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9:19 pm EST        53°F (12°C) in Hudson, WI

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After a delivery early this morning in the Twin Cities metropolitan area in Minnesota, and a pick-up roughly 50 miles west of there this afternoon, I’m headed to southeastern Kentucky with this current load for Saturday morning. I’ll probably try to get another 300 miles or so tonight, which would put me roughly on the Wisconsin/Illinois border.

While driving through the aforementioned Twin Cities area today, at one point I saw an exit off of Interstate 494 for a street called Bush Lake Road. For some reason, I was reminded of my travels through the Hope, AR area, and the signage on Interstate 30 just outside Hope indicating that the town was the birthplace of former President Bill Clinton. As you might have guessed if you know much about Wacko Satanic Anti-American Righties, those signs were so bullet-riddled that the Arkansas Highway & Transportation Department (AHTD) had to replace them in 2004.

I also noticed that these signs for Bush Lake Road were in absolutely perfect, pristine condition, as though they had just come out of the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) sign shop. This could be indicative of a couple of things, actually, like the fact that most Southern conservatives are losers who can’t hold jobs while progressives are busy working hard to shoulder the brunt of King Chimpy’s tax cuts for the über-wealthy, but it also points to the utter ruthlessness of Rethuglicans that the Democrats had better start emulating if they ever want to be the majority again.

The point I am trying to make by using the example of the highway signs is this: Rethuglicans have learned the lesson that politics is all-out blood war — that you keep fighting as long as you have even a drop of blood left, and you fight anywhere and everywhere, simultaneously on all fronts. Yes, rank-and-file Rethuglican voters (assuming it’s not operatives acting on orders from Karl Rove) are destroying state property when they shoot up signs indicating Clinton’s birthplace, and therefore are risking arrest and prosecution if caught, but they are astute enough to realize that the psychological impact of doing that — “rallying the troops,” so to speak — is a reward that far outweighs the potential risks.

Democrats continue in their failure to understand this most fundamental lesson of modern American politics. Supposedly Minnesota is a “blue state,” so where are the average rank-and-file Democrats to shoot bullet holes through the word “Bush” on those highway signs? (Yes, it is suburbia instead of rural southwestern Arkansas, but it’s not like somebody can’t do that gangsta-style at 2:00 am when there is zero traffic on I-494.) I’m not necessarily explicitly advocating doing intentional damage to state property, but it is a perfect metaphor to illustrate the political cluelessness of establishment Democrats. (Hell, I would even go so far as to suggest calling a lot of them “Demopublicans,” because they have sold out to the corporate interests and are traitors to the American people.)

I can cite examples of this that are far less esoteric than bullet damage to highway signs. Rethuglicans, realizing that politics is a blood sport, effectively use tactics that are the equivalent of defecating on the remains of a corpse blown to bits by cannon fire, such as aiming for the highest possible levels of visceral shock. They have absolutely no compunctions about using bloody images of dead fetuses to make their argument about abortion, for example. How do Democrats respond? They use platitudes like “women need to have the freedom to choose” and “it’s a private medical decision,” as if words will motivate a lot of people to see things their way.

What establishment Democrats really need to start doing — what the progressive base is derided and called “leftist extremists” by the so-called “liberal” media for doing — is using the same shock tactics employed by the Rethuglicans. For example, we need to make clear the views of anti-choice Rethuglicans by juxtaposing their pictures with silhouettes of young girls, bleeding to death out of their pubic areas, with a bloody coat hanger nearby. Text such as “(insert Rethuglican candidate’s name here) supports murdering pregnant young girls!” would also be useful. On the same-sex marriage issue, instead of taking the establishment Democrat tack and saying stuff about equality they probably don’t really believe, we need to be shooting right back with snarky reminders like, “oh yeah, you heteros are doing so great with your little ‘institution’ that fails 55% of the time!”

Yes, that MTF transsexual “Ann” Coulter is a Satan-filled super-bitch, without question, but “she” is so popular among Rethuglicans for the rally-the-troops value “she” provides. It is high fucking time that we developed a similar voice on the left to rally our troops out of the semi-slumber so many of them are in. Oh, and before you try to tell me “no, Larry, that’s the difference between us and them — we’re better than that,” that’s exactly the problem — being “better than that” has led us to the semi-permanent minority status we now enjoy, and it’s only going to lose us even more elections in the future.

Well, those 300 miles aren’t going to drive themselves …