Thursday, September 11


LAST week the staff of The Daily Show had an incredible run, even granting that a political convention is, for them, a four-inch putt. From a McCain bio that portrayed him as the maverick reformer of the previous John McCain, through a three-minute segment that flattened, in rapid succession: Karl Rove (Tim Kaine's inexperience--3 years as governor, 4 as lieutenant governor, plus a bonus ridiculing of the size of Richmond, Virginia, vs. exorbitant praise of Sarah Palin's c.v. less than three weeks later): Bill O'Reilly (the "private matter" of Bristol Palin's vs. the "pinhead parents" of Jamie Lynn Spears who are to blame for her pregnancy); Dick Morris on the pervasive sexism behind the "attacks" on Palin, vs. Hillary Clinton's whining ("In his defense," says Jon, "Dick Morris is a lying sack of shit."); and that McCain spokeswoman and former Ladies Against Women president Nancy Hasenpfeffer or something, playing the same game, objecting to Clinton "playing the gender card", then objecting to the criticism of Palin on behalf of all female woman ladypersons. The week ended with some genius virtually syncing McCain's acceptance speech promises of a new tone in Washington with George W. Bush's from eight years before. It underlined a couple of things: one, that the Galloping Vapours which meet the occasional public notice that some Americans actually get their news from a mock news show is seriously misplaced, and, two, that the real shame is that more don't.

Yeah, I know: it's shocking. I'm not trying to tell you something new. I've been watching this shit for forty years myself, ever since Vietnam and the Civil Rights Movement convinced Republicans that not only were the facts against them, but that they had essentially washed away the metaphorical tripod holding the Dry Erase Board of their Sales Program. They weren't just on the wrong side of the debate, or the wrong side of history, they were on the wrong side of democracy, and the only way out was The Electoral Strategy That Dare Not Speak Its Name, Not Too Loudly, Anyway, and the resultant forty years of lying about its racist underpinnings.

(Memo to Mr. Colbert: Yeah, I know it's a comedy program, and the bit was funny, but this is why the Sixties still matter. Not because of some mystical Boomer vibe, or because a bunch of fogies chose to tie up our current politics through a combination of nostalgia and undying hatred. It's the wellspring of the wholly-fictional Reagan Revolution, which has informed everything since. )

Including its informing the current political climate. I'm way too old to be a starry-eyed idealist. I realize truth doesn't win every argument. I just like to think it's usually the way to bet, and I think Democrats abandoned it as a defense prematurely, having lost two elections sandwiched around a win by a guy they didn't really like and helped shoot down. As a result, little truth is to be found, and what is found isn't recognized, and a guy can go on teevee news programs and loudly annihilate what he said just over two weeks previously--not slide around, not finesse, self-annihillate--and not even feel he's trying to get away with something he ought to be hiding. Why is this so fucking difficult to understand? How is it that people ignore the result of this faux-balance crap, which is that one party doubles down on Dissimulation every freakin' time?

I find it impossible not to link this sort of thing directly to the fact that the holiest of Holy Days on the Republican calendar (incidentally, correct me if I wrong, but is this not the first such anniversary without Homeland Security warning of possible celebratory attacks?) dawns with the major campaign issue being lipstick on a pig. And it's not just the usual crackpot yammerers--the candidate himself repeated it. John Maverick McCain, the brave Republican who actually came out and moderately deplored the swiftboating of a fellow veteran, before ducking for cover, now looks at the camera and tells America something he knows no one can honestly believe is true, on the grounds this might swing a Swing State.  Honest John McCain actually said that "lipstick on a pig" was a personal attack. It's certainly not the first, nor the lowest such attack of all time, but it may well be the most poignantly stupid.  Would you hire such a man to work on your car? Does he really want to be President of the Land of Three-Hundred-Million Self-Serving Liars? Is there any possible excuse for this, or any possible outcome that does not include the word "doomed"?


James Stripes said...

Four questions:

1. Have you been reading Saint HST? (first you take clearcuttin' DB to task for the word weird, then you toss out doomed all on your own.

2. Were there dry erase boards in the Sixties?

3. Was LBJ a Republican?

4. What was my fourth question?

Oh well.

Jaye Ramsey Sutter said...

To Mr. Stipes:

LBJ a Democrat gave us a better society if not a greater one--Medicare, Medicaid, student loans, Vista, Job Corps, Urban Renewal, The Civil Rights ACt, the Voting Rights ACt, the Fair Housing Act.--And I am sick and tired of him getting Viet Nam shoved up his ass.

Was he an asshole, sure, but he is was our asshole and a damn sight better than that moron Barack Obama. Johnson as majority leader and the best legislator in the history of the U.S. Senate.

And he goddamn sure had more sense than to call a woman a pig in lipstick 10 rhetorical minutes after she called herself a pitbull in lipstick. No it isn't an issue but it is THE issue for the truck driver and waitress vote who don't like being psychoanalyzed by a man who has been in the fucking Senate two fucking years.

The Democrats need to get over the elect the elite shit and understand that the most successful legislative agendas in most of our lifetimes came from those vulgar, women loving, penis issue burdened brilliant sons of bitches LBJ & Clinton.

If Palin can be told to shut up about Russia--which the people who vote for her want to nuke anyway--they are going to whip Obama's ass. And you only have the Democrats to blame. Yes the Democratic Party--the one LBJ knew he ruined when he passed the Civil Rights Act.

If we were waiting on Republicans to do something about civil rights--they didn't give a shit, either. Just like neither side cares about people who work for a living or who are female to go-go boot.

As a Democrat, I am horrified we can nominate someone so goddamn dumb. On paper, I should love the bastard, but he has a tin ear and basically finds most of us mere mortals annoying and in his fucking way to the top. I still don't know what he thinks he can do but he sure does think it, doesn't he?

McCain by 4-6 points. And then I am really going to be angry. And get off my lawn, too.

Anonymous said...

Dump Biden and put in Tina Fey. It's obvious.

Candy said...

And he goddamn sure had more sense than to call a woman a pig in lipstick 10 rhetorical minutes after she called herself a pitbull in lipstick. No it isn't an issue but it is THE issue for the truck driver and waitress vote who don't like being psychoanalyzed by a man who has been in the fucking Senate two fucking years.

That is a condescending bit of ass-hattery on your part. As someone who's actually been the waitress - not to mention bartender, costumed baloon delivery person, motel maid, housekeeper,single motherand current full-time student - I understood perfectly well what Obama was saying, and he wasn't calling Sarah Palin a pig. Are you too stupid and under-educated to understand what Obama was saying? As Obama himself said on the Letterman show, if he were referring to Palin, she would be the lipstick, not the pig.

I hope you are happy with the McCain presidency, you and all the waaaah waaaah can't-have-Hillary so-I'll-slit-my-wrists-and-die-too-bad-for-the-rest-of-you-people-in the-reality-based-community whiners.

Oh, and btw, since I'm a woman is it okay if I call Sarah Palin a pig? because she is a pig, in the true old 60s sense of the word. I hope you like living under the talevangelicals.

jackd said...

...had more sense than to call a woman a pig in lipstick 10 rhetorical minutes after she called herself a pitbull in lipstick.

Congratulations for buying into the biggest dumbass lie of the week from Republicans.

(Not biggest by much; Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-for-Redneck, GA) called the Obamas "uppity" and then denied that he'd ever heard it used in a racially derogatory manner. Yeah, right. Moultrie GA is so much more tolerant than where I grew up, 60 miles away and ten years later.)

James Stripes said...


I was responding to ever since Vietnam and the Civil Rights Movement convinced Republicans that not only were the facts against them with my questions about LBJ. Still, I must admit that your comments ring true with what my father said when I told him I voted for Nader in 1996 because Clinton had failed me. Nader is an innocent. You've gotta find the crook that's going in the direction you want and back him. My father was thinking of Nixon, and in 2000 he was part of the "draft McCain" group at the county Republican convention while I was across town at the Democratic convention resisting Gore. Bill Bradley, who I genuinely like, got me into the process the one time I was willing to do that much in party politics.

I've been ambivalent about Obama all along, but found reading his Dreams from My Father that not only were he and I in college the same years, but we were seeing many of the same things in politics and reacting in similar ways. That congruence of experience and ideology gives me more hope than all of his rhetoric.

Your critics in these comments seem to miss the point that it matters not what Obama really said: how it plays on the radio and television and the internet is far more significant than the truth. Far too few voters will look to PolitiFact or some other source to check on the lies. McCain has several "pant-on-fire" allegations there. Every one helps his chances.

Lyndon Johnson taught us that (if we did not already know). According to Hunter S. Thompson:

The race was close and Johnson was getting worried. Finally he told his campaign manager to start a massive rumor campaign about his opponent's life-long habit of enjoying carnal knowledge of his own barnyard sows.
"Christ, we can't get away with calling him a pig-fucker," the campaign manager protested. "Nobody's going to believe a thing like that."
"I know," Johnson replied. "But let's make the sonofabitch
deny it."

Porlock Hussein Junior said...

In fact, it was not Johnson who said that; it was a tale he liked to tell about some small-town sheriff in Texas. It's too late at night for me to look up the reference in the back issues of The Realist, but if anybody cared, I would, just as I have before to equally small effect.

Anyway, I see we're back to the point we were at some time ago: Don't anybody dare say something, anything, that John McRove might be able to turn into a lie that will be convincing to the ignorant and stupid. It is disappointing think of all the candidates we've rejected who were skilled at avoiding those things. Like, you know, the one who said the Republican was better qualified than the other Democrat.

Oops, I forgot, that one doesn't require an ignorant or stupid audience, so I'll have to come up with some less egregious fuckups to make my point. If there were any point in bothering.