I know that some of you are sitting around waiting for a deus ex machina to descend from the sky and start singing a castrati aria. As you lie in bed hugging your pillow and ogling that dreamboat Glenn Beck at two in the morning, you start to fantasize about Mr. Right . . . and then a tall, dark, fat, and handsome Chris Christie emerges from the shadows like Fabio on the cover of a bodice-ripper and sweeps you off your feet, or your bum, or whatever, and into the perfumed night . . .
Well, let me let you in on a little secret — your beautiful dream is our worst nightmare. Except that we don’t see Christie as Fabio, we see him as another Italian, namely Tony Soprano. Unlike Mitt, Mitch, and the Diana-figure from The Shanghai Gesture, Chris Christie Superstar knows how to bring it; he would take the fight to Barry in a debate like Tony beating the bejesus out of the bartender at the Bada Bing club only, you know, with words and Pine Barren ’tude. Talk about a cheer moment — even those of us on the left who’ve had to swallow our formerly principled opposition to Gitmo, waterboarding, rendition, Special Ops, and, well, assassination in the interests of national solidarity might feel a thrill or two.
But the Fat Man says he ain’t running, nohow, no way. And I can respect that: When the Boss
is one of your subjects, who wouldn’t want to be King of the Boardwalk? Nucky Johnson
’s got nothing on Chris. Still, can you imagine a Christie/Allen West ticket — two cans of whup-ass in a one-can cubicle. Even Hillary ’12!
couldn’t stand up to that.
So what are you poor slobs going to do? Who’s going to be the tomato can offering sham opposition to His Highness’s media-ordained second term in exchange for face-time emoluments down the line? Who’s going to be the designated patsy in the next Obama hagiography by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann? Who’s going to want to see his or her reputation trashed, the family dragged through the mud, the appearances on Morning Joe and Meet the Press at least temporarily halted? Whom will you find to cause Mika Brzezinski to sigh and roll her eyes prettily at the very mention of the unholy name? In short, who’s going to be the palooka?
Luckily, you’ve already got him, a candidate who’s tanned, rested, tested, and ready to lose. A man who’s seen both sides now, who’s experienced the E-ticket ride from the heights of media adulation to the depths of ignominious and disgraceful defeat and up again. A hero for our times, who’s fought back from the electoral disaster of 2008 to resume his rightful place among the Talking Heads Elect. The man to whom you owe absolutely nothing for your transient victories in the midterms. The man who, more than anybody else, gave us the glorious reign of the Emperor Hussein.
The man who never saw an aisle he didn’t want to reach across, even if he has to regenerate a new limb or two every few weeks. The fighter pilot with the common touch, who has so many houses, thanks to his rich second wife, that he can’t remember how many there are. A man of peace who never met a war he didn’t want to start, especially if we can bomb the bastards into submission without getting shot down. A man of such political bravery that he’s willing to attack his own side wherever and whenever it’s expedient. A man who takes a licking, likes it, and keeps on licking.
Ladies and gentlemen and Republicans, I give you John McCain.
Go ahead. You know you want to. It’s so much easier on all of us this way.
— As a Hollywood insider, David Kahane remains scrupulously nonpartisan in his politics: He votes for liberals and Democrats alike. You can sign on to DAVEPAC ’12 by writing to him at [email protected] or by abjectly begging him to be your illusory “friend” on Facebook, just as long as you shell out for your personal copy of Rules for Radical Conservatives. Proof of purchase required. Hey — it’s still a capitalist country, for the nonce.