This one's by request.
I wrote a miniature biography of "talk radio host" (cue uproarious laughter) Taylor Marsh. Later, I resonded to her bullshit implications that I'm a "hate diarist" and a "gnat" who's "plumbing" her past as part of anti-Hillary McCarthyism. I suffered through Taylor Marsh's self-published vanity project of a "book" and offered a review. I became an illustrator after receiving veiled threats of future litigation because I appropriated her Glamour Shot-like photos.
I advised people to counteract her attempt to break out of the vanity radio box when she begged her zombie nation of commenters to contact Air America and XM Radio on her behalf. I've mentioned the fact that her blog and her childlike analysis are symptomatic of the worst kind of disease riddling our body politic.
Every time I discuss former Queen of the Personal Ads, at least a handful of her readers complain that I'm just hatin'. They say that my criticisms of the beauty-queen-turned-podcaster are nothing more than ad hominen attacks. Well, they don't really say that because the closest they get to Latin is when one of them identifies the local GED testing center as an alma mater. In any case, they claim I'm all insult and no substance.
Guess what? They're almost right. I haven't spent a lot of time pinpointing justifications for my position that Taylor Marsh is a substandard punditry. I sort of assumed it was obvious, I guess. Apparently, though, it isn't clear to everyone just how hackerific her ramblings really are. So, I'm going to take one recent post from Marsh and comment on it.
I doubt any of the Marshzombies will suddenly change their minds about Taylor after reading this. And I do understand the whole "why waste your time?" thing. Marsh backers sometimes seem more like followers of Marshall Applewhite than the former Michelle Marshall. I'm no Seneca, but "optimum est pati quod emendare non possis" is reasonably persuasive. Nonetheless, they did ask for it. It's the least I can do. Who knows, it might be fun, too. Oh, and I did the Latin thing just to be obnoxious.
I didn't feel a need to cherry pick the most idiotic possible post to review. I wanted to keep it fair. I picked a number between 1 and 10 and then cruised on over to Taylor Marsh's site. I designated the top post as "1" and counted along until I hit my magic number, "3". Red meat, kids. Red meat.
Headline: Obama Blows Democratic Party's McSame Strategy
This is rich. In case you haven't read this Marshit, I'll give you a handy dandy summary before working through it in greater detail:
Democrats should be pissed off at Barry Obama because he said that each of the three remaining candidates would be a better option than George W. Bush. Taylor believes that the big Democratic strategy for November hinges upon painting McCain as a Bush clone. Thus, mentioning that McCain may be a little less fucked in the head than George W. is a strategic error of the highest order.
No, seriously. That's the argument. Wow! I knew this would be easy, but this is almost TOO easy, don't you think? Let's take a closer look at the wit and wisdom of the blogosphere's favorite vanity author and purchaser of AM radio time, shall we?
Originally, I thought about doing a line-by-line dissection. I realized that was going to be a little too time-consuming. Plus, I'd hate to have Marsh get all worked up about having the full text of her goofery republished elsewhere. So, I invite you to read her whole crazy post on your own. Here are a few of the many reasons her post is weaker than 3.2 beer at the ballpark:
ONE: SHE PRETENDS AS IF HER UNDERLYING ASSUMPTION IN GOSPEL TRUTH
Marsh's argument relies on the presupposition that the "McSame" strategy is a good one. If you don't first accept the premise that comparing Bush to McCain is a winning plan, there's absolutely no reason to get hacked at Barry for saying that McCain might not be quite as bad as W.
As it turns out, there is reason to doubt that linking McCain to Bush might not be the most ingenious vote-gathering ploy in history.
First, it's going to be a tougher sell than people might think. Although the video from the DNC does a cute job of painting John and George as lovers, there are substantive disagreements between the two guys. McCain has made a point of reminding people of this differences, too. Now, you could argue that McCain's distancing efforts aren't compelling, but it isn't too hard to imagine him avoiding the Bush albatross around his neck--especially when Bushies are constantly criticizing him as being out of lockstep with the conservative march.
Second, it's not clear that linking Bush and McCain will actually result in a win. No matter how much we all might believe that W. is a complete failure of a President, the guy has demonstrated an ability to hang in there. He wasn't all that hip when he personally beat Kerry. It's not a certainty that Bush would be an anchor if tied to McCain. It might even help him get a little bit of that currently up-in-the-air conservative support.
Third, it's not really all that honest. McCain and Bush do hold similar perspectives on some very important issues. They are not long last fraternal twin brothers, though. Yes, McCain has flipped a little toward the Bush side on a handful of popular conservative issues. However, I don't think it's intellectually honest to argue that a McCain White House would be a twin of a Bush White House.
Fourth, even if it is a winning plan, it isn't the only winning plan. There's no reason to assume that undermining the McSame strategy spells inevitable Democratic doom.
That's the first error in Marsh's post. She assumes the "paint 'em with the same brush" is a sure thing winner. It isn't. Even IF you believe it is, however, her argument is still faulty.
TWO: OBAMA'S COMMENTS DON'T DECIMATE THE MCSAME APPROACH, ANYWAY
If you DO think that pairing McCain and Bush is a fine plan, there's no reason to go nutty over the fact that Obama said McCain would do a better job as POTUS than GWB. Saying someone would do a better job than George Bush sets the bar very low. My dead uncle would probably do a better job than George BUsh, even though he's been buried for ten years. Your dog has a 50/50 chance of fucking up things less than George Bush. We could elect a former porn site editor with delusions of grandeur into the White House and she'd poll with higher approval numbers than GWB.
Saying that McCain is better than bush is like saying it might be marginally better to have someone kick the shit out of you for an hour than it would be to have them stab you seven times in the midsection with a rusty chef's knife. It isn't a compliment of great significance. "Hey, John McCain, I think you'd be a better President than randomly selected drunken hobo with a schizophrenic disorder." Wow, I'm sure he'll take that compliment with a smile, right?
It's not necessary to completely demonize John McCain to criticize him effectively. There are plenty of things not to like about John McCain. If you believe that Bush and McCain are political twins, you can still make that argument without refusing to recognize that Johnny Mac might be a little better than George W.
Those, like Marsh, who get indignant and offended by a willingness on Obama's part to admit that McCain is not the bastard son of Hitler and Ilse Koch, bother me. It's as if they fear any insertion of reason and perspective into politics will somehow render their candidates and messages impotent. I don't think that's the case and I tend to believe that the instinctive desire to portray political rivals as the embodiment of pure evil is one reason why voter apathy is so high. Instead of turning down the bullshit heat as a way of inviting people back to the political table, the kneejerks believe that cranking the burner up to "high" will somehow attract a crowd.
THREE: MARSH IS BASICALLY ADVOCATING DISHONESTY
According to Taylor Marsh, we need Obama mentioning that anyone would do better than George Bush as much as we do a "whole [sic] in the head". Apparently, we should avoid the truth if it might hurt a little bit. Anything to win, right Monster fans?
Look, McCain would be a better President than George Bush. A LOLCat would be a better President than George Bush. It's okay to know that. It's okay to say that.
There is a reason why McCain draws a relatively high level of Independent support compared to most Republicans. There is a reason McCain is often considered a moderate Republican. It's because he's not as fucked up as Gorgeous George. No, I'm not campaigning for Johnny Mac here. I'm just willing to admit that he is less of a buffoon that Bush. Why am I comfortable saying that? Uh, because it's true.
And even if you don't think there's a beam of daylight between Dubya and John, it seems very unlikely that McCain could duplicate the fuckuppery of the Bush Administration even if he tried. Assembling a cast of dimwits (Ashcroft, Gonzalez, Rumsfeld, Cheney, et al.) requires a perfect storm of bad luck and weak decision making. It's a one-of-a-kind freakshow of idiocy.
Marsh is basically arguing that it's more important to keep a questionable strategy intact for November than it is to let a little honesty slip into our political discourse. That's a reprehensible position to take. Even those who do see two peas in a pod when they look at Bush and McCain know, deep in their hearts, that Johnny is a slightly better guy than John.
Don't believe me? Ask Taylor's fan club. Her commenters are always jabbering about how they'll vote McCain if things don't break their way. Unless these "Democrats" are willing to sign up for a so-called Bush third term, they recognize that McCain isn't THAT bad. Either that, or they are just so anti-Obama that they've lost all control over their faculties. I suppose it's probably the second option, so I'll just leave it at that.
I simply can't understand why someone would argue that it's better to tell a lie or to commit a lie of omission than it is to be honest. I can't understand why anyone would value ends over means in that way when our current messes can so often be traced back to an unwillingness to confront issues, people and ideas in a way that keeps our intellectual credibility intact. That's the Marsh argument, though. Demonize McCain like crazy, even if you have to sidestep the truth, because it's a "winning strategy". Who else feels nauseated by this Monster-like thinking?
FOUR: MARSH'S HYPOCRISY WITH RESPECT TO PARTY LOYALTY
There's another reason Marsh's goofball missive is startling. It is wildly hypocritical. Follow along with me here, kids...
Marsh is willing to roast Barry O. because he won't play along with what she perceives as being the DNC's plan. You gotta be on the same page with the party to keep McCain out of the White House. Yet Marsh has no problem whatsoever with Clinton's past intimations that McCain would be a better President (or at least a more qualified President) than Barack Obama. In Taylor's world, it's okey dokey to slice the neck of one of your own party's most significant figures but it's not okay to deviate from the DNC anti-Republican plan.
You can fuck each other over with hot pokers, Barry and Hillary. That's consistent with party loyalty standards. Just don't admit that McCain might not be as bad as Bush. THAT is unacceptable. That seems to be the wildly hypocritical loyalty argument she's making.
FIVE: MARSH'S BABBLE IGNORES PAST CLINTON STATEMENTS
Coming down on Obama for saying that McCain isn't as putrid as Bush completely ignores past statements made by Hillary Clinton, who comes out smelling like a rose in the Marsh post. Taylor arguest that Clinton's past comments about McCain only say that he'd be a formidable opponent--not that he'd be better than George Bush. That's enough of a difference for her to attack Barack and to lovingly caress the snakes that make up Monster's hair. It's also bullshit.
Clinton has told the world that McCain has crossed the Commander in Chief threshhold. She's consistently tried to portray herself and John McCain as the two legitimate contenders while Barack is, in her view, a guy who once gave a speech. The combined weight of Hillary's comments about John McCain indicate that she knows he's not a complete fuck up ala George W. Bush.
To pretend as though her past remarks and Bill's infamous "two people who love this country" crap, and assorted other examples of her campaign indicating that John McCain is not a slobbering piece of shit are somehow less at odds with the McSame strategy is the worst kind of bullshit cherry picking.
Hillary Clinton has had some halfway decent things to say about McCain while, sometimes in the same speeches, lambasting Bush. There's a reason why that happens. McCain isn't as bad as Bush. He might be bad, but he's not as bad. Everyone with a brain knows that. Too pretend as though it must be kept a secret is silliness. Pretending as if Hillary has somehow worked diligently to protect the party strategy by not clearly stating "McCain may be slightly less damaging than our current putz" is ignorant in the truest sense of the word.
SIX: ELEVEN FUCKING WORDS, PEOPLE.
The McSame post is all about the way Obama is hosing the Dems by not hating on McCain strongly enough. Although Marsh lays out this childlike argument with her usual level of acumen (not a compliment), she glosses over Obama's actual remarks. Oh, she provides them, but she only plays with the part she likes. Here's what Barry said:
"You have a real choice in this election. Either Democrat would be better than John McCain," Obama said to cheers from a rowdy crowd in central Pennsylvania. Then he said: "And all three of us would be better than George Bush."
She's obsessed with those last eleven words. Oh, by the way, those eleven words were just about the only part of Obama's presentation that had anything to do with drawing a comparison between McCain and Bush. He didn't expound upon this notion that McCain was better than Dubya for hours and hours. We're talking about eleven words. Oh, and those eleven words came right after eight words that actually DO put the comment into perspective.
"Either Democrat would be better than John McCain."
Yeah, it really sounds like Barry wants a job on the Straight Talk Express, doesn't it? He didn't give a pro-McCain speech. He gave a pro-Obama speech, which is what you'd expect from a guy who's campaigning. He was nice enough, however, to give Hillary a little thumbs up, though. I think that's sort of nice to him considering that Hillary's fucked up rant about the dreaded eleven words were nothing more than a double-barrelled attack on Barack and John McCain.
Obama: "Either Democrat would be better than John McCain."
Monster (after criticizing McCain): "We need a nominee who will take on John McCain, not cheer on John McCain, and I will be that nominee."
Who's "on the same page" with the Democratic party again, Taylor?
And who really thinks it's a good idea to get so worked up over a single sentence in a longer speech that isn't inaccurate or dishonest? Is that really the kind of politics we want?
It is in Taylor's marsh, I guess.
Me? I'm looking for something a little better. And something that makes a little more sense.
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