If you haven’t seen the above image yet today, there’s a pretty good chance you haven’t been on Twitter. Created by a conservative “street artist” named Sabo — the same guy who brought you the poster of doughy wuss Ted Cruz made-over as the tattooed bad-ass the right sees him as — the ads for the new Breitbart California vertical feature a flexing, muscular Jerry Brown and, yes, Nancy Pelosi on all fours going full Miley Cyrus. It’s offensive as hell, sure, but there’s no denying that this was precisely the idea. Breitbart made his bones in the conservative movement being a shameless provocateur, one who always sought to upend the left’s supposed sanctimony and who came at politics from the view that his enemies would never like him anyway, so, fuck it, why not go all-in. (While Sabo says he was shocked Breitbart approved the images he came up with for the campaign, he seems to revel in being a torch-carrier for the Brietbart way, saying on his Facebook page about his designs, yes, in all-caps, “THE POSTERS ARE EDGY AS HELL. ONE OF THE MAIN FEARS WAS THAT “PROGRESSIVES” MIGHT HATE US FOR THE CONTENT OF THE POSTERS … NEWS FLASH PEOPLE … THEY ALREADY HATE US SO FUCK EM!!!”)
Another Sabo design features a skateboarding Andrew Breitbart totally shredding the Hollywood Hills, which I guess paints a more exciting picture than a bloated and drunk Andrew Breitbart dead on a Brentwood sidewalk.
All in all, the images are the most comical funhouse mirror versions of what Republicans are really like, portraying them as the hyper-masculine punk rock rebels they see themselves as while their enemies are all reductive caricatures. The progressive Twitterati who are raising a stink over the campaign right now are correct when they say the image of Pelosi in particular goes beyond the pale. The thing is, unfortunately, complaining likely won’t change a thing: If the flagging and largely rudderless Breitbart empire didn’t need the attention so badly it wouldn’t have gone with the campaign in the first place. Andrew’s Apostles knew exactly what they were getting themselves into by enlisting Sabo — a guy who once declared in one of his pieces that “fag” is “the new nigger” — to come up with their California campaign. They wanted to draw fire because drawing fire means drawing attention. They also very likely wanted to reposition themselves as the brand that ferociously takes on progressives, sacred cows be damned.
Thosecomplaining about how Breitbart’s subjugation and sexualization of Nancy Pelosi just proves that the conservative War on Women narrative is a real thing — well, they’re correct. But we knew that. We didn’t need some asshole street artist to make that clear for us — we have years of anti-women legislation to point to. We also knew that when the hardest right of the conservative army have an issue with women, they go for the low-hanging fruit and sexualize them as a means of diminishing them. Although it’s good, I suppose, to be reminded of that in such an unmistakably blatant way.
Chez Pazienza was the beating heart of The Daily Banter, sadly passing away on February 25, 2017. His voice remains ever present at the Banter, and his influence as powerful as ever.