Thursday, February 7, 2008


Bill and I have had a spirited discussion over the past few day, in a form that could only exist in a post-analog world. It's skipped from email, to comments on other people's blogs, to phone calls and finally - for the moment - to here.

Bill has taken the position that McCain 1) really isn't all that bad, because really his policy positions aren't all that different from Bush's and 2) he's the only choice we have, so we'd better support him.

I've responded 1) are you kidding me, he's awful and 2) you may be right, but I'm getting a passport to some other country that speaks English and takes cash, so we have somewhere to run when the cities start burning.

I think it comes down to an old political aphorism, variously attributed to politicians ranging from Disraeli to Lyndon Johnson - "He's a son of a bitch - but he's OUR son of a bitch."

The problem is, I'm not at all sure that McCain IS our son of a bitch.

I can understand - and even applaud - him hewing to principle over party. He's stood firm against earmarks for years, opposing the GOP leadership as he did so. That was the right thing for him to do. I can understand him doing so even when he's utterly wrong. He was corrupt and got caught when he took money from Charles Keating. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was contrite, and that's why he wanted to "get the big special interests out of campaigns" and authored McCain-Feingold. I'll even go so far as to accept - for the sake of argument - that he genuinely believes that the de-industrialization of America will save the planet from a catastrophic 1 degree temperature increase, that would raise the oceans by inches and make Greenland green again - even if it means a 25% unemployment rate and hyperinflation. I can see someone thinking that that's a good trade off, even though I disagree.

But. (and there's always a but)

In 2004, why did he stand with John Kerry, against his party, his President and his fellow former POWs, calling them liars? Calling John "Jenjis Kahn" Kerry a hero, when REAL heroes were denouncing Kerry? What was in it for him - or for principle, or country, or humanity?

In Feb. 2005, why did he tell Tim Russert "I am sure that Senator Clinton would make a good president. I happen to be a Republican and would support, obviously, a Republican nominee, but I have no doubt that Senator Clinton would make a good president."

What was in it for him? What principle was he supporting? What good did it do the nation, or the world?

By then he knew that both he and Clinton would be running for President. Why would ANYONE running for office give that to their opponent?

There are a couple of possibilities.

John Sidney McCain III may be stupid. Not Chimpy McBushitler stupid, Bush graduated from Yale and has an MBA from Harvard, as Bill has said. Only a moron would think Bush is stupid.

McCain went to Anapolis. Most of the time we'd assume that just getting INTO Anapolis shows some strong native intelligence. But McCain was a legacy. His grandfather, John McCain I, was a 4 star Admiral, in charge of all carrier forces in the Pacific in WW2. His father, John McCain Jr, was a decorated Captain when young McCain entered the Academy, and made admiral in 1958, the year McCain graduated. Later, McCain Jr (the dad) made it all the way to the top, and became a four-star admiral and was made Commander in Chief, US Naval Forces, Europe.

McCain graduated 894th out of 899. It took him 2 1/2 years to get through flight training at Pensacola. Even though he'd show great heroism in his captivity in Vietnam - he was never promoted beyond Captain - 4 ranks below his father and grandfather.

The Navy knows him well. What do they know that we don't know?

There's another possibility. He may be insane.

He has demonstrated a tremendous capacity for self destruction throughout his life. While he says - reasonably - that he went to Anapolis because he wanted to prove himself to his family, his low standing seems to have been purposeful. He got more than 100 demerits each year, mostly for petty and intentional infractions like unshined shoes. One of the Navy airplanes he damaged actually hit power lines. He volunteered to fly bombing missions over heavily defended North Vietnamese targets. When he was returned to the US, he destroyed his marriage with a series of affairs.

In the Senate he's alienated fellow Republicans, calling them corrupt, racist traitors - even the ones who've agreed with him. He's alienated the party base, publicly flirting with changing parties. It's one thing to think about it privately. It's another to drop hints to the press.

Why does a man go out of his way to make enemies out of friends?

In his autobiography, he intimates that both his father and grandfather both drank heavily. Is he - like Bill Clinton - the adult child of alcoholics, about to drag us through 8 years of his unresolved, self destructive anger and shame?

We live in perilous times. The mullahs in Iran believe that Hillary is just a woman, and incapable of opposing them. They believe that Obama is a Muslim, and that as soon as they rid the world of the Jews that control America, he will help bring the western world under their control. I don't think they're right on either count but I don't want to see them have to prove themselves.

I think America's enemies view McCain the same way they viewed Reagan - as a man who will not hesitate to kill them.

The problem is - I'm not sure McCain hates them any more than he hates us, or himself.

[Ed.: This is long -- the full post is visible when you click on the title, but not on the front page.]


  1. However much John McCain has worked to alienate Republicans, it does not seem to have worked very well. It looks like they will indeed nominate him for President. I agree with you that he may have mental issues stemming from his imprisonment and torture. I think however that our system of divided powers will work to constrain the worst excesses.
    I believe that he has had a great dislike for Dubya even before losing the primary to him in 2000. That is why he so often sides with the disloyal opposition.
    I also believe that his support of Kerry against the Swifties made a certain amount of sense from his point of view. Once we start de-constructing the past, who knows where it will lead. I understand that even though I supported the Swifties.
    He was dead wrong on immigration and got spanked for it hard. I think that the Supremes will eventually dismantle McCain-Feingold as more cases are brought before it.
    His record at the Naval Academy is ancient history. Dubya also had influential family ties. What of it?
    I am disappointed that you would abandon this country just when times get tough. Let the cities burn. They are the bastions of liberalism. Defend the heartland. For myself, Hillary or Obama will never be an option. Neither will I fail to do my duty to defend the constitution from All enemies, foreign or domestic.
    Best of all though, I agree with you that he will scare the shiite out of the Mad Mullahs and maybe even The Great Leader himself.
    God Save the Republic,
    Svinrod out

  2. Svin, I'm a suburban. When the cities burn, they're next door. I'm putting away shelf stable food, I hope to be able to hold out for a year - but I'm not a farmer. I write reports and do powerpoint. My family won't survive if we stay here. We don't have anyplace to go in Nebraska.

    Frankly, I think McCain has as much chance against Obama as Carter had against Reagan. McCain will take Nixon's famous advice, and start running to the left as hard as he can now. He wants to be on RCH to the right of the Dem nominee.

    God save the Republic. He's our only hope.

  3. Not to worry D. I do not really think that the cities are going to burn any time soon (although there is at least 1 plausible scenario that I can think of). It is always good to have a non-perishable supply of food on hand as well as the usual survival necessities in case of emergencies, natural disasters, etc... Candles, blankets, flashlights, propane stoves and lights, first-aid kit, lots and lots of bottled water, are just the beginning of the complete list. It is extremely unrealistic however to expect to survive in Suburbia if the power/water/distribution grid fails. Two weeks is about the maximum time you will have to remain in situ. After that, things will get nasty. Best thing to have is a 12ga. pump shotgun and lots of ammo. Keeps the bad guys away and helps in foraging for food. Have a plan and a destination to get out of the 'burbs'. That will put you way ahead of everyone else just for starters.

  4. You two certainly are a jolly pair.
    It seems that every four years there's an outbreak of "President is Superman" syndrome. Except for SCOTUS and the military, the President really can't do any long term damage (we did survive Carter, after all). Those are the only two reasons I will vote for McCain.

  5. D4, I've supported the Republican Party in the past even when I was pretty unhappy about some of their positions. But there's no way I can vote for McCain. He not only disagrees with many principles I hold nearly sacrosanct, he goes out of his way to alienate me and those who agree with me. If he needs us to win, he'll lose.

    I'll certainly vote, and do my best to elect true conservatives who can keep a lid on the authoritarian tendencies of whoever wins the presidency. I will not be a party to putting either of the proto-authoritarians running on the major party tickets in power. If there's some third party bid by an actual conservative, I'll support him; otherwise I'll leave the presidential race blank.


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