A few years ago, there was this show on the teevee called The West Wing, and before it descended into a miasma of besotted depressives, Ecstasy kidnappings, and Josh Lyman yelling at the Capitol Dome like some sort of deranged wolfman, it was a winsome and earnest story about a bunch of well-intended, if often error-prone idealists who believed in the redemptive power of public service. Honestly, it was all a little too elevated in tone, but it sort of made you wish that those were the sorts of people who actually ran the country, instead of the venal, goggle-eyed influence whores that really do.
Of course, seeing as it was on the air whilst the nation was deep in the throes of the Bush administration, I used to wonder to myself what the show would look like if you replaced the fictional Bartlet administration with a gaggle of cynical nimrods who enjoyed the practice of grand deception and spoke to the American people as if they were two-year-olds. We'll never know what Aaron Sorkin might have done with that idea, but a recent series of ads produced by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and directed by Craig Gillespie come closest by imagining what it may be like to witness a McCain strategy session.
People will likely enjoy the laughs embedded in "A Fly On The Wall," in which the word "maverick" loses all meaning:
But for my money, this clip, in which Karl Rove's restraint is the topic of discussion, is the strongest indictment.