A fitting, if surreal, note on which to end a day devoted to partisan double standards. If the party roles were reversed here, this is a three-day firestorm. As it is, it’s more of a curio for the media. Which makes sense, since many of them doubtless agree with Dan Helmer’s point. You would think, after 12 months of the Mueller investigation and incandescent Democratic outrage at Russia’s election meddling, they’d reserve “public enemy number one” status for Putin.
There’s method to this madness, though. Helmer’s stuck in a tough primary in Virginia’s 10th District, with the winner to face a formidable Republican in Barbara Comstock. On paper his credentials are as good as they come — West Point, Rhodes scholar, combat vet — but the frontrunner is a state senator and the top fundraiser is another candidate. He needs to make an impression on Democratic voters and he needs to do it quickly. His strategy to this point has been to try to break through via memorable ads — last fall he farted out an excruciatingly corny “Top Gun” parody, then he tried pandering to gun-grabbers by posting a video of himself needing just 10 minutes or so to buy a semiautomatic rifle at a gun show.
But now the primary’s less than two weeks away and, presumably, he’s not where he wants to be in internal polling. Time for a Tom-Steyer-esque mega-pander to the hardcore Trump-hating contingent by not so subtly comparing Trump to the arch-terrorist who blew up the World Trade Center. The desperation is so thick here, you can almost see it coating the lens.
I guess every Congress needs an Alan Grayson progressive, willing to take that one extra rhetorical step that most others won’t. Exit question: What if we end up with two Alan Graysons in the next one?