The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The Weird Turn Pro

Posted on | December 21, 2011 | 19 Comments

“Some people claim that the ancient Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world in 2012. While I am generally skeptical toward such doomsday prophecies, recent events have undermined my habitual skepticism and filled me with foreboding premonitions. If 2012 doesn’t bring the end of the entire cosmos, there are those who say it is likely to destroy the Republican Party as we know it, and the first cataclysmic event is now less than two weeks away. . . .
“Pundits were thrown into a full-blown schizophrenic frenzy by the prospect that Texas Rep. Ron Paul might win the Iowa caucuses. Since late November, no poll has shown Paul worse than third place in Iowa. Two polls this week have Paul first, with Gingrich slipping to third behind Romney in one poll, and all the way to fourth place in another. According to some conservatives, a Paul victory in the Hawkeye State would be the worst thing to happen to the Republican Party since Lincoln’s assassination. It might even be a sign of the final apocalypse foretold by the ancient Mayan calendar.”

Robert Stacy McCain, “Hawkeye Fever,” The American Spectator

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”
Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72

Apocalyptic prophecies are a dime a dozen these days and, thanks to Ben Bernanke’s inflationary policies at the Fed, a dime ain’t what it used to be. But we at least see the fulfillment of Thompson’s prophecy: The going in Iowa has become genuinely weird, and who is more prepared for that weirdness than a pro like me?

Five days from now — Dec. 26, the day after Christmas — I’ll fly into Cedar Rapids to try to get a handle on the campaign madness that is now, according to pundits, turning Iowa into a vast Midwestern insane asylum.

Here are some of the latest Hawkeye State headlines:

‘I’m for income inequality,’ Santorum says
Des Moines Register

Vote 2012: Ron Paul Takes Lead
in KCRG/Gazette/ISU Poll

KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids

Perry Dismisses Gingrich’s
Complaint of ‘Negative’ Campaigning

New York Times

Santorum showing signs of life in Iowa
The Hill

Newt Gingrich to gay Iowan: Vote for Obama
Des Moines Register

Newt’s Campaign Comes Down To Earth As
Iowan Calls Him ‘F—king A—hole’ To His Face

Talking Points Memo

Lots of Republicans have been calling Newt Gingrich that for years, but only in Iowa does an ordinary citizen get a chance to say it to his face.

Fear and loathing are rampaging out of control in the American Heartland, you see, and I’m just five days away from being right in the thick of it, thanks to readers who have contributed to the Shoe Leather Fund the past three days. Thanks are owed today to tip-jar hitters including Chris in South Dakota, Paolo in St. Petersburg, Buffy in Peachtree City, Michael in Texas, Peter in Spring Hill, Richard in New Jersey, Bill in Falls Church, Mike in El Segundo and my blog-buddy Jimmie Bise Jr.

Be assured of my gratitude, and my commitment to make this the best road-trip ever. And I’m sure some of you may wonder, “Can Stacy handle all that savage weirdness erupting in the Hawkeye State?”

Fret not, dear readers! No journalist in America is more capable of coping with this insanity. So far as I know, I’ll be the only political correspondent in Iowa who has ever combined psilocybin mushroom tea with Bolivian flake cocaine, an unfortunate collegiate experiment that led to a bizarre episode of acute psychosis.

Kids: Just Say No.

Drug freakouts might seem funny in retrospect, but they’re no fun at all when they’re happening inside your own head.

Nor do you ever want to deal with the “therapeutic” aftermath of such madness: Psychiatrists dosing you with Thorazine while trying to figure out exactly how and why you flipped out, when you are incapable of coherently explaining what happened.

And there is, of course, the dreadful possibility that you’ll end up permanently brain-fried like Gary Busey.

Such are the risks that no reputable journalism professor would recommend drug-induced psychosis as preparation for a career in the news business, but there are times when being certifiably crazy is actually advantageous, and this year’s Iowa caucuses look like a such an occasion.

It’s hard to imagine what I would have said in 1979 if someone had told me that in 2011 I’d be a freelance campaign correspondent for The American Spectator, preparing to fly to Iowa with my laptop computer — “What? Huh?” —  dependent upon online contributions from readers of a “blog” to pay the travel expenses to Cedar Rapids where I’d be staying at the home of a Romanian immigrant I’d never met.

Indeed, who could have predicted in 1979 that a long-haired dopehead rock-and-roller would grow up to be a notorious right-winger, married with six kids?

That’s crazy, man.

And it’s nearly as crazy as the current political situation, with our Marxist president vacationing in Hawaii while pundits are predicting Ron Paul to win in Iowa, less than two weeks before the Jan. 3 caucuses.

Can I handle it? Hell, I’ve been training my whole life for it, because the road to Vanuatu runs right through Cedar Rapids. IYKWIMAITYD.

Hit the freaking tip jar — and please read the rest of my American Spectator column today about the looming Iowa apocalypse.

UPDATE: Our young commenter Jamie Timon, a high-school classmate of my daughter, suggests we have been bamboozled into posting a couple of misleading headlines. So, by way of fairness to a certain Republican presidential candidate I wouldn’t vote for if you put a gun to my head:

“But it’s all a lie. Gingrich never said he wanted gays to vote for Obama, or that he did not want to ‘engage gay Americans.’
“The video finally was released, and the question to Gingrich was ‘on this one specific issue’ of gay marriage.
“All Gingrich said was that if the single most important and determinative issue to a gay person was implementing gay marriage, then that person would be disappointed in Newt and probably should vote for Obama.”

William Jacobson, Legal Insurrection, “Shock — Completely misleading story about Newt saying gays should vote for Obama”

“Tom Sorensen is just another abusive unhinged democrat.
“Don’t look for the media to touch this. They want you to believe that Republicans are cussing out Newt at his campaign stops.”

Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit, “Confirmed: Unhinged Jerk Who Called Newt Gingrich a “F–king A–hole” at Grocery Store Is a Democrat”

So I guess the accurate headlines would read:

Gingrich Appeals for Gay Votes in Iowa;
Bipartisan Agreement That Newt Is ‘A–hole’

Your mileage may vary.


19 Responses to “The Weird Turn Pro”

  1. Paul Mitchell
    December 21st, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

    Stacy, thanks and keep up the great work!  I appreciate you!  I’d hit your freakin’ tip jar if I had a dime to spare, and I will when I do.

    In the meantime, even though I disagree with you about Rick Perry, I really enjoy your writing and I hope you’ll keep it up.  You have the right values, and a great style and I’m loving your blog.

  2. Jamie Timon
    December 21st, 2011 @ 2:07 pm

    It’s to be expected when left-wing blogs and the MSM report the lie that claims Newt told gays to vote for Obama. It’s unconscionable that right-wingers would further promulgate that lie. I am disappointed Stacey.

    Professor Jacobson has explained the situation and has a link to the video: 

  3. Jamie Timon
    December 21st, 2011 @ 2:11 pm

    Also, the guy told Newt he was an asshole is a Democrat. Really, why do you promote this stuff as evidence that Newt is evil?

  4. Anonymous
    December 21st, 2011 @ 2:19 pm

    Hi, Jamie! How are you? Did you see where I gave Martin a little poke this morning?

  5. Edward
    December 21st, 2011 @ 2:29 pm

    “Ron Paul winning in Iowa.  Dogs and cats living together.  Mass hysteria!” – Dr Venkman.

  6. Jamie Timon
    December 21st, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

    I did see that, actually. Life is swell here in Silver Spring. Most of my co-workers are Democrat and I have to keep biting my tongue from going off on them for their inane nonsense about how they only get their news from “trustworthy” sources like NPR and the New York Slimes. Thankfully, with the help of some Milton Friedman videos on youtube, I  have slowly dragged our 2o year old secretary out of the Liberalism influence that suffocates my office and into the light.

    As for Newt, I have not heard any explanation about Dede Scozzafava and am not sure what his explanation is for it, but I have heard his other explanations and I can’t see how you think he is so evil. He has provided sufficient reasonings behind the whole Fannie Mae consulting thing and I really believe him when he says the Pelosi couch thing was “the stupidest thing he’s ever done.”

  7. Anonymous
    December 21st, 2011 @ 2:57 pm

    Stacy, don’t you think it’s time for a update to this post? You’re seriously not going to jump into bed with liberals in their attempted meme of the day that “ordinary citizens” of Iowa have turned on Gingrich are you? Granted you could play the liberal Jedi mind trick and claim “ordinary citizen” means unelected person, etc., but hopefully you’re better than that and you still have some principles. I believe you do have principles and actually having the skills of a old school journalist I’m sure you could find a actual represenative “ordinary citizen” in Iowa to make the case Iowans aren’t into Newt anymore if you wanted … so why don’t you do that without using ill mannered Democrat voters in grocery stores hurling profanities.

  8. Zilla of the Resistance
    December 21st, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

    Iowa ain’t gonna know what hit it once hurricane The Other McCain tears through! Git ’em, Stacy! I’m broketity broke here, but screaming all over the interloobs for people to hit yer freakin tip jar! 

  9. richard mcenroe
    December 21st, 2011 @ 3:03 pm

    Since the shrinks have taken malignant narcissism out of the lexicon to cover for Obama, maybe they can add a new affliction: Abused Conservative Syndrome to account for Republicans who make up elaborate rationales to cope with the fact that they are supporting assholes who’ve screwed them over repeatedly in the past…

  10. Adjoran
    December 21st, 2011 @ 3:20 pm

    I forget who it was, but someone made the excellent point the other day that if the Paulbots were truly sane Libertarians, they had a perfect candidate to bear their standard in Gary Johnson, who was a successful two-term Governor.

    Johnson has none of the baggage:  he never raised money from The Spotlight mailing list, never made millions from a newsletter he later claimed he had no role in writing although his closest aide did, never had the connections with Stormfront, Aryan Nation, or any other white supremacist or antisemitic organizations, never procured pork-barrel projects or earmarks secretly while claiming to be against spending.

    So the fact they stick with Paul anyway is prima facie evidence that if they do not support any of those things, they at least have no strong objections to them.  IOW, they are indeed scum.

    Regarding the Mayan prophecy, a friend in Philly sent me a cartoon some time ago picturing two ancient Mayans and a big rock wheel with inscriptions all around.  One is holding a chisel and mallet, the other wearing a chief’s headdress.

    Chief:  “So, why does it all end at 2012?”
    Mayan:  “I ran out of room on the rock.”

  11. Adjoran
    December 21st, 2011 @ 3:21 pm

    Dammit, we’re not gonna let the Gingrich steal Christmas THIS year!

  12. K-Bob
    December 21st, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

    I just took it as evidence that some people are rude.

  13. Anonymous
    December 21st, 2011 @ 4:24 pm

    Indeed. Who ya gonna call?

  14. Anonymous
    December 21st, 2011 @ 4:54 pm

    My narcissism is mostly benign. Of course, once I gain the vast powers incumbent on the U.S. Ambassador to Vanuatu, the malignant side may emerge. But that’s just a chance we’ll have to take, I suppose.

  15. JeffS
    December 21st, 2011 @ 5:52 pm

    I prefer the heady days of the Y2K hysteria myself.  At least that scenario wasn’t mired in mythology and pseudo-science. 

    As opposed to the relationship between 2012 and the GOP, which is mired in…..mythology and pseudo-science.

    Oh, wait.  Never mind.

  16. Anonymous
    December 21st, 2011 @ 6:33 pm

    Newt means it was bad politics. He still thinks it’s good policy.

  17. richard mcenroe
    December 21st, 2011 @ 8:34 pm

    “It looks like a standard political assassination, Commissioner, but forensics claims the murder was committed with a shark’s-tooth sword, of all things…”

  18. Zilla of the Resistance
    December 24th, 2011 @ 10:55 am

    From one weirdo to another, got you linked up here:

    Christmas with the Sickies of the Resistance

  19. Memo From the National Affairs Desk: How’s the Weather Today in Vanuatu? : The Other McCain
    December 25th, 2011 @ 10:01 pm

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