John McCain as Britney Spears

Britney Spears is a fading celebrity. John McCain is a fading celebrity.
Barack Obama is a rising star. about the Britney/Paris video has been nagging at the back of my mind, and I finally figured out what it was. Comparing Obama to them is wrong because they’re fading stars and he’s a rising star. The Britney/Paris analogue in the race is McCain: he, like they, got rather far on extremely limited talent and huge amounts of marketing, and is now desperately trying to cling to celebrity with more and more extreme antics that get him ink but offend and sadden his fans.

And that explains the raw hatred that McCain and his handlers display towards Obama: it’s the hatred of the has-been (especially a has-been who never was much in the first place, a mere celebrity, like Britney rather than an actual star, like Madonna) for the person (especially the person of egregiously superior talent) she passes on the rising escalator as she herself takes the long, long ride down to well-deserved obscurity and mall openings.

Update Looks as if I owe an apology: to Paris Hilton.

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: