--Kit Seelye, on tonight's debate
Didn't you hear me say "God Bless My Mother"? "God Bless George Washington"?
SO it turns out that John McCain--who I'm beginning to suspect is the first Presidential candidate in the history of the Republic not to reveal his history of electroshock therapy to himself--is running around mocking a $3 million government-funded study of grizzly DNA in Montana, despite having voted for it.
And despite the fact that it actually cost $5 million.
Or that it was Republican backed.
Or that it was funded in the hope that it might remove grizzlies from the Endangered list.
I've got a lot of other things I should be doing, so thank God this week, like every other in politics, is a good time to cultivate a talent for the obvious.
Look at how much information about the vertiginous decline of the United States of America under a generation of Republican control, from "Pitiful Helpless Giant" all the way to "Pitiful Helpless Giant Who's Messed Himself", resides in that single declarative sentence: 1) Self-styled Straight Talker--just the fact that that one flew as the 21st century dawned tells you something; 2) Ridiculing a bill he himself voted for; 3) Which was funded as a way to get around what tiny steps we take to preserve what's left of the natural world; 4) Because if there's anyone who has a right to chafe under the Federal chokehold it's the rugged individualist, freedom-lovin' High Plains libertarians of Montana, a state which in 2004 paid $4,807 per capita in total Federal tax burden, while receiving a mere $8,183 per capita in return; 4a) This being a matter which has not just elicited cheers from government-hating throngs of Republicans, but which was calculated to elicit them by professional campaign operatives; 5) Those budget-conscious crowds being the same ones who continue to cheer our blank-check disaster in Iraq, Where The Looting Never Stops™; 6) And where that $5 million would pay for, roughly, fifteen minutes of our stay, now rapidly speeding toward Year Number Six; 7) Meaning that if we'd just left one day later we could have funded ninety-six grizzly studies; 8) Which might make this a good time to point out that these are people making a math-based objection despite the fact that the salient feature of the "outrage" is their objection to funding science, however cheaply or how valuable, unless it leads to more efficient ways to kill people; 9) Which, we may as well point out while we're at it, none of the people in those cheering audiences is actually off doing themselves, despite the vital link to Preserving Freedom; 10) And the anti-science business does not translate into their making do with less technology or refusing to accept as an article of faith that Science will rescue future generations from the ravages they themselves are too lazy and/or self-centered to lift a finger to do anything about, it being a mere tic of their pervasive anti-intellectualism; 11) So pervasive, in fact, that her Jes' Folks butt-ignorance of simple reality has become the major selling point for Sarah Palin; 12) Who is the running mate chosen by John McCain; 13) Who's the guy griping about $5 million for what is by all accounts a successful field study; 14) Though it isn't going to change the status of the grizzly, which only an anti-intellectual would have hoped for in the first place; 15) Which is precisely the sort of person John McCain is banking on to win him the White House, so he can govern effectively in a time of crisis; 16) An argument which flies in the face of logic, though at this point I'm almost embarrassed to bring it up; 17) And though logic shouldn't be a problem to a man who's griping about a $5 million wildlife study instead of the $700 hammers and $1000 toilet seats the military buys by the truckload; 18) Which military is, of course, supposedly his area of expertise and particular High-Focus Double Maverick Oversight Powers.
By the way, that $5 million is roughly 1% of the cost of the Nowhere Bridge Councilwoman Palin once supported, and roughly 2% of the Federal money she kept anyway. USA! USA! And at this point I'm for building the goddam thing, provided she and the rest of her party will agree to cross it. Once.