Those Dashing Old Moderates In Their Reasonable Reprobation Machines

stardusttwins.jpgSens. Chuck Hagel, left, and John McCain, right.


WaPo congressional correspondent Eric Pianin:

Not long ago, Sens. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and John McCain of Arizona were the Stardust Twins of the GOP, both decorated Vietnam War veterans and fearless conservative mavericks who occupied much the same political ground. [Emphasis added]

Our initial reaction: WTF does "Stardust Twins" mean? Are they like the Wonder Twins, the lamest members of the Super Friends? Because if Congressional Republicans were the Super Friends, a case could be made that these two are (or were) their Wonder Twins. Though that would make the Democrats the Legion of Doom, and Democrats are clearly not cool enough for that handle.

Then we googled "Stardust Twins" and found, to our immense amusement, that it was an appellation given to two early daredevil aviators, with the improbable names of Ralph Johnstone and Arch Hoxsey. Both of whom died 90+ years ago in terrible crashes.

In what ways, exactly, are Sens. Fiery Maverick (R-Ariz.) and Less-Fiery Maverick (R-Neb.) like two turn-of-the-last-century dashing aviators? They don't wear goggles, rarely engage in tremendous feats of daring, are unlikely to be dashed against anything, and seldom leave bystanders shocked at their spectacular, death-defying tricks. No, they are much more likely to occasionally appear on Sunday mornign talk shows and offer level-headed criticisms of the Bush administration, which anyone can do.

So -- cheers to Eric Pianin, for use of today's most obscure allusion. We learned a little something, and found ourselves distracted from the unceasing boredom of recess for upwards of 30 minutes. But honestly, "fearless" is abandoning your auto-gyro at 7,000 feet, not telling Tim Russert that you'd have handled the occupation of Iraq slightly more responsibly.

For Hagel, Standing Up Brought a Fall From Favor [WP]

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