A Post About Tim Kaine (Kinda Sorta)

Democratic vice presidential nominee, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, speaks at a rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at Florida International University in Miami, Saturday, 23 July 2016. (Photo: Mary Altaffer/AP Photo)

In this strangest of electoral seasons it’s almost as if Tim Kaine … well, it’s not quite like he doesn’t exist, but, you know, when the coverage is like Max Knoblauch’s “let’s make up some random stupid stuff so we have an excuse to post something about Tim Kaine” fluffenkrust, what, really can we say? Part of Sen. Kaine’s role is to be not quite invisible.

Still, though, what passes for comedy humor content at Mashable somehow manages to exceed The Hill by some manner of leagues what happens when the reputable Beltway watchers lend column space to the likes of Dan Schneider and Larry Hart:

Tim Kaine’s 0% ACU rating ranks him the most extreme liberal in all of Congress, but the bigger difference between Kaine and his liberal allies is not in their political philosophy. The more significant difference is that the others can be trusted to mean what they say; the same cannot be said of Tim Kaine. He’s the perfect running mate for Hillary Clinton.

At best, the terrible twosome from the American Conservative Union might make some Bernie backers feel a bit better about bucking up to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, but for anyone else the only thing wrong with that article is everything.

And while we could exhaust ourselves on the point by point and play by play, but by the time we wade through the stylized, unreliable narrative to countenance their explanation that―

Despite Texas liberal icon Jim Hightower’s admonition that “there’s nothing in the middle of the road but yellow lines and dead armadillos,” many politicians covet the “moderate” tag, but real moderates have been harder and harder to find as the Democrat leadership has aggressively forced Blue Dog Democrats into retirement.

―the point is clear: They’re not even trying.

Most days conservatives would be happy to tell you how they finally whooped conservative Democrats simply by instead electing the Republicans the Blue Dogs struggled to imitate. You know, the whole “Republican lite” thing that bites Democrats every time they venture too confidently rightward.

But this is also a really weird thing about conservatives and history that I just can’t pin down. It’s like the Zell Miller speech, when the conservative Democrat crossed over and demonstrated what it takes to satisfy Republicans by giving this bizarre speech about John Kerry’s procedural votes on Poppy Bush’s defense omnibus and pinning a list of programs the bill sought to terminate, phase back, or scale down―which was, in large part, the contentious part of the omnibus―on the U.S. Senator from Massachusetts that just happens to coincide with a list recited before the House Armed Services Committee perhaps a year earlier by none other than Defense Secretary Dick Cheney. Did you follow that? Because that really was the purpose of the speech, to give Dick Cheney cover.

And, yeah, it’s kind of similar to how Schneider and Hart want to blame Democrats for the sort of thing that conservatives normally brag about.

It’s not an everyday phenomenon, but these are conservatives, so we’re bound to encounter it from time to time.

____________________

Image note: Democratic vice presidential nominee, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, speaks at a rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at Florida International University in Miami, Saturday, 23 July 2016. (Photo: Mary Altaffer/AP Photo)

Knoblauch, Max. “10 reasons we believe Tim Kaine had never seen or heard of balloons before last night”. Mashable. 29 July 2016.

Schneider, Dan and Larry Hart. “Trump was wrong: Kaine is a liberal in a moderate’s clothing”. The Hill. 26 August 2016.

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