Political consultant and Fox News commentator Dick Morris is the featured scoundrel in Politico this morning, having morphed from his Igor-like role of lugubrious éminence grise to "headlining rallies, fundraising and advocating for Republican House candidates."
Why, purportedly, the move from advice to activism? "I’m outraged by the Obama agenda," he told Politico. Bill Shakespeare, however, had already got to the root of Morris' motivations: "Never hung poison on a fouler toad."
When I saw the Morris piece I was also reminded of George Stephanopoulos' sulfurous memories of his former co-worker in Bill Clinton's presidential campaign and White House. One chapter of his All Too Human: A Political Education is tellingly titled "My Dinner with Dick." Its lead sentence: "Where is that cocksucker?"
Where else? Anywhere else. By arriving unfashionably late Morris was merely performing "a transparent power play."
With a nearly unequaled repugnance against the usually polite conventionalities of political memoirs, Stephanopoulos proceeded to describe Morris as just "another unsavory figure from Clinton's past." He, Morris, noted the memoirist, "was missing a gene: He literally had no shame."
In another passage that revealingly alighted on both present-day Morris and his now-exclusive pseudoconservative pals, Stephanopoulos observed that "when Bill looked down at Dick, he saw the devil he knew -- the part of himself that confused power and popularity with public service and principle."
Can a leopard change its spots, a tarantula the length of its legs, a rattlesnake the toxicity of its venom? Morris is a walking, demagoguing, braying monument to the shamelessness of the modern right's luminaries and their gullible, undiscriminating followers.
In the clean, crisp days of your grandfather's conservatism, Dick Morris would have been effortlessly ostracized and permanently exiled. In today's diseased version, he's a celebrated theorist and activist.
Evidently there is no bottom.