SERIOUSNESS.

SERIOUSNESS. Hey, Lynn Swann, nice Super Bowl. Thirty years ago, you millstone you. Took down a whole state al most by your lonesome. Ohio used to be fun, too, didn't it, boys? Has anyone seen Ken Blackwell's pants running down the street by themselves yet? Meanwhile, Don Sherwood seems to have choked late in the campaign, while Rick Santorum's career has gone to the dogs.

I'm sorry. Carville and Begala -- and the rest of y'all here -- can put on your Serious People Of Purpose masks and try to stifle the giggles. I'm in for a big old helping of some full-throated schadenfreude this evening. Hey, Jim Leach, you sweater-wearing fud, you don't think I remember that you were one of the first people to grandstand on Whitewater? And John Sweeney, I hope John Lewis walks by your office and spits on the packing boxes piled up there in memory of your thuggish moves down in Florida in 2000. The Gingrich Revolution -- born in spittle and rage, wounded by chronic corruption and reckless adultery -- now in smithereens, shattered by its own comic self-importance. Go ahead, Newt, you fool. Run for president. Please. Do it now.

My own most serious take is that the TV drones did not spend half as much time as they should have on the extraordinary bloodbath in the country's gubernatorial races. For example, it's a big deal that Massachusetts elected an African-American in Deval Patrick. Moreover, those races mean a lot more in terms of shaping the landscape in 2008 than the congressional races do, and it gives the Democrats a huge amount of bench strength for races in 2010 and beyond.

And the calls for bipartisanship?

Yes, hold this subpoena very tightly and we'll get back to you.

--Charles P. Pierce

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