Adopting an anarchist's anthem as a Congressional candidate's theme song?
That's what California Congressional candidate Bob Dornan did when he appropriated Chumbawamba's "Tubthumping" [800k QuickTime] in his race for the House of Representatives.
The Republican candidate (who served in the House from 1976 to 1997, except for a brief period in 1983, and spent a good deal of that run openly lambasting the Clinton administration) had been using the song on his official website... that is until the band caught wind of it.
"An American journalist rung us up and interviewed us about it and said that Bob Dornan was using Chumbawamba's music which, in a way, is completely ridiculous because we have nothing in common with the man," Chumbawamba percussionist/vocalist Alice Nutter told MTV News. "He's an ignorant bigot. But in a way, it's really good because it means we get a chance to take on right wing America. So ever since we found out he's been using it, we've been info-bombing his site so that it crashes on a regular basis. We don't believe in stopping him by taking him to the courts and putting him through the copyright laws. That would be deadly dull. You know, if we're going to go to war with Bob Dornan, then it has got to be an ideological war. It's not all right to slag black people off. It's not all right to slag gay people off. It's not all right to be a homophobic, racist bigot and a far off religious nut. It's quite good in a way because it means that everything we hate, we get to take a pot shot at." [400k Audio]
For the record, Dornan prides himself on his civil rights record, and speaks with pride about his involvement with the American civil rights movement in the 1960s, including his support of Martin Luther King.
While Dornan's site is still up and running, his camp has removed the Chumbawamba hit from the site, though a spokesperson
for Dornan's camp told MTV News that they plan on bringing the song back soon. As for why a Republican Congressional hopeful would adopt a song performed by a collective of anarchists, Dornan's camp says that the seemingly resilient message of "Tubthumping" makes it a "perfect song" for the candidate.
"Like a lot of people, he's probably just heard the song at sports events and thought, 'Hey that's what I'm about, getting knocked down and getting up again,'" vocalist Dunstan Bruce said. "That's the whole thing about that song, because a lot of people do just think that it's a drinking song, it's a song that relates to a lot of people. It's always given us the opportunity to explain what it's really about, what we're really about, because a lot of people probably still don't know what Chumbawamba are about. [200k Audio] So we try to give them the opportunity to say we're a bunch of anarchists, who don't agree with government, who don't
agree with specifically what Bob Dornan is going on about. And that's a great position for us to be in, and the fact of the matter is at the end of the day he looks a lot stupider than he actually is." Visitors to Dornan's site (at www.bobdornan.com) will also find the "Imperial Death March" from the "Star Wars" soundtrack in areas of his site devoted to his opponent, Loretta Sanchez-Brixey, and a midi file of a "America The Beautiful." Apparently, "Tubthumping" will soon rejoin them.
"You know what's funny is that the far right quite often aligns itself with anarchist ideas," Nutter added. "It says, 'Well, I believe that the state should have less power; I believe that the individual should have more power.' But the difference between us and Bob Dornan is that we don't believe the state should have less power so some people could get rich at the expense of others. You know, we believe in social responsibility. We believe in this idea that people deserve better lives, not more
ignorant racist bigotry. So we have nothing in common with Bob Dornan, you know he's not a libertarian and we're not far right idiots."