Friday, November 16, 2007


Most of the blog discussion of the John McCain fund-raising e-mail that cites the nasty question recently posed to him ("How do we beat the bitch?") focuses on the New York Times story and Times blog post, both by Katharine Seelye, which seem to suggest that the fund-raising message could be harmful to Hillary Clinton's campaign rather than seeming like an act of distasteful crassness on McCain's part.

That's true, and it's good to pay attention to how the press crafts narratives. But you should read the McCain e-mail itself -- it's here. As you can see, the focus is less on Hillary than on one CNN report on the incident (the video is conveniently posted on McCain's Web site). Out of this, McCain's campaign concocts a vast -- and utterly preposterous -- left-wing conspiracy, based on notions that are figments of the collective wingnut imagination:

The CNN Network, affectionately known as the Clinton News Network, has stooped to an all-time low and is gratuitously attacking John McCain for not defending Hillary Clinton enough when a South Carolina voter used the 'B' word to describe her when John McCain stopped into a luncheon yesterday at the Trinity restaurant in Hilton Head, SC.

... Liberal bloggers and their friends at CNN went on the attack yesterday and continued their attacks through the night.... We are not going to let Senator Clinton's friends in the liberal blogosphere and on CNN try to destroy our campaign.

...The liberal media has figured out that John McCain is the only thing that stands between a Hillary Clinton presidency, and they are therefore trying to stop the McCain comeback.

...With your help John McCain will fight back against this onslaught by CNN and their liberal friends in the blogosphere ...

I know that the Bush administration is majority wingnut, and I know that wingnuts predominate in the '08 GOP candidates' campaigns; it doesn't surprise me, say, when paranoid fretting about a possible UN takeover of the Internet shows up simultaneously on Brent Bozell's NewsBusters and Fred Thompson's blog.

But I somehow thought John McCain, conservative as he is, was a bit more old school. Silly me. Is there a non-wingnut wing of the right anymore?


UPDATE: I wonder if people are going to start wearing these to McCain rallies:

Maybe someone in Iowa or New Hampshire ought to try it, just to see how St. John reacts the second time.

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