Saturday similes and metaphors.
The Man Who Never Was
Desperate to keep his Senate seat, John McCain repudiated his record, his principles, and even his maverick reputation, entrenching himself as the anti-Obama. Which raises the issue of whether the leader so many Americans admired—and so many journalists covered—ever truly existed...
But it fell to Hayworth, a glib galoot who was twice informally ranked among the dumbest members of Congress during his 12 years in the House, to deliver the dead-on zinger that summed up where McCain has found himself in this strange and angry political season, struggling not to win the presidency but simply to hold on to the job which defines him, and which is all he has left. "It’s really sad to see John McCain, who should be revered as a statesman, basically reduced to a political shape-shifter," Hayworth said.
So it is.
The obvious explanation (McCain is, was, and will be a complete phony) seems to elude a lot of people.
Ezra Klein's submission to "great moments in punditry":
On the other hand, Krugman has a Nobel, and I, well, don't.
That's true for most of us.
Speaking of Krugman:
But American politics these days is anything but rational. Republicans bitterly opposed even the modest infrastructure spending contained in the Obama stimulus plan. And, on Thursday, Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, canceled America’s most important current public works project, the long-planned and much-needed second rail tunnel under the Hudson River.
It was a destructive and incredibly foolish decision on multiple levels. But it shouldn’t have been all that surprising. We are no longer the nation that used to amaze the world with its visionary projects. We have become, instead, a nation whose politicians seem to compete over who can show the least vision, the least concern about the future and the greatest willingness to pander to short-term, narrow-minded selfishness.
We can go to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and threaten to blow Iran off the face of the planet. We can conduct a nonstop campaign of drone and helicopter attacks in Pakistan and run a network of secret prisons around the world. We are the mightiest nation mankind has ever seen.
But we can’t seem to build a railroad tunnel to carry commuters between New Jersey and New York.
The United States is not just losing its capacity to do great things. It’s losing its soul. It’s speeding down an increasingly rubble-strewn path to a region where being second rate is good enough.
I recently wrote a column on the pressing question of which state is having the most terrible election this year. Nevada won. Immediately, there were outcries from voters who believed their state had been unfairly overlooked on the dreadfulness meter.
"How could you leave out Connecticut?"
"Give credit where it is due for top honors to KENTUCKY."
"Dang! Feeling a bit left out here in Massachusetts."
"What about Maine?"
But then there's Missouri.
"I would've never started watching Fox News if it wasn't for the fact that Beck was on there," says this friend, Byron Williams. "And it was the things he did, it was the things he exposed, that blew my mind."
"I do enjoy Glenn Beck," Williams also says, "and the reason why I enjoy that is because... no other channel will speak about the same things that he's talking about, and if you go and investigate those things you'll find out that they're true."
Unfortunately for Beck, this satisfied viewer currently resides at the Santa Rita Jail near Oakland and stands accused of a freeway shootout with police. Williams pleaded not guilty to four counts of attempted murder of a police officer. But according to court documents, he said he had been on a mission to kill people at the liberal Tides Foundation, which happens to be a favorite Beck target.
His fans have excellent judgment, just like he does. Well, that's comforting.