Taibbi on the McCain Campaign

You really don’t want to miss Matt Taibbi’s take on the McCain campaign in Rolling Stone, which features gems like this:

John McCain and Sarah Palin, after all, represented two completely different approaches to Republican conservatism. McCain comes from the school of politicking that goes after as many votes as possible by waving a flag and saying as little as possible, which is to say he was basically a third-way Democrat with a Goldwater fetish. His basic plan heading into the general election seemed strikingly similar to that of the dipshit vice president character from the uninspiring but weirdly prescient Chris Rock movie Head of State, who ran on a platform of “I’ve been vice president for the last eight years, I’m a war hero and I’m Sharon Stone’s cousin.”

McCain’s shtick wasn’t exactly that, but it was close. He was a war hero who married an heiress to a beer distributorship and had been in the Senate since the Mesozoic Era. His greatest strength as a politician had up until this year been his ability to “reach across the aisle,” a quality that in the modern Republican Party was normally about as popular as open bisexuality. His presence atop the ticket this year was evidence of profound anxiety within the party about its chances in the general election. After eight disastrous years of Bush, they thought they had lost the middle — so they picked a middling guy to get it back.

Which made sense, right up until the moment when they stuck him with Pinochet in heels for a running mate. Sarah Palin would have been a brilliant choice as a presidential nominee — and she will be, in 2012, when she leads the inevitable Republican counter-revolution against Obama’s presidency. She’s a classic divide-and-conquer politician, an unapologetic Witch Hunter and True Believer with a gift for whipping up the mob against the infidel. In a way that even George W. Bush never was, she is Karl Rove’s wet dream, the Osama bin Laden of soccer moms, crusading against germs, communism, atheism and other such unclean elements strictly banned by American law.

I think I need a cigarette.

(via)






44 replies
  1. 1
    KRK says:

    Absolutely. Taibbi’s election reporting this year had some real gems (in a sea of turds).

  2. 2
    jeffreyw says:

    ‘ere, share mine.

  3. 3
    Comrade Stuck says:

    Which made sense, right up until the moment when they stuck him with Pinochet in heels for a running mate

    Line of the still young Century!

    crusading against germs, communism, atheism and other such unclean elements strictly banned by American law.

    A close runnerup. Though he forgot to mention Negro IslamoCommieRedistributionists

  4. 4
    J. says:

    I think I need a drink. Jeez.

    Hey, I have a bone to pick with you, Mr. Cole. Thanks to you, albeit indirectly, I got tagged to play/post "Six Random Things About Me."

    Just what I needed, a chain blog post (aka an offer I couldn’t refuse). Feh. Hope you and your Steelers and Eers are happy now.

  5. 5
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Also, check out Taibbi’s blog about Palin’s syntax. He tries the ol’ "translate into a foreign language and then back to English" trick with Palin’s garbled verbiage with some great results.

  6. 6
    Tonal Crow says:

    McCain’s "greatest strength" has been the press’s obsession with painting him as someone who consistently "reach[ed] across the aisle". Of course, he voted with Bush well more than 90% of the time.

    I am too cynical (realistic?) to say that the public caught onto this rope-a-dope. Rather, I think that the GOP’s economic chickens came home to roost at exactly the right time, and the public properly (though largely by accident) blamed the GOP for their dreadful appearance.

    In other words, the public has not developed immunity to Rove’s lie-and-conquer strategies. It’s more than ready to gulp down the GOP’s next pile of bull, whatever form it takes.

  7. 7
    TheAssInTheHatOnMyCat(Formerly Comrade Tax Analyst) says:

    Damn! That’s a perfectly seasoned piece. Contains just the wright amount of wry.

    Of course, if you’re baking wry bread for Republicans you have to remember to add a lot of dill. They all seem to have this insatiable craving for dill dough.

  8. 8
    Rosali says:

    Hey, my comment in the previous thread is stuck in moderation even though I just linked to your previous Golden Award so I’ll try again. It’s time for a Best of 2008 year-end review.

  9. 9
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Absolutely. Taibbi’s election reporting this year had some real gems (in a sea of turds).

    Taibbi’s election reporting has been the punch in a bowl of turds.

  10. 10
    blueintheface says:

    If I wasn’t already married to one chubby, balding, surly, sarcastic, unambitious, chemically-dependent former athlete, Matt Taibbi would be my dream husband. At least then I could have a decent political discussion instead of having to refute Wingnut nonsense he heard from talk radio.

  11. 11
    sparky says:

    sparklingly snarly, excepting the last paragraph. i am disappointed that he got caught up in the huzzahs for the US, especially the foolish notion that the economic morass is just a technical problem. not all of Rome’s emperors were terrible, either, but those deflections didn’t change the arc of decay.

  12. 12

    Love it. He starts off strong and goes uphill from there. A certain charm just oozes from his irreverence and seething dislike of all things stupid.

  13. 13
    TenguPhule says:

    the Osama bin Laden of soccer moms,

    Epic win.

  14. 14
    Jennifer says:

    I dunno. Your excerpt missed this doozy:

    He exited the campaign on his knees, all his dignity gone, having handed the White House to the hated liberals after spending the last months of the race with numb-nuts Sarah Palin on his arm and Karl Rove’s cock in his mouth.

    Then again, I’m a big fan of crude sentiment – especially when it’s applied to those who have earned it.

  15. 15
    Tsulagi says:

    Yeah, that’s what America needs and craves, the yin side of Karl Rove’s wet dream. What could possibly go wrong with a winking, Fargo-accented Pinochet in heels in the Oval Office?

    You gotta give the Pubs credit. They bring the comedy. In that, they can walk their talk.

    Take RedState for example and The Diva. Not since they were pelting Grandpa Fred for months with their panties and room keys trying to get him to wake up to run for the presidency have I seen them so starburst-excited.

    One recent RS post not quite tongue in cheek suggested she could be the reincarnation of The Gipper. Another seriously called for all able bodied RSers to become her Praetorian Guard protecting her from the liberal evildoers. And when head short bus driver Erick learned Winky would be in GA today, he made an appeal for face time with Putin’s nemesis. Hoping to display his R-testosterone, he fantasized asking her recommendation for a shotgun for his wife. Mentioning neither he nor his wife have ever owned or used a firearm. Yep, nothing says Xmas and celebrating the baby Jesus’ birth like putting a shotgun under the tree for the lady of the house.

  16. 16
    El Cid says:

    Pinochet was a lot of things, but a vapid bimbo he wasn’t. If Pinochet wore heels in some of his off time, then despite his paranoid right wing perspective he could at least be interviewed, or make an argument about geopolitics, or hold a conversation, without looking like a developmentally disabled deer caught in tractor trailer headlights.

  17. 17
    Calouste says:

    Of course the highlight of John McCain’s "reaching across the aisle" was working with Ted Kennedy on an immigration bill, and then treating the bill like an orphan when the Republican base cried "amnesty".

  18. 18
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    And when head short bus driver Erick learned Winky would be in GA today, he made an appeal for face time with Putin’s nemesis. Hoping to display his R-testosterone, he fantasized asking her recommendation for a shotgun for his wife. Mentioning neither he nor his wife have ever owned or used a firearm.

    The questions I would have about this if it were to happen: would Erick the Redneck take his hand out of his pants long enough to shake her hand, and would Sarah shake it if he did?

    "Winky"? F’ing WIN.

  19. 19
    28 Percent says:

    You will all have your laugh but Sarah Palin was the strongest anti-witchcraft candidate this country has seen in years you do not believe because you are BRAINWASHED but the THREAT IS REAL

  20. 20
    Joshua Norton says:

    Do you think McCain ever figured out that Palin considered him to be her running mate and a major inconvenience?

  21. 21
    Skullduggery says:

    @TheAssInTheHatOnMyCat(Formerly Comrade Tax Analyst): They were actually shouting "drill" and, unfortunately, not "Dill, baby, dill." Although whenever I go to the bakery, I do march up and slap the counter while shouting "Dill here. Dill now."

  22. 22
    Indylib says:

    OT But I thought Jeb was supposed to be the smart brother.

    Last minute addition, David "I’m a complete ass" Gregory has been given the MTP slot. Ughhh!

  23. 23
    Svensker says:

    I love Taibbi.

  24. 24
    Blue Raven says:

    Is it wrong of me to giggle at how the site 28 linked to had a security certificate name mismatch? Just so apt somehow.

    And "Pinochet in heels" is so made of win.

  25. 25
    Indylib says:

    Link for the Gregory story at Huffpo .

    Well, hell, if you read the whole story you can probably disregard this.

  26. 26
    The Moar You Know says:

    Mentioning neither he nor his wife have ever owned or used a firearm.

    @Tsulagi: My mind is officially blown. He-Man Erick Erickson of RedHate, sacred guardian of the honor of our troops, wimminz, babies, and Confederate American way of life, has never laid hands on a gun, while I, a real-life abortion-supporting, gay-marriage voting dirty fucking liberal war-protesting long haired hippie, am reading this after walking in the door from the gun range and putting away my five (count ’em, five) firearms.

    What a shitbag of hypocrisy. Words can’t express my contempt.

  27. 27
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @28 Percent:

    You will all have your laugh but Sarah Palin was the strongest anti-witchcraft candidate this country has seen in years you do not believe because you are BRAINWASHED but the THREAT IS REAL

    Fuckin’ A. That’s why the surly denizens of The Funhouse are on 24 hour watch for any anti-witchcraftery by Pro-Palin forces. They plan to deploy all sort of Evil Spells upon any such Right Wing God Smacks from well scrubbed Bible Thumpers. If Sarah Serendipity thinks headless Turkeys are the rave, she ain’t seen nothin’ yet Bi Golly.

  28. 28
    Laura W says:

    @Indylib: I read that an hour or so ago and have been trying to repress it ever since. Sad.
    The only choice that would have been far more tragic would’ve been Andrea Mitchell. I have had the misfortune of listening to her 2:00 MSNBC slot for many election months in a row and I can not remember one interesting question she has asked, nor one insightful comment or observation. I honestly don’t know why she is where she is, at least in her current capacity on MSNBC. Maybe she is smarter on NBC.

    Of course I would’ve loved Maddow. Or Todd. Or even Shuster as he has the capacity to confront quite aggressively. Plus, he seems to be pulling the load right now on MSNBC and no matter the time of day, or how many hours he’s logged, he always seem to look and sound sharp. He must not be a drinker. He’s quite perky and often on-point.

  29. 29
    Indylib says:

    @Laura W: I like Shuster. At least he doesn’t spout GOP talking points like Gregory does. Hell, I’d rather listen to Scarborough, at least he’s willing to acknowledge he’s a Republican.

  30. 30
    Dulcie says:

    @Laura W: Ugh. I can’t stand Gregory. I won’t be watching MTP.

  31. 31
    2th&nayle says:

    @Calouste: Yeah, I don’t think we need much further evidence that the ‘Old Lion’ needs to retire back to the den. His failure to discern that McCain’s offer of a ‘reach across’ actually translated into a ‘reach around’, makes that fairly obvious.

  32. 32
    Cain says:

    You will all have your laugh but Sarah Palin was the strongest anti-witchcraft candidate this country has seen in years you do not believe because you are BRAINWASHED but the THREAT IS REAL

    I love you. Don’t ever leave.

    cain

  33. 33
    Johnny Pez says:

    She’s a classic divide-and-conquer politician, an unapologetic Witch Hunter and True Believer with a gift for whipping up the mob against the infidel.

    Yup. Sarah Palin is the folksy demagogue that Sinclair Lewis and Robert A. Heinlein were warning us about 70 years ago.

  34. 34
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Last minute addition, David "I’m a complete ass" Gregory has been given the MTP slot. Ughhh!

    Better change the name of the show to Press The Meat. Gregory is an insufferable ass who is always trying to play both sides against each other for his own gain, usually asking some of the lamest ‘questions’ and usually using a long-winded improbable narrative leading into it. If the question is posed to a Democrat, it will be exceptionally inane.

    They may as well have hired a compost pile to do the job because fertilizer production will surely be the result of him running the show.

    Hopefully they will pull his lame-assed show on MSNBC and maybe give Schuster his own slot. If that happens then tossing MTP into the garbage of Gregory will be worth it. Schuster five times a week, and Gregory one time a week.

    Win-win. ;)

  35. 35
    Church Lady says:

    At least Chris Matthews won’t be anywhere near the MTP set. I’ve finally reached the point of considering him unwatchable. Between the daily changing hair color and the flying spittle, I’ve just given up. From 6 to 7, I’ll just watch Law & Order reruns.

  36. 36
    uila says:

    John, thanks for the link, if for no other reason than it helped me discover that Taibbi has got his blog back up and running in Rolling Stone (although I wish I’d known that a month ago… I kept thinking, where the hell is he in this most fertile of political seasons?…)

  37. 37
    sab says:

    Don’t forget fluoride. I betcha Sarah Palin thinks that trying to prevent tooth rot in our children is a communist/Islamist plot against Christianity/Judaism and God in general.

  38. 38
    EJ says:

    Brilliant. That’s going to be the standard useless "liberal" wanker narrative, I guess? Obama didn’t actually win, McCain just fucked it up. All those Obama volunteers – fuck you. Chomsky’s already on board.

  39. 39
    Clio says:

    A few observations before I turn in for the night…

    1) Matt Taibbi is one hilarious mofo. God he’s brutal. And as a woman, I’m with you blueintheface, he’s sexy as hell, too. I love me a brilliant man who can make me laugh.

    2) "Winky" was overflowing with win.

    3) I love 28 Percent. Now there’s a spoof troll I can believe in!

    4) David Gregory. Ugh. Stretch makes it to the big time. That is just so awful. I can’t believe that I will have no reason to watch Sunday morning news anymore.

    5) Give Chris Matthews a break. I’m still riding high from the Bachmann interview.

  40. 40
    AnneLaurie says:

    OT But I thought Jeb was supposed to be the smart brother.

    Yeah, well, you know the old joke — He’s Number Two, he tries harder…

    Mostly I’d guess this "proves" Number One, the C-Plus Augustus, is back on the sauce and too cranky / incoherent to be trusted even in front of a hand-picked audience of Republican trustifarians. Somebody’s gotta keep the Family’s name in front of the money-holders during the Obama Interregnum; Marvin’s colitis gave him a pass out of the front-office end of the Bush Bidniz many years ago, Neil’s an even more blatant Fredo than Dubya, and Doro lacks the vital testacular component. So JEB! gets to play Willie Loman on the rubber-chicken circuit until the country is "ready" for George P, or Pierce, or whichever, to star in "Bush III: Like Hostel IV, Only More Violent and Less Coherent".

    It would be funnier if I didn’t think Americans were quite dumb enough to fall for it.

  41. 41
    Fencedude says:

    JEB, while not exactly a towering intellect, is definitely superior to Dubya.

    Also I can listen to his speeches without wanting to kill myself.

    He also managed to not completely run Florida into the ground as governor (not that he, like the rest of the government of the state at all levels, didn’t try. But hey, thats Florida for ya! Gotta love it.)

  42. 42
    jerry 101 says:

    the Osama bin Laden of soccer moms, crusading against germs, communism, atheism and other such unclean elements strictly banned by American law.

    Hmm…actually, that’s pretty much all Reagan did to win twice. Winked at the crowd and crusaded against unclean (and illegal) elements of society like dark skinned people, communists, and liberals.

    Up until now, I’ve had no fear of the possibility of a future Palin presidency, but she could tap into that rot in the American consciousness that led to our Reagan downfall.

  43. 43
    lovethebomb says:

    @28 Percent:
    You have it exactly backwards. There was a very good reason that African pastor was attempting to exorcise witchcraft from Palin. She is, in fact, a witch. I spotted it immediately. The proverbial wolf in sheeps clothing. The witch as super-christian. Bush is also one, and I don’t mean the frat club skull and bones.

    There are verses in the new testament where it states unequivocally that the evil one makes his servants "ministers of righteousness," and is able to transform himself into an angel of light. Elsewhere, there is described the "light that is darkness." When all the Bushinista Xians were crowing after the 2004 debacle, I realized then there is no hope for them. The same ones whipped into a frenzy over the torture porn of "The Passion." They will be decieved every time. We all have seen the kind of false light used by Bush, and it will be used again by Palin. But a tree is known by it’s fruit and, as a nation, we were lucky that fruit ripened in the days before the election.

    Everything broke right for Obama, with the biggest campaign war chest in history – and the most unpopular incumbent in history – opposed by the worst campaign in history and still nearly half the country voted against him. I am not heartened.

    Btw : I do think Matt is a great Hunter incarnation. Early 2005 was probably the bleakest time in any political junkies life and I just wish HST had waited another 3 1/2 yrs.

  44. 44
    Dave says:

    Matt Tiabbi is one of my favourite writers in the whole wide internet, nice to see he has a blog now even if he only posts intermittently. This excerpt from "The Great Derangement" is an absolute gem:
    http://www.rollingstone.com/po.....de_me_puke

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