We all have friends who live one way and vote another. I have a friend who is a passionate semi-pro musician who hangs out mostly with lefties but votes Republican. He lives as a liberal but votes conservative. I don’t get it.
That’s how I felt the first time I saw Tim Miller on MSNBC. He’s a gay man with long-ish hair and a sense of humor similar to mine. He’s more into alliteration than punning: he calls the Impeached Insult Comedian a “bigoted, barmy, bargain-basement Berlusconi” in his new book, Why We Did It.
The same Tim Miller is the ex-GOP hatchet man of the post title. He was a professional pot stirrer and troll. He was good at it and didn’t consider the broader implications of his slash and burn tactics. He was too caught up in “the Game.” That refers to the code that professional political operatives live by. If you’re a player in “the Game” it’s okay to be a gay man who works for homophobes who want to take your rights away. Miller was never a hater, he just worked for them.
The education of Tim Miller accelerated when future president* Pennywise entered the 2016 presidential race. Miller was a key aide to Jeb Bush and specialized in throwing witty bombs at that shitty man, Donald Trump.
Miller describes drinking with Lindsey Graham during the campaign and listening to the senator rant about Trump. Graham got over his disgust with the Kaiser of Chaos because he wanted to be in the mix. To his credit, Tim Miller never did.
Why We Did It is Tim Miller’s attempt to explain why seemingly decent people sold their souls to the cotton candy piss haired devil. He divides his former colleagues into such clever categories that they merit bullet points:
- Messiahs and Junior Messiahs
- LOL Nothing Matters Republicans
- Tribalist Trolls
- Little Mixers
- Peter Principle Disprovers
- Nerd Revengers
- The Inert Team Players
- The Compartmentalizers
- Cartel Cashers
Miller gives specific example of all these types in a witty way. The man can really write. I’m glad he came over from the dark side.
Miller tried to continue his life as a PR professional, but it led to some backsliding. It’s almost impossible to be an honest person connected to the party of Trump, so Miller moved to Oakland, California got married, adopted a child, and focuses on writing and spewing venom at Trumpers on teevee and at The Bulwark.
After reading Why We Did It, I have a better grasp of why so many Republican political types sold out to Trumpism. It was the path of least resistance and there was money to be made. There’s also a pervasive feeling of butthurt over supposed indignities inflicted on them by the libs. Owning the libs was why they supported the ultimate troll:
Repeat after me: Don’t call them conservatives. Use Tim Miller’s list instead.
Why We Did It is informative and entertaining. It’s the rare warts and all memoir as Miller details his own follies and foibles. It’s also funnier than a ferret down the trousers. An alternate title for this review could have been Life Imitates Veep.
Grading Time: I give Why We Did It by Tim Miller 3 1/2 stars and an Adrastos grade of B+. It could rate higher but there’s a penalty for being a reformed GOP hatchet man.
There’s one Miller mystery remaining: Why is he an LSU football fan? He’s not from the Gret Stet and didn’t attend the university. I asked Mr. Google to no avail. I guess I should ask Tim on the Tweeter Tube.
The last word goes to Graham Parker with a song whose title describes Tim Miller’s life as a GOP hatchet man:
UPDATE: Tim answered my question on the Tweeter Tube:
Shoulda asked me the final q last night at Garden District book shop.
My best friends dad played for LSU and now lives in BR. Been coming down for games every year for two decades now. Geaux tigers.
— Tim Miller (@Timodc) July 16, 2022