crossposted from orange
I am going into speculative territory here about John McCain.
There’s something bugging me about him. Yes, I know the press treats him as they do all Republicans — with even a little added approval because he knows how to play them. The press loves the whole “maverick” conceit, keeps them from having to think about who he really is and analyze what he says and does from a rational point of view.
But the more I think about who John McCain is, the more I come up with a blank, a disconnect I find disturbing.
It seems to me that McCain has gone way beyond pandering; I get the sense he is utterly contemptuous of the political processes of a Presidential campaign. Given the lunacy of our present electoral apparatus, I can’t say I find that surprising.
I think many Americans who are not political junkies still think of John McCain as a war hero and one of those “reasonable” Republicans, sort of middle of the road.
Of course his voting record says otherwise. Here is a man who was tortured in Viet Nam and yet voted to uphold this misAdministration’s torture tactics. That alone is breathtaking. Unfortunately, in today’s corrupt and criminal culture, there is no time given to allowing the average citizen to focus on much of anything but constant and relentless spin.
So what is breathtaking becomes “ho-hum.”
Why does John McCain want to be President? Does anyone really know?
He will pretty much say anything to anyone at this point, with no real concern as to whether he is contradicting himself or not.
Some would say (yeah, I’m using the phrase) that means he is a flip-flopper.
I think maybe it’s something else. Maybe he is so cynical about the political process, after having gone through his own Rovian swift-boating experience, that the lesson he took away was that no one really listens to anything anyone says so it doesn’t really matter what you say to the press or to folks who come to see you give a speech on the campaign trail.
Maybe that cynicism has created such a contempt for the press, for the people, for the whole process, that John McCain feels very comfortable throwing out whatever answer comes to mind, and that at this point he is running for President simply to be President. It’s all calculation now and no humanity.
I have never gotten a sense from McCain of what he would actually do in office. He’ll say anything, make shit up on the spot and then blow off any criticism of inconsistency with the same lack of gravity and respect as when he made those inconsistent statements. Who knows, maybe that’s why the press love him – because his cynicism and contempt mirrors their own.
And I think there are some McCain admirers who have their own tin-foil fantasies that once he gets in office he will turn out to be a superhero who was just waiting for his moment of power to make everything all right.
Well, I think there are a lot of Americans right now looking for that kind of mythical superhero, so I’m not surprised if this crackpot notion would have some truth to it.
Of course, you never know what a person will do once they gain this powerful an office. Events and political factions challenge one constantly.
But I don’t get a sense at all of what he would do in office. Most of all, I don’t get a sense of why on earth he wants to run for President. No, not as a Republican or a politician, but as an American whose story we all know better than, perhaps, we’d like.
I am hoping that citizen bloggers will rip the lid off this charade, and in the coming months we will see who we are really dealing with when it comes to John McCain, in 2008.