"You may not personally remember Vietnam or Watergate, but it's a good bet you remember 'No new taxes" and 'Out of the Loop' and 'No direct knowledge of any impropriety at this time' and 'Did not inhale' and "Did not have sex with that Ms. Lewinsky' and etc. etc. It's painful to believe that the would-be 'public servants' you're forced to choose between are all phonies whose only real concern in their own care and feeding and who will lie so outrageously and with such a straight face that you know they've just got to believe you're an idiot. So who wouldn't yawn and turn away, trade apathy and cynicism for the hurt of getting treated with contempt? And who wouldn't fall all over themselves for a top politician who actually seemed to talk to you like you were a person, an intelligent adult worthy of respect? ... Even in AD 2000, who among us is so cynical that he doesn't have some good old corny American hope way down deep in his heart, lying dormant like a spinster's ardor, not dead but just waiting for the right guy to give it to?"
-- David Foster Wallace, McCain's Promise: Aboard the Straight Talk Express with John McCain and a Whole Bunch of Actual Reporters, Thinking About Hope. This essay has appeared in a couple of forms and is about McCain's 2000 run for the White House, not the most recent one. I wish DFW were still alive for a number of reasons -- but chief among them is to get an equally trenchant analysis of McCain's most current jog. Dammit.