Today's Blogs

Eyeing Tammy Faye

Bloggers fondly recall Tammy Faye Messner—really—and are still waiting for the McCain campaign to flatline.

Eyeing Tammy Faye: Televangelist-turned-pop-icon Tammy Faye Messner died of cancer Friday, just a day  after her final interview aired on Larry King Live, and bloggers are bidding her a geniunely heartfelt farewell. She first found fame in the 1980s as a singer, evangelist, talk-show host, and TV personality while married to scandal-plagued minister and felon Jim Bakker; in later years she was the subject of a documentary and appeared on the reality TV series The Surreal Life.

First things first: those mascaraed lashes. My Poisonous Rhetoric wins the best-headline sweepstakes with “lashes to lashes, dust to dust.”Does that seem a bit insensitive? Josie at All in Good Time points outthat Tammy Faye retained a sense of humor about her make-up to the very end:“When Larry asked her ’If you could have people remember you for one thing, what would it be?’ she replied, ’Well, my eyelashes.’ “

 “Few things in the world fill me with more rage than evangelical Christians, but I’ve never had a problem with Tammy Faye. She always seemed to be more ‘I heart Jesus!’ than ‘I hate science and feminists!’ and I can’t really fault her for that,” writes Trashely at Made of Trash. She adds: “[T]he best things about Tammy Faye were her open-armed embrace of camp and the way she understood her place in pop culture. I’m going to forget I ever saw her frail, gaunt body with less than 48 hours left in it on Larry King. I’m going to remember her for what she’d want me to - her eyelashes.” Over at Stillettos and Sneakers, “I certainly wouldn’t have wasted my time with any other evangelical leader or Bible thumping Christian,” says Alexandra Billings, “and had this been anyone else, I wouldn’t have given it space enough on my little Blog to trap an ant. … [W]hat I think is remarkable is not just Faye’s immoveable sense of peace and serenity, but the fact that she never judged anyone who dared take another spiritual road. All she ever wanted to do was talk about her faith and spread it around the best way she could. Now that’s what being a Christian really is. I’ll miss her.”

At Blog of the Grateful Bear, Hamza Darrell Grizzle agrees: “Tammy Faye Messner spent her years after the PTL Club scandal ostracised by many in the established church, and she said many times that the only people who reached out to her during her times of isolaton were her friends in the gay and lesbian community. … Tammy Faye was able to break out of the narrow restraints of her Pentecostal upbringing while still holding on to an authentic love for Jesus and his message of God’s radical love for all people.”

Dean, on his Velvetmafianyc MySpace page, sums it up: “Praise The Lord and pass the mascara! God bless you Tammy; you had your priorities in order: Love God and all his creations. Keep your make-up flawless at all times. Never pass-up a chance to be on television. Marriage works better when your husband is in prison. … You will be greatly missed as a voice of compassion in an increasingly cruel world.”

Read more about Tammy Faye. Get a video tour of her make-up kit

McCain ‘08 deathwatch: It’s been a rough month for John McCain. The departure of key advisers earlier this month and news that the campaign’s finances are in dire straits had already prompted a campaign deathwatch among bloggers. Now, the senator flatly refuses to answer any more press queries about it and simply says that he’s “happy about the state of our campaign.” Could his candidacy be reviving itself?

“McCain remains the greatest threat to a Democratic victory next year,” insists former Los Angeles Times city editor Bill Boyarksy at TruthDig. “… In 1980, Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign was spending too much. The staff was in turmoil. It’s hard to believe now, when the late president is so lionized, but the press was writing him off, especially after George H.W. Bush’s win in the Iowa caucuses. But Reagan brought in people who imposed tight fiscal control, smashed Bush in a New Hampshire debate and went on from there.”

“His fundraising numbers in Q3 will be critical to his credibility,” Captain’s Quarters’ Ed Morrisey asserts. “If he can turn that around, then the comparison to Reagan may hold some water. … People respond to McCain when they meet or talk with him in a manner they do not when they only see him on television. If he’s going to regain his mojo, that’s how it’ll happen. Don’t expect McCain to quit any time soon, in any case.”

Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post’s The Fix wants to see the money up front: “For McCain to have any chance at the nomination, he must find a way to change the current narrative of his campaign from one on the decline to one on the rise. Money is the best first step in that process.” 

But David Yepsen, blogging at the Des Moines Register, is not optimistic: “At a time when even many Republicans want to get out of Iraq, he’s still supporting the effort. Also, many Republicans are upset with his support of the now-defunct immigration compromise. Nor is he the fresh, exciting insurgent he was eight years ago. It’s one thing for candidates to spend lots of time in Iowa doing retail work. It also helps if they’ve got something to sell.”

Read more about McCain’s campaign.