Friday, December 21, 2007

Republican Perfection Police

In defending his client from the latest smear-by-whisper in the '08 campaign, John McCain's lawyer says he “was the victim of false, vicious rumors about his personal life” during the 2000 South Carolina primary, and that “rumors and gossip damaged his campaign and may have cost him the election.”

So the spirit of Karl Rove lives on in whatever dirt is at the bottom of Matt Drudge's "revelations" about a story McCain's people have tried to persuade the New York Times not to publish.

In the Republican moral universe, human frailty is a disqualification for President, so the last two candidates standing are Mike Huckabee, the man of God, and Mitt Romney, he of the unblemished personal life.

For a while, his 9/11 aura kept Rudy Giuliani afloat, but the weight of personal imperfections finally dragged him down in the polls, and Fred Thompson has not shown enough orthodox Republican zeal to make up for his actorish womanizing and trophy wife,

In their neo-Victorian fervor, the GOP gave us the exemplary personal life of George W. Bush as an antidote to Bill Clinton's waywardness, and now it seems that nothing less will do for '08.

As the protagonist of Jean Anouilh's "Waltz of the Toreadors" observed about the original Victorians, propriety demanded that couples be seen serenely swimming through life side by side and, if there was a need to relieve oneself, it had to be done under the water, out of sight.

Today's Republicans are keeping that ethos alive with a vengeance.

No comments: