The Real McCain

Wow.  He almost makes W. look principled by comparison.  Read this, then leave a copy in the break room, leave a copy on the subway, forward it to friends

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  1. I came upon a new theory about McCain this weekend. I’ll start with this, though, any impeachment of McCain’s character because he broke under pressure in North Vietnam isn’t worth the paper it’s written on (or mb’s it uses up). The reality is that the overwhelming (and by overwhelming, the number is arond 98%) number of torture victims break. Good on the Air Force pilot who didn’t, but shame on the writer for claiming that was some giant moral failing on McCain’s part.

    Ok, moving on. What’s interesting about that article is that there’s a big whole in it between the Keating 5 scandal and the 2000 election. During that time, I’d argue McCain was actually a pretty darned good politician. Look, he’s conservative; is it any surprise that a senator from Arizona is conservative? But during that time I think you could count on McCain to be what he still claims to be. Well, ok, not a “Maverick,” but a senator that didn’t necessarily cow to the party line (though was inherently conservative).

    So, on to 2000. The Republicans pick Bush. Not only do they pick Bush, but they rally around him in an amazing way. There stands McCain, an experienced, respected, engaged senator, with a war record and Reagan bone fides, and the party went with Bush. The agents of intolerance, and everyone else, decided to go with the shell of a politician, a puppet for the neocon/religious right cabal that took over the Republican party. So McCain says to himself, “seriously, you’re going with that guy?” Bush is someone who no one will ever turn to again — never — for advice about Presidential issues. And everyone who was paying attention could see it coming in 2000. So McCain changes. He’s angry, bitter, reactionary — all those things seem pretty consistent — and he realizes that if just towing the line is the way to get to the top, and if the empty shell that is Bush can do it, then he can do that, too, and at least he brings some intellect and experience to the table. And that was what did it. Extreme bitterness at the party picking Bush over him, and realizing how that happened. So he caved. Not principled, not forgivable, but understandable.

    Thank goodness it looks like he’s not going to be the next President.

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