Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Loving Johnny Mac, the Russian Soul, and Hating Johnny Mac

Back to the quick(ish) hit format for this one. Ready? Good:

> Every once in a while I'm reminded why I used to love John McCain. This was one of those moments.

To recap: Conservative talking head goes on to warm up the crowd before a McCain speech, and goes on a predictably low-brow and tactless tear against Obama, the media, and because he still couldn't resist, Hillary Clinton. Especially notable: this was the maiden voyage of the 'Hey his middle name is Hussein' tactic. It's always cute when slime campaigns are young. More on that later.

But first, let's focus on just how awesome it is that John McCain smacked the bastard down. Johnny Mac may be this generation's Bob Dole, he may be a dishonest superhawk psycho, but goddam it, if he's going to go down in flames behind an incredibly unpopular war, if he's going to go down having caved on nearly every issue where he disagreed with the conservative base ("The first thing we need to do is make the Bush tax cuts permanent!"), at least he's going to do it without lining up between right-wing shitheads who have always hated him anyway.

This was kind of a key testing point. McCain is an avid Fox News watcher, so who knows where this is going in the long run, but at least for now it looks like he is not going to roll over, sit and beg so he can appease the Republican ranting class. If he hadn't apologized for last night's remarks, he's essentially handing his campaign over to those jackals. The Bill Cunningham's of the world would endorse the guy through gritted teeth and go back to the business-as-usual of calling Democrats traitors. Now, they know that they at least can't do it in the guy's name.

I won't even get into Cunningham's over-the-top reaction, which is predictably ridiculous. I look forward to seeing Mr. Cunningham and Ann Coulter team up and criss-cross the country stumping for Hillary Clinton. It could be like a buddy movie for despicable people.

But before we move on, we've got to take a look at Cunningham's masterful "Hussein" play. And by "masterful" I mean "underhanded as fuck."
"I have nothing but respect for my Muslim brothers and sisters," Cunningham said. "The ones who oppose that particular name, they're the ones with the problem, not me. His name is Barack Hussein Obama."

Riiiiiight. Let's see:

* Use the name as much as possible in a not-so-subtle attempt to make sure your idiot followers pick up on it? CHECK

*Defend yourself using smarmy faux-enlightenment that covers you with the small vaguelly reasonable portion of your audience? CHECK

* Be sure to mention that it's a "Muslim" name as often as possible to foster the misconception that Obama is Muslim? CHECK

Well played, Mr. Cunningham. Please go die in a fire.

> My favorite quote of the day came from this Der Spiegel piece on Russia:
"While Europeans may find the American election circus amusing, it unquestionably reflects a fundamentally democratic system."
That's an off-handed comment by the way, with the basic implication being: "We may find America's system ridiculous, petty and out-moded, but hey, it beats Russia!"

(The rest of the article is total crap by the way, the main points being that since Russians have always knocked off their opponents that clearly Medvedev and Putin can't share power. It's one of those pieces that talks about Russia's authoritarian soul and takes for granted that the Russian people are really happy with Putin. Gag. Write in Kasparov, comrades!)

> Hey remember how a second ago we were loving John McCain? Then there's this.

There is nothing more despicable than this al Qaeda in Iraq nonsense, and because I respect John McCain's intelligence, I have to imagine that he understands this. That or he's gone senile, one of the two.

For anyone confused, al Qaeda in Iraq, is NOT the al Qaeda that Osama Bin Laden runs and has nothing to do with it. As Obama says, the group existed in no way, shape or form before the invasion. And moreover, it's really not a big concern anymore because the Iraqi Sunnis turned on it and kicked the shit out of it, and it represents maybe 1% of the militants in Iraq. By saying things like "al Qaeda is in Iraq" or "We're fighting al Qaeda" every ten minutes, Bush and McCain are deliberately misleading the American people. So fuck them with a stick, really.

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