In a ten-page mini-biography, the current issue of Rolling Stone exposes McCain for what he is and always was: a conscience-less and undisciplined self-promoter.
The article, an indictment of McCain, not only as a manipulative politician, but, perhaps more importantly, a soulless human being, includes information like the following:
The reckless, womanizing hotshot who leaned on family connections for advancement before his capture in Vietnam emerged a reckless, womanizing celebrity who continued to pull strings.
Even McCain admits to an “immature and unprofessional reaction to slights” that is “little changed from the reactions to such provocations I had as a schoolboy.”
During his 1992 campaign, at the end of a long day, McCain’s wife, Cindy, mussed his receding hair and needled him playfully that he was “getting a little thin up there.” McCain reportedly blew his top, cutting his wife down with the kind of language that had gotten him hauled into court as a high schooler: “At least I don’t plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt.” Even though the incident was witnessed by three reporters, the McCain campaign denies it took place.
And this account of McCain’s first war-time plane crash (he crashed planes several times before that) reveals that he probably fools himself better than he fools others:
As the ship burned, McCain took a moment to mourn his misfortune; his combat career appeared to be going up in smoke. “This distressed me considerably,” he recalls in Faith of My Fathers. “I feared my ambitions were among the casualties in the calamity that had claimed the Forrestal.”
The fire blazed late into the night. The following morning, while oxygen-masked rescue workers toiled to recover bodies from the lower decks, McCain was making fast friends with R.W. “Johnny” Apple of The New York Times, who had arrived by helicopter to cover the deadliest Naval calamity since the Second World War. The son of admiralty surviving a near-death experience certainly made for good copy, and McCain colorfully recounted how he had saved his skin. But when Apple and other reporters left the ship, the story took an even stranger turn: McCain left with them. As the heroic crew of the Forrestal mourned its fallen brothers and the broken ship limped toward the Philippines for repairs, McCain zipped off to Saigon for what he recalls as “some welcome R&R.”
Later, these observations:
If heroism is defined by physical suffering, Carol McCain is every bit her ex-husband’s equal. Driving alone on Christmas Eve 1969, she skidded out on a patch of ice and crashed into a telephone pole. She would spend six months in the hospital and undergo 23 surgeries. The former model McCain bragged of to his buddies in the POW camp as his “long tall Sally” was now five inches shorter and walked with crutches.
By any standard, McCain treated her contemptibly. Whatever his dreams of getting laid in Rio, he got plenty of ass during his command post in Jacksonville. According to biographer Robert Timberg, McCain seduced his conquests on off-duty cross-country flights — even though adultery is a court-martial offense. He was also rumored to be romantically involved with a number of his subordinates.
Although McCain stresses in his memoir that he married Cindy three months after divorcing Carol, he was still legally married to his first wife when he and Cindy were issued a marriage license from the state of Arizona. The divorce was finalized on April 2nd, 1980. McCain’s second marriage — rung in at the Arizona Biltmore with Gary Hart as a groomsman — was consummated only six weeks later, on May 17th. The union gave McCain access to great wealth: Cindy, whose father was the exclusive distributor for Budweiser in the Phoenix area, is now worth an estimated $100 million.
In 1989, in behavior the couple has blamed in part on the stress of the Keating scandal, Cindy became addicted to Vicodin and Percocet. She directed a doctor employed by her charity — which provided medical care to patients in developing countries — to supply the narcotics, which she then used to get high on trips to places like Bangladesh and El Salvador.
Tom Gosinski, a young Republican, kept a detailed journal while working as director of government affairs for the charity. “I am working for a very sad, lonely woman whose marriage of convenience to a U.S. senator has driven her to . . . cover feelings of despair with drugs,” he wrote in 1992. When Cindy McCain suddenly fired Gosinski, he turned his journal over to the Drug Enforcement Administration, sparking a yearlong investigation. To avoid jail time, Cindy agreed to a hush-hush plea bargain and court-imposed rehab.
Ironically, her drug addiction became public only because she and her husband tried to cover it up.
Following his failed presidential bid in 2000, McCain needed a vehicle to keep his brand alive. He founded the Reform Institute, which he set up as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit — a tax status that barred it from explicit political activity. McCain proceeded to staff the institute with his campaign manager, Rick Davis, as well as the fundraising chief, legal counsel and communications chief from his 2000 campaign.
There is no small irony that the Reform Institute — founded to bolster McCain’s crusade to rid politics of unregulated soft money — itself took in huge sums of unregulated soft money from companies with interests before McCain’s committee.
And if the following don’t convince you that McCain is NOT the candidate to vote for, well….
At least three of McCain’s GOP colleagues have gone on record to say that they consider him temperamentally unsuited to be commander in chief. Smith, the former senator from New Hampshire, has said that McCain’s “temper would place this country at risk in international affairs, and the world perhaps in danger. In my mind, it should disqualify him.” Sen. Domenici of New Mexico has said he doesn’t “want this guy anywhere near a trigger.” And Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi weighed in that “the thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded.
Indeed, McCain’s neocon makeover is so extreme that Republican generals like Colin Powell and Brent Scowcroft have refused to endorse their party’s nominee.
“I’m sure John McCain loves his country,” says Richard Clarke, the former counterterrorism czar under Bush. “But loving your country and lying to the American people are apparently not inconsistent in his view.”
After reading the whole of the Rolling Stone piece, one can’t help wondering if the email to which I refer in my post below is true. One also can’t help wondering how Fundamentalists and and others who say they value morality, ethics, and other requirements of the Ten Commandments can support the ego-centric McCain. I guess he spins well, and so they rationalize because they are mesmerized.
This issue of Rolling Stone also includes a harsh indictment of Sarah Palin in an article entitled “Mad Dog Palin”. This from that:
Sarah Palin is a symbol of everything that is wrong with the modern United States. As a representative of our political system, she’s a new low in reptilian villainy, the ultimate cynical masterwork of puppeteers like Karl Rove. But more than that, she is a horrifying symbol of how little we ask for in return for the total surrender of our political power. Not only is Sarah Palin a fraud, she’s the tawdriest, most half-assed fraud imaginable, 20 floors below the lowest common denominator, a character too dumb even for daytime TV — and this country is going to eat her up, cheering her every step of the way. All because most Americans no longer have the energy to do anything but lie back and allow ourselves to be jacked off by the calculating thieves who run this grasping consumer paradise we call a nation.
I think that if you quoted the above to a Palin admirer, he/she would give the response that Brian Williams (on the Letterman show last night) said that he expected to get from those individuals: “So….. your point is?”
Maybe this is going to be one of those times when most of the people do get fooled.