Illogic, music and Republican entitlement

I have little patience for victim-y whinges from powerful people, particularly entitled victim-y whinges from people who point their fingers at other people as being “entitled” when they are wishing for luxuries like food, health care, and jobs.

This whinge strikes me as particularly entitled:

Romney and Gingrich Pull Songs After Complaints – NYTimes.com:

“When you think about every iconic song that has emotional resonance for millions and millions of Americans, in almost every instance, Republican candidates can’t use the song because the artist is not supportive,” said Steve Schmidt, a Republican campaign strategist who was Senator John McCain’s campaign manager in 2008 and worked on the re-election campaign of President George W. Bush. “All these artists are delighted to sell concert tickets to independents and Republicans.”

(Via www.nytimes.com)

Well, since you are willing to let people pay to watch you perform, the politicians that represent these people MUST be entitled to appropriate your intellectual property. This is so stupid I can’t even find an analogy. Since Republicans buy SuperBowl tickets, Newt should get free rights to play NFL footage? What?

I guess he’s trying to say that playing the music at rallies also raises the profile of musicians. That logic works if you are using a particularly fabulous catch-y tune by a group that few people have heard of. But the unfortunate reality of American culture is that Sarah Palin needs Heart for exposure waaaaaay the hell more than Heart needs her for exposure.

And one should think about the political calculus. Prancing around using a Somali rapper’s song about oppression while saying one doesn’t care about the social safety net just makes one look like even more of a clueless rich old white dude. I’m no expert, but I’d hazard that Mitt Romney could use rather less of that image projection at the moment.

Look, if you want to use peoples’ songs, get permission, and pay them if it’s worth it to you. It’s that simple. It’s called the market and common courtesy, and the last I time I checked in, your party’s jibber jabber centered on respecting both. If you don’t want to pay artists for their music or bother getting permission, get a local band to play at your rallies. You’re all about resonating with locals and dealing with people “on the ground” supposedly. Resonate with locals by asking the local band kids to play.

In the short term, here’s a famous Republican musician who will be happy to lend his dulcet tones to your family values campaign, about snuff sex and STDs. Go Uncle Ted.

From today:

From back in the day:

Nice outfit.

One thought on “Illogic, music and Republican entitlement

  1. s schmidt is a smart guy who’s done many interesting things, but is best not judged on his lead-zinger soundbites. it’s interesting how often pols want to use music that undercuts their message, showing that they haven’t listened to it much. the outstanding case is reagan’s wanting to use springsteen’s “born in the usa” in the 84 campaign. his handlers must have thought it would establish working-class cred for him, but if you listen to the lyrics, well, it’s more like a w guthrie protest song

Comments are closed.