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Holding Ourselves to a Higher Standard


(Update:  I’ll be on Barry Gordon’s radio show today at 5:45pm EST/2:45pm PST talking about the Roots project.) 

As the Ben Domenech affair unfolded I was very happy with the way we on the left stayed on our talking points no matter what self-righteous histrionics the right engaged in.  But as the denoument arrived I was greatly concerned with the assertions made by both Ben and his defenders that some on the left had accused him of having sexual relations with his mother.  No matter how creepy and "Flowers in the Attic" the whole home-schooling thing may seem to those of us who spent our teen years knocking elbows at large urban public high schools, this kind of character assassination and personal smear job is the purview of the right.  We cannot let this kind of behavior hold sway.  We must police ourselves.

And so I went looking for the source of these base allegations.  And I found them:

Once again, the coastal elitists are mocking one of our most cherished Heartland values. Two of the frenchiest bloggers on the internets, Lafayette and LacDeChienDuFeu referred to a television program in which Washington Post Blogger for Our Leader Ben Domenech discussed his homeschooling experience. The object of their derision seems to be a quote that could be creatively interpreted to be an admission by Mr. Domenech that he went all the way with his mother.

Now, while having such a relationship with one’s mother is not as common in the Heartland as "marrying" one’s sister or cousin, it’s pretty easy to imagine the circumstances that may have brought it about–you’re kicking back with mom, watching your worn out copy of Red Dawn on the betamax, and at the part where Patrick Swayze brings down a Soviet Hind-D chopper with an RPG, you notice that his hips move in the same way they moved in the final scene of Dirty Dancing. The thought of Swayze gyrating wildly to pop music awakens something very primal within you. With a quick glance toward your mother, you see that she is also obviously having similar thoughts. At that moment Swayze yells "Wolverines!" mother and son are overwhelmed with passion.

There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s something very understandable to those of us whose hearts live in the Heartland. Such patriotic, family-oriented reactions are encoded in our moral DNA. We cannot resist them.

I’m afraid the one to blame in all of this is none other than our own General J.C. Christian, Patriot.  For shame, General, for shame.  Sadly I think we have no choice but to accept that this proves  Ben’s claims about death threats, crank calls and obscene emails are equally valid.

But how to discipline the General?  How do we exact a price steep enough to ensure that he never tries something like this again, to preserve the integrity of the liberal blogophere?

I’ve decided we should take a page out of the GOP playbook on this one, and I hope you’ll all support me. If Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet and Paul Bremer deserve the Medal of Freedom for the Iraq war, the General ought to get his own column in the Washington Post online.  

That’ll show him.

In fact a campaign has already been launched by John Moltz to do just that.  And the General has written a letter to Jim Brady outlining his qualifications:

Best of all, I’ve never worked as a harlot–no Jeff Gannon problems here–nor have I stolen another writer’s work–Mr. Dickens approved my A Story About Two Places piece. You have nothing to worry about from me unless you’re uncomfortable being around a man who is 110% heterosexual. That reminds me. Don’t believe a damned thing Cletis says. He’s a liar.

Ordinarily when we urge you toward letter writing campaigns we ask that you write personal, carefully crafted missives.  But as the General notes, in this case just feel free to copy John’s letter and send it in as your own.  It’s not like Brady will notice.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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