Rudy calls half the voters "losers"

Republicans grossly insulting average Democrats raises nary a peep of protest.


July 28, 2007 12:00AM (UTC)

I'm sure everyone can recall the horrified reaction across the political spectrum when Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean spoke at the 2005 Take Back America conference:

Dean's comment came as he recalled conditions at crowded Ohio polling stations last fall. He wondered who could expect voters to work all day and then stand in line for eight hours to vote. "Well, Republicans, I guess, can do that because a lot of them have never made an honest living in their lives," he said.

The Republicans immediately went into full-throated shrieking harpy mode:

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Tracey Schmitt, spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, called the "honest living" comment "mudslinging" and scored Dean for attacking the work ethic of "the record number of hardworking Americans who voted for President Bush."

Tony Fabrizio, another GOP strategist, said Dean is the one who's out of touch with people's real concerns: "He's ranting and raving about Republicans not having held real jobs. It's hatred, hatred and more hatred."

But it wasn't only the Republicans who were appalled at this alleged attack on "hardworking Republicans." The Democrats were upset too:

"[Dean] doesn't speak for me with that kind of rhetoric, and I don't think he speaks for the majority of Democrats." -- Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del.

"It doesn't become the chairman of our party to be as loose with his lips as he apparently is." -- Former Democratic Party chairman Bob Strauss

Everyone was in a tizzy because Dean was accused of not just attacking the leadership of the GOP, which is apparently bad enough, but really stepping over the line by implying that average Republicans didn't work for a living. The political rule he broke is that you never attack average voters. (The right-wing talk show haters obviously didn't get that memo.)

So I'm expecting a huge outcry today from both parties about this one:

"Giuliani: Democrats Are a 'Party of Losers'"

Rudy isn't the only one advancing this theme. Just recently Johann Hari wrote an investigative exposé of the National Review Cruise and quoted one of the right's leading intellectual lights:

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Yes, D'Souza says, in a swift shift to domestic politics, "of course" Republican politics is "about class. Republicans are the party of winners, Democrats are the party of losers."

I eagerly await the explosion of tut-tutting and finger-pointing from the Beltway political manners mavens about how wrong it is for Republicans to describe their fellow Americans as losers. And I look forward to hearing all the political consultants and gasbags opine about what a terrible political tactic this is because, after all, the party I.D. numbers are looking very bad for Republicans these days, so insulting Democratic voters probably isn't such a hot idea.

I'm listening. Chirp, chirp.


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