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July 10, 2012 12:20 PM The Final Descent of Pat Caddell

By Ed Kilgore

There are two very strange news items today that suggest the underlying madness of their subjects. Here’s one, from the New York Times:

North Korean state-run television on Monday showed footage of costumed versions of Tigger, Minnie Mouse and other Disney characters prancing in front of the leader, Kim Jong-un, and an entourage of clapping generals.
The footage also showed Mr. Kim in a black Mao suit watching as Mickey Mouse conducted a group of young women playing violins in skimpy black dresses. At times, scenes from the animated Disney movies “Dumbo” and “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” were projected on a multipanel screen behind the entertainers; an article in the state-run press said unnamed foreign songs were on the bill.

Um, okay.

Then there is this headline from the friendly folks at that sanitarium of conservative weirdness, Breitbart.com:

EXCLUSIVE - CADDELL: TAXES AND TRUST - THE ACHILLES HEELS OF OBAMACARE AND OBAMA, PART I

What follows is about a gazillion words of political glossolalia from none other than Pat Caddell, who seems to have decided to demonstrate in a rather spectacular fashion that his recent gig as a Fox Democrat was just an apostasy appetizer.

You can read Caddell’s bizarre rant, which purports to be deep analysis of how and why Republicans ought to make the election “about” ObamaCare, if you want the kind of brain freeze that can normally be obtained only by eating a gallon of homemade ice cream. Keep in mind, however, that this is only “part one.”

I’ve always felt Caddell probably suffered from the kind of ego-affliction that accompanies becoming a national political celebrity at a tender age (he was famously George McGovern’s pollster while still a college student) and renders the sufferer incapable of believing that the world can survive without his counsel. Until quite recently, he was still getting op-eds published by the Washington Post, and was still posing as a concerned Democrat offering advice to his party. But now that his concern trolling act has gotten a little long in the tooth, he’s apparently decided to torment his new Republican friends with his strategic genius.

But if that doesn’t work out for Pat, Kim Jong-un could sure use some advice.

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.

Comments

  • Josef K on July 10, 2012 12:59 PM:

    One quibble: I don't believe for an instant this is the lowest Pat Caddell (or indeed any denizen of the Beltway) might ultimately sink. He could always grab the metaphorical pick-axe and tunnel down still further.

    Of course, that involves things like advocating eugenics and "relocation" of whole ethnic groups. I doubt either would cause so much as a pass these days. Mores the pity.

  • kwc57 on July 10, 2012 1:02 PM:

    I'm a life long Democrat and I'd say Caddell is smack dead on in his analysis. What about it do you find as a bizarre rant? That it attacks your candidate and agenda? Truth is a bitch ain't it?

  • c u n d gulag on July 10, 2012 1:20 PM:

    Former Democrats who are willing to berate the Democratic Party candidates and policies never have to worry that their Andy Warhol "15 Minutes of Fame" will be up.
    There is always work for a DINO in Wingnut Welfare.

    Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann, two relatively centrist to conservative analysts and pundits criticized the Republican Party recently, and found their access badges to the networks and cable tv news shows, were cancelled.

    After a few appearances on MSNBC, The Daily Show, and Colbert, they soon be relegated to Public Access on local cable tv - and then standing on wooden boxes at public parks with megaphones.

    There's a lesson here for Liberals about having moonbeam welfare programs for loyalty/
    And also to pick-up renegade conservatives, like David Frum and Judge Posner, and doing what Conservatives do with the renegade DINO's, which is parade them on every show on FOX, practically for life - but, Liberals can't seem to learn this lesson.

  • Josef K on July 10, 2012 1:20 PM:

    From kwc57 at 1:02pm:

    I'm a life long Democrat and I'd say Caddell is smack dead on in his analysis. What about it do you find as a bizarre rant? That it attacks your candidate and agenda? Truth is a bitch ain't it?

    Especially when Caddell is not, in fact, "dead on". Having read through his...whatever you want to label it (Magnum Opus, missive, call to arms, 10,000-monkeys-hammering-on-keyboards), I have yet to be convinced his analysis is any deeper than a puddle in a drained swimming pool.

    He'll probably go into the Guiness Book of World Records for the most number of times the word "tax" is used in one place; other than that, he doesn't make an actual case against the ACA. I didn't see any specific language or independent analysis referenced. Indeed, invoking the name Rasmussen as an authoritive pollster makes him even more suspect. Perhaps I was misreading the context, but the point remains.

    Pray, kwc57, explain for us how and where Caddell made a reasonably logical case for the repeal of the ACA not predicated on a patholical aversion to the word "taxes". Please, I really want to hear one.

  • TCinLA on July 10, 2012 1:34 PM:

    I met Pat Caddell back during the McGovern campaign and was not impressed. The ever-astute Willie Brown was not impressed either, and neither was my then-boss, the youngest member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, whose comment was, "If McGovern's listening to him, no wonder they're in trouble." That Carter thought Caddell was worthwhile was further proof that he was a very nice guy who should never have been president.

  • Anonymous on July 10, 2012 1:43 PM:

    Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann, two relatively centrist to conservative analysts and pundits criticized the Republican Party recently, and found their access badges to the networks and cable tv news shows, were cancelled.

    Not quite. They were both on the one liberal cable-TV political talk show that should not be missed unless you are being planted six feet under, "Up With Chris Hayes" - both were on this past Sunday, with one of the best discussions I've seen anyone do regarding the politics of global warming/climate change, and both were as excellent as most of his guests are. I gotta say, the fact there are uber-smart young public intellectuals like Chris Hayes around is one thing that gives this old political activist hope for the future.

  • TCinLA on July 10, 2012 1:45 PM:

    anonymous was me (memo to self: drink more coffee wghen hanging on phone for an hour to speak to a government employee)

  • TCinLA on July 10, 2012 1:47 PM:

    Hey June, go Stotz yourself.

  • c u n d gulag on July 10, 2012 2:02 PM:

    Ms. Stolz,
    Yes it is a "tax."
    It was also a "tax" in MA, though Romney did the same thing Obama did, and change it semantically into a "penalty" or "fee."

    SS and Medicare/Medicaid are taxes, too.
    Do you object to them, too?
    Anyone in your family benefiting from them?

    May I assume you have good insurance, either through a company, a personal policy, or a spouse (significant other, in states, where that's allowed)?

    Well then, you'll be glad to know that you get to keep your insurance, so YOU won't be taxed.

    Neither will anyone else - EXCEPT those who can afford to pay for their own health insurance, and decide not to take even the most bare-boned plan.

    Why do you want to deny 30-50 million other people what I'm assuming you have?

    It won't cost you a penny.
    It's estimated that less than 2% of the populations will be "taxed," "penalized," or 'fined."

    Are we not worthy of having health care?

    Please come back and elaborate.
    But please avoid the right wing talking points - we've all heard them to death.
    And your comment was typical of one of them.

    Please don't do 'hit-and-run' commenting, with no follow-up
    Maybe you won't respond because that's all you have - is talking points from highly-paid right wing propaganda outfits like FOX News, and media propagandists like Rush, Sean, Glenn, Ann, Michelle, Drudge.

    Please come back and explain why a small "tax" that's only on people who can afford health care but don't get it, is worth the lives of upwards of 30-50 million people?

    This enquiring mind wants to know.

  • rk21 on July 10, 2012 2:03 PM:

    So June if you are driving without insurance and you are fined for not having automobile insurance then you are being taxed. Every fine for non compliance is a tax then. Roberts is full of shit like all republicans. Just happened somehow to have made a decision which helped the proles. I wouldn't hang my hat on his sagacity.

  • c u n d gulag on July 10, 2012 2:04 PM:

    Her comment's gone.

    Oh well, I knew she wouldn't respond.

  • RedHammer on July 10, 2012 2:19 PM:

    I did not find any substance in your attack on Pat Caddell's article other than ad hominum terms like "bizarre rant" and "ego-affliction"
    So let's see if in November the public can be convinced that the health care law contains only penalties and not a tax. If "...DC's chalice of manipulative cynicism, so freely passed around in Washington, can actually be a chalice of political poison--poison for officeholders.." or is the political class really leveling with us.
    I encourage them to continue to drink the cool aid, the truth will soon be revealed by the American people in the voting booth.

  • Walker on July 10, 2012 6:54 PM:

    I did not find any substance in your attack on Pat Caddell's article other than ad hominum terms like "bizarre rant" and "ego-affliction"

    Republicans love to use the word ad hominem when they clearly have no idea what it means. If a person makes an argument from authority, with no justification of their premises, then attacking that authority is logically valid. This is logical argument 101.

  • Doug on July 10, 2012 7:48 PM:

    Somehow I just don't think Obamacare (MY preference) will go undefended, as it did in 2010, THIS year...

  • zinzinzor on July 11, 2012 4:27 AM:

    I saw Ornstein and Mann on "Up" and they made a lot of sense. "Up" is now my favorite political program. I love having my weekend coffee and bagels while I watch it on the computer.