Monday, February 18, 2008



For the last 9 months virtually every poll of Republican voters willing to include "none of the above" as a possible answer wound up with "none of the above" as the victor. Some segment of the Republican coalition, based on a marriage of convenience between advocates of Greed and Selfishness and advocates of Hatred and Intolerance, at least one of what Newt Gingrich so appropriately dubbed the "pathetic pygmies. So, with Democratic primary and caucus participation soaring everywhere, a small handful of dispirited Republicans trudged to the polls and picked whichever pygmy they thought was less horrible than the others. In the end, they're stuck with John McCain. Some of them, no doubt, hope he'll die of old age before the whole election is over.
Though he has the support of some conservative Christian figures, including Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas and onetime presidential candidate Gary Bauer, the hatred for McCain in much of the Christian right is irreversible.

"I am convinced Sen. McCain is not a conservative, and in fact, has gone out of his way to stick his thumb in the eyes of those who are," Focus on the Family founder James Dobson said earlier this month, adding that he "will not vote for Sen. John McCain, as a matter of conscience."

The much-celebrated and extremely effective McCain PR Machine is making the best of this already, whispering to journalists. "See, the extremists and nut-balls of the far right, the snake-handlers and lunatic fringe hate me. I'm a moderate. Forget my voting record; you know how great I am." Is anyone stupid and clueless enough to buy into this? Have you ever heard of Ryan Lizza? I try to avoid his inane Washington Post columns but Arianna Huffington points us to a column he wrote for the new New Yorker, ON THE BUS-- Can John McCain reinvent Republicanism?.

Lizza was taken for a ride of the Double Talk Express, although he makes it abundantly clear that McCain, an older-than-he-looks-on-TV cancer survivor, is probably on death's door, mentioning "a galley stocked with Dunkin’ Donuts and Coke, the staples of the McCain diet." He also makes a point of mentioning that the Double Talk Express TV is never tuned to Fox. Never? That's certainly what McCain's PR folks want naive reporters like Lizza to believe. He bit. Lizza went out of his way to portray McCain exactly the way the McCain PR Machine insists he be portrayed, as a maverick and a moderate. He is neither. Many mainstream media hacks have been as easily taken in as Lizza. Thank goodness, Arianna is around to rub their noses in their own mess.
Despite an avalanche of evidence showing that McCain the Maverick has long ago been replaced by McCain the Pandering Pawn of the Party's Right Wing, the press refuses to believe its own eyes.

...Let's see, McCain has bowed to the party's lunatic fringe on tax cuts, immigration, the intolerance of religious bigots, and torture... so exactly how is he reinventing what it means to be a Republican? By shortening the amount of time it takes before a candidate is hijacked by the Right, perhaps?

...But Lizza doesn't want to buy it. Even as he lists all the examples of McCain's "brazen pandering," he insists that McCain is "principled" and "has a record of sticking to a position even when it puts his political future at risk." Other than all the times he's shifted his position in order to advance his political future, I suppose.

The media are so reluctant to give up their entrenched view of McCain that "principled" and "pandering" are no longer seen as mutually exclusive terms. Indeed, that was the animating premise of Nicholas Kristof's head-scratching column in Sunday's New York Times: that McCain has become the world's most principled panderer.

"Mr. McCain truly has principles that he bends or breaks out of desperation and with distaste," writes Kristof. In Kristof's through-the-looking-glass world, it's apparently a higher order of pandering if you start with deeply held core convictions that you trash in the name of political expediency while feeling really bad about it.

Sure, she's a whore, but she wears an abstinence promise ring and feels totally guilty when she stuffs the money in her bra, so she's not like all the other whores.

In the New Yorker piece, Newt Gingrich, in full stand up comedy mode, claims that McCain's looming nomination "is the victory of the moderate wing" of the GOP-- of which he now counts himself a member!-- and that with McCain, "for the first time since Eisenhower, you have someone who has clearly not accommodated the conservative wing winning the nomination. That is a remarkable achievement."

It says everything you need to know about how strong the Right's stranglehold on the Republican Party has become that Newt Gingrich, the original barbarian at the GOP gate leading the 1994 right wing revolution, is now considered a voice of moderation. And that capitulating on torture and tax cuts and immigration and intolerance and out-Bushing Bush on Iraq can be seen as "not accommodating" the right. Memo to Newt: making that claim while maintaining a straight face is the true "remarkable achievement."

Despite the disastrous failures of the Right on everything from Iraq to the economy to health care to the environment to global warming to civil liberties to national security, the lunatics running the Republican asylum are stronger than ever.


Dan Nowicki, the chief poet jester of the Court of McCain, thinks his decrepit muse is the next Teddy Roosevelt. Proof? Instead of the third George Bush term everyone with a lick of sense knows McCain would actually embody, Nowicki offers "an administration that reflects 'conservative principles, values and vision.'" Just imagine-- Joe Lieberman, "possibly even secretary of state." If you've stopped puking, try these visionaries on for size:
• Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani as homeland security secretary.
• Former Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas as treasury secretary.
• Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee as health and human services secretary.


One of Congress' most unethical and crooked members, Republican Don Young (R-AK), is one of Huckabee's only congressional supporters. He made a backhanded endorsement of McCain today, who he detests. "I will support the Republican candidate. I am not happy." When pressed by a reporter in Ketchikan, he grunted angrily that McCain is "better than the other two" (Obama and Clinton).

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home