As Election Day draws ever nearer — and in no small part because all the various polls show John McCain losing and losing big — it's time to break out the really stupid shit of the campaign. It's fancy lettuce time again! Well, and terrorists and whatever else besides the kitchen sink can be hurled at Barack Obama (they'd throw that, too, but the Secret Service and McCain's malfunctioning arms object to that). In a sign of things to come, Swampland's Ana Marie Cox joins me in debating beignets, iceberg lettuce, drinking, winking, suicide, homicide, tort reform, duck-hunting and drug addictions. If they can sound like blathering idiots, we can certainly parody it.ANA MARIE: I was just reading the Newsweek piece. I don't think this attribution joke is totally original, but I think it might be the first time I've seen it in a magazine they sell at Safeway:
After the vice presidential debate, a senior figure in the party, who asked not to be named because he was telling the truth, told me that Palin should talk less about being "just-folks" and more about being governor of a large state.
MEGAN: So, do you think that there will be a Bradley effect for John McCain? That Republicans will all claim that they are voting for him, go into the voting booths and Gobama? ANA MARIE: Nah, i just think they'll say they're voting for McCain and then not vote. MEGAN: That sort of accomplishes the same thing. ANA MARIE: And I still think it'll be close, no matter what TNR says. In fact, all the discussion about how "it's over" may be one of the few things that will motivate all those listless Rs on Election day. Though, honestly, if everyone is so sure it's over, can we stop? MEGAN: Do you think it'll be close popular-vote wise, or electoral college-wise? ANA MARIE: I think electoral college wise. Obama will get every 21 year old in the country, basically. And speaking of how the children are our future!. It's about how children understand that there's been (in the words of the article) a "white male monopoly on the White House." (Hey, monopoly! That explains the bailout! They think they're giving Wall St. lots of money in pretty colors.) MEGAN: That's interesting, because both the NY Times and the WaPo have Obama winning the Electoral College by big margins right now. But, I mean, everyone knows the New York Times is in the tank for Obama. ANA MARIE: Facts have known biases, Megan. MEGAN: Just like the media! ANA MARIE: I dunno. Maybe it'll be a blow out. MEGAN: I actually think you're probably right, but I am a known pessimist. ANA MARIE: But, again, if it's over, can someone let the candidates know? BECAUSE THEY ARE STILL MAKING ME WRITE ABOUT THEM. At least Palin says crazy shit. UNEXPECTEDLY crazy shit. MEGAN: Yes! And everyone thought that Biden would be the gaffe-machine! ANA MARIE: As Biden's grandmother would say, "God love her." Did you look at the kids and WH study? It's so "little people say the strangest things" but only not funny because, well, this isn't really funny, is it?
"One in four participants said it is illegal for women and minorities to hold the office of president"
Oh, and this:
"While some children expressed the belief that prejudice shapes how adults vote, another third of the participants said members of the excluded groups lacked the skills to hold the position."
You want to make any guesses as to which one of those subgroups contained actual females and minorities? MEGAN: Self-loathing in kindergarteners is painful to see. As is an awareness of racism. ANA MARIE: I bet some of them are on diets, too. MEGAN: And probably wear make-up. ANA MARIE: If you're these kids parents, though, how do you explain the lack of women and minorities without implying one or the other is true? MEGAN: Well, without telling them that they live in a racist and sexist society, you mean. ANA MARIE: "No, little Jenny, there are no women presidents because people hate va-jay-jays" MEGAN: "There are no women Presidents because for the first 150 years of America, women were second-class citizens. Black people were third class for a hundred, though, and second class for another hundred. Now they're like 1 and a half class. Sort of just like women." ANA MARIE: "And now we're moving to Canada." I kid. I actually hate the whole "I'm leaving the country if X wins" thinking, btw. MEGAN: In my head, that's being said in the same sing-songy drug-addled voice as Cindy McCain gave her RNC speech. ANA MARIE: And you're holding a mic in front of you with both hands. MEGAN: To help me stand upright. ANA MARIE: Otherwise your enormous hair might tip you over. MEGAN: Also, yes, I hate that shit, too. I asked some friends at the Canadian embassy and they're like, we field about 100 calls the day after every election and then no one ever follows up. Canada is the friend you call after you get dumped because you know he has a crush on you and you want the ego boost but you don't want to actually go out with him. And that's just mean. Have a one-night stand with France like everyone else does. ANA MARIE: But while France doesn't care if you're in another relationship, it does expect more. Flowers, chocolate, to go to your funeral... I have just received my POLITICO PLAYBOOK that's how I know the day has really begun. Here's Kristol, quoting Palin: ‘To tell you the truth, Bill, I don’t know why that association isn’t discussed more, because those were appalling things that that pastor had said about our great country, and to have sat in the pews for 20 years and listened to that — with, I don’t know, a sense of condoning it, I guess, because he didn’t get up and leave — to me, that does say something about character. But, you know, I guess that would be a John McCain call on whether he wants to bring that up.’ MEGAN: This from the lady blessed against witchcraft who thinks that What Jesus Would Do is get her elected to build an oil pipeline and who didn't walk out while the crazy anti-Semitism that is Jews for Jesus preached from her own pulpit. ANA MARIE: Oh, and God wants us in Iraq For all the things Rev. Wright said, he did not start one single illegal war. MEGAN: Right. Between that and the "Joe Biden is really old" jokes, I sort of wonder at the lack of political self-awareness. ANA MARIE: It's hard to be self-aware if you're angry, and I think TNR's profile of her — which is all about how she's the most "authentically resentful" candidate since Nixon — finally offers up what it is about Palin that clicked for McCain: they both are super pissed off. MEGAN: See, and I think it's really hard to be righteously angry without being self-aware, which is probably why I never get all that angry about shit. Sarcastic, sure, but angry takes at least 4 cups of coffee and I never drink that much unless I'm driving. That just makes me wonder: what is she resentful of>? I get McCain's resentfulness, but where does hers come from? ANA MARIE: And I think that being hyper self-aware and righteousness are like oil and water, cats and dogs, me and morning. MEGAN: Me and gin. ANA MARIE: The TNR piece suggests Palin's anger has a heavy class element. or at least a grudge against "elites." Those darn elites. MEGAN: Damn me for liking fucking fancy-ass lettuce! Why could iceberg not be enough for me, other than it's complete lack of any nutrients and tastelessness? ANA MARIE: As I've said before, if only Obama had referred to that tasty leaf as "rocket," he'd be ahead right now. Oh, er... He'd be ahead by MORE. MEGAN: McCain would've already conceded. ANA MARIE: And folks would be eating rocket in rural Virginia. MEGAN: Other than at the Inn At Little Washington. ANA MARIE: Megan, I said "FOLKS" would be eating it. MEGAN: Oh, right, "folks." Those mythological Real Americans that the rest of us aren't. ANA MARIE: I declared Friday as "talk like Sarah Palin" day but now I can't stop. I've dropped enough g's off of words to fill a dictionary, if the dictionary were all words that needed a "g". MEGAN: I said "South Dakota" on Friday with her accent by accident and, worse, it's on tape. ANA MARIE: Find a magnet. MEGAN: How would you pronounce "magnet" without the g? Would you sort of roll the n a little like in Italian? Is there a more elitist question than the one I just asked? ANA MARIE: Maybe if I asked you whether "beignet" is a better analog? MEGAN: I think it is, but aren't beignets folk food in New Orleans? They're cheap enough, delicious enough and bad enough for you to be a food of the people if they didn't have a silly French name. Also, I would pay some serious money to a business that delivered hot beignets and coffee to my house in the morning. I am going to be even more elitist and say that I prefer beignets (and other doughnut products) to Krispy Kreme — and not just because of the annoyance of it not being "cripsy" or "cream" or even "creme" — but because I find it difficult to stomach so much glaze on an empty stomach. ANA MARIE: Spoken like a true woman of the people. That Cajun place in Adams Morgan has great beignets, btw. I'm wondering if we should talk about winking, which is apparently bad now. The semiotics of this election cycle are under so much scrutiny I feel like we should just had over our jobs to Brown graduates. MEGAN: I have to say, I never deliberately wink because I think I look stupid. And Sarah Palin has done nothing to dissuade me from that impression. ANA MARIE: And by that i mean "people who went to Brown University" not people who are brown like terrorists. Or Obama. MEGAN: Who supports terrorists, obviously, which is a totally defensible line of attack. ANA MARIE: I don't think the winking helped anyone who was looking for reasons to take her more seriously, no, but I am also not offended by it. The McCain campaign is actually full of winkers. MEGAN: Wait, no, really? ANA MARIE: The old man winks a lot. MEGAN: [shudders] ANA MARIE: And Salter and Schmidt. I find it weird but not creepy MEGAN: Schmidt seems like he would wink. Does he do finger-guns, too? ANA MARIE: Not that I know of. But he does a great Arnold impersonation. And I think real Arnold impersonation would require, you know, REAL guns. MEGAN: I don't get the whole being offended by The Wink thing, but that article did highlight one important difference between Republicans and Democrats:
"If I hear her say the word 'maverick' one more time I am going to shoot somebody - and I am a Republican," said Lisa Romine.
Show me a Democrat who would not have said "shoot myself." Democrats shoot themselves, Republicans shoot other people. ANA MARIE: At least Democrats have better aim. MEGAN: Unless they're trying to achieve tort reform through duck-hunting with lawyers. ANA MARIE: That reminds me: Our dear friend Jason was expressing frustration with some idiocy and instead of saying "shoot" anything, he referenced the Buzzcock's "That's When I Reach for My Revolver." And the Huffington Post commenters all assumed he meant to shoot himself. And Jason was like, uhm, no, that wasn't what I meant... [Ed Note: Jason Linkins correctly identified the band as Mission of Burma in his post, and all errors are the fault of the half-asleep bloggers of this post. We regret the error, as well as any besmirching of Jason's good name] MEGAN: I express frustration with idiocy by drinking more. Then at least I'm equally idiotic and I'm not longer frustrated by it. ANA MARIE: I'm glad you've found something that works.