Again proving that he is generally willing to say what he really thinks as long as he's not running for office, John McCain took to the Senate floor yesterday to bash GOP lawmakers who aren't supporting the Boehner plan, and briefly crossed into Middle-Earth to do it:
In their minds, he said, after a default crisis "Democrats would have no choice but to pass a balanced-budget amendment and reform entitlements, and the tea-party Hobbits could return to Middle Earth having defeated Mordor." McCain was actually reading from this Wall Street Journal editorial, but his endorsement of the dig at Tea Partiers has still created what may be the biggest ruckus in this community since Bullroarer Took fought orcs in the Northfarthing.
McCain also said (still reading), that "[t]his is the kind of crack political thinking that turned Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell into GOP Senate nominees," which would probably sting a little more if the person saying it hadn't turned Sarah Palin into a GOP vice-presidential nominee. Angle fired back by pointing out that "[a]s in the fable [sic], it is the hobbits who are the heroes and save the land." (Well, some of them.) McCain doesn't even write his own material, Angle said, almost certainly reading from a speech somebody else wrote for her.
It also strikes me that probably nobody involved in that skirmish has ever actually read any of the books they're talking about, although Sharron Angle has probably burned them a few times. That appears to include whoever wrote the editorial in the first place -- I don't think you have to be a total Lord of the Rings geek to know that the hobbits couldn't "return to Middle Earth" after going to Mordor because they never left it. (Maybe you do.) But I guess commenting loudly on stuff you really know nothing about is not a new thing in Washington.
I will reluctantly give FOX News credit for referring to McCain as "Lord of the Zings," which is really pretty good.