Noted & Quoted, statesman edition

There was a brief window in time when Southern voters elected smart, prudent politicians like Sam Nunn.

“Today our airwaves and public debates are filled with attempts to not just denounce opponents’ logic but to impugn their motives. Demagogues and rabble rousers are not new to American history — but the economics and the technology have changed,” Nunn said. “A large number of these folks are making millions of dollars dividing America into segments and yelling, ‘Sic ’em!’”

These political entrepreneurs have made humility unfashionable. It has become a sin in politics to say — nay, to confess — ‘I’m not sure.’ “

Nunn probably couldn’t get elected today. Conservatives would brand him a liberal and progressives would raise money to defeat him.

Foghorn Leghorn for govenah

Five staples of campaign commercials for those seeking office in Georgia:

1. Starched blue jeans;
2. Claims they are being unfairly attacked;
3. Children as props;
4. A vaguely rural setting;
5. A highly affected Southern drawl, reminiscent of Kevin Costner’s character in “JFK” (it’s pronounced “dollars”, Casey Cagle, not “dollahs”).

Too bad Tammy Metzler isn’t on the ballot.

Out of context outrage

Definition of WHORE

1
: a woman who engages in sexual acts for money : prostitute; also : a promiscuous or immoral woman
2
: a male who engages in sexual acts for money
3
: a venal or unscrupulous person

I’m glad Jerry Brown challenged Tom Brokaw’s ridiculous comparison. The N-word is exclusively an epithet, having no other meaning. But there are whores in the world, and they’re not all women. It’s not a synonym exclusive to slut. Does anyone really believe Brown (his wife, whomever) was implying that Meg Whitman is an easy lay?

Whitman’s manufactured indignation doesn’t speak well for her, but NOW comes off far worse.

NOW endorsed Brown after the “whore” tape came out, then chastised him, saying anyone who uses the word should be fired.
That is, everyone but the candidates they endorse. When hypocrisy and hypersensitivity collide, you get NOW.
” ‘Whore’ could mean a million things,” Marlene “Brandy” Baldwin, San Francisco’s last grand madam, told me a few days ago. “Like, if you’re married to your business and neglect your family, you’re a whore.”

The Capt. Renault deflection

Ask a strategist or operative a probing question and they’re liable to respond with a famously cynical quote turned hackneyed political cliche.

I’m shocked, shocked my party is … (take your pick) stoking public resentment, exploiting the partisan divide, etc.”

Of course they choose less incriminating, vague language. But at the end of the day, the perfect storm of political mimicry has produced a deflection that reporters need to vigorously challenge.

Do it for the memory of Claude Rains, if nothing else.

coakley campaign: we’re not to blame

It’s the party’s fault, not hers. This from the candidate who didn’t bother to hide her contempt for traditional shoe leather campaigning.

Coakley bristles at the suggestion that, with so little time left, in an election with such high stakes, she is being too passive.

“As opposed to standing outside Fenway Park? In the cold? Shaking hands?’’ she fires back, in an apparent reference to a Brown online video of him doing just that.

If you can’t win as a Democrat in Massachusetts you have no one to blame but yourself.