For many years, Cockburn tried to become a board member at the Lincoln Project. Not because he wanted to sabotage them from within — though that would have been fun — but because he, too, can't get enough of the juicy gossip (though shaving and bleaching his head would have been a definite minus).

Since then, the Lincoln Project has imploded several times over, while its most visible founder, Steve Schmidt, has gone on a Tarantino-cum-Elmer Fudd revenge tour against seemingly everyone in his life. The latest target in his (quivering) crosshairs is the McCain family,...

For many years, Cockburn tried to become a board member at the Lincoln Project. Not because he wanted to sabotage them from within — though that would have been fun — but because he, too, can’t get enough of the juicy gossip (though shaving and bleaching his head would have been a definite minus).

Since then, the Lincoln Project has imploded several times over, while its most visible founder, Steve Schmidt, has gone on a Tarantino-cum-Elmer Fudd revenge tour against seemingly everyone in his life. The latest target in his (quivering) crosshairs is the McCain family, which even Cockburn can’t help but find remarkable. It was John McCain, after all, who gave Schmidt his biggest break as his 2008 presidential campaign manager.

The latest drama began over the weekend amid news that Meghan McCain’s book Bad Republican hadn’t even managed to sell 300 copies. Schmidt joined in the Twitter pile-on, accusing McCain of “14 years of abuse and attacks” and being a “raging, screaming, crying” baby on the 2008 campaign trail. “The tantrums were beyond anything I have ever witnessed from any other human being,” Schmidt said.

Given that rumors have long swirled about McCain’s difficult behavior when she was a co-host on The View, Cockburn isn’t dismissing this accusation out of hand. But Schmidt then turned his fire on a once-unthinkable target: John McCain, a man he’d long claimed to admire. Schmidt claimed that McCain had privately admitted that he’d had an affair with a Washington lobbyist named Vicki Iseman, an allegation that surfaced in 2008 but that both McCain and Iseman denied.

Schmidt also said McCain was scared of his own veep nominee, Sarah Palin. “The bravest man that I had ever met turned out to be terrified of the creature that he had created,” Schmidt lamented. He then let out a wail of agony and tore at his shirt with his own fingernails.

Cockburn notes that if there’s a messier bitch in all of Washington, then he has yet to emerge. Schmidt has more or less made his post-2008 career by burning bridges — with Palin, the Republican Party, the Lincoln Project.

Still, even by Schmidt’s standards, the salvo against the McCains is a doozy. Not that he’s about to stop anytime soon, of course. Sarah Palin, he recently tweeted, is “an unstable, narcissistic, ignorant, grifting quitter.” As for Schmidt, Cockburn hears there’s a job opening in the upcoming race Pot versus Kettle.