Tagged: John McCain

Why is John McCain being such a jerk?

John McCain 05.jpg

“The diatribes are getting McCain plenty of exposure on cable news, but they’re also starting to make observers wonder if the man who rolled his eyes at “that one” during the presidential debates is having trouble moving on from last November’s defeat.” via Salon.

Related:

Obama Cozies Up to McCain

Nope/Fear

‘How valuable of [sic] an ally will John McCain be to Barack Obama? According to The New York Times, “Over the last three months, Mr. Obama has quietly consulted Mr. McCain about many of the new administration’s potential nominees to top national security jobs and about other issues” in a courtship “that historians say has few modern parallels.” Lindsey Graham has said of McCain that “that many of these appointments he would have made himself.” When McCain returned from Iraq last month, Obama called him in order to hear his thoughts on the situation. And, tonight, McCain will be the guest of honor at a black tie celebration of Obama’s inauguration.’ via The Daily Beast.

Related:

Conservative Ideologues Begin to Throw McCain Under the Bus

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Campaign rally: likely one of the last things over which John McCain will preside.

Sorry, Senator. Let’s Salvage What We Can: “There are many ways to lose a presidential election. John McCain is losing in a way that threatens to take the entire Republican Party down with him.” — David Frum (Washingto Post op-ed)

Palin going rogue?

Republican vice-pres...

Palin allies report rising campaign tension: “Four Republicans close to Palin said she has decided increasingly to disregard the advice of the former Bush aides tasked to handle her, creating occasionally tense situations as she travels the country with them. Those Palin supporters, inside the campaign and out, said Palin blames her handlers for a botched rollout and a tarnished public image — even as others in McCain’s camp blame the pick of the relatively inexperienced Alaska governor, and her public performance, for McCain’s decline.”
(Politico)

Palin going rogue?

Republican vice-pres...

Palin allies report rising campaign tension: “Four Republicans close to Palin said she has decided increasingly to disregard the advice of the former Bush aides tasked to handle her, creating occasionally tense situations as she travels the country with them. Those Palin supporters, inside the campaign and out, said Palin blames her handlers for a botched rollout and a tarnished public image — even as others in McCain’s camp blame the pick of the relatively inexperienced Alaska governor, and her public performance, for McCain’s decline.”
(Politico)

Dissecting Cindy McCain’s private world

Portrait of Glenn Greenwald -creator of Unclai...Glenn GreenwaldGlenn Greenwald writes in Salon about the New York Times gossip-rag-style profile:

“It’s true that the Right — which built a cottage industry of low-life dirt-peddlers that persists to this day out of sleazily digging into every facet of the Clintons’ private lives, and then became voracious amplifiers of National Enquirer during the Edwards scandal — has very little standing to complain here, since they helped spawn these invasions. And none of this has anything to do specifically with Cindy McCain, since the treatment to which she’s subjected here is, by now, anything but unique (though remarkably little interest was displayed when it came to digging into what was, by all accounts, the rich and ample hedonism of George W. Bush’s pre-”born-again” life).

But it seems rather obvious that there are now basically no journalistic standards left for determining when a political figure’s private life (or even that of their spouse) is “relevant” — apparently, it’s all relevant now, down to the last tawdry detail. In partiuclar, adultery (without regard to whether the spouse consents) is, without any further consideration, a legitimate topic to report. That inevitably has to lead to an even further erosion (if that’s possible) of our political class, a further narrowing of the people willing to enter politics. And the vast disparity between the media resources and attention devoted to sleazy gossip like this versus actual investigation of true government corruption and crime seems to be growing by the day, such that behavior like this will further decay our already quite decadent journalistic class as well.”

Colin Powell Endorses Obama

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“Former Secretary of State Colin Powell announced Sunday that he will be voting for Sen. Barack Obama. ‘He has both style and substance. I think he is a transformational figure,’ Powell said on NBC’s Meet the Press.” (HuffPo)

During the Republican convention, I recall, Powell’s name had been leaked as a leading contender for McCain’s vice presidential pick. The buzz is that, while most endorsements don’t mean squat, this one may well be influential. Newt Gingrich, of all people, says that Powell’s comments pretty much put the end to the “experience gap” issue that has been the dilemma of many undecided voters. And what is perhaps even more telling about Powell’s statement on Meet the Press, often not reported in the soundbites, was his criticism of the bankruptcy of the Republican party.

Dissecting Cindy McCain’s private world

Portrait of Glenn Greenwald -creator of Unclai...Glenn GreenwaldGlenn Greenwald writes in Salon about the New York Times gossip-rag-style profile:

“It’s true that the Right — which built a cottage industry of low-life dirt-peddlers that persists to this day out of sleazily digging into every facet of the Clintons’ private lives, and then became voracious amplifiers of National Enquirer during the Edwards scandal — has very little standing to complain here, since they helped spawn these invasions. And none of this has anything to do specifically with Cindy McCain, since the treatment to which she’s subjected here is, by now, anything but unique (though remarkably little interest was displayed when it came to digging into what was, by all accounts, the rich and ample hedonism of George W. Bush’s pre-”born-again” life).

But it seems rather obvious that there are now basically no journalistic standards left for determining when a political figure’s private life (or even that of their spouse) is “relevant” — apparently, it’s all relevant now, down to the last tawdry detail. In partiuclar, adultery (without regard to whether the spouse consents) is, without any further consideration, a legitimate topic to report. That inevitably has to lead to an even further erosion (if that’s possible) of our political class, a further narrowing of the people willing to enter politics. And the vast disparity between the media resources and attention devoted to sleazy gossip like this versus actual investigation of true government corruption and crime seems to be growing by the day, such that behavior like this will further decay our already quite decadent journalistic class as well.”

Autism in the Presidential debate?

Karyotype for trisomy Down syndrome.Karyotype for trisomy Down syndromeSome have balked at McCain’s riff on autism in answer to a debate question about his running mate’s qualifications for the Presidency. Without meaning to cast aspersions on the struggles of having a special needs child, I can’t see its bearing on the skills required to be President; others have found that difficult to understand as well. And I share others’ puzzlement over how having a Downs Syndrome child makes her qualified to understand autism. I would go even further. It would not surprise me, after watching McCain’s comments in the debate, if he is confused about the distinction between the two conditions.

And don’t even get me started on her use of her special needs child to make political points…

Noonan, York, Toobin And Others Take Aim At McCain

US Senator Barack Obama campaigning in New Hampshire“With 22 days left before the voters hit the polls, conservative pundits and media commentators are scratching their heads over the lack of direction – indeed, the near schizophrenic judgment – of the McCain campaign.

Appearing at the Time Warner Summit conference on the 2008 election, a host of prominent electoral observers were all bearish on the Arizona Republican’s presidential ambitions. Not one panelist took the chance to defend the Senator’s choice of Sarah Palin as vice president. Others simply saw death by electoral numbers…

‘Obama seems older in a way,’ said [Peggy Noonan]. ‘McCain has seemed herky-jerky. Obama has seemed like the older, steadier fellow since the economic crisis began.’” (HuffPo)

Christopher Hitchens Endorses Obama

McCain lacks the character and temperament to be president. And Palin is simply a disgrace.

“I used to nod wisely when people said: “Let’s discuss issues rather than personalities.” It seemed so obvious that in politics an issue was an issue and a personality was a personality, and that the more one could separate the two, the more serious one was. After all, in a debate on serious issues, any mention of the opponent’s personality would be ad hominem at best and at worst would stoop as low as ad feminam.

…I used to call myself a single-issue voter on the essential question of defending civilization against its terrorist enemies and their totalitarian protectors, and on that “issue” I hope I can continue to expose and oppose any ambiguity. Obama is greatly overrated in my opinion, but the Obama-Biden ticket is not a capitulationist one, even if it does accept the support of the surrender faction, and it does show some signs of being able and willing to profit from experience. With McCain, the “experience” is subject to sharply diminishing returns, as is the rest of him, and with Palin the very word itself is a sick joke. One only wishes that the election could be over now and a proper and dignified verdict rendered, so as to spare democracy and civility the degradation to which they look like being subjected in the remaining days of a low, dishonest campaign.” (Slate)

Not My Friend

The Tic Code

McCain’s Tic Is Back: “McCain’s ‘my friends’ tic kicked in with a vengeance and he said it not three or four times but a total of 22 times. Several of those times he said ‘my friend,’ referring to a questioner in the audience. Moderator Tom Brokaw said ‘my friend’ once, when he announced next week’s moderator, CBS’s Bob Schieffer. (Obama said ‘my friends’ – not once.)” (Washington Post op-ed)

"That One…"

…as McCain Calls Obama In Debate: ‘”During a discussion about energy, McCain punctuates a contrast with Obama by referring to him as “that one,” while once again not looking in his opponent’s direction (merely jabbing a finger across his chest). That’s not going to win McCain any Miss Congeniality points. Nor will it reassure any voters who believe McCain is improperly trying to capitalize on Obama’s “otherness.”

This goes beyond refusing to look at Obama in the first debate. With this slightly dehumanizing phrase, McCain may have just played into the emerging narrative of Obama-hate that has been sprouting at McCain-Palin rallies.

Darren Davis, a professor at Notre Dame who specializes in the role of race in politics, sent a comment to the Huffington Post about McCain’s “that one” remark. “It speaks volumes about how McCain feels personally about Obama. Whomever said the town hall format helps McCain is dead wrong,” Davis wrote.’

Obama Hatred At McCain-Palin Rallies: “Terrorist!” “Kill Him!”

Arianna Huffington: McCain’s Desperate Claim: Obama is Dangerous. Vote for Me If You Want to Live!

Jeffrey Feldman: Is Palin Trying To Incite Violence Against Obama?

(All from Huffington Post)

I have never had more fear that the level of rancor in the population being tapped into against a presidential candidate will get him assassinated.

It’s not much of a choice for Americans come November 4

Thalia Mendoza has h...

Shaun Carney: “Every political contest is a question of relativities — as in, which candidate do I dislike least? — and when John McCain and Barack Obama went mano a mano for the first time in the presidential debate on Saturday morning our time, it gradually became clear that American voters will face a genuine dilemma on November 4. Both candidates are a substantial risk and a further sign that the political system of the world’s most powerful nation is not functioning very well.” (age.com.au)

MY HOLIDAY WITH JOHN McCAIN

This is being circulated by email:

U.S. Republican pre...

It was just before John McCain’s last run at the presidential nomination in 2000 that my husband and I vacationed in Turtle Island in Fiji with John McCain, Cindy, and their children, including Bridget (their adopted Bangladeshi child).
It was not our intention, but it was our misfortune to be in close quarters with John McCain for almost a week, since Turtle Island has a small number of bungalows and their focus on communal meals force all vacationers who are there at the same time to get to know each other intimately.

He arrived at our first group meal and started reading quotes from a pile of William Faulkner books with a forest of Post-Its sticking out of them. As an English Literature major myself, my first thought was “if he likes this so much, why hasn’t he memorized any of this yet?” I soon realized that McCain actually thought we had come on vacation to be a volunteer audience for his “readings” which then became a regular part of each meal. Out of politeness, none of the vacationers initially protested at this intrusion into their blissful holiday, but people’s buttons definitely got pushed as the readings continued day after day.

Unfortunately this was not his only contribution to our mealtime entertainment. He waxed on during one meal about how Indo-Chine women had the best figures and that our American corn-fed women just couldn’t meet up to this standard. He also made it a point that all of us should stop Cindy from having dessert as her weight was too high and made a few comments to Amy, the 25 year old wife of the honeymooning couple from Nebraska that she should eat less as she needed to lose weight.
McCain’s appreciation of the beauty of Asian women was so great that David the American economist had to move his Thai wife to the other side of the table from McCain as McCain kept aggressively flirting with and touching her.

Needless to say I was irritated at his large ego and his rude behavior towards his wife and other women, but decided he must have some redeeming qualities as he had adopted a handicapped child from Bangladesh. I asked him about this one day, and his response was shocking: “Oh, that was Cindy’s idea – I didn’t have anything to do with it. She just went and adopted this thing without even asking me. You can’t imagine how people stare when I wheel this ugly, black thing around in a shopping cart in Arizona . No, it wasn’t my idea at all.”

I actively avoided McCain after that, but unfortunately one day he engaged me in a political discussion which soon got us on the topic of the active US bombing of Iraq at that time. I was shocked when he said, “If I was in charge, I would nuke Iraq to teach them a lesson”. Given McCain’s personal experience with the horrors of war, I had expected a more balanced point of view. I commented on the tragic consequences of the nuclear attacks on Japan during WWII –- but no, he was not to be dissuaded. He went on to say that if it was up to him he would have dropped many more nuclear bombs on Japan. I rapidly extricated myself from this conversation as I could tell that his experience being tortured as a POW didn’t seem to have mellowed out his perspective, but rather had made him more aggressive and vengeful towards the world.

My final encounter with McCain was on the morning that he was leaving Turtle Island. Amy and I were happily eating pancakes when McCain arrived and told Amy that she shouldn’t be having pancakes because she needed to lose weight. Amy burst into tears at this abusive comment. I felt fiercely protective of Amy and immediately turned to McCain and told him to leave her alone. He became very angry and abusive towards me, and said, “Don’t you know who I am.” I looked him in the face and said, “Yes, you are the biggest asshole I have ever met” and headed back to my cabin. I am happy to say that later that day when I arrived at lunch I was given a standing ovation by all the guests for having stood up to McCain’s bullying.
Although I have shared my McCain story informally with friends, this is the first time I am making this public. I almost did so in 2000, when McCain first announced his bid for the Republican nomination, but it soon became apparent that George Bush was the shoo-in candidate and so I did not act then. However, now that there is a very real possibility that McCain could be elected as our next president, I feel it is my duty as an American citizen to share this story. I can’t imagine a more scary outcome for America than that this abusive, aggressive man should lead our nation. I have observed him in intimate surroundings as he really is, not how the media portrays him to be. If his attitudes toward women and his treatment of his own family are even a small indicator of his real personality, then I shudder to think what will happen to America were he to be elected as our President.


Mary-Kay Gamel
Professor of Classics, Comparative Literature, and Theater Arts
Cowell College
University of California, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, California 95064
831-459-2381 (office); 831-429-8803 (home)
mkgamel@ucsc.edu

Important to circulate if true, but it sounded abit over-the-top and stereotyped (e.g. the comment about their adopted child) so I wrote to Dr. Gamel for verification. She denies writing the piece but knows who does and, curiously, doesn’t address directly why her name was attached to it:

Friends: Little did I think when I forwarded this story to four or five friends on 16 September that I would be identified as the author or receive so many questions. Some of you have clearly received the email without the preface attached. Most simply ask whether the story is true, some praise “my” courage, some angrily accuse me of distortion and lies.

I’m sorry that I did not check the story more carefully before forwarding it. I am paying for my mistake by sending this clarification to every person who contacts me. Here’s as much of the truth as I know:

First of all, I did not write this story. Here is the preface to the story as I received and forwarded it:

To: Mary-Kay Gamel
Subject: Fwd: MY HOLIDAY WITH JOHN McCAIN
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2008 11:13:22 -0400
—– Forwarded Message —-
From: Kate Marianchild <katem@mcn.org>
Sent: Sunday, September 14, 2008
Subject: My Holiday with John McCain: a first-hand account
(Note from Kate: This shocking account was written by Ana Dubey, a friend of my cousin and her husband, who have known Ana for many years. Ana has a PhD in psychology and has a private practice in San Francisco . My cousin’s husband went to business school with Ana’s husband, who has since started and sold a number of successful companies. Ana’s husband is currently a Managing Director of a private equity firm in the Bay Area. Ana and her husband are not political activists and don’t have any personal ax to grind. In fact, in writing this account of her experience with John McCain, Ana is acting outside of her own economic self-interest as she and her husband are among the top 3-5% of our population who would benefit from the McCain tax/economic policies. Please pass this on to anyone you know who might vote for John McCain. Also please post it on blogs and send it to newspapers and radio stations.)

I am not Ana Dubey (whose full name, I believe, is Anasuya Dubey, apparently the daughter of a former Indian Consul in San Francisco). I gather that Turtle Island costs $2000/day–I could never afford such a holiday. After the email was further forwarded and people wrote with questions, I wrote to Kate Marianchild. Here is our exchange:

Dear Ms. Marianchild: I got your email with the shocking story and forwarded it. Some recipients are questioning it. I googled Ana Dubey and got a husband/wife team who run a bakery in Honolulu. Can you assure me that Ana Dubey really is a psychologist in San Francisco?

thanks
MKG

Yes, I can assure you of that. She is a private person and psychologist. And perhaps you can send this on to your friends:

Dear Friends,

Everyone is asking to talk to Ana Dubey or receive a direct email from her validating the “Holiday with John McCain” story. I emailed Ana and asked her how to handle all the correspondence I was receiving. She didn’t reply to me, which is understandable as we have never met and I am sure she is totally besieged with emails right now. I don’t feel comfortable forwarding lots of emails to her or giving out her email address.

However, I did forward one email – one I received from Frances Moore Lappe (author of Diet for a Small Planet, Food First, Democracy’s Edge, Hope’s Edge, Getting a Grip, and etc, and founder of the Small Planet Institute – http://www.smallplanet.org). Frances (aka Frankie), said she would like to pursue the story by talking to Ana, and that she would distribute it if she were convinced it was authentic.

Here’s what I just received from Frankie (Frances) Lappe. If you still have doubts perhaps you can contact Frankie, as she is a more public person than I believe Ana to be.

Kate Marianchild

Kate,
I just spoke with Ana, who was wonderful.
Sounds like NBC is on it. Sure hope an interview gets aired.
Thank you so much for asking her to call me. I admire Ana very much.
Frankie

Frances Moore Lappé
Small Planet Institute
25 Mt Auburn St., Suite 203
Cambridge MA 02138
617.441.6300 x 115

I have not contacted Ms. Lappe, and the story is still quite uncertain. As a reader of texts I think it has the ring of truth (especially given McCain’s well-documented temper). Some have questioned the idea of McCain shopping and pushing his then no longer infant adopted daughter in a shopping cart, but those could have been references to earlier times. Presumably the holiday took place in December 1999, and some have pointed out that the US was not at war with Iraq then, but bombing raids based on the sanctions were being carried out. The NEW YORKER portrait of Cindy McCain attests that the adoption of Bridget was indeed her idea. And so forth.

There are various sites where the story is being discussed. There is a lot of corroborating information at http://thebruceblog.wordpress.com/2008/09/23/my-holiday-with-mccain-oh-lord-i-cant-wait-till-this-gets-verified/.

There is much discussion on the web about the veracity of this meme, e.g. here. And here is what a Google search on “Ana Dubey OR Anasuya Dubey” will reveal. In summary, it seems too farfetched to believe, but just barely. As my friend Julia, who originally forwarded the email to me, observed, we’ve all had conversations with idiots like the man McCain is made out to be here. I’m saddened by this; McCain will hoist himself by his own petard easily enough without such scurrilousness.

The Ugly New McCain

Richard Cohen: “Following his loss to George W. Bush in the 2000 South Carolina primary, John McCain did something extraordinary: He confessed to lying about how he felt about the Confederate battle flag, which he actually abhorred. ‘I broke my promise to always tell the truth,’ McCain said. Now he has broken that promise so completely that the John McCain of old is unrecognizable. He has become the sort of politician he once despised.” (Washington Post op-ed)

Is the Electoral Process About Reality?

Book cover of

George Lakoff Warns Democrats: “…[The] election campaign depends on the political mind-how people understand the candidates and the realities. Democrats have mostly criticized Sarah Palin as unqualified to deal with the realities we face as a nation. But the choice of Palin had to do with the way the political mind works in elections. In dealing with the McCain-Palin ticket, Democrats must take the way voters think into account, in addition to the external realities.” (Truthout)

Grand Old Book Party

Does This Look Lik...

What to read about John McCain and the future of the GOP: “By the time party conventions roll around, we’re told, many Americans are just tuning in to the presidential race. If you’re just gearing up for the GOP Convention, here’s a rundown of the best literature on John McCain and the future of the Republican Party.” (Slate)

Sarah Palin’s Wikipedia Page Altered One Day Before Nomination

“Sarah Palin is the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party for Vice President of the United States in the 2008 presidential election. Yesterday, someone close to Palin made a whole bunch of edits to her Wikipedia entry making it a little more palatable for the centrists. For those who are interested in the old page, check Google’s cached version or download screenshots (might be slow to load due to file size) from August 21st 2008 and August 29th 2008 and compare the notes for yourself.” (Headsetoptions)