(A flock of nuthatches in their natural habitat, courtesy of TBogg.)
"Anything that might be of interest to Slitscan. Which is to say, Laney, anything that might be of interest to Slitscan’s audience. Which is best visualized as a vicious, lazy, profoundly ignorant, perpetually hungry organism craving the warm god-flesh of the anointed. Personally I like to imagine something the size of a baby hippo, the color of a week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself, in the dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka. It’s covered with eyes and it sweats constantly. The sweat runs into those eyes and makes them sting. It has no mouth, Laney, no genitals, and can only express its mute extremes of murderous rage and infantile desire by changing the channels on a universal remote. Or by voting in presidential elections."
--William Gibson, Idoru, 1996
It's genuinely hard to say who came off worse in the Republican YouTube debate last night, the group of self-satisfied man-children in the race (you know it's bad when Newt Gingrich calls you a bunch of "pygmies") or the terrifying Republican questioners. Even the Weekly Standard was appalled.
The money quote of the day:
So, a good night for for the lowest denominator, a bad night for the GOP. America got to see a vaguely threatening parade of gun fetishists, flat worlders, Mars Explorers, Confederate flag lovers and zombie-eyed-Bible-wavers as well as various one issue activists hammering their pet causes.
Forgive me for patting myself on the back, but I predicted this:
Let’s get something straight here. The reason the Republicans are running from a YouTube debate has nothing to do with embarrassing themselves and everything to do with the horror that is the Republican base. Imagine a whole two hour debate composed entirely of questions from men lovingly cradling their assault rifles, matronly polyester-swathed frumps of much avoirdupois braying and squawking about abstinence-only education and the danger of Harry Potter in our schools, angry old men taking a break from standing on their porches shouting, “Get the hell out of my yard!” to stare Mike Gravel-like into the camera and demand to know what the candidates plan to do about “th’ dayumn Mexicans”.
Of course, all of Wingnuttia is aflame after last night's dismal showing. There have been cries of "Conspiracy!", accusations that CNN is pursuing Teh Librull Agenda, blah, blah, blah. Fortunately, ex-conservative John Cole has been on fire today, providing some much-needed perspective to the fray:
The right-wing Bush fluffer-sphere is up in arms because the country got a good look at who the GOP really is last night. And when you look at what the GOP really is, and what they really believe in and what they really stand for, well, that just ain’t good for the Republicans.Of course, the candidates themselves didn't come off much better. My personal favorite moment was the "Sanctuary City" snipe-fest between Ghouliani and Romney, which I have boiled down to its essence for those of you who were too busy to tune in:
Mitt: Rudy likes Mexicans!
Rudy: Nuh-uh. You like Mexicans!
Mitt: Do not!
Rudy: Do too!
Mitt: Do not!
And so forth and so on. Dickless weasels.
I have to admit, however, that I share Jane at FDL's concern that Rudy is going to shoot himself in the foot before the primaries. We need him to be the Republican nominee, with all his expense-padding, mistress-having, oh-so-brittle posturing and painfully self-important bluster.
I predict that he will be the nominee whatever happens, in part because he's the Fox News candidate, and everybody knows that what Fox decrees, the GOP obeys unflinchingly, and also because no man in America exemplifies the real face of the Republican Party in 2007 more than Rudy. What with his crooked friends, his moral failings and inconsistencies, his self-righteous arrogance, authoritarianism, and "me-first-at-all-costs" sense of entitlement, Rudy Giuliani is the mouth-breathing, sheet-wearing, race-baiting, cousin-humping, Constitution-shredding New Republican Party.
Except that Rudy has most of his teeth.
Hey, no unified field theory is ever truly perfect.