrecy get in its way of determining The Truth on that subject.

In the Free Beacon’s corner of the fever swamps, you see, everyone is on a “team,” and the only real Truth on any matter is which “team” you are on. Aha, George Zimmerman’s on the Blue Team! I suppose we are to assume that Trayvon Martin was a Blue Team member, too, since he was African-American and all. But since (a) he wasn’t old enough to vote, and (b) he’s now dead, the Free Beacon cannot use its fine investigative skills to establish that fact.

Still, aha! The whole thing was a Blue Team fragging of some sort, and nothing Real Americans should care about.

Unless, of course, George Zimmerman’s a swing voter, in which case perhaps his persecution will help the Red Team harvest some Hispanic votes.

These people are very nearly beyond parody.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Neil Bates on March 27, 2012 2:30 PM:

    Heh, pitiful. So what. Note this: as best I can tell, the WFB are what I call "chickensquawks" - "squawk" themselves but don't allow comments.

  • Area Man on March 27, 2012 2:35 PM:

    I don't think I need the bag. This is just so pathetic it's not worth a minor blood pressure spike. Even the normally desperate and gullible right-wing punditocracy will be too ashamed to use this one.

  • walt on March 27, 2012 2:36 PM:

    I'm sensing a Joe-the-Plumber future for George Zimmerman. What's not to like? He had his nose broken by a kid wearing a hoodie! Who got suspended from high school!

    Yay our team! Democrats turn on you when you just happen to kill someone. We look for the extenuating circumstances!

  • joe corso on March 27, 2012 2:37 PM:

    Ed: did you mean Parody or therapy?

  • Ted Frier on March 27, 2012 2:52 PM:

    Just one more example that conservatism has become indistinguishable from tribalistic identity politics.

  • bobbo on March 27, 2012 2:59 PM:

    Great! Now the right can start finding Zimmerman's conduct reprehensible. Which will then of course lead them to arguing that Zimmerman was motivated by racial animus, he should be tried for murder, Obama's Justice Department is right to investigate, gun laws are too lenient, racism against black people exists and is bad, and Trayvon Martin was an innocent victim, right?

  • ComradeAnon on March 27, 2012 3:05 PM:

    You are assuming that Free Bacon has their facts straight.

  • mudwall jackson on March 27, 2012 3:47 PM:

    i have it on excellent authority that trayvon martin planned to register as a republican when he turned 18. he idolized herman cain and had an allen west fathead on his bedroom wall. his hoodie bore the likeness of ronald reagan on the front and barry goldwater on the back, and he bought the skittles and drink while returning from a young republicans for santorum rally. zimmerman, the registered democrat, saw this as an affront to his democratic sensibilities, so like any good freedom-hating fascist-democrat, he shot him.

  • LL on March 27, 2012 3:50 PM:

    "very nearly" beyond parody? I think not. I think they *are* beyond parody, and have been for some time, which is, of course, part of their political strength. Sadly.

    The right-wing nuts are desperate to figure out this Martin murder, and they just can't: because of where they land on these issues, they look bad almost no matter how they try to spin things.

  • Always I am Caesar on March 27, 2012 4:00 PM:

    I have the same difficulties from where I sit in viewing events . The justice done or not done to the focus brought to bear by the free press has , like every counterpart that exists in the playful worlds of grownups , its little variations . Some of these are typical enough to become confused with facts . Often taking to a pointed gaffe , so beloved of the very spine of our political expression , giving great attention to the misspoken word thought or deed , real or imagined . Actions and thoughts that are as much of a living part of our lives as the "seemed like a good idea at the time" species of mistakes . These often lead our great Solon's in their rugged defiance of gravity , to laws that encourage the least able among us , to acquire the most rapid and deadly means of final judgment .
    This all reminds me of , once upon a time , a tedious forensic essay which detailed the difference between beating a human to death with hands and feet , sticks and stones , or a firearm . How they went on striking the subject with nuance and reflection , thought and decision . It seemed that it was more or less understandable how a human twitching a finger could end an unsatisfactory social impasse with a lifetime to think about it . This in contrast to the horror of actually thrashing the very existence of a person inch by exhausting , painful inch to a nullity . In this way these devils framed an argument that was so devious , it brought to bear into the question of right and wrong . The radical , revolutionary , idea that perhaps human beings were not always as capable as Smith & Wesson , and that a reasonable effort could be spared to investigate how to come to terms with the ease of making a split second decision , other than marriage , in the height of emotional turmoil , and not become a new lifetime burden to society .
    That there are humans capable of overlooking the value of human life in measuring whether or not the events are defined by weight or volume certainly adds a perfectly human touch to any ability to reason with them , whatever it means to devalue a life for a convenience .
    Rebecca West's "Black Lamb and Grey Falcon" takes a conversation from a Romanian convent with a devout woman , Rebecca bemoaning the violent rape , and rapes and murder of women . Upon establishing that the women were Croat's , Bosnian Herzegovina , or Serbs (the detail slips my mind) , The nun forgives the men because the women were not Romanian .
    This leads me to wonder why anyone would hold up for an example of the producers of , and so called defenders of , our mighty "free" expression , those focused stalwarts who create tempests over buttons , and complete fictions to boot , into a deep philosophical , why not ? This pointing to the "very worst" applications of the "very best" process of understanding the conflict of race , sex , and creed , in their inevitable clashes , which being with other humans , may have that divine disregard of the quality of an opponent for "acquired" reasoning leading to the end of talking , reasoning , and then life . It just seems so futile posting about someone posing their rear end as a philosophical denouement which is then printed as an idear .

  • Jim Treacher on March 27, 2012 4:50 PM:

    Oh. NOW you're concerned with George Zimmerman's right to privacy.

  • bustermcd on March 27, 2012 5:31 PM:

    Putting Zimmerman on "Blue Team" is bad, but putting him on "White Hispanic" team was just responsible journalism, I suppose.

  • va blue on March 27, 2012 6:13 PM:

    Jim & Buster - The point is that it isn't about teams. The Republicans got in a bunch because they thought this was about them.

    "Attacks on racism" is not the same thing as "attacks on the GOP". Is that too difficult for you to understand?

  • Howey on March 27, 2012 6:59 PM:

    I'm soooo glad I was able to snatch up the twitter name

    @WashFreeBacon as soon as the rag came into existence!

  • redstateres on March 27, 2012 7:17 PM:

    You're wrong. They state that it's unclear whether he voted for Obama in 2008 because of this: Just because he registered as a democrat in 2002 does not mean he still holds those convictions, and they didn't want to state their case too strongly.

    You're not supposed to assume that Trayvon would have been a democrat because he's black. On the contrary, that's what democrats do, not what republicans do. The reason it's interesting that Zimmerman is a registered democrat is that the left frequently tries to paint a picture of a dangerous white-supremacist homophobic zealot with an itchy trigger finger, and in this case, it doesn't seem that they will be able to do that.

    Real Americans should care about it. Real Americans should be concerned that we are STILL living in a country where someone's guilt or innocence are determined by the color of their skin, and it looks like George Zimmerman's skin is the wrong color for the justice system to work fairly for him.

  • AAB on March 27, 2012 10:15 PM:

    I guess by these labeling standards, Obama must be a white black man.

  • exlibra on March 27, 2012 10:46 PM:

    The reason it's interesting that Zimmerman is a registered democrat is that the left frequently tries to paint a picture of a dangerous white-supremacist homophobic zealot with an itchy trigger finger, and in this case, it doesn't seem that they will be able to do that. -- redstateres, 7:17PM

    To the contrary, honey-tater; I *can* do it, and with ease. Zimmerman is a dangerous racist bigot (don't know about his homophobic tendencies but I don't think they matter, in this particular instance) with an itchy trigger finger, who should have never gotten a gun permit. That he happens to have registered as a Democrat in '02 (always providing that the (fact) Free Beacon got the story right) is neither here nor there. His party affiliation does not change my opinion of the SOB by one iota.

    Changing one's judgement to excuse one's "fellow traveler" is something that Republicans do. You're measuring us using your own (short measure) yardstick.

  • CJWhite on March 28, 2012 9:31 AM:

    Also, too, how long before the righties make the connection that blue=Crips!

  • momsaid on March 28, 2012 12:21 PM:

    Wow. So now, the reporting of a fact - Zimmerman's voter registration, per the registrar's office - is some kind of right-wing diversion??? The facts in the case should be met with adjustment of opinion, not with ridicule when they don't fit our expectations/prejudices. If Rep's were after a guy because of his party affiliation, they'd have slammed Zimmerman. Hmmm...who's looking for the truth here?

  • Nathan a 3% Cherokee, 22% Muiltiple Races, 25% Irish, 50% Czech Caucasian American on March 28, 2012 12:28 PM:

    If George Zimmerman is a white Hispanic, then President Obama is a black Caucasian and fooled everybody into electing another White man to the White House.