Think I was rude in my recent article? Too hard on poor Jane Kleeb? Over-emphasizing her leftist tendencies because of the pipeline issue?
Unfortunately, there’s more. Problems in politics and public policy seem to be like cockroaches; for every one you see there are at least one hundred more in the wall.
The TransCanada pipeline effort ain’t Kleeb’s first time at the political rodeo. Not by a long shot – and hey, check out those cowboy boots and the big shiny belt buckle; Mrs. Kleeb is a genuine cowgirl, at least a genuine political cowgirl.
My first article asked, “Will the real Jane Kleeb please stand up?” and part of its title “Nebraska Three Faces of Eve”, along with some of the content, indicated confusion regarding whether Mrs. Kleeb is a…
- Nebraska farmer
- Radical leftist / “community organizer”
- Political pundit
But so far, I only contrasted, in part, two of these three faces. I compared Kleeb’s pose as Nice Nebraska Farm Gal with another face — loopy environmentalist Jane who looks to President Obama to heal the planet.
But what about Political Pundit Jane, you ask?
This is the third face in that Three Faces of Eve paradigm and a clue to Kleeb’s background. Despite the migraine-headache-inducing job it has been to learn about that background, it really has proven necessary and informative, for reasons that are likely to become clear.
For the moment, we’ll concentrate on the recent iteration of Political Pundit Jane. Of late, it has been a personality noticeably different from Nice Nebraska Farm Gal Jane and Radical Leftist / Community Organizer Jane. Political Pundit Jane is periodically one of those nebulously-titled “Political Strategists” on at least one cable news network; I’ve seen her appear occasionally on Fox News Channel’s O’Reilly Factor. Bloviating Bill has actually turned to this Face of Jane as an authoritative source, requesting her analysis of America’s political landscape on subjects both broad and specific. I vaguely recall seeing her more frequently several years ago, as I took note of the “Lincoln, Nebraska” locale noted on the screen’s “lower third” on a number of occasions, but since Political Pundit Jane was such a different person from the other Faces of Jane which I encountered, I didn’t realize it was the same person.
An O’Reilly appearance from about a year ago provides an excellent example of recent vintage Political Pundit Jane. In that appearance she claimed to be a fan of Fox News Channel who was even somewhat negative on a long-term Dem strategy to vilify FNC.
If we contrast this Face of Jane to the one who testified last week in Washington, D.C., at a State Department hearing regarding the TransCanada pipeline project, my framing this whole subject as a study of “political multiple personality disorder” seems to make oh-so-much-more sense.
But, to return to my cockroaches-and-problems analogy, such media appearances and poses by Kleeb not only enlarge our understanding of her, they draw attention to a number of other problems plaguing our politics generally. What is a political (Democratic or Republican) strategist, anyway?
Analogous to cockroaches in another way, is it just me, or have such creatures seemingly multiplied over the past decade to the extent that they now infest cable news? Like cockroaches, political strategists seem capable of surviving anything, including what would be the political equivalent of a nuclear blast. It doesn’t matter if they know anything about the subject of a segment. There is no defined criteria for their “expert” title, no cross-checking them for accuracy, and, even if they are a complete failure at their political endeavors or, worse yet, are unethical, unprincipled, or just flat out wrong in their assertions, there is absolutely no accountability. Instead, they skitter away to wherever political strategists/pundits hide when they’re not in the glare of studio lights and they lurk there until their next media appearance.
And, it seems particularly relevant here to note, even if the individual strategist has a certain reputation in their local area or state, viewers across the country have no idea whatsoever about the nature of that reputation and how it was earned.
It’s worth noting that Kleeb herself acknowledged the absurdity of applying the “Political Strategist” label to just any talking head in 2008 in an interview with Politico. That article revealed, from Political Pundit Jane and other such talking heads, show producers, and people who have actually worked as real strategists, that the label is essentially applied to the first person a producer can get his or her hands on to fill a time slot, with the primary criteria being how good looking they are and whether or not they can string semi-coherent sentences together, not whether they have clue one about the subject itself.
A couple of Political Pundit Jane quotes from the Politico article:
“‘The first time they called me a strategist,’ Fleming Kleeb recalls, ‘I literally laughed on TV.'”
“‘There is a small group of us that rely on one another to help each other with talking points,’ she says. ‘Then I have a small group of friends who make sure it’s on message with the Democratic talking points.'”
An apparently reasonable, analytical, and circumspect Political Pundit Jane who frankly notes how this stuff really works, either not caring what she’s admitting to or, by applying very tortured logic, convincing herself she is the exception who is above it all. And that was three years ago. Go back and watch the O’Reilly segment and the same attitude prevails; Political Pundit Jane seems reasonable, analytical, and circumspect, frankly admitting that politicos set up or find convenient straw-men-of-the-moment to score some cheap and temporary points. From Political Pundit Jane’s intellectual ivory tower, one would think she would never engage in such politics. But you would be wrong.
Is There More Jane Radical Leftist / Community Organizer?
Here at GiN, we can think of an excellent example of just exactly how Political Pundit Jane takes off her “Democratic Strategist” talking head hat and dons her Saul Alinksy Community Organizer hat. Our example, as a bonus, illustrates an attempt (note emphasis) by Jane to apply one of Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals:
- Pick the target.
- Freeze it.
- Personalize it.
- Polarize it.
Our example requires some background. In an amusing coincidence, this one involves multiple interpretations of the implications of using the word “target”; metaphorical, political, and unfortunately and most unnecessarily, physical. We published an article here at the GiN Joint about an exchange between Linda and State Senator Amanda McGill regarding the fact that Nebraska’s Medicaid program paid for 47% of the births in the state in 2008 (yeah, wow, right?!). When Linda quite rightly pointed to such expansive (and continuing to expand since 2008) Nebraska welfare policies which encourage irresponsible behavior, McGill literally squirmed in her chair, looked positively scandalized in a manner evoking an image of a freaked-out high school girl, interrupted, and then actually asked if Linda wanted such women to have their babies at home.
Ms. McGill most definitely missed the point Linda was making, behaved immaturely, and showed her usual Progressive big-government self. It was not surprising, considering the source, but worth noting.
And this is where the Community Organizer Radical Leftist Jane, comes in. Community Organizer Kleeb, as leader of Bold Nebraska, enlisted one of her employees, Miss Malinda, to deploy the “Pick, Freeze, Personalize, and Polarize” Alinksy tactic against GiN.
On December 1, Miss Malinda featured our Amanda McGill Deserving of Darts article as a Bold Nebraska “Wimp Wednesday” pick because, she explained, Bold Nebraska “…draw[s] the line at physical violence” and our Deserving of Darts is “appalling“.
But Miss Malinda and her boss’ transparent effort to protect one of Radical Leftist Jane’s favorite compadres did not stop there. A month later, Kleeb & Co. decided to join in the tea-party-is-violent mantra with the added bonus of saying that such appallingly violent rhetoric from such types as GiN was the direct cause of the Tucson, Arizona shooting by Jared Lee Loughner on January 8, 2011, which resulted in the deaths of six people, including that of a child, and serious injury to fourteen others.
Wow. Yes. This move was very, very BOLD. It BOLDLY goes where no Progressive group has ever gone before…wait…oops, I guess it doesn’t.
There are a couple of things that are truly appalling about this tactic. First, it’s politicizing a tragedy which had nothing whatever to do with politics. The shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, has a long history of aberrant behavior. In fact, since he was taken into custody the day of the shooting, he’s been diagnosed with schizophrenia and declared to be so mentally unstable as to be unfit to stand trial. No evidence unearthed since the shooting ties his deeds that day to the furtherance of any political agenda of any sort. In particular, the evidence indicates he did not sympathize with the conservative/tea party movement, and he did not target Ms. Giffords for her political views.
Recall, above, Political Pundit Jane’s explanation in 2008 that such talking heads as herself communicate about Democratic talking points? Is it just me, or was there not a full-fledged campaign to turn the Tucson, Arizona, shooting incident into a political event focused entirely on depicting one of the victims, a Democratic Congresswoman, as a liberal/Progressive martyr while demonizing Americans “on the right”?
Of course, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ injuries were horrendous, her recovery remarkable. Thank God for it. But the death of a young girl and five other people is far more lamentable. Yet the political set (including many Republicans) seemed to discard the people who were killed and those, other than Ms. Giffords, who were wounded. And to what end? The Congresswoman is no more worthwhile a human being than they are/were just because she is an elected official and her husband is an astronaut.
Politicizing tragedy and reinforcing elitist sentiment about politicians, which diminishes the value of people whose lives were snuffed out, not to mention their grieving families, to score some political points is most certainly appalling in the most violent sense of that word.
Doing so while attempting to actually accuse ones’ political opponents of being responsible for creating an atmosphere which encourages the taking of human lives through the use of metaphorical humor is by no means equally deplorable, but it is wrong. What a very perverse way of attempting to silence one’s opponents. And these gals are worried about a metaphorical dart board?
What’s the matter Bold Nebraska, couldn’t find anything of substance to defend in Amanda McGill’s political philosophy or immature conduct?
The truly ridiculous thing is that Ms. Malinda and her Alinsky-wanna-be-boss conducted themselves in such a shameful manner for nothing. Their deplorable Wimp Wednesday maneuver created such a stir in Nebraska politics that precisely zero people have ever mentioned it to us. So, pick, polarize, freeze = fail. Personalize? Well, I suppose – because I do take the accusation that I or GiN foment violence very personally.
Remember that coffee invite we received from Jane Kleeb through a comment on our first TransCanada article?
Geez, I wonder why I just didn’t jump all over that? But the far more fascinating question is: Why would Jane Kleeb want to have coffee with anyone from GiN? Was she planning to wear a bullet-proof vest, you know, just in case? Perhaps she has a “western” one that goes with those boots and that belt buckle she sported at the healthcare rally in 2009 and was looking for a chance to model the entire ensemble. Although that might be worth the price of a cup of coffee, we’ll pass.
But there’s another layer of hypocrisy – and irony – associated with Kleeb’s group so vehemently denouncing violence.
Not to sound like an infomercial . . . But wait, there’s even more. To be continued.