Has McCain simply fallen from decency or was he always a bottom feeder?

John McCain was once held up as a moderate, and by moderate we mean not a pasty racist anti-science gay hatin idiot held together by big government sutures and staples. A man who knows the horror of war down in his gut and on the ground, who would never start one for political brownie-shirt points, a steely eyed manly man’s man who shoots straight as an arrow while still being sensitive to the plight of those lacking a Y-chromie and/or who choose to date in unseemly, unstraight-ly ways.

The incredibly straight shooting Mr. McCain might have been believable, right up until he self-impaled himself on a stake at the bottom of the cognitive abyss awaiting all future conservative leaders by nominating Sarah Palin. The foreign policy guru whose credentials for office include not knowing why Korea was split into two countries at the 38th parallel. She was the best and the brightest, in all the free-land, to stand one myocardially infarcted heart-beat away from guarding ‘Murika with her gnarled trigger finger poised delicately above the red button. Let the tricolored eagle soar and the ICBMs fly, yo!

The not-so-good Senator from the Great State of Arizona, first to demand papers from anyone harboring a fantasy of being American-while-brown, is more convinced than ever by the lack of evidence that there’s a massive Benghazi conspiracy. Prompting blogger Betty Cracker to muse on the this faux rock-solid, utterly disjointed abomination of logic:

1. The Benghazi affair is more politically consequential than Watergate, Whitewater, Iran-Contra, Chappaquiddick, the Keating Five and the Teapot Dome scandals all rolled into one, and Romney totally would have won the election if it had been covered properly.
2. President Obama must’ve ignored warnings infinitely clearer than the 8/6/01 Presidential Daily Briefing entitled “Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US,” which was obviously not worth investigating after 3K civilians were killed on Bush the Lesser’s watch.

3. The only way Obama could cover his ass in the Benghazi affair was to orchestrate a scandal to compromise the country’s most prominent general, and he fiendishly used a wingnut FBI agent’s obsession with a seemingly flaky Tampa socialite to kick off an investigation that would lead down paths those two pawns could not foresee.

4. Obama further used Jedi mind-tricks to silence noted political opportunist Eric Cantor after Cantor was briefed on the scandal before the election, thanks to the aforementioned wingnut FBI agent.

5. Petraeus is either, A) such a dummy that he was willing to lie to Congress on 9/13 to buy a short reprieve from the announcement of the scandal, which he knows will then engulf him and destroy his career, or B) such a dupe that he will keep lying about Benghazi even after Obama has betrayed him and destroyed his career.

You would think the crew that managed this great land while three jumbo jets slammed into buildings would understand that there’s only so much one can do to detour suicidal relgious fanatics that devoutly believe a magic invisible sky wizard will hug them tightly to its merciful bosom for blowing innocent men, women, and children to charred bloody bits. And they did, when it was their turn at the helm. Now not so much.


  1. Alverant says

    McCain said he never was a mavrick, that it was a label given to him by others to distance himself from The Establishment. That alone says he’s a bottom feeder because he passively allowed someone to create a false public image.

  2. busterggi says

    He wasn’t always a complete bottom feeder even though he was part of the Keating Five. Some of my much younger friends, who weren’t around during Watergate, admired his centrism back in the ’90’s while I grudgingly thought he might not be too bad. IMO he went over to the dark completely in 2008 when he did several 180’s on fundie social issues, torture, etc and I don’t think he can ever come back.

  3. Ben P says

    McCain was often deemed a moderate because he was fundamentally a DC insider. He and his wife were well known in the DC social scene and had all the connections you associate with that and being a long term senator.

    That made him one of probably 10-15 senators and 30-50 representatives who have real power and are the ones who actually work out all the “inside deals” that get legislation passed.

    Because of that McCain would often be co-sponsors of legislation with democrats and would emerge among groups of senators being named as those who had negotiated bipartisan deals, even if often those deals required him to break with the republican party leadership. He knew that never mattered because they’d have to come back to him if they wanted to do anything on their own as well.

    The problem is today McCain’s still wanting to be elected in a state and a state party that is increasingly dominated by Tea Party Wingnuts that want to purge the party of all “RINOS.” McCain fought off a very serious primary challenge by Tea Partier JD Hayworth in 2010 (56-32%). McCain’s moving to the right because he’s not yet ready to retire and has to do it to stay in office.

  4. Paul W., OM says

    My not-extremely-well-informed impression is that McCain’s never been any more of a maverick, or much more of a centrist, than was politically expedient given (1) the relevant constituency’s preferences and (2) the power avalaible to him by working with others.

    My impression is that he was a not-party-line “maverick” Republican because his constituents didn’t want him to be a party line Republican, and that he was “bipartisan” mostly in the sense of being willing to cut deals that paid off for him. That worked given where he was elected.

    When he decided to run for the Republican nomination, that all changed—centrist votes didn’t matter nearly as much, and cutting reasonable deals with Democrats made him look bad to the Republican base, so he started pandering to the Republican base, hard.

    I think he’d have made a similar hard turn to the right, or maybe a hard turn to the left, at any time it was politically expedient for him to do so. It just wasn’t, for a long time, because he kept running in Arizona, and the tradeoffs didn’t change much.

    I see no reason to think he hasn’t always been mostly an opportunist, in a situation that was usually pretty stable. As soon as he destabilized his situation with national ambitions, he automatically became unstable, too.

  5. drdave says

    You will notice that McCain and others did not clamor for a circus like investigation when 281 marines were killed in the Beirut bombing Lebanon in 1983 due to inadequate precautions. But that was on Reagan’s watch.

  6. John Kruger says

    After the absolutely colossal fuck ups of the previous administration, I doubt any Republican could have been elected that year. Wars on false pretenses, massive economic collapse, even the Republican bubble is not strong enough to wave those away enough to win an election. The fact that he could not play two faced enough to win the Republican primary and the general election was just the last nail in the coffin.

    As far as I could tell, most of McCain’s campaign was that the only people who could fix the country were the ones that made it implode in the first place. I think the Republicans just put him up there knowing they had no shot in hell, just to sideline his “moderate” ass later (sorry, you had your chance already . . .).

  7. Randomfactor says

    McCain was one of FIVE out of the eight Republicans invited to a briefing on the Benghazi events, who skipped out.

    So much for wanting to know the truth.

  8. lorn says

    McCain was a fighter pilot and one of the few truth tellers way back when, unfortunately he was always subject to being fed ideas and manipulated. This showed up in his presence among the “Keating five” in ’82’. He tries to do the right thing but is manipulable. I suspect that Sarah Palin was sold to him as a worthy of a hard pressed fighter pilot. A radical maneuver intended to shake things up and pull victory out of the jaws of defeat.

    Unfortunately as McCain has aged, he’s 78 by my count, his ability to counter manipulation has decreased. He seems to be completely surrounded by handlers and pretty much swallowing whatever they try to spoon feed him.

    He is a genuine patriot hero and one of the few in office who knows war and torture. To see him so diminished that he is reduced to mouthing talking points you would expect to here from Limbaugh is sad.

  9. bad Jim says

    Let’s not forget that John McCain, paragon of honor, was one of the Keating Five. He’s never been anything but a greedy opportunist. Someone once noted that the biggest difference between McCain and Bush, Jr. was five crashed planes, nearly the only comparison I’ve ever heard that was in the latter’s favor.

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