He Called her a Beatnik?

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) posted a piece on his blog that called Cindy Sheehan a "nutcase." He took a lot of heat for it and apologized. This is a good thing. Republicans never apologize, so getting one to say "I'm sorry" is pretty amazing. But the more interesting thing is that along with calling her a nutcase, he called her a "beatnik."

Dead Link to blog here, Text via Rawstory from a press release distributed by Jack Kingston's office:

Cindy Sheehan IS A "Nutcase" March 31st, 2006 by Press Staff

In today's CongressDailyAM (full story after the jump due to subscription), Sue Davis reports that Congressman Kingston got into a "discussion" yesterday in a closed-door meeting with two liberal Democrats regarding anti-war beatnik, Cindy Sheehan.


"I think she is a very flaky woman," Kingston told CongressDaily. "I think we need more heroes. The only people that get press are people like Moore and Sheehan."

"Cindy Sheehan is a nutcase."
Ok, so Jack's staff writers aren't that good. I could have put together a more coherent press release. But the point is that Ms. Sheehan was labeled an "anti-war beatnik" and "nutcase." Ms. Sheehan's response:
"How dare you psychoanalyze me and call me a 'nutcase!' Sheehan quipped. "How dare you call me a beatnik and lie about me in your blog!"
Reasonable. I'd be pretty pissed if somebody called me a nutcase. I'm still trying to figure out the 'beatnik' thing.

Beatnik is shorthand for the Beat Generation used first by Herb Caen and meant as a pejorative. "Once the term beatnik had been coined, the popularity of its use gradually replaced the earlier term beat generation, even though historians still refer to the earlier term. Since 1958, the term, beatnik has been used to describe an anti-materialistic literary movement that began with Kerouac in 1948, stretching on into the 1960's." Beatniks were among the earliest supporters of civil rights. The 'beatniks' were the first counter-culture.

The establishment writers tried to tie them to Communism but there were no philosophical connections between beatniks and communists. Everybody that the establishment didn't like was a communist.

So 'beatnik' is shorthand for dirty, pot smoking, liberal outsider.

We're in a part of history very similar to the McCarthy Era. We're starting to see the language and vocabulary of that era return. Liberal is the new Communist.

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