February 21, 2006

The Poster Child for Pap

This coming Christmas' Must-Have Stocking Stuffer for the Republicans on Your List.

I SOMETIMES WISH I COULD BE A DEMOCRAT ONCE MORE . It was a good party in its time, it had nice ideals once, and, to tell the truth, I'm not at all easy being labeled as a Republican especially since I'm not. At the same time, I have to admit it is just too embarrassing these days to be a Democrat.

It's not so much that they are wrong. Sometimes they are not wrong. It is not so much that so many of them are demented by the very existence of George W. Bush in the same universe. Not all are demented. Chiefly, I think that it is hard for men to be a Democrats these days because the Party has taken on an ever-growing blob of ur-male members who have run up a catastrophical overdraft at The Bank of Testosterone. That wouldn't be so bad in itself, but it seems that a symptom of this syndrome is for the man involved to become, well, moist.

Although they are legion, these moist men sometimes rise above sea level and become a sign, a symbol, an avatar for the rest. Today's Poster Child for Pap has to be Jeremy Zilber . Zilber's got all the career achievements you need to be the very model of a modern moist Democrat. B.A. from Oberlin, styles himself a "lifelong Democrat and political activist," has written a "scholarly" book whose bias shrieks out in its title ("Racialized Coverage of Congress: The News in Black and White"), lives with his partner and her daughter, and a cat. He's got all the fundamentals down pat. Now comes his crowning achievement, a children's book called ... wait for it.... Why Mommy is a Democrat.

"Why ... Mommy ... is ... a ... Democrat..." I used to think there were some limits to the mind's capacity for bogglement. No more.

Perhaps you, like me, have had a brief gobsmacked moment when you thought, "Nah... it's gotta be one of these Internet hoax things." Lord knows I did. But if it is, count me in as a believer. Why Mommy is a Democrat is either one of those realities that just has to be a hoax or one of those hoaxes that just have to be real. One of the nice things about the Internet is you no longer have to make this stuff up, somebody else is always out there making this stuff up before you can think of it.

Exhibit A:

In which we observe the kindly bushy-tailed mommy passing out apples and books while those evil WASP plutocrats in the background block the doors to Yale with a $160,000 price tag. They are white. They smoke cigars. They hold bouquets of expensive cut flowers. They brandish their diplomas. They must be.... gasp!... Republicans!

Exhibit B:

It's those cigar-chomping WASP Republicans again. Strolling past the shabby, homeless, urban poor with scarcely a glance. Luckily, our little squirrels don't have to look just yet. Mommy has them safe in her garden and deeply involved in learning how to restructure society by building teetering towers of blocks.

Exhibit C:

Oh, no! Here comes that big, bad, lumbering tusked elephant just stomping down the path looking to crush that shabby, homeless, urban poor guy. Hide! Flee! Oh no! Bad, bad elephant. Hide! Flee! So blind and so.... well... white! Hide! Flee! Can nobody save the little squirrels from becoming just a couple of furry wet spots on the path? Can nobody get enough cash together to buy both squirrels a pair of pants? Mommy can do all this and more, because, just like all the real Democrats in real life, mommy spends a lot of time "making sure we are all safe."

Jeremy Zilber, Distinguished Author and Just Another Democrat Guy
Zilber on his magnum opus: " Why Mommy is a Democrat brings to life the core values of the Democratic Party in ways that young children will easily understand .... [This book] depicts the Democratic principles of fairness, tolerance, peace, and concern for the well-being of others. It's a great way for parents to gently communicate their commitment to these principles and explain their support for the party."

Ah, the Democrats, the new American Religion of peace and Understanding. The party of the Secular Saints. The "Not-the-Bad-Party." The personal party of Michael Moore, Barbra Streisand, and the Care Bears. I can just hear those millions of bed time conversations now:

"Jack. Jill. What do you want Daddy to read you tonight while mommy is driving Cindy Sheehan's bus around the country looking for free parking? Good Night Moon?"

"No. No. Daddy. Not that. Read us about the nice squirrel mommy and communicate the principles of the Democrats to us. Please, Daddy. Please... please..."

I don't know about you, but if I was Howard Dean I'd have my people checking this Zilber guy out. He could just be this season's Karl Rove mole.
UPDATE: This use of "children's stories" to say who is "good" and who is "bad" to kids evidently has a long pedigree. Chuck in the comments here gives three links to German propaganda. Here's a bit from one of them, Anti-Semitic Children's Stories:

That is the Jew!

He is the drone of humanity. He is the exploiter of the labor of others. He is an enormous danger for all the nations. If one overlooks this danger, whole peoples can be destroyed. History is rich in examples that prove to us that the Jew has ruined millions of people.

Search "Jew" and replace with "Republican" and you've just about got it.
UPDATE 2: An interesting observation from "AskMom" in the comments: "Lost in the sticky margins of "Why Mommy is a Democrat" is something almost always missing from these liberal wastewater fantasies...any hint of where "Mommy" gets the money for her gentle, caregiving lifestyle."
[ HT to Nick Gillespie at Hit and Run who also suspects this of being a GOP plant job, and whose comments contain this gem, "I AM (mostly) a Democrat, and I'm a mother, and I wouldn't buy this book if it were the only way to preserve the English language after the apocalypse." So there is hope for the Democrats after all.]

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Posted by Vanderleun at February 21, 2006 10:13 AM | TrackBack
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

"Moist men."


I love the evil, rich, oh-so-white people in the background.

Where's my cigar and playbook for the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy?


Time for a three-martini lunch, and maybe rolling a bum, too, if I hurry.

Posted by: Mike Lief at February 21, 2006 12:02 PM

Nevermind all the heavyhanded swipes at the elephantine plutocrats, what's with the little antenna doohickies sticking out of Mommy's ears? Is Zilber shacked up with a space alien?

Posted by: Mike Anderson at February 21, 2006 2:27 PM

Will the sequel be, Why Daddy Is a Human Shield?

Posted by: Kerry at February 21, 2006 4:20 PM

Now that's funny!

Posted by: Gerard Van Der Leun at February 21, 2006 4:23 PM

You are so easy.

Posted by: Raw Data at February 21, 2006 8:07 PM


There were some Nazi children's books along the same lines. The Jews were disguised as lazy drone bees freeloading off the good little worker bees and such. There was a fellow in NZ who posted descriptions but I can't find the link.

Posted by: chuck at February 21, 2006 10:55 PM

Here's some of the Nazi books, cute little drawings and all: Trust No Fox, The Poisonous Mushroom, and The Poodle-Pug-Dachshund-Pinscher. The last contains bedtime stories like The Drones and The Tapeworm.

Posted by: chuck at February 21, 2006 11:08 PM

I was just about to ask for links and here I have them. Thanks Chuck. I've turned them into an Update.

Posted by: Gerard Van Der Leun at February 21, 2006 11:20 PM

Help, Mommy! There are Liberals under my bed!

Posted by: Mumblix Grumph at February 21, 2006 11:52 PM

Great sendup; just today I saw a kid's book called "The Factory". My kid loves gear and process and engineering lego stuff so my first thought was: T would like this. Don't judge a kid's book by its cover is a lesson I take from GVDL. It was a beautifully drawn and colored hunk of tripoid left propaganda in which a factory's smokestackes are demonized and then pushed over by the colorful workers. A new smokestackless factory then goes up along with the sun and blooming flowers. Color me gulag.

Posted by: Daoulas at February 22, 2006 1:07 AM

Just to be fair and balanced: There is also a book recently published called something like "Mommy, There's a Democrat (or liberal, not sure) Under my Bed!" I'll bet both books are hilarious!

Posted by: lizzy at February 22, 2006 11:12 AM

Lost in the sticky margins of "Why Mommy is a Democrat" is something almost always missing from these liberal wastewater fantasies...any hint of where "Mommy" gets the money for her gentle, caregiving lifestyle. Is the obligatorily absent Daddy one of the demonized gray background figures? Do the evil bystanders provide "Mommy's" living through welfare entitlements? Will the children ever learn the real facts of life, or will Democrats continue to give "Mommy" a monopoly on the contents of their minds? Stay tuned!

Posted by: AskMom at February 22, 2006 11:17 AM

It appears that Zilber is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Government at Lawrence University in Appleton Wisconsin, and has a permanent position at UWM. Too bad for both institutions.

Posted by: pst314 at February 22, 2006 11:21 AM

I have my order in for the sequel:

Why Both My Mommies are Democrats

Posted by: Dr Bob at February 22, 2006 12:10 PM

I don;t think the democrat party ever had good ideals. If you parse then through the ideals were marxism, ainti-Americanism, etc.

What exactly about the platform of the Democratic party of, say, 1996 do you agre with?

Posted by: Doug_S at February 22, 2006 8:25 PM

This has GOT to be a Rove plant - it is so heroically inept as to render serious critical analysis meaningless. The mind boggles at this latest installment of mealy-mouthed liberal inanity.

Posted by: radantelope at February 23, 2006 3:19 AM

Mommy makes sure everyone can go to school.Just not for a good education. Mommy makes sure we all share our toys. As long as they are your toys we are sharing. Mommy make sure we are safe . By protecting mass murders from the death penalty ,By providing free legal reps. for terrorest.By sueing police for profileing. ect. ect.

Posted by: Jacko at February 23, 2006 9:10 AM

My girlfriend is an uber-liberal. She voted for Ralph Nader, twice. She told me earlier today that this book is a fine example of why she will never again date a liberal man. I find it odd that anyone is surprised by this sort of thing coming from a party whose most recent presidential candidate suggested the creation of a Department of Consciousness Raising.

RK Jones

Posted by: RK Jones at February 23, 2006 1:26 PM

We need to find someone to write "Why Daddy is a Republican."

Posted by: StephenB at February 24, 2006 8:32 AM

I think it's interesting that Mr Zilber would choose squirrels as his model Democrats. In my experience, squirrels are among the dumbest of God's creatures. Ever see the way one will sit at the curb, and then dart out in front of an oncoming vehicle? Or how they'll be almost all the way across a road, and then reverse course and track right into the path of a car? Kind of like the way Democrat candidates start making progress, then reverse course and go directly under the tires of an oncoming Republican SUV.

Posted by: Bob at February 24, 2006 11:42 AM

How about 'Mommy is a Democrat because she has a brain the size of a walnut'?

Posted by: Ira at February 24, 2006 12:02 PM

Squirrels get a bad enough rap sometime. Why turn them into Democrats?

Posted by: Dan at February 24, 2006 2:23 PM

More sequel possibilites:

"My Other Mommy is a Democrat, Too"

"Why Daddy is a Rebublican (And Why I Need Him As Much As I Need Mommy)"

"My Was a Democrat, But She Got Mugged"

"Mommy Quit Being A Democrat After After She Heard, 'I'll Just Get A Check In The Mail, So Why Should I Work For A Living?' One Too Many Times"

"Daddy Is A Republican Because He's The One Who Earns The Money Mommy Likes To Spend."

Okay, I'm done now.

Posted by: Randall at February 24, 2006 7:00 PM

Arg! I wish a guy could edit these things.

"My Mother Was A Democrat, But She Got Mugged."

Posted by: Randall at February 24, 2006 7:02 PM

Okay, one more.

"Why My Mommy Is A Democrat (Except For Two or Three Days Once A Month Or So).

I am DEFINITELY done now. All typos in my posts are caused by frustrated liberals trying to silence a contrarian voice.

Posted by: Randall at February 24, 2006 7:04 PM

Mommy is a Democrat because Daddy just fathered his fourth child on a fourth Mommy.

Posted by: Jeffrey at February 25, 2006 7:31 PM

Seriously folks,

Time for a "Daddy is a Republican" book.

We got plenty of ideas. We just need an illustrator.

I think the Republicans should be...


Think Aesop, and you'll understand.

One more,

"Daddy is a Republican, because..."

He's the one who gets out of bed when Mommy hears "something."

Posted by: Randall at February 26, 2006 3:30 PM

Funny how all the comments on this page favor only the conservatives. What ever happened to "both sides of a story?" You Repubs have a nasty rep for your nasty comments and this page is simply more proof that it's true. BTW, did I hear at least ONE comment on what to do about our problems besides bashing Democrats? How about a plan for the environment, poverty, the stupid war in Iraq, etc.? This continued bashing game serves neither you nor your country. And THAT'S why I'll never date a conservative. Too nasty and bitter to have any fun.

Posted by: Denise at March 7, 2006 8:23 AM

The book is so blantantly wrong it's breathtaking...does the author not know of homeschools, vouchers, etc? It's not the GOP that seeks to keep poor kids in the unionized plantation!

"Democrats make sure we share..." that is, they force people to pay taxes and then claim it's 'charity' whereas most conservative charities actually do the lion's share of lifting the real poor (as opposed to keeping them perpetually poor). I note that all the cities completely run by democrats (Detroit, New Orleans, Washington DC) are complete basketcases despite being in close proximity to major industry, major ports/oil, and the federal capital. Why is that except that democrats don't spend "the peoples" money wisely? They create poverty, not solve it.

Speaking of "the environment" what HAVE the democrats done for 'the planet'? Some 11th hour tightening of EPA standards by Klinton don't count when he had 8 years to do so. Kyoto was shot down by a vote of 95-0 in the Senate, under Clinton - which means all the democratic senators voted No to destroying the economy so the Chinese and Indians could continue to pollute.

And when was the last time the US invaded a country that wasn't a threat to us? Kosovo and Haiti ring any bells? So wars are OK when the nations invaded pose no threat and have no strategic consequences, but when a nation does pose a threat and our being there improves our strategic position suddenly it's bad and a waste? Neither Haiti or Kosovo have constitutional democracies as Afghanistan and Iraq do...yet the Dems claim their little wars to be morally superior to our most recent ones? Breathtaking stupidity.

Finally, speaking of killjoys, where is the sense of fun among the Democrats? All is doom and gloom for them, everything is a crisis, everything is bad, and 'progress' consists mostly in areas having to do with dangerous sexual activities or the breakup of traditional family morality... hardly something that gives one a sense of this political party having a future. They might be fun to date, but they're not marriageable types.... they won't have more than 1 kid so.... the future belongs to Republicans. Yeeeee hawwww

Posted by: John at March 13, 2006 1:36 PM

I'm shocked, SHOCKED, that the Democrats would dare indoctrinate our youth. Don't they realize the only people allowed to force their drivel on children are Sunday schools and the Boy Scouts?

Posted by: len at April 5, 2006 6:34 AM

This is SAD!
Do you hate Jews more or less than Republicans?
I am a Christian and my Saviour is Jesus the Jewish carpenter.
You must be along with everything else you proclaim --an atheist.
Wake up!

Posted by: RMercier at April 13, 2006 9:43 AM

What if Democrats do?????????

Posted by: RMercier at April 13, 2006 9:49 AM

Propaganda is that which presents one side and pretends the other side doesn't exist.

Posted by: Daniel Davis at April 13, 2006 10:08 AM

How in the world can Democrats accuse Republicans of nasty comments, when Democrats have Hillary as a mouthpiece? Does anyone still remember the slam against stay home mothers, the healthcare fiasco that still bites us in the wallet, the "vast right wing conspiracy" comment while covering for her guilty husband, the selling of pardons, and the looting while exiting The White House? The difference between a Republican and a Democrat has become accountability. As a parent, I resent that this mindless drivel is being marketed as a children's book. However, as an American I value our freedom and liberties. So instead of looking to the government or a corporation for an answer, I just won't buy the book!!

Posted by: Sue at May 30, 2006 3:37 PM

I'm sure you'll find this book in the fiction section of your local Book store right next to Bill Clinton's Book...

Posted by: Kauper at September 6, 2006 10:33 AM

Also missing from the story is the father. The strong, responsible, caring type like the one that I married. Oh, did I mention...he's also white? Gasp!

See? By omission, Zilber has pigeon-holed the American male to irrelevancy.

Posted by: Renee at January 6, 2007 9:39 AM
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