McCain, Palin and the Twerp Troika

Who's the ventriloquist behind dummy Palin? You'll Quayle at the answer.

As we speak, one of George W. Bush's former speechwriters, Matt Scully, is writing supposed veep candidate Sarah Palin's supposedly all-important speech to the Republican delegates in St. Paul.

Isn't there any escape from Matt Scully? As a young right-wing zealot, he and cohorts Len Munsil and Jay Heiler captured the Arizona State University student newspaper. Scully in particular harassed ASU poly sci prof Mark Reader. The three students went on to bigger and badder things.

Heiler became an operative in Arizona behind-the-scenes GOP politics, Munsil became an obsessive anti-porn crusader (is there any other kind?), and Scully wound up working for Dan Quayle, penning the doofus veep's "culture" speech that infuriated libs.

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The three boys were — and are — nothing but lib-haters. Think of them as Rush Limbaughs but with brains. Strip away their intellectual pretensions and you reach their hard-core profession: liberal-hating. They're just the obverse of those equally knee-jerk jerks on the left. Ho-hum.

For a sound round-up of Scully and crew (which you'll need if you want to understand Palin's speech), consult veteran Arizona reporter Amy Silverman, especially her November 1993 piece, "The Righteous Stuff."

To think that Scully is one of the rescuers of the McCain ticket. And that Palin will mouth Scully's words tonight or tomorrow night — assuming she's still the nominee.

While you're at it, see a full history of John McCain's journey to being mislabeled as a "maverick" (Arizonans have to laugh at that). Check out "Postmodern John McCain: the presidential candidate some Arizonans know — and loathe," Silverman's long, longer, and longest reminiscence published in early August in New Times, the Phoenix alt-weekly where I worked in the '80s.

You may learn more than you want to know about Silverman herself, but it's worth it for the deep backgrounding you'll get about McCain, whom she has dogged for years and years.

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