2008 Elections: Wheels Flying Off
The Crooked Talk Express.
Story o'the morning: Raw Story tells us that Dan Abrams (unlike so many of the other Lickspittles of the Press Corpse) called attention to the rather sad condition of Jaws McAncient's bus recently (click the link to see the video clip).
Apparently, after promising no new taxes, McAncient announced that he was prepared to raise Social Security taxes, and "nothing is off the table." He seems to be channeling the current Wastrel-in-Office's father — remember old "read my lips" George Teh First?
Of course, his campaign spokesidiot, one Tucker Bounds (was your mama high on somethin' when she named ya?) has rushed to reassure the conservatives of America that just because John McCain said he was going to raise taxes doesn't mean that John McCain speaks for the campaign of John McCain. Or something confusing of that nature. It's kind of sad, really, when the campaign spokesman disavows the views of the campaigner on the grounds that he doesn't speak for the campaign. Really, who speaks for the campaign of John McCain, if not John McCain?
"He may be practical," responded Democratic analyst Tanya Acker, "but a straight talker he is not." She suggested it was time to be "done with this myth of the straight-talking maverick who says one thing and holds fast to it for 35 years. That's just not true."Mark Halperin illustrates some of McAncient's remarkable yet unremarked flip-flopping in Time magazine.
"He's gotten in the habit of even denying that he said something the day after," Sekoff agreed.
The National Journal has also noticed that the "straight talk" isn't quite as straight as pictured.
Just last week McCain found himself pushing back against his own campaign when his communications director, Jill Hazelbaker, went on cable television twice in one day to criticize Barack Obama's overseas trip as "political."Meanwhile, the WaPoo, normally given to fawning adulation of McAncient and stern-toned queries or dismissals of Obama, finds the courage to smack the oldster upside the head with a dead fish for his blatant lies about his younger rival. The NYT (registration required) agrees. And Ben Smith, over at Politico, notes that McAncient and his Rovian myrmidons have backed off the false charges in that ad.
"Well, I can only give you my opinion -- and I will talk to her -- but the fact is I'm glad that he's going to Iraq, and I'm glad that he's going to Afghanistan, and it's long, long overdue," McCain said.
Speaking to reporters just hours later in Grand Haven, Mich., McCain attempted to clarify his statements from the bus: "We just had a discussion about whether his trip was political or not -- to Afghanistan and Iraq. I offered to be with him. And I'll look forward to his conclusions when he finishes that part of his trip. If he has political rallies in other places, obviously then it's a political trip."
It's kind of sad, really. McCain used to be a quirky individual with a sharp wit (and sharper tongue, which was amusing as long as one was not the intended target). Once upon a time, he had the courage to call Jerry Falwell what he was, a hatemonger. Now it seems he can't tell his arse from a hole in the ground.
Ms. Manitoba has accused me of unrepentant ageism in my depiction of McCain. It's not his age, per se, that is drawing mockery. It's his incapacitation. He's showing the effects of old age (or perhaps something else, say PTSD, or Alzheimer's, or the many medications he ingests) despite being relatively young.
Bertrand Russell was physically and intellectually far superior in function to McCain well into his nineties. George Bernard Shaw was productive and active till a fall incurred by pruning a tree knocked his kidneys out and put him in his grave at the age of 94. Grandma Moses published her autobiography at the age of 92 after beginning a new career in her seventies.
McCain, on the other hand, suffers from lapses of memory, confusion, belligerence, changes his positions oftener than a weathervane, contradicts himself, claims he never said or did things when there are records of him saying and doing exactly such things — it's sad. If he really is suffering from some sort of mental disorder, it's cruel to let him swing in the public eye. On the other hand, it wouldn't surprise me in the least to find out that the Bushies have just left McCain to twist in the wind to take our attention away from whichever revolting unprincipled shmuck they plan to replace him with right before the elections. At which time, they'll put all the pressure they can on the poor old warhorse to step down. Stumble It!