The point, I think, was that in both the Ohio and Nebraska primaries, back to back, McGovern was confronted for the first time with the politics of the rabbit-punch and the groin shot, and in both states he found himself dangerously vulnerable to this kind of thing. Dirty politics confused him. He was not ready for it….This is one of the oldest and most effective tricks in politics. Every hack in the business has used it in times of trouble, and it has even been elevated to the level of political mythology in a story about one of Lyndon Johnson’s early campaigns in Texas. The race was close and Johnson was getting worried. Finally he told his campaign manager to start a massive rumor campaign about his opponent’s life-long habit of enjoying carnal knowledge of his own barnyard sows.“Christ, we can’t get a way calling him a pig-fucker,” the campaign manager protested. “Nobody’s going to believe a thing like that.”“I know,” Johnson replied. “But let’s make the sonofabitch deny it.”
-- Hunter Thompson, writer, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail
If we lived in anything like the Better Universe, our highly paid media persons would breeze on past the latest verbal bowel movements of Rudy Ghouhliana and and take up the grave matter of the spiritual, intellectual and ideological bankruptcy of a political party whose only, tangible product is an unlimited supply of lying demagogues.
"Was this latest steaming pile of racists shit an attempt to distract the country from your parry's abject failure at the basic job of governance?" our imaginary highly paid media persons might ask. "Or is your party actually this fucked-in-the-head?"
As usual and entirely without irony, Chuck Todd accidentally got right to the heart of what killed American media, reprising a David Gregory segment certain pundits have taken to calling "Reading Aloud From Some Beltway Centrist Parasite Desperately Trying To Shift Blame Away From Some Conservative Monster" --
Dancin' Dave did change things up a little bit: instead of his usual practice of reading aloud from David Brooks' latest awful "New York Times" column
and asking David Brooks and the rest of the panel what they think of it, he read aloud from Tom Friedman's latest awful "New York Times" column
and asked David Brooks and the rest of the panel what they thought of it.
-- and asking for his brood of talking heads to respond:
CHUCK TODD:You know, Ron Fournier wrote something yesterday that I thought was interesting. He said this, "Ask any parent. Our culture is coarsening. Civility is eroding." This goes to your point, Michael: "The internet easily reinforces and amplifies hateful language. Nobody wants to live in a country where the singular measure of patriotism is that you agree with me. Giuliani isn't a deplorable man. His words were."...
No, the internet has nothing to do with this.
No, Rudy Ghouliana is indeed a deplorable man.
And, no, nothing Ron Fournier writes is of interest to any sane human being. In fact, in a Better Universe, the only thing Ron Fournier could possibly write of interest to anyone would be a blood oath swearing keep his bibble spigot closed from now until the end of the age.
And speaking of "And now why is this clown on my teevee?", Chuck Todd scoured the known world and could find no one better to consult as an expert on whether or not race or religion has something to do with something than "Boss Hogg" Barbour:
CHUCK TODD:They did respond, full disclosure here, that after this story appeared and there was a little dust-up last night, his office put out a response that said this, "Of course the governor thinks the president is a Christian. He thinks these kinds of gotcha questions distract from what he's doing as governor of Wisconsin and make sure the state is better, make life better for the people in the state." But I guess you've got to be nimble if you're running for president. Do you not?HALEY BARBOUR:Well, it's about how you can match up the opportunities. And I remember Jeremiah Wright, who is very unpopular among the people who would be voting in the Republican primary. Now, if someone were asking me about that question, that's the way, if wanted to be political, I wanted to take the question.I think Scott Walker's probably just being truthful, you know. He is a son of a preacher. He is a Christian. And he may have taken that question the way I did the first time I heard about it, do you believe he's really a Christian, or do you believe he just professes to be a Christian? But I don't know the answer to that, either.CHUCK TODD:Well, what does that mean?HALEY BARBOUR:A lot of people say, "I'm a Christian," but deep down inside they're not. That's what I thought the question was. You think he really is--(OVERTALK)CHUCK TODD:I understand that. But this is how it comes across to some folks when suddenly there's a debate about this, which is why is it Barack Obama, the first African-American president, has had questions about his religion pop up in the political conversation? It didn't happen to Bill Clinton. It didn't happen to George W. Bush. A lot of his supporters hear that and think this has some racial overtone. What do you say to that?HALEY BARBOUR:I don't know that race has anything to do with it. I would bet a higher percentage of African Americans in the United States are Christians than of whites. I mean, of course, I've come from a place where I'm very familiar with that. Religious leaders are very powerful leaders in the black community in my state. And they're good Christians. So, I don't get the race question about Christianity.
You might remember that Governor Barbour, has always had a little trouble telling the difference between the past as it actually happened and shit he just made up because Freedumb!
I guess in in former Mississippi governor's mind, all versions of history are separate but equal.
Meanwhile, Matt Taibbi has probably located the right emotions for l'affaire Ghouliani -- pity and pride:
Here in this country, the what little is left of "Liberal" teevee is being put up on blocks and stripped for parts --...I feel sorry for Rudy that he can't love this country the way it is. I love America even with assholes like him living in it. In fact, I'm immensely proud of our assholes; I think America has the best assholes in the world. I defy the Belgians or the Japanese to produce something like a Donald Trump. If that makes me an exceptionalist, I plead guilty.In all seriousness, the Rudy story is a bummer. It's not easy to love America and hate half the people who live there. It requires that you spend a lot of time closing your eyes and wishing history had happened differently, which, at least in my limited experience, doesn't work very well.And that's not something to gloat about, either. A lot of people in this country think like Rudy, and if our present doesn't work for them, the future won't work for any of us. We're all going to end up miserable together, and that sucks.
-- while in a far, far better place, a newsreader is taken in for questioning: