In McCain’s defense: who looks a scurvy little spider in the eyes?
The media asks: “So why didn’t John McCain look Barack Obama in the eyes during the debate?” and “Why is our hero, John McCain, running such a scurrilous campaign?”
Allow me to offer an answer:
It’s been sad — heartbreaking, really — watching John McCain’s self-described base, the elite media, mourn the passing of what they perceive to be McCain’s innocence. Traumatized by their hero’s lost honor, they’ve been almost overcome with grief. Here’s McCain, the man they’ve idolized for all of these years for his courage in war, his back of the campaign bus accessibility and, of course, for all the free booze he used to give them. Now, suddenly, he’s acting like an unprincipled hack.
They watch helplessly as he runs groundless attack ads, lies every time he opens his mouth and changes policy positions almost as often as he and his wife buy a new home or an extra car. They shake their heads in aghast as he makes an incredibly reckless selection for Vice President. And in what’s probably been his greatest sin of all — in the view of his former journalistic groupies — he’s now largely cut off the press corps from access (and maybe also the booze).
But, in truth, the media need not fret for the well-being of John McCain’s soul. If they will simply take the time to see things from his perspective — to walk in his ($520) shoes for awhile — they’ll soon realize that honor is still very much alive in the McCain worldview.
He simply has a very narcissistic understanding of the word’s meaning.
And, yes, here I’ll admit to the sin of purporting to read someone else’s mind, an undertaking always fraught with error. But what the hell: in the case of John McCain, this isn’t exactly rocket science.
And here’s the bottom line: to John McCain’s mind, honor demands that he be elected president. It’s that simple. And this being true, anything he does in pursuing that goal is, by definition, honorable. And anything anyone else does to obstruct his path is, also by definition, dishonorable.
McCain believes with all his heart that he deserves the presidency — that it’s owed to him. He served with great honor in Vietnam. He’s since served 26 years in Congress (four in the House the rest in the Senate). McCain believes his own press clippings — that he’s been a fearless maverick and a crusader against corruption. That the reality of his public life has often been somewhat different than this rose-colored rendition is merely one of those little inconveniences that most of us find it relatively easy to, at least to some degree, expel from our minds when constructing our own self-image.
And now, when at long last the brass ring he’s always longed for (and which, in his view, he richly deserves) is within reach, along comes a nobody from the Land of Lincoln with a silver-tongue and an enthusiastic young following threatening to take it all away. And to John McCain that’s just wrong; it’s an affront to him and even more, it’s a stain against the nation’s honor.
Have you ever wondered what McCain really thinks of Barack Obama? My guess is that if he were free to speak directly from the heart he would quote George Bailey’s words, spoken to Mr. Potter, in the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life:
“You sit around here and you spin your little webs and you think the whole world revolves around you and your (pretty words). Well, it doesn’t, Mr. (Obama). In the whole vast configuration of things, I’d say you were nothing but a scurvy little spider.”
Now, seriously, who looks a scurvy little spider in the eyes?
September 30th, 2008 at 2:15 pm
He couldn’t look at Obama. He shuddered at his touch. It was a gut wrenching fearful response we were witnessing. I think there is an even more visceral component to McSame’s reactions, and it is a sad, sad thing to see. How could this man possibly govern a nation as diverse as our own? He calls us “my dear friends” yet cannot look us in the eye. It is way more than sad, it is downright tragic.
September 30th, 2008 at 6:08 pm
And why isn’t Obama going after McCain more for supporting these abysmal illegal wars? Why not bring up that the Taliban offered to turn over bin Laden if bin Bush would present evidence that bin Laden was the perp. for the 9/11 attacks, and bin Bush & his sidekicks bin Cheney, bin Rumsfeld, & their loyal ally bin McCain refused. The Afghan War was another lie. We weren’t there to to catch bin Laden, and we didn’t give a rat’s ass about the Taliban, we were there as a pretext to go into Iraq and steal there oil.
Why doesn’t he bring that up more? Would this $800 billion down-payment be such a burden if we weren’t paying a $ billion-or-so a month on illegal wars?
We are the cause of over a million deaths and more that 3 million refugees in the area. Not to mention being the cause, as well, of sky-high oil prices. Shouldn’t that be brought up more?
September 30th, 2008 at 9:24 pm
I just read Ira Chernus’ article at tomdispatch.com and he more-or-less says the same thing.
Great minds and all that sort of thing I guess.
October 1st, 2008 at 1:03 am
Yes, McCain suffered in Vietnam. Yes, he comported himself with honor. Yes, I respect his service to our country. Honestly. No sarcasm. But, that is not a reason to elect him President. I am frankly tired of hearing about it. I know Vietnam veterans who were wounded. I know one who lost a leg. They dont beat their chests about it. Humility is not McCain’s strong suite. It does not seem to go with being a Republican, as a matter of fact. I am weary of narcissim. Bush has the disorder so flagrantly that it is a textbook case. Cheney is a sociopath. Stories of McCains egotistical behavior, his temper, his inappropriate jokes, his behavior with women do not give me any comfort. I am also so sick of hearing Sarah Palin’s screachy voice with that put-on folksy accent, that I could puke. She is a prime example of McCain’s poor judgement. She is another liar. They both have a mean streak in them as wide as the Mississippi. I am tired of vicious people like Cheney running the country. I am tired of incompetent people like Bush and everyone who has served under him, running the country to the earth. Sarah Palin does not appear to be competent. And neither is McCain for picking her. I am weary of the pain and suffering all of these people have caused or will cause, given half the chance. I dont want to have a beer with them. I dont think they are like me, and thank God for it! McCain sees Obama as an impertinent whippersnapper. I see McCain as arrogant and out-of-touch with the needs of this country. You cant make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, and you can’t make Sarah Palin presidential material. Havent we had enough of arrogant, narcissistic, incompetent, egomaniacal asses? Enough is enough and then some.
October 1st, 2008 at 10:56 am
I think that Obama has moved to the political center, much to the left’s disdain. I think it is politically expedient to not rock the boat too hard when you are running for president, otherwise you will scare people off. This is the reason that Kucinich didn’t get the nomination. We like the way he speaks his mind, but he scares the establishment. We can only hope that once Obama takes the White House, we will come out of his liberal cocoon and start speaking his mind openly, make some much needed changes, prosecute the Bushies, and be more liberal than he has shown in the campaign. Of course, after Bush’s bailout passes, there won’t be much left to be liberal with, and the next four years will be a big dung heap to climb out of. He’ll have to be darned good to get re-elected in four years. (That’s a big part of the the Repug plan, you know.)
October 1st, 2008 at 3:27 pm
Let Obama perform one miracle at a time– let him get elected despite his name which rhymes with Osama, his ethnicity, his donor base. Let him get that one under his belt, Chuck and Enviroman, and then it will be up to US to demand the rest. Help get the man elected, and then let’s all get to work building our Great Society, defecits be damned!
October 2nd, 2008 at 2:02 am
What makes McStain a war hero? He dropped bombs on innocent men, women, and children who never did anything to him or his country. Burning innocent people alive does not a hero make. He got off easy. The Viet Cong should have skinned that bastard alive for what he did. My grandfather was a POW in Japan during WW2. He never once used his experience to gain points for a completely unrelated topic like McStain does. Quite simply, McStain really needs his ass kicked.