After we liquidated things with Quietvision, they (quite decently) sent me the remaining copies. We've got two boxes of "Last Dancer" hardcovers, 20 copies, we're going to get rid of. $50 apiece, shipping included inside the U.S. -- an extra $10 outside the U.S. I've seen them going on Ebay for lots more than that. Drop me a line in the comments if you want one. They go in order requested.
Say It Ain't So ...
I've always admired John McCain. (Don't misunderstand; I'm not voting for him. I can't imagine voting Republican at the moment. But that's policy, and has nothing to do with McCain's quality as an individual.) As to McCain's quality as an individual -- he's an asshole, but that's not the worst failing for a politician. I'm sure, temper issues and all, he's a nicer guy than Bill Clinton, another guy with a volcanic temper. McCain's pragmatic and you can do business with him, which I've always liked -- I'm not a big fan of "bipartisanship," which is a longer post than I have time for at the moment -- but I do like pragmatic, and pragmatic married to something like character is the best you can ask for out of any politician.
Politics is an ugly business, and the first requirement is that you win. I don't have a problem (a moral problem, anyway) with much that McCain's done up to this point. Ditto Obama. A lot of what McCain's done so far has been a mistake, but that's just a judgement issue, not a moral one.
In 2000 robocallers in North Carolina, during the Republican primaries, called voters and told them that John McCain had fathered an illegitimate black child. It was the nastiest possible libel; McCain has an adopted daughter of Indian background. Bush's operatives took that adoption and used McCain's daughter as the bsis of a smear intended to inflame the racist sentiments of Republican primary voters.
My longtime admiration for McCain took a hit when he embraced Bush on stage at the 2004 convention. Screw the politics of it; Bush used McCain's daughter, lied about her, to pick up the votes of racists. And McCain embraced him four years later. Imagine being the daughter, watching that on television?
But life is full of compromises. OK, that hug was one. But yesterday I read that John McCain hired the firm that executed that racist smear against his own daughter. Hired them. Paid them.
I'm hard to surprise, when it comes to politics. Steve Barnes, who I admire, thinks Obama is a "political philosopher" -- I don't think so. I think Obama is a Chicago pol, a street fighter -- better than a philosopher. See Al Gore, who I do admire: but as a politician your first responsibility is to win, and Obama's so far willing to do what it takes to win. Gore wasn't. (Which doesn't change the fact that he did win -- the only time all the votes were ever counted in Florida, Gore won by every single standard that actually involved counting all the votes .... of course Bush was in the White House by the.)
But even politicians should have lines they won't cross. The contempt I always felt for Bill Clinton was an artifact of my inability to see where that line was, for him -- the admiration I always felt for McCain came from what was, I thought, a pretty clear set of lines he wouldn't cross, not even to win. He's blurred a few of those, running for President -- fair enough, ambition can make even good men do things they wouldn't brag about.
But I don't see how you parse this last as anything but a betrayal of his daughter. It wouldn't have surprised me from Bill Clinton, but it sure does surprise me from McCain.
Shame on you, John McCain.