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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

A Fun Group

Democrats sometimes disagree with each other over the extent to which class-based “populist” appeals are appropriate or effective.
But on occasion, Republicans just make it all too easy for us. That’s definitely true with the revelations that are beginning to seep out about the RNC’s Young Eagles donor program aimed at budding plutocrats with time and money on their hands. We still don’t quite know how the YE’s wound up footing a bill at a bondage-themed club in LaLaLand (though it seems it was an after-party following an RNC event in Beverly Hills). But a scintillating story by Politico‘s Kenneth Vogel gives us a glimpse into the Richie Rich psychology of the program:

“We do events that a specific demographic will like, so it will love us and give us money and vote for us,” said David Norcross, a former RNC general counsel and current committeeman who was briefed by Steele on the RNC’s plan to revamp its reimbursement and expense-approval process for all programs in the wake of the controversy.
“And, when you’re dealing with young people, it’s probably a good idea to go off the beaten track a little bit and do things you think they might like.” Norcross said. “Just because a couple of mistakes have been made, doesn’t mean you don’t want to continue being progressively forward looking. Why should we of all parties do old stodgy stuff?”
A former Young Eagle who did not want to be quoted by name seconded that opinion.
“Everything that’s cool from a pop culture perspective is Democratic — whether it’s Kanye West or Bruce Springsteen — and with younger conservatives, a good event is often a big way to help sell,” said the former Young Eagle, who left the program in 2008. Traditional fundraising events such as golf and tennis outings don’t quite cut it with young donors, he said. “How many times can you go to the U.S. Open?”
The Young Eagles are “a fun group,” the former member said. “If you’ve got a little insecurity complex, but you’ve got money — what a cool group to hang out with.”

Pity the poor little rich boys: all that money to burn (at least for those whose inheritance hasn’t been ravaged by the “death tax”), and nowhere to burn it except by associating with those damned socialists, who have a corner on “cool.” With the Young Eagles at least temporarily grounded, it seems they’ll have to resign themselves to just another boring trip to the U.S. Open.

5 comments on “A Fun Group

  1. Andrew Sabl on

    On second look, I misread your comment. You weren’t making fun of me, just noting the irony that Los Angeles’ honor can be defended here but that of the GOP can’t. Agreed.

  2. Andrew Sabl on

    @Joe Corso: A reasonable hypothesis, but in fact I’m a liberal Democrat and a big fan of Ed’s. I’m just having the same fun watching Republican high rollers get embarrassed as everyone else is.
    I have nothing special against West Hollywood, either. I’m just an Angeleno trying to convey some fun facts about our neighbor city’s origins. And, truth be told, maybe Ed’s “LaLaLand” spurred me to take corrective action. It’s not often someone from the City of the Angels gets to poke gentle fun at a city with even looser sexual mores than those of my home town.

  3. Joe Corso on

    It is an interesting commentary on the state of the current Republican Party that commenters will come forth to defend against unfair attack the reputation….of Los Angeles.

  4. Andrew Sabl on

    I would like to note for the record that Club Voyeur is not in Los Angeles. As all the news stories have noted, it’s in West Hollywood–a separate city with a large gay and lesbian population and a reputation for making L.A. look like Provo. (West Hollywood used to be unincorporated L.A. County land. It includes the Sunset Strip–which was the place for people to go if they were gay or wanted wild times, in both cases because the LAPD had no jurisdiction.) The Young Eagles are probably the first non-closeted Republicans ever to leave their cars within the West Hollywood city limits.
    L.A. actually tried to regulate strip clubs more stringently a few years ago, until the club owners threatened to overturn the ordinance through a referendum.


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