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Election 2008: The Losers

As the political season comes to a close and we turn our attentions back to our neglected jobs, friends, spouses and significant others, we thought we’d take the time to look back at some of the winners and losers of the 2008 election. So without further ado, and because we don’t want to keep them from their pressing appointments with the dustbin of history, here are the Losers:

John McCain

JW: Senator John McCain may appear the most obvious loser in the 2008 Election, but don’t expect this guy to stay at home crying! According to campaign manager Rick Davis, “He didn’t even spend 24 hours lamenting the loss.” [latimesblogs.latimes.com] Instead he plans to cook up some ribs [www.swamppolitics.com] for the family.

MT: And don’t forget the press. McCain will be inviting them back as well, hoping some mouthwatering BBQ will make them overlook how he flip-flopped on everything that made him an appealing politician eight years ago because he thought it would win him a political contest. Maybe the sweet aroma of tangy sauce will cause them to forget he ran the most erratic, rudderless and negative campaigns of the 20 years. Enjoy the ribs, John. Hope they don’t taste bitter.

Sarah Palin

MT: Sarah Palin is not on this list because she is breathtakingly unqualified for the office of Vice President, lacking any apparent understanding of national and global issues or even how our government works. She’s not a loser because she was a horribly dangerous choice, the ACME Rocket Sled to McCain’s Wile E. Coyote. Sarah Palin gets the big L because she lied. She knew she was lying, it was proved she was lying, and she continued to lie. She lied about her record, she lied about her investigations and she lied about her own qualifications – no one’s that un-self aware. She lied about Obama, and in doing so she approached the careful fire of cultural division the GOP had been nursing like a pyromaniac with a gas can. All in the name of a shot at the White House and a really nice wardrobe. Lo. Ser.

JW: Not only did Sarah Palin lose the vice presidency, she has also become the scapegoat [www.politico.com] for many republicans, particularly many of those on McCain’s campaign staff. Staff confessed (under the condition of anonymity) that she did not know that Africa was a country, that she refused briefing before her interview with Katie Couric, and that she greeted staffers in her hotel room wearing only a bathrobe. Not only is she a loser, but her reputation is very tainted, and it will be an uphill battle to 2012.

FOX / Sean Hannity

JW: If these guys had any credibility going into the election, they certainly don’t have any now. Sean Hannity has repeatedly proven himself not only stupid, but also wrong [www.youtube.com]. Don’t be surprised to find Fox News soon downgradig themselves from a twenty-four-hour presidential infomercial to the newest publicist for Sarah Palin (2012!).

MT: I give Fox about 2 months before, without a hint of irony, they start talking about how Barack Obama is abusing his power and shredding the Constitution. I remember two years ago, on the eve of the 2006 mid-terms, Sean Hannity actually went on the air and urged Democratic voters to stay home, for the good of the country. Eat. Me.

Republicans

MT: They had it all. The White House, senate, congress, an edge on SCOTUS; Republicans had the bully pulpit and the complicity of the national media. They set the agenda, took the wheel and told everyone else to shut up, they were driving. Right off a cliff, as it turned out. On foreign and domestic policy, from the economy to the Middle East, Americans have rejected the Republican Party and conservatism. The “Party of Ideas” hasn’t had many for a while now, and the ones they have are bad. Or, to quote Karl Rove, “That doesn’t make them unpatriotic, not at all. But it does make them wrong – deeply and profoundly and consistently wrong.” [www.realclearpolitics.com] Welcome to the wilderness. They set their course for the fringe of the party and got lost along the way, and as long as they let the lunatics run the asylum, they’ll stay lost.

JW: They’re broken. The GOP, as Gore Vidal famously put it [www.youtube.com], “The Republican party is not a party like your parties in England. It is a mind set. They love war. They love money. They want to hang on to all the connections they have.”

Alaska

JW: Sorry, Alaska, the 2008 Presidential Election provided you with a huge opportunity to prove to the lower 48 that you are made up of more than small-town hockey players and snow-machine drivers who are insulated from the rest of the world. Unfortunately, the message never really made its way to us. In fact, it was only reinforced by the nomination, and subsequent loss of your state’s poster girl, former Miss Wasilla [wonkette.com] and current Governor, Sarah Palin.

MT: Seriously, Alaska, WTF? You just re-elected a convicted felon, Ted Stevens, and possibly another in Don Young. Despite Sarah Palin’s own self-appointed board clearing her of all misdeeds in the Troopergate scandal, she still broke your own ethics laws, and now there’s talk of sending her to the U.S. Senate (y’know, to replace that convicted felon you just re-elected)? What do you have to do to get rejected by Alaskan voters? Boil kittens on live TV? What?

Joe Lieberman

MT: Man, talk about betting on the wrong horse. It had already been a messy divorce between the Democratic Party and Sen. Joe Lieberman (Lieberman-CT) since the 2006 mid-term election, but Joe agreed to caucus with the Democrats so they could claim the majority, and Joe could keep his plum committee chairmanships. But when he announced his endorsement for John McCain, Lieberman laid down the gauntlet; he saw his future in the senate on shaky ground and put all his chips on a Republican in the White House. Putting on his best “this hurts me more than it hurts you” Droopy Dog face, Lieberman accused Obama of not putting “country first,” thought it was a good question if Obama was a Marxist, and suggested he didn’t support American troops. In other words, Joe was being Joe. For the last dozen years or so, that sharp pain Democrats have felt in their right side has been a shiv in the ribs with Joe Lieberman’s name on it. Now he’s all, “Let’s not bicker about who said what and endorsed whom. Let’s forget all that and move on.” Fat chance, Joe. Say goodbye to your chairmanships. Good luck with your new friends.

JW: Joe Lieberman is one of many Joe’s who have lost out this election. Everyone is looking at him like a fair-weather idiot. In 2000 he ran as vice president for the Democratic Party, and lost. In 2008 he didn’t make the cut for the coveted vice-presidential spot on the GOP ticket. And not only did he not get the post, but he lost it to Sarah Palin.

George W. Bush

MT: W would be on this list no matter who won the election. His EPIC FAIL administration is not going to be judged kindly by history under any circumstances. But Bush’s one chance to salvage some plausible denial that he was not, in fact, the Worst President Ever hinged on McCain winning the election. Now, instead of the continued cover-up and mitigation of all the bad stuff we don’t even know about yet (and you know it’s there), the White House will get a proper fumigation and Bush’s legacy will get its trousers yanked down and bent over the fence by history and given the proper rogering it deserves. Have I mentioned EPIC FAIL? That’s important.

JW: For anyone angry that a the president-elect has been working in Washington for only two years, or is black or did not grow up in the continental United States or served on the board with William Ayers, or is loved internationally, you have George W. Bush to thank. We need only look at history to know that the political and cultural pendulum of the country swings constantly. But in Bush’s case, it ripped off from its axis and destroyed itself.

Gay Marriage

JW: Just six months after the California State Supreme Court decided that banning gay marriage was unconstitutional, California voters passed Proposition 8, which amends the state constitution to make gay marriage illegal [www.sfgate.com].

MT: This is just sad. In an election where one major barrier was torn down, another is erected. Hopefully the California courts will decide again, rightfully, that you cannot legislate taking rights away from a minority. In the meantime, keep up the fight [www.nbclosangeles.com].

Joe the Plumber

MT: To be fair, Joe really shouldn’t be on here all by his lonesome. Joe Wurzelbacher should share this prestigious space with all the yahoos at the Palin rallies; all the rightwing bloggers who parroted every insane conspiracy theory that came down the pike, even ones that contradicted other ones. Joe the Plumber should share this dishonor with the listeners of Rush Limbaugh and the readers of National Review Online. But since they declared “We are all Joe the Plumber!”, then Joe it is. And really, Joe is the perfect embodiment of all those people; totally misinformed , under the delusion they are society’s real victims, and shamelessly self-interested. They are all Joe the Plumber, and if any last one of them could parlay a set-up “gotcha” moment with wingnut talking points into an agent, a book deal, recording contract and possible political career, they would in heartbeat. Of course, with the historic whuppin’ McCain just received, some of those deals may sort of dry up. Loser(s).

JW: The only thing that plumbers gained from this election was a new vault of plumber jokes and puns. Other than that, if people didn’t already make a joke of their, albeit very important, job, they do now. Joe the Plumber became a national symbol fabricated by the McCain campaign, making his campaign rally no-shows and disastrous media appearances [www.youtube.com] even more devastating for McCain.

Cats

JW: Face it felines, you’re sooo last term! Move over with Ernie and India Bush, the country has spoken and dogs are the news cats come 2009. In Barack Obama’s victory speech [edition.cnn.com] in Grant Park, Chicago on Tuesday, he said that his daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, have “earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the White House.”

MT: While I have nothing personal against feline-Americans, they really shouldn’t have let the ostensibly pro-Hillary/anti-Obama/pro-McCain nutjobs who called themselves PUMAs (for Party Unity My Ass) [pumaparty.com] sully their species like that. Isn’t there a Feline Anti-Defamation League or something?

– Jamie Wong & Michael Turner