You conservatives make me laugh.
Here you have a war hero taking control of your party — a real one, not like our guy last time, what was his name, you know, “Mr. Sixteen Weeks” — and you’re acting like he’s some weird combination of William Howard Taft and Leon Trotsky. Sure, he’s a little nutty after all those years getting his bones re-broken every six months at the Hanoi Hilton, and his hand more or less grazed the cookie jar during the Keating Five scandal, but compared to Mrs. Kazakhstan and the guy who has Tony Rezko for a slumlord, he’s as clean as a freshly wiped baby’s bottom.
I mean, come on. One-on-one against Barry Hussein Jr., John McCain can make two winning points for you.
1) “Victory“ in Bush’s illegal war in Iraq, supported by a grownup Naval officer, vs. immediate and unconditional surrender advocated by the jug-eared Punahou Kid with second-hand Sixties’ sensibilities.
2) An end to profligate pork-barrel spending from a guy who’s made his bones on the subject vs. a big-government socialist who apparently thinks everybody in America is entitled to a free house and a college education.
Which, it goes without saying, they are. But I realize that a lot of you stone-hearted right-wing nuts don’t agree with us Hollywood liberals. Hey — if we could put a man on the moon, why can’t we achieve a Just Society where everybody lives in solar-powered grass huts and Harvard professors come to your door to teach medieval gay African history?
As for Herself, well… if your side can’t beat a little woman who’s been fighting for change at the highest levels of state and national government for 35 years and hasn’t accomplished a damn thing; who’s a thinly disguised end-run around the 22nd Amendment on behalf of her husband, and who’s a willing helpmeet in what’s basically an international criminal enterprise based in the old gangland town of Hot Springs, Ark., then you’re too stupid to elect a president.
What we like about McCain, of course, is that he’s not really one of you. He’s for more Mexicans, higher taxes, leaving the nuclear option on the table when dealing with the Arabs but taking it off the table when dealing with the Senate Judiciary Committee. He’s flanked by his flunky Lindsey on one side and that Jewish guy who, somebody told me, ran for vice president on our ticket eight years ago. (Is that true?)
He’s not really one of us, either, but — and this is just between you and me — we all harbor a secret lust for a man in uniform, since there are hardly any on our side, just knowing what Big John went through after he got shot down in 1967 during Nixon’s criminal and unjust war in Vietnam gives us a warm and fuzzy feeling.
O.K., Johnson was president at the time, but you know what I mean.
And yet, here I am, tooling along Sunset in the rain, hearing from all sides that we’re about to throw in the towel on the writers’ strike — the big WGA meeting is Saturday night — when my finger accidentally punches in KFI and there’s Rush Limbaugh, making this all out to be about him! That a vote for McCain is a vote against the Mighty Limbaugh! And Sean Hannity, too!
Now, I never listen to the Sage of Cape Giradeau, Mo., because even without tuning him in I just know he’s a crazed bigoted racist homophobe who wants to put liberals in concentration camps; all my friends say so. But here he is ranting about McCain, deploring the fact that guys like me say nice things about McCain, as if he were some kind of crypto-Democrat, when as we all know bipartisanship is where it’s at, kumbaya, and can’t we all just get along?
Which means: Do it our way and maybe we’ll pretend to like you.
But what choice do you have? It’s amazing how the scales have suddenly fallen from our eyes. For years, we’ve been prisoners of both the Clinton Myth, that only the Restoration of Mr. Bill could save us from the evil Bush-Cheney Rethuglicans; and of Bush Derangement Syndrome, which has as its central tenet the fact that all evil in the world can be laid at Bush’s feet.
We’ve since woken up to the Clintons. Then — just by accident, mind you — I read something your own Peggy Noonan said in print the other day: That the thing that fractured the Republican party was Bush.
Not the Bush of Bush’s Illegal and Immoral War in Iraq for Oil and Halliburton. No, the Chimp-in-Chief was far too clever for that. While you conservative chump neo-cons were all focused on “Mission Accomplished” and Petraeus and benchmarks and purple fingers, Bush — a genius! — was sneaking stuff in the back door. Stuff like No Child Left Behind, prescription drugs for seniors, tax-refund checks for people who don’t pay income taxes. The Bush who rolled over for the Gang of 14, the Bush who signed the McCain-Feingold Act, the Bush who didn’t veto a single spending bill.
Who’s neo-conning whom now?
There’s a line in Road to Perdition where a little kid at a funeral sees a smile on the face of the gangster played by that new James Bond guy, and he asks him what’s so funny. “It’s all so [bleepin’] hysterical,” he says.
So if Rush is right, and Mother of Mercy this really is the end of Rico the Conservative, we here in Hollywood agree with Daniel Craig: After all, you’ve managed to parlay two presidential elections into the loss of both houses of Congress, a cratering stock market, a real-estate meltdown, and a looming recession. And now that you have a guy who could actually win, you don’t want him.
It’s all so bleepin’ hysterical.
– David Kahane is a nom de cyber for a writer in Hollywood. “David Kahane” is borrowed from a screenwriter character in The Player.