By Woody Mena
You have to admire the Republican Party's flexibility. No
matter what kind of person the Democrats nominate as their
presidential candidate, that kind of person is bad.
Hardscrabble background in Arkansas? No class. Wealthy Bostonian?
Aristocrat who thinks his you-know-what doesn't stink.
This flexibility, which lesser individuals might call hypocrisy,
may have reached a new extreme with a little game on the GOP
website called Kerryopoly.
If you don't want to waste a couple of minutes of your life
playing Kerryopoly, the take home lesson is that John Kerry
is an extremely wealthy man who has a lot of nice stuff that
you and I can't afford. The game very explicitly points out
that someone who makes $40,000 a year can't afford a house
that costs $3.7 million dollars.
What kind of moron do they suppose is playing Kerryopoly?
(Besides thoughtful critics like you and I.) The game even
tries to establish its street cred by playing the Pink Floyd
song "Money." Get it?
The hypocrisy here is so rank that I feel almost silly pointing
One of the deepest held beliefs of the GOP is that wealth
is a sign of achievement and virtue. If you have money, either
you or your ancestors worked very hard to get it. (Wealthy
Democrats, of course, are different. They're assholes.)
Anyone who begrudges a wealthy person their wealth is trying
to wage class warfare, which we all know is socialistic and
A more subtle, and hence more effective, version of this
line of attack is the Blue State myth. The Blue States, we
have all heard, are full of brie-munching elitists who don't
work for a living.
It shows the true power of the Republican Party that an image
so divorced from reality could be so widely accepted. In fact,
Democrats make less money than Republicans.
The only way you can sell a story as preposterous as the
Blue State Myth is to come up with plausible-sounding anecdotes.
David Brooks, for example, claims that people in Blue States
don't know what soybeans look like.
I don't know if anyone has done a national study of ability
to recognize soybeans, but you can check where they are grown.
As Thomas Frank pointed out in Harper's, the top three
soybean producing states (Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota) all
went for Gore. The top agricultural state, California, is
on the Left Coast. How about manufacturing? Michigan, New
Jersey, and Pennsylvania went for Gore.
In the final analysis, Kerryopoly suggests a certain desperation.
The GOP is paying untold operatives to probe Kerry's weak
spots, and they have to settle for the brute fact that he
has a lot of dough.