Patinkin Should Put a Face on the Cliché
It’s difficult to imagine what Mark Patinkin was thinking as he conceived, wrote, and submitted his recent column mocking Republicans — or rather, why he didn’t think first. Like any group, there’s surely plenty to mock about the GOP and its members, but the sheer absence of cleverness and accuracy, in this piece, suggests that Patinkin lacked even the interest to discern enough truth to make mockery fun. In fact, his rattling off of clichés is so out of date that he actually included this:
Suddenly, I felt guilt over having owned a German car in the past and having a Toyota in the family today. My next car will be Detroit iron.
Is Patinkin so out of touch with his subjects that he hasn’t heard conservatives calling GM “Government Motors” and promising to buy other makes? By the above quotation, he shows not only that he isn’t familiar with the ideology that he’s presuming to summarize, but he doesn’t understand the people. For the most part, he equates “Republicans” with “blueblood elites” — although even brief consideration of our Congressional delegation ought to lead the writer to suspect that he’s dabbling too superficially in more complicated waters.
So I hereby challenge Mr. Patinkin (pass the word along, if you happen to speak with him) to attend some gatherings of actual Republicans. Something hosted by the Rhode Island Republican Assembly (RIRA) would be a good start.
No doubt, many of Patinkin’s expectations about ideology and partisanship will be confirmed, but on a personal level, he might be surprised that some of his friends in the media and the Democrat Party much more closely resemble the picture that he draws.