The Buffalo Beast (thebeast.com) has compiled a list of their "50 Most Loathsome Americans of 2008", and it's a brilliantly caustic survey of our best and brightest from last year, along with our worst and dimmest.
The list is brutal but non-partisan; Democrats such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton get the same treatment that non-Democrats Sarah Palin and John McCain receive (well, Palin maybe a bit more). Along with a nice mix of sports figures, celebrities, criminals, and various cultural icons (or cultural by-products). Each person is presented with charges that characterizes their loathsomeness, an exhibit that proves the charges, and a summary judgment/sentence.
Here's a line from a devastating critique of Caroline Kennedy which, while I don't necessarily agree with it, I find terribly amusing:
A limp, lifeless, murmuring slouch whose dearth of vivacity makes John Kerry look like Richard Simmons, Kennedy has the apparent focus and charm of a shock therapy victim on Haldol.The writers for The Beast seem to have a nice handle on the kind of laser-beam cynicism and sarcasm that discourages even the possibility of contradiction. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia receives this metaphorical beating:
The bullet-shaped conservative justice should have stuck to his old policy of not allowing anyone to record him, because the more we see of him, the worse he seems. Scalia drew back the curtain on his legendary mind last April on "60 Minutes," revealing the legal acumen of a gibbon with a Magic 8-ball.Ouch!
Of course, Joe Lieberman deservedly gets the full treatment from The Beast. The graphic that accompanies this section is hysterical.
13. Joe Lieberman
Charges: A fickle, flabbery fiend reviled by both parties, Lieberman somehow finds himself more powerful than ever, failing forward by virtue of the Democrats’ unfalteringly chumpish lack of discipline. After promising that he was “not going to go to…the Republican convention, and spend my time attacking Barack Obama,” Lieberman went to the Republican convention and attacked Barack Obama. But that was just the beginning of his descent into a self-dug hole of betrayal that should have proved inescapable. Lieberman thought it was “a good question” to ask if Obama was a Marxist. He campaigned not just with McCain, but with Palin and down-ticket Republicans, another thing he said he wouldn’t do. But the most loathsome trait Lieberman exhibits is that most loathsome of all: Smearing dissent as treasonous. The kind of suppressive asshole who would accuse you of helping terrorists by beating him at checkers should not be Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, and is not someone worth rewarding for his own dissent.
Exhibit A: “In matters of war, we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril.” “Sen. Obama doesn't come to this debate with a lot of credibility.”
Sentence: Lieberman awakes to find himself in the body of an impoverished Iraqi living in a small apartment with 12 family members and no electricity. Shocked by this inexplicable turn of events, he stumbles outside and cries to God, looking up just in time for the white phosphorous to hit him in the face.