Column for 1 October, 2006
“Two things I ask of you, O Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal and so dishonor the name of my God.”
If you were taking bets on how long it would take the desperate, flailing, inept Congressional campaign of rich carpetbagger Nicholas Vancampen Taylor to jump the shark, it’s time to cash in. First, his campaign web-site was riddled with juvenile misspellings, and the kind of disjointed slang you might expect from teenagers text-messaging on their cell phones. Next, young Nicholas made the serious mistake of appearing with grownups like Chris Matthews and fellow Iraq War veteran Paul Hackett on Hardball and found himself being cut to pieces as he blandly regurgitated White House talking points on the war with the stunned look of a frozen carp plastered on his face. Even host Matthews, normally a pretty reliable lapdog for the GOP, had to step in and point out that Taylor was only mouthing prepared speech McNuggets with no basis in reality. As Hackett noted, “They (the Bush Administration) have depleted our prestige, they have depleted our strength as a country and, frankly, Mr. Taylor is an apologist for this failed mission, lack of policy, lack of strategy, lack of goal-oriented mission accomplishment. There is no goal. There is no strategy. There is no plan. This administration is floundering on the world stage and you and I are paying the price for it.”
Then, when Johnson County Republican Party Chairman Dan Hunt bizarrely attacked Chet Edwards for supporting improvements to Ham Creek Park, Vancampen Taylor flip-flopped between endorsing the attacks and repudiating them. Coordinate much, Mr. Taylor? Might be a good idea to have everyone singing off the same page in the hymnal before they start attacking the Ham Creek project that was supported by most Republican elected officials, or blasting George W. Bush on the immigration issue.
Speaking of which, now, as the campaign lurches to its inevitable conclusion, Vancampen Taylor is playing the race card, with a series of ludicrously over-the-top, almost self-parodying television ads bemoaning the “Brown Horde” invading our homeland and stealing our precious welfare payments, complete with scary pictures of American citizens who happen to be brown exercising their constitutional rights with the words “illegal aliens” superimposed on them. But as is typical of his amateurish campaign, Vancampen Taylor mis-cites Chet Edwards’ votes to make it seem as though Chet is personally smuggling illegal aliens across the border in his SUV and driving them to the welfare office. For example, the scary voice-over on Taylor’s ad claims Edwards voted to give food stamps to “illegal aliens,” despite the fact that Edwards voted for the 1996 Welfare Reform Bill that specifically denied such benefits to undocumented workers. Scary-voice then says, “Chet Edwards voted to protect illegal aliens who were arrested for a crime from deportation, allowing them to be released on bail. Some have committed heinous crimes including rape and murder.” This is important, because thinly-veiled racist appeals always need to include the threat of evil brown people raping white women to be effective. Of course, this is yet another clumsy lie, as Edwards voted for the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act on Dec. 16, 2005, which mandated that illegal aliens be deported after serving their criminal sentences. In order to justify these falsehoods, Vancampen Taylor relies on bogus amendments submitted by the Chief Know-Nothing of Congress, Tom Tancredo of Colorado, without bothering to mention that even Republicans like Henry Bonilla voted against them. Tancredo is hardly a very effective role-model anyway, as he fantasizes about sinister Hispanic conspiracies to “reconquer” the Southwest, while at the same time rubbing elbows with racist neo-Confederate secessionists like the League of the South.
Frankly, it’s pathetic that the party of Abraham Lincoln has degenerated to the point that pandering to blatant racism has become an accepted campaign tactic, whether it’s Vancampen Taylor’s hysterical “Brown people are coming to steal the land we stole from the Indians!” screed, or redneck wannabe Senator George “Macaca” Allen insulting American citizens with obscure North African racist epithets. Hardly surprising, then, that despite heavy recruiting efforts by (among others) George W. Bush, the Republic Party remains lily-white.
At this rate, I will be very surprised if Vancampen Taylor does even as well as the last Republican candidate in this district, particularly without a presidential ticket at the top. As one conservative blogger put it, “Van Taylor is no Arlene Wohlgemuth.” Yeah, no kidding; Arlene Wohlgemuth at least knew how to run a competent campaign.