An item from Charles Pierce of Newton, Mass.
Back in 1998, I wrote a piece about John McCain for Esquire. Now, 12 years later, I am witness to his final degradation as a serious public person. Granted, this has been a long time in the making, ever since wheneer it was that he decided he wanted to be president more than he wanted to be, well, sane. The 2008 campaign was an extended tour of the swamp wherein reside his various grudges, pretensions, and poisonous ill-will toward anyone who didn't recognize his Green Room-endowed right to run the country. He sold himself to all the people who'd immolated his well-loved 2000 campaign. He violated the campaign law that bore his name. He said that, in retrospect, he wouldn't have voted for the half-sensible immigration-reform law he'd proposed. Then, in his biggest bow to the Nervous Hospital that the base of his party had become, he picked an ambitious, half-bright goober from Alaska to run with him, made her a star to people who should not be trusted to cut their own meat, and then, when her innate clownishness had made her (and him) such a laughing stock that the Republican ticket lost in places like Indiana to a black man whose middle name was "Hussein," he sent his remaining loyalists out to emphasize (anonymously) that his running mate was even dumber than the rest of us imagined.
He then walked back to the Senate and engaged in a prolonged temper tantrum that culminated in his announcement last week that he was so insulted by health-care reform that he would hereafter decline to do his job any more -- a refutation of his old "Country First" slogan that was so obviously hilarious that even Harry Reid noticed. Meanwhile, back home, he was being primaried to within an inch of his life anyway by J.D. Hayworth, a former sportscaster who went on to a brief, Abramoff-enriched career as the dimmest bulb in the congressional chandelier. So, here I sit, today, in Arizona, and not eight miles from this computer. John McCain has flown in Sarah Palin to be the featured speaker at a rally that he hopes will push him to victory over a guy whom even all the other congressional dumbasses thought was a box of rocks. She's endorsing him but, at the rally, HE'S introducing her, and all I can think of is a paraphrase of the late, great Dr. Thompson's memorable vale to the cursed 1972 campaign;
"Jesus, how low do you have to stoop in this country if you want to almost be president?"
A reply from Stephen Carver of Los Angeles
Regarding your CAP article, the Republicans want nothing less than America to fail. Rush said it first and said it loudest, but that seems to be their strategy. They seem to believe that if we fail as a nation, then they can be seen as the knight in shining armor (which is how they still view Reagan) coming in to save the day and the country. HOW they would do this, what policies they will use, they never seem to have an answer for (except fewer taxes for rich people).
Written in The Nation, a news paper and online service