TPM reader:

No one campaigns sleazier than a Bush. The fact that the family maintains plausible deniability to distance itself from the sleaze it peddles on their opponents only makes them more, not less slimy. McCain’s sleaziness is unique only insofar as he seems to have an extraordinary ability to believe that he is hewing to some imaginary code of honor while engaging in dirty, illegitimate attacks that he would righteously denounce were they launched against him.

I think what makes McCain’s campaign seem so unprecedentedly disgusting is that McCain and his fluffers in the press corps spent a great deal of time telling us what an above-board, honorable dude he was, all concerned about country and history and tradition and the flag and such. His whole appeal was predicated on being A Good Guy.

Whereas everybody kind of knew Bush was a lazy, fratty asshole. Even when people loved him, they loved him not for his sense of honor or his integrity but for his aggression, his certainty, and his stupidity, or in the parlance of Tweety and his ilk, his common touch. Even the most enthusiastic asslickers never held him up as some kind of icon of decency. There was no illusion there to shatter.


10 thoughts on “Unique

  1. Yeah, nobody expected much from Poppy and Barb’s frat-rat loser – it’s part of the reason why many of us were so appalled about the closeness, much less the theft, in 2000. This is what won?
    It seems like every time I turn around, McCain is finding a new way to say FUCK YOU to me. Seriously. True, much of it has to do with his giant FUCK YOU that keeps on giving, Bible Spice, but the head turning and eye popping lying – it’s a giant, stinking, steaming pile of brazen-ness that offends, disrespects, and insults me.
    I expected better from him. You’re absolutely right – I expected better from him, after what was done to him in 2000. I would never have voted for him, but now, he’s so toxic to me that I want him shamed and demoralized, and to retreat to one of his 12 homes and never be heard from again. We’re all dumber and coarser and poorer for the dishonor he has subjected us to in the past year.

  2. No big surprise, if you’ve read anything about McCain over the years that he turns out to be a lazy, fratty asshole, too. Bush, J. Sidney. Peas in a pod who only got to where they are because of their fathers.

  3. Yeah, leinie, I expected better from him, too. Not because I necessarily bought into the St. McCain of Holy Maverickness image, but because I thought if there was anybody who understood and HATED the take-no-prisoners style of campaigning, it was McCain. I thought his experience in 2000 would have made him averse to using those tactics in his campaign.
    Boy, was I wrong. I guess I underestimated his blind ambition and pure assholery.

  4. His whole appeal was predicated on being A Good Guy.
    And it’s like he figured his Good Guy aura was so powerful and dazzling that we’d be blind to all the bullshit he was flinging. John, you can’t stick “I’m John McCain and I approve this message” on the end of a sleazy ad and not expect people to think that you, you know, approve the sleazy ad.
    Amateurish and unexpected. Where were the surrogates and 527s? Were they too broke to afford them for this election cycle?

  5. dan, that certainly seems to be the argument his defenders have been making. Oh, he was FORCED to be a nuclear-option dickhead because poor Obama just outspent him. As if McCain, generating enthusiasm from his own party, would not have been able to gather as many small donors as Obama. He’s blaming his own lack of appeal to Republicans on Obama’s unbelievable appeal to Democrats.
    It would be funny, if it wasn’t so sad.

  6. In 2000, I lived in South Carolina and got to see the sleeze from Bush on McCain. At the time, even though I disagreed with McCain I thought him an honorable man and someone I could have a good “give and take” with.
    Now I see him adopt the exact same tactics, down to hiring the same robocall firm that destroyed him to destroy Obama. I hear a total lack of respect for anyone who disagrees with him (you know, those who are “Un-American”). My respect level is WAAAYYYYYY down

  7. Shhh, people. They haven’t figured out yet that campaigning in the style of Karl Rove is no longer working. They’re still using the Lee Atwater playbook, that’s how far back this ingrained thinking goes. If we play this right, we can keep them going like this for at least one more election cycle.

  8. For me, it’s the flat out, no holds barred, not even disguised lies. At every turn, at every opportunity, lies and the defense of lies. On top of it all, all the racism, all the bigotry, all the dishonoring and cheap stunts, all covered and glossed over by aggressive lies.
    The other thing is the absolute lack of any shred of substance or complexity of discussion on real issues, which obviously, is also calculated, in an attempt to lower the tone that the Obama campaign has crafted, and to try and founder their well run ground game.
    It’s all just a big pile of ugly shit with no redeeming value. The fact that they have no shame or conscious about what they are doing and the effect it’s having on the electorate is insult to injury.

  9. mcPecker has fooled people a long time. i just happened to have his type as a father. the charming jerk. philanderer. cindy/imelda just happened to have more $ and father issues enough to hang on to the turd.

  10. It’s the same thing as his failure to call Bush out for Bush’s approval of torture. Everybody thought that McCain of all people would stand up and say, “Wait, I know what torture’s like, I know that it’s terrible, and there is no reason in the world that the United States should have anything to do with it!” But he didn’t. He made some noises, and then shut up when Bush did his signing statement, and he supported the bill that let the CIA continue to torture.
    The thing about McCain is that he doesn’t extrapolate from his personal experience (with being the victim of torture, or the victim of slimy political tricks) to decide that those things are bad and that he shouldn’t engage in them himself.
    What’s honorable about that?

Comments are closed.