( – promoted by buhdydharma )
My title might be a bit of an overstatement (ruh-roh), but its a reaction to just reading James Walcott’s The Good, The Bad, and Joe Lieberman in his annual roundup of winners and losers at Vanity Fair. This is one of the most entertaining pieces I’ve read in a long time!
In his summary of “winners,” after giving a bit of due credit to Plouffe and Axelrod for running Obama’s campaign “with a supersonic hum and a minimum of bared ego,” he jumps right to one of my favorite bloggers, Al Giodano (where I first learned of this article).
The first to grasp the portent of what was taking shape was the prophet of the Obama paradigm shift, the journalist/activist/online editor/blogger Al Giordano, who, as a student of the teachings and tactics of community organizer Saul Alinsky (whose Rules for Radicals is the guerrilla guide for domestic insurgents), divined the advantage that Obama’s small-donor base gave him against old-school juggernauts. In a prescient article for The Boston Phoenix in September 2007, …”It is Obama’s history as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago-and the application of that experience to organizing his campaign-that is making the 2008 cycle distinct from previous ones. Where [Howard] Dean failed to convert his donor-activist base into effective organization, Obama is apparently writing the book on how to do it.”
Emphasis mine because look how early he made that prediction!
Who’s up next? None other than Nate Silver from FiveThirtyEight. How cool is this description by Wolcott?????
“This uncanny accuracy is the equivalent of dropping a penny from the top of a 50 story building and landing it in a shot glass,” John Cole wrote at Balloon Juice. “This is sick accurate.” Silver also became an instant cable-news savant, his geek-genius glasses and owlish mien worthy of a Starfleet sub-adjutant whose quadratic equations coolly foil an attack from a Romulan vessel while the senior officers are frantically poking at their touch screens.
After giving a nod to Sarah Silverman for her viral video, The Great Schlep, Wolcott goes on to someone who’s not technically a blogger, but she loves us and WE LOVE HER!!!!! Of course, I’m talking about Rachel Maddow.
The Sabrina story of the season was Rachel Maddow’s captivating rise from minor-league hottie to prom-queen media darling…Maddow’s sparky enthusiasm at being the new kid on the block stood in marked contrast with the granitic monotone of Fox News hosts such as Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, who tried to gin up scary-Obama controversy with their customary one-two of jabbing fingers and gritted dentures, relying on a right-wing playbook from the Clinton-bashing era that’s as stale as one of Roger Ailes’s old stogies.
Wolcott then goes on at length about the impact of Oprah Winfrey on the Obama campaign (borrrr-ing), and hits on will.i.am’s viral video Yes We Can. His last nominee for winner is not blog related, but we sure heard alot about it on the blogs after the election…gun shop owners.
No group of winners enjoyed a more perverse windfall than gun-shop owners, whose showrooms were besieged by militiamen, survivalists, deerstalkers, rifle-range groupies, fans of the cult film Red Dawn, and other Second Amendment bitter-enders loading up on guns, scopes, and ammo as if ready to refight the Battle of the Alamo in the Home Depot parking lot…America being the unhappy hunting ground of multiple homicides, a volatile combination of stockpiled weapons, political resentment, psychological rage, and economic distress could generate many a tragic headline going forward as some of that surplus ammo gets used up.
I won’t go into all his picks for loosers, but they include Michael Barone (for saying journalists criticized Palin because she didn’t abort her Down’s Syndrome baby), Hugh Hewitt (for being so completely WRONG about everything), and Karl Rove.
Poetic justice doesn’t get more perfectly crafted than the spectacle of Fox News political analyst Karl Rove-Bush’s “brain,” the intellectual architect of the permanent Republican majority, the reigning dean of the Lee Atwater school of cutthroat division, the hissable villain who busted hip-hop moves with NBC’s David Gregory-watching his dream castle wash out to sea as Pennsylvania and Ohio went for Obama, and with it his hope of spending the rest of history gloating with both baby cheeks…he hopped on the merry-go-round of Beltway punditry, quickly establishing himself as the thinking man’s Dick Morris, which is something of a comedown after being Satan.
And the final looser of 2008 is…the Republican Moderate.
Its habitat destroyed, picked off one by one, the Republican Moderate is going the way of the auk and the dodo, fading into extinction…To those who pine for a cooperative spirit of partisanship, who bathe in the healing bubbles of Washington sages David Broder and David Gergen, the demise of the Republican Moderate is an occasion for elegy…Moderation is emasculation in the minds of militant conservatives, and pruning the party of wishy-washies will produce a lean, mean fighting machine for 2008 dream girl Sarah Palin, whose flash stardom was a boon to Tina Fey and a Viagra boost to conservative gawkers, whose pants ballooned like Jiffy Pop bags whenever she appeared on TV in glorious array.
And then there’s Lieberman.
Aligning himself with the wrong team, having the effrontery to show up grinning on the stage at the Republican convention, Lieberman was the loser’s loser of the 2008 election-in the immortal words of Groucho Marx, Go, and never darken our towels again!