John McCain is floundering. Worse yet, his rallies just can't find the correct music. Foo Fighters, Heart, John Mellencamp, Van Halen, Gretchen Peters (Martina McBride's "Independence Day") and even demographically appropriate Frankie Valli have all asked the Republican candidates to stop playing their music at McCain/Palin rallies.
So what to do? Awkward silence does not fire up the base, while songs in the public domain such as "Hail! Hail! The Gang's All Here" or "My Gal Sal!" are unlikely to fire any crowd into a nativist rage.
Happily, Hank Williams Jr. — who, apparently, is still alive — penned a new tune for the McCain campaign, as his previously unreleased work for the Bush-'04 campaign ("Are You Ready for Some Torture") is probably inappropriate for today's GOP standard-bearer.
"The left wing liberal media have
Always been a real close knit family"
Analysis: Remarkable admission by Mr. Williams Jr. and the McCain campaign. Are they ceding the family values issues to the Democrats? Further, let's point out that I do consider my brethren in the Democratic Party as a tight-knit family. Although not Katrina Vanden Heuvel or Rep. Stephanie Herseth. My thoughts toward those family members would be, by definition, incestuous. Also, Al Franken never calls, he never writes...
"But most of the American People
Don't believe em anyway, ya see"
Analysis: Not true, as indicated by any poll numbers published by any news organization — such as a New York Times/CBS News survey last week that had Barack Obama leading McCain by 53 to 36 percent, with 11 percent undecided.
"Stop and think it over
Before you make your decision
If they smell something
They're gonna come down strong
"It's a McCain-Palin tradition"
Analysis: Do Democrats govern by a sense of smell? That would make Barney Frank either a komodo dragon or in the first trimester of pregnancy, or both. Which, strangely, makes sense.
"Now this old Union's got problems
That is plain to see"
Analysis: A very surprising admission to hear from a GOP rally, putting the singer in the vast majority of Americans who think America is "on the wrong track." One could argue those who believe we are on the right track have no need for "money," "jobs" or "food," but McCain has already alienated Paris Hilton, thereby discrediting this theory.
"The Democrats bankrupted Fannie Mae 'n Freddie Mac
Just like 1, 2, 3
The bankers didn't want to make all those bad loans,
But Bill Clinton said you got to"
Analysis: This doesn't make any sense at all. Lenders didn't want to make all those bad loans, but a former President — years after leaving office — required them to lend? Some simple understanding of the lending-market dynamics should be mandatory for any aspiring songwriter. Paul Simon didn't become an expert in the commercial-paper market by accident, you know.
"Now they want a bailout, what I'm talking about
Is a Democrat liberal who do"
Analysis: Please note that not only did Congressional Democrats and Obama reluctantly support a bailout, but so did McCain, Republican Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and closet Democrat President Bush. So, in fact, did every CNBC analyst, whose political ideology went from "government is the problem, not the solution" to "please help us, daddy" in just three weeks.
"John 'n Sarah tell ya
Just what they think"
Analysis: So long as they don't have to answer questions, and as long as you don't pay attention to sentence structure.
"And they're not gonna blink"
Analysis: Not true. Have you seen John McCain at a debate? Dude blinks more than a meth addict with a dry contact lens.
"And they're gonna fix this country
'Cause they're just like you 'n ole Hank"
Analysis: What's with this "'n" stuff? Are Republicans now against spelling out the word "and" because it's too elitist?
"Yes, John is a maverick
And Sarah fixed Alaska's broken condition"
Analysis: What also helped Alaska's "broken condition"? A massive increase in revenue caused by a commodity-price spike and the resulting massive governmental intervention. Oh, and earmarks. Lots and lots of earmarks.
"They're gonna do just fine
We're headed for better times
It's a McCain-Palin tradition."
Analysis: As opposed to the Dark Days of the Bush Administration, which has nothing to do with anything. Stop living in the past, my friends. And by that, I mean stop living in the present.
"I am very proud of America's name
But no society is perfect
And we have had our stains"
Analysis: I'm tired of radicals like Hank Williams Jr. admitting that America has stains. What stains is he referring to? I mean, according to Rush Limbaugh, Gitmo is like a resort and Abu Ghraib was like a fraternity prank.
"If I'm down at the coffee shop and
Somebody wants to give our flag friction
We say please move on
Cause we're standing strong
That's an old John McCain tradition"
Analysis: I've drunk at numerous coffee shops and no one has ever attempted to rub up against an American flag. That's just gross.
"Some are bound to tell you I'm
Preaching to the choir
And that is very true"
Analysis: Shocking self-awareness, Bocephus. Yes, you are preaching to the choir — a bitter, angry, bloodthirsty, paranoid choir.
"And we are going even higher
Like a mama bear in Idaho
She'll protect your family's condition"
Analysis: Like a mama bear in Idaho, Sarah Palin does not think well on her feet. Unlike a mama bear in Alaska, she will not be shot from a helicopter with a high-powered rifle.
"If you mess with her cubs
She's gonna take off the gloves
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It's an American female tradition"
Analysis: A bear in Idaho will give birth to one or two children in a litter, which, much like Palin's granddaughter, will all also be born out of wedlock after events which never, ever are to be described or interpreted as a choice.
[Ed. Note: For a Bocephus palate-cleanser, the Press recommends 1996's "Houston, We Have a Problem" or 1981's "Texas Women."]