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John Mccain Raw

By Jesse Taylor
Sunday, July 6, 2008 14:36 EDT

imageWhenever people complain about a candidate being “overmanaged”, it’s usually code for the candidate simply being badly managed, a whole lot more than normal.

What’s so weird about John McCain as a candidate is that he sucks, and you can get his closest confidants to declare his utter suckage, but he’s managed to convince the people who declare suckitude in the public sphere that it’s all just the weird, obtuse standards of public discourse (that they themselves set) that are holding him back.

Mr. McCain is working closely with aides like Brett O’Donnell, a former debate consultant for Mr. Bush, to improve his speech and performance. He is working to limit his verbal tangents and nonverbal tics. He is speaking less out of the sides of his mouth, which can produce a wiseguy twang reminiscent of the Penguin from the Batman stories, and he is relying less on his favorite semantic crutch — the phrase “my friends” — which he used repeatedly in his campaign appearances. He also appears to be trying to exercise restraint, advisers and campaign observers say, when speaking off the cuff, wisecracking in town meetings and criticizing his opponent. In recent weeks, for example, Mr. McCain seems to have reined in the sarcasm he has directed at Mr. Obama. (In May, for example, he said of his opponent, “With his very, very great lack of experience and knowledge of the issues, he’s been very successful.”)

This would be one of those times where the story is buried in the story – not that McCain is trying to come to grips with the teleprompter, but that he’s so constitutionally incapable of running a proper campaign without coming off as either an awkward neophyte or a jackass. Maybe there’s something to be said for not coasting into a nomination, propelled solely by the monumental failures of every other candidate in the race.

He said he was trying to be “extra vigilant” about not giving unnecessary offense, knowing that the wisecracking humor that might charm cynical reporters might not do the same for earnest voters.

He sheepishly volunteered that he received complaints after a recent Newsweek profile of his wife, Cindy, said that he sometimes referred to her alma mater, the University of Southern California, as the University of Spoiled Children.

Mr. Salter bemoans the current environment, in which, he said, “the press creates the expectation that you better not stumble on a word, or tell a joke that Mr. Rogers wouldn’t tell, or you’re going to be in trouble.”

Lest they give you a sympathetic article that glosses over your inability to read a screen in a way that makes you seem more prepared than a bowl of warm pudding to be president. There’s a rather striking indictment of the media here – they believe themselves capable of understanding the nudge-nudge humor and wisecracks of Mangod McCain, but the vast unwashed masses must be protected from it lest they find themselves marauding, rage-driven, down to the local TV station demanding a pound of flesh for McCain’s insistence on calling people jerks. It’s a destructive sort of symbiosis, where McCain is free to be himself in the private enclave of the Straight Talk Express, entertaining and regaling reporters with their own private, personal show, as long he agrees not to ruin what’s so special by sharing it with the hoi polloi.

It deprives us of actual knowledge of one of the two major candidates for President, and perpetuates a system that’s designed to hide basic knowledge about temperament and preparedness in the warm cockles of Nedra Pickler’s heart.

I need a fucking donut.

A double dip: Milwaukee deacon, Maryland mayor caught cruising

By pams

The summer heats up as pols and pastors get caught with their figurative pants down. Milwaukee: Deacon exposes himself to undercover cop while cruising for homosex Here we go again — another moral leader of his religious community lands in the pokey for a lewd act. Jerome Pitchford, 48, a youth counselor and deacon of Milwaukee’s Holy Redeemer Church of God in Christ was caught in a police sting in a park known for cruising.…


God Bless Acirema

By Jesse Taylor

I appreciate the motivation (and skill on the part of the artist), but if you’re going to get an American flag tattooed on your face, you probably want to get it tattooed the correct way.…


More deep thoughts

By Amanda Marcotte

I can’t help it. I’m addicted to reading the Abstinence Clearinghouse blog. It’s like reading a label of Dr. Bronner’s soap, but even weirder and more perplexing. What I can’t figure out is how the bloggers have survived this long with their high levels of intelligence, when there is so…


Don’t reinforce the myths

By Amanda Marcotte
Saturday, July 5, 2008 22:20 EDT

This is an upsetting bit of pandering—Barack Obama has come out and opposed 3rd trimester abortions for “mental distress”. My initial thought was not to get too bunched up about it, because pandering actually ranks above food and water as necessities for a politician’s continued existence, and this is a…


Surely some moron out there will try to argue that it was a compliment

By Amanda Marcotte

Of all the memories of what a vile waste of space of a human being Jesse Helms was, this detail jumps out at me the most: That he taunted Senator Carol Moseley-Braun by whistling “Dixie” at her. I think it’s because we’re so often piously told that the symbols of…


He Didn’t Like “Drumline”, Either

By Jesse Taylor

Despite years of whitewashing of Jesse Helms’ virulent racism, the National Review is worried that Helms will be “smeared” as a racist, in much the same way that macaroni and cheese is frequently smeared as a creamy, crunchy delight for your taste buds. I have noticed some of the smears…


Professional fundies officially circle the wagons around McCain

By pams
Friday, July 4, 2008 22:55 EDT

“We are committed to a transgenerational, multiethnic and multiracial conservative movement.” – a laughably bold Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel, to a gathering of 90+ fundies who are hand-wringing about the decline of their movement and what they need to do to revitalize it — in other words, Obama envy.…


Liberal Fascism Watch

By Jesse Taylor

Roger L. Simon, on the news that Obama will be holding his acceptance speech at 76,000-seat Invesco Field: They are floating the idea of changing the venue of his acceptance speech from Denver’s Pepsi Center to the much larger outdoor Invesco Field. I’m not going to indulge in the obvious…


Jesse Helms, you left quite a legacy

By pams

Jesse Helms has died. As a native and current resident of North Carolina, even today many people I run into outside of this state who know little about it — recognize the name Jesse Helms. He leaves a long, dark trail of professional racial bigotry (he opposed the MLK national…