Stateside

Do the Republicans have a Kid Rock problem?

In my effort to encourage as much division as possible between the free-market/libertarian wing and the religious-right/social-conservative wing of the Republican party, I am pleased to report that the artist currently known as Kid Rock will perform at a “youth concert” in Washington hosted by party girls Barbara and Jenna Bush in honor of their father’s inauguration.

Now Mr. Rock did a worthy thing by performing for American soldiers in Iraq. But parts of his repertoire may not go over well with the GOP’s evangelical voters. I refer you to the lyrics of such songs as “F*** U Blind,” “Killin’ Brain Cells,” and “Early Mornin’ Stoned Pimp.” Is it too much to expect Mr. Rock will perform one or more of these songs before the audience of rich Republicans, and that it will be captured on videotape? Probably, but one can still hope.

The inevitable tension between two of the main elements of the Right is a fascinating subject which I’ve discussed before. (See here, here and here.) This would be a great subject for a documentary film– and unlike Fahrenheit 9/11, it would hit the Right where it hurts.

If the Democrats are smart, they’ll take advantage of these circumstances. The increasingly crude and coarse nature of American popular culture (as embodied in the songs of Mr. Rock) ought to be a matter of concern to the Left. Without advocating censorship, liberals can and should point out that this culture– largely the product of corporate media– promotes greed, selfishness, sexualization of the very young, and instant gratification. As Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman once advocated, they shouldn’t hesitate to “name and shame” producers of the most egregious advertisements, TV shows, movies and recordings– especially those aimed at children.

Would the entertainment industry raise bloody hell? Probably. Would some Hollywood liberals stop writing generous checks for Democratic campaigns? Possibly. Would all this help Democrats win elections? Almost certainly.

(Hat tip: The Progress Report.)

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