Airport Sedition: The Surge Isn't Working And Neither Is John McCain's Common Sense

I'm chilling out at Frankfurt Airport, desperately trying not to eavesdrop on any of the completely uninteresting conversations going on around me or gag from the smells of weird German lunch meats wafting up from the group of old people eating behind me. Luckily I have the redesigned Washington Independent's Attackerman, Spencer Ackerman, by my electronic side, ready, willing and able to provide me with some pre-flight entertainment in the form of a discussion about Republi-porn, the Surge, McCain's Viagra usage, Iraqistani and how my masseur Antoine and Alex Pareene kept me from going absolutely crazy.

MEGAN: Let us kick off the first of two airport-edition Crappy Hours! Impressions of Frankfurt: very large and very shiny, and the people behind me are either eating egg salad or changing a baby's diaper.

SPENCER: Part I: Germany. What's in german egg salad? Is it like the potato salad, which is like potato salad here except flossy?

MEGAN: I'm going to take a wild guess and suggest it probably includes dill, since I always think dill smells like ass and have trouble eating it without a touch of a gag reflex kicking in. There was a potato salad consumed at some point this weekend, but I'll be damned if I really noticed a difference.

SPENCER: you're out of your mind! Dill is one of the most soothing aromatics you can have. My mother immediately disapproves of this CH and speaking of things to disapprove of, should we talk about McCain & Obama on Iraqhanistan or is that just me hijacking your feature?

MEGAN: We should definitely talk McCain and Obama and the Surge and whatever. And please apologize to your mom for me. If she wants me to give it a second chance, I will. So, like, they disagree about it, is what I'm given to understand.

SPENCER: what's amazing is that as recently as two months ago, McCain was denying the need for additional troops in Afghanistan

MEGAN: Oh, well, I mean, if we're going to be in Iraq in 100 years, we probably need a refueling point.

SPENCER: even as 2008 casualties in Afghanistan are nearly match the US death toll in all of 2007 and we're only at July 16 but Obama has been saying for almost a solid motherfucking year that we need to redeploy some forces from Iraq, which is not strategically crucial, to Afghanistan, which is.

MEGAN: Oh, man, that ain't good. Actually, I was talking about that with some Germans, too, they think we've fucked up Afghanistan pretty well.

SPENCER: yesterday McCain flipflops and basically adopts Obama's position, except he starts acting a bitch and saying Obama doesn't understand the "success of the surge":

"Senator Obama will tell you we can't win in Afghanistan without losing in Iraq. In fact, he has it exactly backwards. It is precisely the success of the surge in Iraq that shows us the way to succeed in Afghanistan. It is by applying the tried and true principles of counterinsurgency used in the surge, which Senator Obama opposed, that we will win in Afghanistan."

MEGAN: Oh, well, that's me, you, Obama, more than half of all Americans and a majority of Congress, so I feel like Obama's in good company.

SPENCER: now, on the one hand, I admire McCain's tactical savvy — he's disguising his retreat with an artillery barrage, which is sensible, but substantively, it's fucking crackers

MEGAN: Wait, so, like, when we're done surging in Iraq we're going to surge in Afghanistan? Is that what McCain's suggesting?

SPENCER: the idea that we can apply the "lessons" of Iraq — and McCain is dead-set on applying the wrong lessons — to a much, much much different country is insane yeah and that we've got to call it a SURGE because SURGEs are totally rad and he was in favor of the SURGE and the SURGE worked except when it doesn't.

MEGAN: I'll bet you he calls it surging rather than thrusting when he takes his once-a-year Viagra and bangs Cindy, too. Also, what are the lessons of Iraq? If you stick enough cannon fodder on the street the insurgents will quiet down until we go? Good plan.

SPENCER: and the most asinine thing? Obama is saying, fine, ok, you want to say Iraq is safer, whatevs, that means we should take our troops from a safe place and put them in a place that we need to make safe McCain says that security in Iraq means we have to stay forever; violence in Iraq means we have to stay forever; we need to redeploy some forces from Iraq so we can SURGE in Afghanistan; but not too many because that will mean Iraq will become less secure and that means we have to stay there forever. Okay, what else should we talk about?

MEGAN: Does McCain think that if he talks about it in the most confusing and obfuscating way possible that the rest of Americans will be as confused as the 30 percent that still like Bush and vote for him?

SPENCER: oh man - i want to make a web video of the 26 percent that still supports Bush

MEGAN: We could talk about McCain advisor Phil Gramm's porn career? And particularly the Nixon-imitator porn film, only I might start gagging again if I think too hard about that. Nixonland has a whole new meaning to me over here.

SPENCER: as, like, forming the 26 Percent Nation and harassing people on their way to work as street preachers dressed in weird robes and vestments with swords

MEGAN: Oooh, I would totally go harass Bush supporters. Only it would be hard to find any in Germany outside the Merkel government and even really in.

SPENCER: "You know you know you know Katrina was a hoax! They they they they said the levees broke but they they they they never broke, they never broke! We fight in Iraq so the terrorists won't make us fight in Dubuque and they'd follow us home because they like to chase freedom because they they they they hate freedom! You only chase what you HATE!"

MEGAN: And don't forget how they want to hurt our malls. Our malls! The symbols of our culture!

SPENCER: i recall reading a Doonesbury comic like 15 years ago about Phil Gramm bankrolling pornosbut Mighty Max gets yet another hot story.

MEGAN: And, yet, it's actually fucking true? The hell? And his bankrolled Nixon porn. He might as well have bankrolled Reagan bukkake porn.

SPENCER: hahaha Truck Stop Women

MEGAN: No rig too big?

SPENCER: i had a girlfriend last year who's an artist and she also used to drive trucks w her ex-bf; she designed an entire metallurgy show around truck stops, and made this awesome belt buckle around the 'No Lot Lizard' symbol, lot lizards being truck-stop whores

MEGAN: Yeah, I'm actually aware of the term. Actually, every time I drive home, between Hazleton and the NY border, there are all these billboards for massage parlors and every single time I wonder... that would be easy for the cops to figure out, right?

SPENCER: I'm waiting for Rick Perlstein's take on naked Nixon. Yeah, you should get a massage, see what they offer you.

MEGAN: I'm going to guess we will all be equally horrified.

SPENCER: oh before I forget, the new Nas record totally shouts out Jezebel

on a great track called "America".

MEGAN: Usually, by that point in the ride, I am considering it even though I'm totally sure it wouldn't be as good as my normal masseur, Antoine's, hands.

SPENCER: You have a normal masseur?

MEGAN: When I had a grown-up job I hated that paid me a lot of money, I paid Antoine to rub my naked body with oil and talk to me with his French accent once every two weeks in the middle of the work day. Usually about the time my Wonkette column was set to run. Both made me hate my life marginally less.

SPENCER: And at this point every dude who reads CH has just excused himself to furtively enjoy a tender moment.