Posted by: Ali Davis | June 18, 2011

Andrew Breitbart, Citizens United, and the Southern Belle Strategy

Full disclosure: I’ve never been a Southern Belle.

All I’ve picked up about the way it worked comes from Scarlett O’Hara and Amanda Wingfield.

From what I understand, the Belle sits on the verandah amidst a cluster of admirers who are vying for her attention because her charisma renders them unable to do anything else.

The rules of Bellehood don’t allow her to do much for herself or ask for anything directly, but that’s OK, because she works a very special system.

“You’re all so charming,” says a thirsty Belle to the air around her in general, “And the afternoon is so hot. I wish I had a tall, cool pitcher of lemonade so you could each have a glass.”

(At one time, it seems like a Belle might have had some sort of special helpers who would go get her some lemonade. I’m not sure, though – I’m using a Tennessee textbook for reference.)

And then the gentlemen callers, eager to win the Belle’s favor, leap up and scuffle and elbow each other and rush to chop down lemon trees and haul in tanks of spring water and slash sugar cane with their sword canes and do anything they can to bring back the most spectacular pitcher of lemonade that they can.

And then the Southern Belle smiles demurely – Such a thoughtful gift! However did the Gentleman Caller know? She didn’t even ask! – and shares it with everyone.

And this seems to be pretty much how Breitbart works.

“Oh, my stars, the last election was so dreary. Wouldn’t it be lovely if that awful ACORN group that registers low-income and nonwhite people to vote simply went away?”

“Gracious! My sensibilities are offended! I wish there were footage around here somewhere that showed that it’s the NAACP and the liberals who are the real racists.”

And off the admirers scramble.

The problem has been that sometimes Breitbart’s gentlemen callers have been so eager to impress that they became unscrupulous and cut corners. All too frequently, instead of tall, cool pitchers of lemonade, Breitbart’s admirers bring back buckets of warm piss.

And Breitbart serves them up anyway.

When people object to the quality of his refreshments, or, worse yet, start saying that the nationwide retching that is the result of the current bucket is an indicator that no one should ever accept a glass of anything he offers, ever, Breitbart flies into a flurry of indignation and wounded pride.

He wasn’t the one who brought the bucket to the garden party, it was that dastardly gentleman caller!

And then Bellebart fans himself in magnificent rageball fury while throwing insults at anyone with the gall to suggest that a Belle like he should be asked to do something so low as sniff a bucket before ringing the dinner bell and passing it around. Simply outrageous!

And then eventually things settle down and get quiet for a while and Breitbart notices that he didn’t get nearly enough attention at the Spring Cotillion this year, and so he sighs and looks up and a little to the right and mentions another eensy little wish and the whole thing happens again.

This time, Bellebart stunned everyone by actually offering around well, not lemonade, since it seems Anthony Weiner never actually broke the law or had sex with any of his correspondents. But it was a reasonably tasty frozen lemon-flavored concentrate with enough high-fructose corn syrup in it to make everyone who had a glass think they’d like another.

And it certainly was a pleasant distraction from Clarence Thomas and his financial disclosure forms and the terrible hot day.

And if it’s starting to seem like maybe that last pitcher of lemonade wasn’t obtained very scrupulously, well, it’s a little late for that, isn’t it? Pay it no mind.

The important thing here is that this last pitcher that only had the tiniest trace amounts of piss in it should prove to everyone that Breitbart is a respected and prestigious hostess that should be welcome at the swankiest of parties everywhere and there will be absolutely nothing wrong with that next glass of lemonade, so please don’t bother to sniff it before taking a nice, long swig.

And the best part about the new campaign rules is that they allow our politicians to employ the exact same strategy.

They can simply allow their Super PAC gentlemen callers to create and briefly run stunningly racist, sexist, unscrupulous, or simply vicious ads. They can even exclaim “Land sakes!” and demand that the ads be pulled, knowing that the desired damage has already been inflicted and the offending ads will live on the Internet forever.

And all the while the political Belles can keep their kid gloves spotless.

After the Civil War, many former Gentlemen Callers headed out to seek their fortunes in the lawless Wild West.

Looks like we’re headed that way too.


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