You know how sometimes you worry with all this Democratic infighting superdelegating Rock of Love American Idol whoresex ADD distraction etc. etc. that the American people are going to forget how evil Republicans are? Yeah, well guess what? I don't know if it is the war or the economy or the murder rate or the rising cost of like every basic need but somehow they haven't! In fact: the Republicans are so hated that the last time the Republican party tried to raise money from Republicans they got one of their donor requests sent back with an envelope full of feces; I don't know what kind. "It stinks. No other way to put it," says House Minority Leader John Boehner. Anyway I can't say that in my adult life I have ever been proud of this country but I am proud of whatever mail carrier held his or her nose so as to deliver this parcel, and it's that kind of shitshow in general for the GOP today, what with the HUD chief resigning amidst the housing crisis, Paul O'Neill crapping all over his former administration in the best interview with an ex-Bush cabinet member ever and Megan Carpentier and I see the President and we want to paint him crap, after the jump.
MOE: Yo sorry I'm late I had massive insomnia last night. What's going on? I feel like I read 759 different "think pieces" on the election last night.
MEGAN: Yeah, believe me, I tossed and turned for kind of a while last night and then woke up in the middle of the night and was up for a while. I think there are a ton of fucking think pieces out there because there's no actual news to report.
MOE: What do you mean? Obama totally went bowling! And drank Yuengling.
MEGAN: I'll guarantee that he's a better bowler than me. I once got a gutter ball in a bumper lane instead of hitting actual pins.
MOE: Okay, so I read the entire fucking Kelefa Sanneh piece on Jeremiah Wright in the New Yorker. I read the entire elegy to the Republican party in the Times Magazine. I read probably 28 pieces calling on Hillary Clinton to bow out of the campaign, about 25 of which came with the disclaimer "I know she won't but." Nora Ephron's may have been my favorite. Shit, now I can't find it.
MEGAN: I mean, I don't understand why everyone all of a sudden wants her to drop out except for the polls last week that show Democrats are all getting pissed enough at the other guy's people to vote for McCain, and thus also don't understand why the other guy's people would continue pissing off her people by calling on her to drop out.
MOE: She should drop out because, at this point, she's been beaten, and she's been beaten by a candidate who had a lot more to prove.
MEGAN: Well, but she's not quite beaten yet and she's bloodied him pretty damn well in the last couple of weeks.
MOE: She's bloodied herself worse on imaginary sniper fire
MEGAN: I mean, I just think that the calls all started because of the polls that show Nader taking votes from both of them and McCain beating either one of them, but that's a stupid reason. What she ought to do is Fire Mark Penn.
MEGAN: And then stop improving her negative rating
MEGAN: I mean, I guess I sort of wish it was over, but that's mostly because I'm fucking sick of talking and writing about it, but that's not really a good enough reason. And, also, calling for her to drop out is pissing off a lot of her supporters, which is worse than keeping going.
MOE: I dunno. I feel like a lot of her supporters are over it too. I mean, look, when was the last time we had a knockdown dragout with Sinister Rouge? Here, by the way, is the Nora Ephron piece.
She is me, and then again she's not. I used to love her and I no longer do, but unlike what usually happens when love dies, I still think about her far too much. When she tells a big lie, like her recent Bosnia episode, I can lose hours trying to figure out why. I mean, why? Was it one of those things that she'd said so often that she'd come to believe it? Was it a story that had worked in the past so she thought she'd gotten away with it? Did she honestly think that no one would rat her out? Does she not understand that if you're famous, there's almost nothing you do that someone doesn't have a picture of? I have no idea what the answer is to any of this because I'm not a liar and she is. (By the way, I don't think she was always a liar, the way some kids are born liars and never get over it. I think she was once a truthful person and her lying skills were forged in the early years of her marriage, forged in the crucible of Bill's infidelities and in her role as point person in dealing with them. This is what happens when you marry a narcissist: he spills the milk, you clean it up and your love grows. And then you end up a liar, just like him.)
MEGAN: Okay, well, I mean, can we just say that Nora's projecting a little? You're not a "liar," Nora? We're all liars. It's just a matter of degree.
MEGAN: I've already told a lie today, probably more than one and it's only 9:15
MOE: Why do you keep defending Hillary Megan she is a LYING LIAR WHO LIES ABOUT EVERYTHING. Blargh. Maybe we should move on. I'm getting flashbacks. Also, I forgot to mention the thing I read over the weekend which was the real stuff of these impassioned discourses, which is to say, crap, in the Times Mag story about how the Republicans are over. It's about Tom Cole, Oklahoma Republican congressman who is in charge of fundraising.
Many conservative activists have become so dissatisfied with the party's heresies, particularly on immigration and government spending, that as Cole's staff took over, the committee's fund-raising pleas were being ignored and, on at least one occasion, returned in an envelope stuffed with feces.
MEGAN: Hahaha, poop mail.
MEGAN: Also, did you know when you get those no-postage-required return envelopes, it costs the company like $2 to pay to get that back? I send all of mine back after shredding credit card applications to try to keep the Post Office from raising the postal rate.
MEGAN: Also, the story is right on. Republican donors really think the job of the government is to keep the Messicans in Messico.
MOE: That's so funny my ex boyfriend used to do that. And the story is interesting in that it goes through and catalogs the discontent within Republican ranks that makes it seem like, you know, maybe they really are fucked and this is not all wishful thinking etc.
"You go back to the Reagan years, and even before that, and we always had a three-legged stool: anti-Communism, anti-abortion and tax and spend," Dan Mattoon, the Republican lobbyist and former deputy chairman of Cole's committee, told me. "The first leg dropped off when the Berlin Wall fell, and after 9/11 we've tried to do the same thing with terrorism, but it's not as strong. The second leg, tax and spend, was pretty strong until George Bush. Then we had just one leg of the stool, which was social issues, and I think that you look at the makeup of the younger generation and there's more of a libertarian view on social issues." Cole says that the party's rhetoric on issues like gay marriage has cast Republicans as too reactionary for many suburban districts. "My problem on social issues is the tone — sometimes we have been too shrill, and that has alienated voters who might otherwise have joined us," he told me. The challenge, then, is finding a new generation of candidates who aren't.
MEGAN: Non-shrill, non-moralizing Republicans? Good luck with that. Reagan's grand coalition with the Christian conservatives fucked that up. Plus, um, Bush didn't increase government spending all by his lonesome. He required — and got — the Republican Congress to aid and abet and they fed together at the sweet sweet trough of porky deliciousness until Mark Foley and Jack Abaramoff and Tom Delay were caught shitting in it.
MEGAN: Not that pigs don't eat and root in shit.
MOE: Here's another fun line:
"I don't need the nominee to win; I just need him to be competitive enough that we can win behind him in the places that should be ours," Cole said. "I need him to be Gerald Ford."
MOE: Bush = Nixon!
MOE: Or actually worse.
MEGAN: He doesn't care if John McCain wins? Big surprise. This is the Republican problem. That's the only reason we can hope that Republicans stay home. If they do, it could deliver better-than-expected wins in Senate and Congressional and state races where they need the upticket help. Ha, jerks. Stay home! Drink the McCain haterade! Listen to Rush and M'Ann!!
MOE: It's just like, have you ever heard them acknowledge that Bush is worse than Nixon before? I thought they don't exist in the reality-based community!
MOE: And here's the better question, when did it finally hit them.
MEGAN: Well, it wasn't when he approval tanked or when everyone found out he lied about WMDs or when he let Scooter hang for Cheney or the budget tanked. I think it might be when even their own voters started sending them crap in the mail.
When I asked the House minority leader John Boehner how he assessed the committee's fund-raising so far, he told me: "It stinks. No other way to put it."
Ha ha ha literally!
MEGAN: Poop is always funny.
MOE: I wish watching the idiocracy dismantle this way was quite as funny as ...you know, the shit. Should we talk about the HUD secretary quitting? We should probably definitely talk about Paul O'Neill for a second. Asked if he felt any bitterness toward the Administration for freezing him out of all policy discussion, then unceremoniously firing him in a kind of Kafkaesque series of events Ron Suskind then wrote a book about, he says:
No. I'm thankful I got fired when I did, so that I didn't have to be associated with what they subsequently did.
MEGAN: Okay, I seriously laughed out loud at the O'Neill quote.
MEGAN: The HUD secretary quitting is all Katrina! Hooray, someone besides Brownie being held responsible for that colossal clusterfuck.
MOE: Hahahah this is better:
McCain recently confessed in public that his grasp of economics is limited.Yeah. That's a great place to start from, isn't it?
He does not love him some Straight Talk Expressway To Your Heart.
MOE: Oh dude, also, Efraim Diveroli's dad talked to the press. "I would prefer he became a nice Jewish doctor or lawyer rather than an arms dealer."
MEGAN: OMG, Paul O'Neill may be the most hilarious cabinet secretary Bush ever fired.
MEGAN: Um, I think even if you're Jewish you still have to be smart to be a doctor or a lawyer.
MOE: Yeah he's a mensch. I actually bought his book but I didn't probably read it. Also, speaking of filial piety or something — kids? — there was some meme around about how Bob Casey has a whole army of kids who all told him to endorse Obama. And Hillary is, to say the least, kind of over this whole "My kids made me do it" excuse. Did you read that? I don't think I imagined it.
MEGAN: I love how Hillary's all done with "my kids made me do it" but she's got her daughter out campaigning for her.
MOE: Big pimping so to speak. wait also: Eliot Spitzer and the socks.
MEGAN: I cannot fuck a guy who is naked except for his socks. It's just too weird.