The Diddly Awards

The Ali vs. Foreman memorial award for best political beef

Illustration by: Tom Bachtell

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Howard Dean vs. James Carville
After Dean refused to pour $6 million into tight midterm races in favor of long-term party building, Cajun Clintonite James Carville, acting as a proxy for Dean nemesis Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), denounced Dean’s leadership as “Rumsfeldian in its competence.” Returning fire, Dean dissed Carville as part of “the old Democratic Party.” Added Dean’s online muscle, Daily Kos’ Markos Moulitsas, “Carville needs to shut the fuck up.”

Karl Rove vs. Rep. Steve Kagen
Freshman Democrat Kagen blamed Rove, who came to Wisconsin to campaign against him, for turning his race into a “knife fight” that cost him $2 million of his fortune. So it was with Soprano-like gusto that Kagen took his revenge, claiming that he cornered Rove in a White House john, crowing, “You recognize me? My name’s Dr. Multimillionaire, and I kicked your ass.”

Rep. Keith Ellison vs. Rep. Virgil Goode
When Ellison (D-Minn.), the first Muslim member of Congress, announced his intention to be sworn in using a Koran, Goode (R-Va.) didn’t stop at bad before he hit ugly. “I do not subscribe to using the Koran in any way,” Goode seethed in a letter, menacing that thanks to immigration, “there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran.”

Maverick McCain vs. Kiss-Ass

In 2000, Maverick McCain (R-Ariz.) ran for president defending abortion rights and calling Jerry Falwell an “agent of intolerance.” Kiss-Ass McCain kick-started his ’08 campaign pledging to repeal Roe v. Wade, and hired Falwell’s debate squad coach to help beat Maverick McCain into submission. With mixed results: “I think the fence is least effective” as a border policy, Maverick said, before Kiss-Ass kicked in with a sop to the base: “But I’ll build the goddamned fence if they want it.”

WINNER! Ellison vs. Goode.
Ellison, a native of the teeming border town of Detroit, goaded Goode by swearing the oath of office on a Koran belonging to a far nobler Virginian: Thomas Jefferson.

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