Those of you who know me well know that in 1999-2000 thereabouts, I had a wild, untamed, shameful, schoolgirl crush on John McCain, mainly for the reasons everybody did: the hot war hero background, the funny, the downsmacking of Jerry Falwell, the way he got that during the run-up to the actual presidential campaign your constituency is the press and the press only and heworked it like Linda Evangelista, the straight talk thing, etc. I was heartbroken when Bush took him to pieces in South Carolina and that particularly nasty destruction is one of the biggest reasons I despise Bush and Karl Rove and their methods to this day.

So it has depressed the living hell out of me to watch what a miserable Bush-supporting shill McCain’s turned into, and this news, which at one time would have made me happy, just makes me go “ugh.”

Sen. John McCain, considered the front-runner for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, intends to launch an exploratory committee next week, GOP officials said Friday.

First of all, way to horn in on our news cycle, senator. Second, it’s too early for this, isn’t it? Tell me I’m not wrong to feel like this coupled with the Vilsack thing is the political equivalent of the stores putting out Christmas decorations in September. Third, did I mention “ugh?” I’d really welcome a grown-up presidential campaign, between a guy I didn’t think was a sleazy asshole and a Democrat who I’d end up voting for anyway. But I hold out no hope that McCain will be that guy. He’s already climbed into bed with the Bushco enforcers, and once you go there, you can’t go back.


13 thoughts on “McCain

  1. McCain as the Republican nominee scares the hell out of me. Not because he’s necessarily a brilliant campaigner or anything, but because the media is just so in love with and invested in the Straight-Talking Maverick narrative that they’ve constructed around him, and I don’t think they’re going to give it up even if he gets busted blowing Dubya on national TV.

  2. A., I had the crush too, back in the day. Boy, was I ever wrong. What happened to him? I guess he never was the man we thought he was.

  3. John McCain was a hero as a POW. His behavior during that time will always make him a hero. Just as Kerry cannot be denied his accomplishments in Vietnam, neither can McCain be denied his accomplishment as a POW. I would hope that none of us would ever stoop to trying to “swift boat” McCain.
    McCain is also a strong conservative voice for his home state, another accomplishment we can’t deny him. His voters appreciate him, and he apparently represents their wishes well.
    None of the above means McCain deserves any of our support as a Presidential candidate. He is anything but a liberal or progressive politician. He also has demonstrated a notable lack of courage as a Senator, and a notable lack of steadiness in his principles (which are not my principles, but that is irrelevant). He demonstrated that he will stoop as low as necessary in order to serve his party’s presidential nominee, and to support that President after he is elected. For me, this totally disqualifies him from ever being President, and he should do a George Allen by gracefully withdrawing his candidacy.

  4. Hoppy, I do give him credit for his conduct during his time as a prisoner of war. I should have made that clear.
    I’m thinking that in 2000, he was not the man I thought he was, because he turned too quickly to embrace Bush and the all the shitload of baggage he carried with him, even after the Bush campaign put into action the dirtiest of dirty push-polls sliming him in South Carolina.

  5. this is why i fear mccain. he seems to be able to fool people as much as georgie. he may be a much better MAN than georgie, but i find his political bent way WAY rite and out of the mainstream. and for mr. clean, i sure do remember the keating 5 even if nobody else does.
    why do smart democrats even consider him ok?
    hoping that thing on his face kills him by 08′. georgie for 2 terms IS ENOUGH.

  6. So if you’re murdering a bunch of foreigners from the sky that never threatened your county in any way in a war started on a pack of lies, and you get shot down and caught, that makes you a “war hero”?
    I think it makes you a war criminal personally.

  7. Iraq, healthcare, and the erosion of the middle class will be the top issues in ’08. McCain has unpopular views on each. He can be beaten not because he is old but because his ideas are old and have failed. A supermajority of Americans want radical change to our healthcare system. If were still in Iraq in ’08 McCain will be pushing for a dramatic increase in troops in Iraq, not a decrease. Is that a winning message? I say no.

  8. During the mid 90’s I met John McCain several times. None of those meetings was at all significant save for the fact that, having actually met the man, I was spared the same schoolgirl crush you experienced. There’s not a doubt in my mind that I would have been smitten by the 2000 Model John McCain had I not already figured out that this was a man whose straight talk was designed solely to polish the mirror in which he mightily enjoyed his own reflection as often as possible.
    If I wasn’t entranced, however, I was at least partially convinced that McCain was a “good” republican. I listened patiently to my mother who convinced herself that if McCain won the GOP nomination that she’d vote for him — lifelong Democrat or not, she was embarrassingly besotted. I told her that McCain would say anything, mean nothing and end up being nothing more than the garden variety breed of Republican who we generally know as glad handing bullies. True, he’s neither a Rovian fascist nor a right wing evangelical true believer so he’s probably not directly dangerous but he’s a poster boy for gettalong republican hacks who have slowed the progressive agenda nationally for nearly 60 years now.
    He’s Eisenhower without the intellect. Goldwater without the wit or the conviction. He’s every overly friendly neighbor you’ve ever had who would push you under a bus to get into the best country club.
    At least a half dozen times in the past week I have heard TV pundits say that McCain’s press darling days are over. I’ll only be totally convinced of that when I see it but I am heartened by the fact that the fact of his “special status” with the press has entered the discussion.
    By the way, my mother has thrown him over too. And the last ten years has erased the concept of a “good” republican from my brain.

  9. .
    the guy’s a crackpot skeevey loon. always has been.

  10. I don’t accept that American troops, whether they slog in the mud or fly in the sky, are criminals. A few are, but even those generally are made into criminals by their experiences.
    McCain did nothing I know of to rate him a hero or a bum until he became a POW, and was grossly abused as such. He could have come home much sooner, but refused to do so as long as his compatriots were still imprisoned. For me, he remains a hero for doing that.
    I have never felt a need to denigrate those I oppose politically. I may do so when their acts demand that I do so, but just the fact that they hold different political beliefs than me does not cause me to do that. I liked Goldwater, even while I despised his political beliefs. McCain doesn’t measure up to Goldwater, but I can’t say I dislike him. He just isn’t qualified to be our President.

  11. I think McCain (the one we thought he was) could have been the one to unite this country. he didn’t need to pander to the far right, he could have gotten a lot of Democrats to support him just by remaining honest. But he changed, or he really wasn’t what we thought. I’m just glad he showed his true colors before I made a commitment I would later regret.

  12. Y’all are blaming McCain for surviving the first Swiftboating.
    The man flew for the Navy.
    For that I respect him — and I respect GHWB for the same reason.
    But I was real live USAF in ’78, and I know exactly how hard it was supposed to be to move from an enlistment into the O-corps. I know exactly how bad an awful lot of damned good young men and women — who would’ve served honorably, honestly, and built something on the foundation it offered — wanted the kind of shot W wasted, and … well, hell, let’s be truthful here — I will never forgive him for wasting that. Of course, that’s no different than what he’s done with anything else in his whole life, but… that’s where my personal deep abiding loathing starts. Arbusto and the rest was just icing on the cake — that damn reissued driver’s license number, I will bet real money, hides old records of DUI in Midland or Ector county, or maybe a surrounding rural county, at the very least. If there’s not a coke bust in his past, it’s a motherfracking miracle.
    Y’know, stuff must’ve been S T R A N G E in the Bush household when W & Co. were growing up …41 wasn’t exactly a populist, but within the limits of being a Republican, which carries some serious baggage all by itself in my universe, he could’ve been a whale of a lot worse. He was at least smart enough to let a general run his war in Iraq instead of a delusional cabal. 43, on the other hand, isn’t merely just not “smart” in the way his dad was — and I don’t deny he possesses a certain cunning — he’s trying to prove to the world that he’s half the man his dad is.
    Sadly, no.
    Back to McCain: he lived through some crap in those POW years. That he lived is a testament to something stout in his character; that he stayed because of his principle, when he could’ve been released for the small price of confessing to lies — and the people working on him were the people who inspired the practice of waterboarding, is the reason I will always think of him as an exemplary Naval aviator.
    But because of that, and largely for similar reasons I couldn’t really bring myself to vote for Ross Perot a few years ago (face facts: at that stage of his life Ross Perot couldn’t’ve kept his mouth shut to save his life. He was going to say something somebody was going to shoot him for, and James Stockdale had been through enough hell already as a POW), any more than I could vote for McCain in the future.
    Back before Rove’s takedown of McCain via that really loathesome suggestive nonsense about the McCains’ adopted daughter (and if KKKKarl doesn’t burn in a special ring of hell just for that alone, then there really is NO fracking justice), I might’ve been of a different mind. But that’s a lot of whiskey under the bridge ago, and the years since haven’t been any kinder to McCain.

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