Dear John…

Far be it from me to offer advice to a Republican on how to recover their campaign after so utterly fucking it up to almost George W. Bushian standards, but, well, turn the other cheek as that one guy said. He won’t listen to me anyway, so we’re safe.

That said, Palin ain’t going to fly. The whole thing has been such a thorough disaster that they’re probably considering nuking Alaska so she has to drop out to deal with the crisis (which she probably would at least as well as Bush handled Katrina). Brass tacks, John McCain is, uh, not a young guy. He’s had melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, four times, and there’s a fairly decent chance…we’ll, let’s just say picking Palin was stupid on so many levels that it’s hard to count (and really throws into question McCain’s judgment, not to mention whatever medication they’re giving him to keep him upright), but mostly, it makes him look, really, really old, and, when you consider we’re in the middle of two wars and the economy’s tanking, the thought of someone like Palin being a heartbeat from the oval office would make you take a deep breath before snapping open the paper each morning. Politically, McCain’s pretty much screwed. If he stays with her, it’s going to be one long train wreck from here to November (though I really look forward to the vice-presidential debate for a change…that is, unless they have to stop it because it looks like Bidens squashing a kitten with a tassled loafer).

*meeeoooorrrr!* crunch. silence.

If he dumps her, he looks like he’s covering for making a bonehead mistake and all the evangelicals will huff, take their Bibles, and stay home. But…there is a way he can cover his ass. All he has to do is come out and say: “My friends, I believe there’s been a great misunderstanding. When I said I was choosing Palin for my running mate, everyone assumed I meant Sarah Palin. Well, they all got so excited that I didn’t want to dash their hopes, and I thought, well, maybe it’d work out. But, I’m a maverick, you know, and I have to stick to my straight talk. And that’s why I’m here to explain that I didn’t mean Sarah Palin. I meant Michael Palin.”“I believe Michael will, well, he’ll liven things up. He brings the funny. Even if it’s that kind of British funny not everybody gets. You know, the whole vice-presidential thing’s gotten pretty deadly with Dick Cheney, so to speak, and I think…I think in these times of trouble, America not only needs a vice-president who can communicate well with our Canadian friends. And with lumberjacks. But who has executive experience working in the Ministry of Silly Walks. And let me tell you, my friends, when we walk up to the podium together, it’s going to be a walk you’ll never forget. Now, if you excuse me, it’s my happy nap time.”

Joe Biden debates Michael Palin. You say you want an argument?

Do it, John. It’s the only way.

Let Them Eat Real Estate

There comes a defining moment in every presidential campaign where a candidate says something not only profoundly stupid and tin-eared but indicative of who they really are, which, for their opponent, is the political equivalent of a flat, slow pitch dead center over the plate. The kind your wood cracks so solidly that the thwack can be heard across the stadium, and the cover peels from the ball, and one long string unravels and floats down over the back wall, followed by the yowp! of a falling pigeon, which hits the ground with a stomach-churning shlupping sound, bounces, then gets run over by a garbage truck in front of a troop of Girl Scouts who have just emerged from a field trip to a petting zoo.

This is called a “gaffe.”

An example of this would be if, at the height of the current mortgage crisis, when people are literally fighting to keep their homes, one of the candidates, perhaps an older man, pressed to answer how many homes he owns, fumbles, can’t remember, and tells the reporter to check with his staff for the exact number. This means the candidate not only is richer than anyone you probably know but is so unconcerned with his economic status that he can’t bother to keep track of these things. That or he’s senile…take you pick. And that’s exactly what happened to John McCain today:

I own…what was your question?

For the record, the answer is: ten.

In other words: Hey! You kids! Get offa my lawns!

Thanks for the, uh, help, sir…

So for today’s great moment from the McCain campaign, Johnnie did a photo-op at a grocery store, helped a shopper grab some applesauce off the shelf, and, as he shuffled (yes) over to put it in her cart, a whole rack of applesauce jars crashed to the ground. Along with his press secretary’s heart.

No. I’m not making that up. At least he didn’t scream “Incoming!” and drop to the floor.

Later in the day, in an interview with CNN, he said Obama’s timetable for getting the troops out of Iraq–16 months–was utterly unacceptable, but Iraq president Maliki’s timetable sounded pretty good.

Maliki’s timetable is 16 months.

Only four more months to go!

Whatever Happened to Huckabee Hound?

Not much has been heard from mutant Christian candidate Mike Huckabee of late, mostly because John McCain’s beating his ass like a brass gong, but the Huck resurfaced today in one of the most pathetic press conferences on record. The following is presented purely for scientific purposes…don’t try this at home.

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Huckabee said his campaign has been asking the McCain campaign to debate them and suggested questions surrounding McCain’s adherence to campaign finance laws raises doubts about his viability.

Speaking at a press conference that drew no reporters other than the six who travel with the candidate — despite the national press corps in town for the Democratic debate — the candidate said he wants to debate McCain.

“There’s a race going on, and I wish Sen. McCain was debating me this weekend,” Huckabee said. “I wish we were gonna be in Cleveland tonight on stage or in Dallas or in Houston or San Antonio or Austin or somewhere between now and Tuesday having a debate.”

He said Republicans deserve a debate and that he was “disappointed” a forum between the remaining candidates hadn’t been planned.

“We’ve made it very clear that we would love to have,” he said, “whether it’s a debate or a forum or Q and A, where both of us are there. I think any type of format would be acceptable to us and any location would be acceptable to us.”

Huckabee said the race remained open while the McCain questions about his spending were in the air. “What can John McCain actually spend?” Huckabee asked. “And he seems to be almost being bitten by his own campaign finance reform act, and there are a lot of issues to be settled with what happens in his spending limits.”

Huckabee added that McCain may have to “go completely dark between virtually now and the nomination convention.”

Huckabee did not hold a public event in Cleveland, but did receive a private tour of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, before traveling to Columbus and Mason for rallies as well as a fundraiser in Dayton.


Two political posts in one day…I don’t know, might be a sign of a dangerous addiction. It’s just been, well…there’s a big shadow crossing the moon this evening, and the city has fallen silent except for all these dogs inexplicably howling. Plus Mercury’s in retrograde of some such shit, and Mayans say time ends in four years.

Four years?

So the president, who’s romping around Africa, being entertained by lovely native dancers wearing his face on their asses (not making that up), has hit the all-time lowest approval rating in history. To put 19% in perspective, mental health professionals estimate as much as 17% of the population suffers from psychiatric disorders, so Bush is 2 points ahead of crazy. (Still better than Cheney.)

Meanwhile, Shiite militia leader al-Sadr said he’ll decide Saturday whether the cease fire he instituted will continue. If he say yes, the truce continues. If he doesn’t say anything…game on. And there goes that much vaunted improvement the troop surge was supposedly responsible for, because the next thing you know, the Shiites and Sunnis are going to be drawing down on each other again. Maybe why all that talk about bringing guys home has…just…kind of…tapered away….

Meanwhile, the Clinton camp is walking around like someone’s just struck them all in the head with baseball bats and they’re trying to catch their equilibrium, which they do now and then to wave their arms and yell “He’s not presidential! He just talks good!” Uh huh. Even Mr. Bill and James “Serpenthead” Carville are saying Clinton’s got to win either Ohio, Texas, or maybe both, and number wizards are saying she has to win them decisively. Like by, uh, 20 points. Meanwhile, the newest polls in those states show Obama continuing to close the gap. People were a little worried about Michelle Obama’s remark that for the first time in her adult life, she was proud of America–ruh roh–until Bill O’Reilly, actually trying to defend her from some right-wing caller, said, “Look, I’m not going to round up a lynching party until I learn the facts.”

Oops. Either he knew what he was doing and was stupid, or his unconscious took over and revealed who he really was. Either way, the heat’s off Michelle.

And then…oh God. You really can’t…you just really make this stuff up much less hope it’ll happen, but New Yorkers, when they sip their coffee and blearily snap open the Times tomorrow are going to be confronted with a big headline that John McCain was making nicey-nice back in 2000–when he was 63, kids–with a 40-year-old female lobbyist who just happened to have business with several of McCain’s committees, and whose clients contributed to John “unimpeachable ethics” McCain’s campaign. Which really comes as no surprise for those of us who remember that dingbat when he was one of the Keating Five, but it’s coming as a rude awakening for the GOP establishment to be dealing with their own “bimbo eruption.” Pat Buchanan reportedly had a public meltdown on MSNBC earlier this evening.

Ah irony. Irony is a sweet, sharp liquor that goes down ice cold then kicks your brain right out its skull. Irony’s a keeper.

This one day after David Letterman said of McCain, “Doesn’t he remind you of a greeter at Wal-Mart? He reminds you a mall wanderer. He reminds you of that guy who gets confused by the automatic door at the supermarket.”

My friends….

My friends, Help, I have done it again
My friends, I have been here many times before
My friends, Hurt myself again today
And, My friends, the worst part is there’s no-one else to blame

My friends, Be my friend
My friends, Hold me, wrap me up
My friends, Unfold me
I am small,My friends,
and needy
Warm me up, My friends,
And breathe me

Ouch My friends, I have lost myself again
My friends, Lost myself and I am nowhere to be found,
Yeah My friends, I think that I might break
Lost myself again My friends, and I feel unsafe

Be my friend, My friends,
Hold me, My friends, wrap me up
My friends, Unfold me
I am small, My friends,
and, My friends, needy
Warm me up, My friends,
And, My friends, breathe me

My friends, Be my friend
My friends, Hold me, wrap me up
My friends, Unfold me
I am small,My friends,
and needy
Warm me up, My friends,
And breathe me
My friends….