Although, unlike much of the media, I’ve never been smitten by the McCain love bug, I’ve always tended to view him as one of the more tolerable Republican senators (and you’re right, that isn’t saying much). I’ll even confess to having admired the man at one time — although admiration never extended to political support.
Certainly, I never bought into the media myth of McCain as a maverick: no, the GOP could always count on John when the chips were down. And I’ve also always recognized that — notwithstanding his occasional bipartisan twitches — he has always been staunchly right wing at heart.
Then there’s that other thing. Let’s face it: McCain’s always been just a little scary (and sometimes not so little) — a troubling combination of arrogance and a hair-trigger temper. As I’ve “joked” here before, I’ve often been struck with the uneasy sense that if elected president he may wake up in the middle of the night sometime and decide to nuke Iceland, just because he’s pissed off at glaciers.
Still, as compared to, say, Mitch McConnell, there’s always been something at least occasionally praiseworthy about McCain. This has been true, if in nothing else, in his opposition to the use of torture (which, sadly, is one of the virtues he later threw away in furtherance of his quest for the White House).
So while there was never the slightest possibility I would support him for president, I would also have assumed there was little risk I would ever reach the point of detesting John McCain — you know, in the way I detest Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman.
But I was wrong.
The truth is I can’t stand to listen to the man anymore: even the video clips of his gaffes are no fun. Whatever their humorous payoff, it just isn’t worth the price of having to listen to his voice. The man has nothing constructive left to say. Whatever fresh ideas he may once have entertained died long ago, leaving him with nothing but worn-out right wing talking points, insincere (and ultimately nonsensical) populist rhetoric and, of course, nasty and unfounded attack ads.
There you have it: a tired old campaign, being waged by a tired old political party, on behalf of a tired old standard-bearer.
Take a minute to listen to the clip from McCain’s recent interview by the Des Moines Register. What you’ll find is a grumpy old man, chafing at the insolence of anyone daring to question his undeniably scummy campaign tactics. McCain in this interview makes me think of a criminal who is outraged — just outraged — that anyone would question his honor: this notwithstanding the fact the cops caught him as he was leaving the store with the gun, the mask and the bag of loot from the robbery still on him.
Seriously, can there be anything more annoying then hypocritical self-righteous rage?
I’m not proud to say it, but the truth is that anymore I simply detest John McCain. And I don’t see that changing anytime soon.