One interesting thing about Democratic operatives has been their success in unfairly defining opponents. Consider the characterization of leader of significantly below average intelligence that was applied to Ronald Reagan, George W Bush, Sarah Palin and Dan Quayle, to name a few. There's also the characterization of an evil mastermind working behind the scenes to screw the regular guy that was applied to Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich and Richard Nixon. Both of these charges have been generally thrown out at the highest levels, against sitting and aspiring Presidents, Vice Presidents, and their most senior advisers.
However, an even more insiduous charge has been thrown out against the rank and file of the Republican Party and the conservative movement, that of intolerant racists. Democrats don't generally throw this charge at a specific level. Instead they float it against Republicans, Southerners, Tea Partiers or other large groups.
Yesterday, a minor buzz hit Twitter when Rep. Jack Kimble R - CA commented on the fact that Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour would not run for President. Kimble lobbied for Barbour's support in his own presidential bid tweeting:
I will be talking to Barbour about endorsing me by showing him I can make this country resemble the South of the 50s he remembers fondly
4:37 AM Apr 26th via web
An internet tempest immediately ensued, and even the Washington Post reported concern with Kimble's statements. However, there was a problem. Kimble is really a comedian who makes fun of Republicans. His over the top comments are a parody of conservatives.
When I read about this, I remembered hearing "Representative" Kimble on an Adam Carolla podcast. He was mildly funny, and obviously not a real congressman. I went back to Carolla's archives to try to find the episode featuring Kimble. I was startled at what I found.
It turns out I remembered incorrectly. Carolla had not had Kimble on as a guest, at least not on the show I had heard. The episode I remembered featured Rep. Richard Martin R - OH. Martin isn't a real congressman either. Like Kimble, he's a comedian portraying a racist Republican Congressman for laughs. While Kimble tweets, Martin runs Askarepublican.com, a blog that features his parody.
I guess playing a racist Republican congressman is becoming a bit of a cottage industry.
Sisyphus Adds: Parodies of this sort are not just limited to Democrats parodying Republicans. I can think of at least two examples of local conservatives parodying liberal Democrats on twitter. Our friend, @TJSWIFT, has created a straw-man twitter character: @wbgleason.
This character is ostensibly a University of Minnesota professor who nastily spouts liberal cliches, often to hilarious effect.
I don’t know the identity of the parodist behind @RepRyanWinkler, but it is a funny, if occasionally over-the-top, parody of a stereotypical Minnesota Democrat state representative.