There are two things I absolutely love about this Politico column by Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri. The first is that I cannot remember a sitting member of Congress or any elected official, really, ever coming right out and admitting that they engaged in an epic and successful ratfucking campaign against their political opponents. And Senator McCaskill doesn’t just admit it. She gives us all the nitty-gritty details and then proudly tells us that she shotgunned a beer in celebration when it worked.
The second thing I love about it is that she repeatedly describes Todd Akin’s wacky religious beliefs and the wacky religious beliefs of many of her constituents, and she does it in a completely derogatory manner, with no equivocation. She isn’t in the slightest worried that she might be hurting some lunatics’ feelings or “disrespecting” the God-fearing people of Missouri.
Other things I love about this column include its total lack of newsworthiness (which makes a wholly unnecessary end-zone dance) and her revelry in describing the people she duped:
So how could we maneuver Akin into the GOP driver’s seat?
Using the guidance of my campaign staff and consultants, we came up with the idea for a “dog whistle” ad, a message that was pitched in such a way that it would be heard only by a certain group of people. I told my team we needed to put Akin’s uber-conservative bona fides in an ad—and then, using reverse psychology, tell voters not to vote for him. And we needed to run the hell out of that ad…
…It started to work. Our telephones were ringing off the hook with people saying, “Just because she’s telling me not to vote for him, I’m voting for him. That’s the best ad for Akin I’ve ever seen!” A man wrote a letter to the editor of the Springfield News Leader: “I think it’s time for someone who may be too conservative. Thank you, Senator McCaskill, for running that ad. You have helped me determine that my vote needs to go to Akin.”
So, have a good belly laugh.
And when you are done laughing, make sure to remember that we’re not all out here peddling conspiracy theories when we tell you that these kinds of things go on. It may a contributing factor to why some people hate Washington so much, but if people are truly honest, they’d start by hating themselves for falling for this kind of manipulation.
In this instance, the cause was worthy, but that is by no means always the case.