In a sense, the John McCain we see today is a more honorable politician than the so-called maverick John McCain of yesteryear. Back then, as his recent conduct clearly proves, he was a political hack playing the role of a man of principle. Today he’s a political hack playing the role of a political hack: All in all, a much more honest and aboveboard approach.
What’s startling about all this is the degree to which, stripped of his man of principle persona, he isn’t just a partisan hack — he’s a dreadfully unconvincing one. If you haven’t already seen it, check out the video over at Crooks and Liars of his attack on John Kerry: McCain looks for the world like a character from The Night of the Living Dead who has been forced to read Republican talking points.
Now, there’s a true horror of a movie for you. Let’s call it The Night of the Lying Dead.
McCain’s performance goes far beyond pathetic; it’s almost too embarrassing to watch.
And this is the guy Democrats are supposed to be so scared of in 2008?
Yes, I know — the press loves him. So, should he end up as the Republican nominee in 2008, he’ll get all the breaks from the media prima donnas, while the Democratic nominee will get nothing but trouble. So what else is new? In case you haven’t noticed, the press these days always loves the GOP candidate for president.
They loved Bush in 2000 and hated Gore; they loved Bush (notwithstanding the fact he was clearly already well on his way to being the worst president in American history) in 2004 and they hated Kerry; they went 24/7 with every BS right wing generated Clinton “scandal,” no matter how trivial or unlikely it seemed, but for the longest time they gave Bush, who only lied this nation into a disastrous war, a free pass.
I may not be the brightest bulb on the White House Christmas tree, but I can read a trend line. And isn’t it quite a coincidence that these same GOP candidates, the ones the boys and girls of the media purport to find so much more likable than their Democratic counterparts, also just happen to be the very ones their increasingly meddlesome corporate owners strongly prefer?
Well, this is one boy from the quasi-sticks who ain’t buying it no more. I’ll concede that the press does actually seem to like McCain more than most politicians, but it wouldn’t matter who was running. If the Republicans put Benedict Arnold up against George Washington for the Democrats the media’s coverage of the whole election cycle would revolve around Washington’s “cherry tree scandal.” Did he cut it down and if so could he really not tell a lie, or was it actually part of a deep conspiracy to corner the market for cherry pie?
Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge say it’s true, so it must be.
A biased news media is something the Democrats will have to overcome in 2008, whoever the Republicans nominate. But as to McCain’s candidacy in particular, I’m through sweating it.
A number of commentators have already noted the risk he runs that the more he becomes a partisan warrior, not to mention snuggling up with the Religious Right, the more he loses his maverick knight in shining armor image. But, after watching the clip of his cheap shot against Kerry, I think it goes way beyond that.
McCain isn’t just showing himself to be a political hack. He’s showing himself to be really bad at it.