Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

utter cynicism

Shotgun Weddings and the Politics of Desperation

We know that John McCain is perfectly willing to use the economic crisis to advance his political interests, but is he willing to use a 17-year old girl?

In a campaign lurching from cynical tactic to frenzied ploy as fast as John McCain’s, it’s difficult to guess what tomorrow’s political news holds. The senator has now fully committed himself to the kinds of reckless, desperate tactics that have given pause to even steadfast conservatives. How a presidential candidate conducts his campaign is a good indicator of how he will govern his country when in office, and in the conduct of his campaign in the past month we’ve been given a perfect illustration of why John McCain is the worst possible thing for America at the moment.

When a campaign tries to tilt the pinball machine as often as possible, there’s almost no point in trying to guess what strategy will come next. So far these maneuvers almost seem to have been chosen more for unpredictability than political prudence. Not many of us would have guessed that McCain would try to cancel the first debate, and all indications are that it was a risky gambit that did not pay off. The frantic accusations that the New York Times is “not even a journalistic organization” might play well with the GOP base, but I suspect don’t even pass the laugh test among the critical undecided voters McCain is trying to court. He and Palin are rapidly becoming a laughingstock and for once, the media is doing its job, calling out their lies and refusing to defer to the usual false balance that is the central linchpin of the Rovian media strategy. The referees have finally realized that they are being worked, and they don’t like it.

The London Times is reporting on what I think has a very good potential to be the next bizarre twist in this story: A high-profile storybook wedding between Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston.

In an election campaign notable for its surprises, Sarah Palin, the Republican vice- presidential candidate, may be about to spring a new one – the wedding of her pregnant teenage daughter to her ice-hockey-playing fiancĂ© before the November 4 election.

Inside John McCain’s campaign the expectation is growing that there will be a popularity boosting pre-election wedding in Alaska between Bristol Palin, 17, and Levi Johnston, 18, her schoolmate and father of her baby. “It would be fantastic,” said a McCain insider. “You would have every TV camera there. The entire country would be watching. It would shut down the race for a week.”


Johnston was greeted with a handshake and friendly slap on the back by McCain in St Paul, Minnesota, and treated as a member of the family during the Republican national convention when he appeared on stage after Palin’s speech.

The ice-hockey player wrote on his MySpace page he was a “f****** redneck” and stated, “I don’t want kids.” But a McCain insider predicted he would marry Bristol whenever his future mother-in-law wanted. “It’s a shotgun wedding. She kills things,” the source joked.