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“I Support the Concept of Evasive Wankery.”

[ 40 ] August 3, 2010 |

Beloved Maverick and Man of High Principle John McCain gives us some of the Straight Talk (TM) for which he is justly famed:

TPMDC asked, “Do you support the Minority Leader’s push for hearings into the repeal of birthright citizenship?”

“Sure, why not?” McCain said briefly.

“Do you support the idea itself?”

“I support the idea of having hearings,” McCain said.

“Do you have a problem with the 14th amendment?” another reporter asked.

“You’re changing the constitution of the United States,” McCain said. “I support the concept of holding hearings.”

“I support the concept of holding hearings,” McCain repeated, turning to the rail car conductor.

There really is a book to be written the dreams journalists spent a decade projecting onto this hack.

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  1. Rick Massimo says:

    Sen. McCain, do you support hearings into the elimination of private industry and the enslavement of all white Americans over the age of 65?

    Hey, what’s your problem? They’re just HEARINGS! What do you have against discussions about policy?

  2. SpotWeld says:

    …wait, wasn’t McCain born outside the US…

  3. Rich C says:

    You could call it The Maltese McCain.

  4. Halloween Jack says:

    He’s not afraid to take the bull by the horns… and whisper in its ear, “I support the concept of holding hearings.” Truly, we should thank our lucky stars that we get to live at the same time as such a legend.

  5. Silver Owl says:

    The 14th Amendment is the only place in the constitution that defines citizenship.

    If they repeal the 14th Amendment that would make everyone born in the U.S. illegal aliens.

    If the states create their citizenship laws, how can we verify that republicans themselves are not illegal aliens and are even allowed to be elected?

    I’ve checked Kentucky’s and Arizona’s state constitutions and neither defines a U.S. citizen only a state resident. So McCain himself would repeal his own citizenship until Arizona defines and can prove he is not an illegal alien. I’d like to hear why he thinks he is an American citizen and being born here is not an acceptable republican litmus test. lol

  6. DrDick says:

    Evasion, flip-flopping, double talk, and obfuscation are what McCrabbyAss does best (besides pout and shout at clouds).

      • DrDick says:

        Which is why they always give him a pass on his BS.

      • Brad Potts says:

        Who doesn’t throw big parties for the media? Wasn’t there a big stink over the White House having a party for the press corps covering them?

        The facts of the matter are this:

        1. If John McCain said anything substantial, he would be blasted by one side or the other.

        2. McCain has a litany of reporters jockeying for access to every little thing he says.

        Therefore, we live in a society where McCain’s (and every other politician’s) only reasonable course of action is to never shut up, but never say anything that might be construed as saying anything with any truth value.

        • Malaclypse says:

          Who doesn’t throw big parties for the media?

          Bernie Sanders.

          • dave3544 says:

            Mala,

            I think you misunderstood. “Who doesn’t throw big parties for the media?” Should have been read, “I can think of one other person on the other side that does something vaguely similar, so this point is unfair.”

            • Brad Potts says:

              Why does this happen every time I post something?

              My post should have read precisely as it was typed.

              I didn’t justify what McCain did, and I didn’t say that the complaint was invalid. All I said is that McCain’s actions are par for the course and just about what we should expect from any high visibility politician.

              It speaks volumes that the only name listed to answer the question is Bernie Sanders. First, I would bet that the claim that he does not cater to the media would be a guess, and that none of are really sure what sort of relationship Sanders has with the media. Second, Sanders is about the most idiosyncratic member of the congress, running as an independent. Third, Sanders has been a Senator for one term and gained that position through the most expensive campaign in state history.

              Ultimately, the point is that this is the way the system works, not just the way John McCain works.

              • Scott Lemieux says:

                Yes, except of course that McCain has been slavered over for more than a decade by journalists touting his self-proclaimed straight-talkin’ authenticity.

              • dave3544 says:

                For heck’s sake, maybe John McCain is one of the (actually very few) “high visibility politicians” with “a litany of reporters jockeying for access to every little thing he says” because he invites them to his house for BBQs. Maybe everything he says is reported because he courts reporters and wants them to repeat his every word.

                What frustrates some of us is that those same reporters tend to ignore the contradictions, fallacies, and asinine comments that come out of his mouth in favor of claiming that he is just plain John speakin’ the truth from the heart.

                Your “everyone does it!” is not factually true. Some of the Senators who don’t spend their time courting the national press – yes, Bernie Sanders included and there are about 70 more – aren’t elevated by that same national press as the savior of this republic with all htheir straight talk. Which, I think, was the point IB and DrD were driving it and you chose to dispute.

              • Brad Potts says:

                Dave, I could do everything within my powers to get reporters to report my every word and they wouldn’t give me the time of day.

                McCain has simply risen to the top of political media entertainment system, and so our pundits and journalists have begun their role as a loudspeaker.

                Your contention that ~70 Senators are not spending a great deal of their time courting the press is nonsense. Taking Bernie Sanders for example. I believe he is a good legislator, better than most at least. That does not mean that he hasn’t fashioned himself as some great independent crusader that he really isn’t. That also doesn’t mean that he isn’t big media friendly, as he ran the most expensive campaign in state history, and regularly has contributions show up all over the media.

              • John Protevi says:

                Brad, you keep saying that Sanders “ran the most expensive campaign in state history.” What percentage of all the most recent Senate campaigns have been the most expensive in their respective state histories? I’m betting it’s at least 90%.

              • Brad Potts says:

                They all have. I’m just saying that if you look at Sanders’ time as a senate candidate and Senator, his status as an independent straight shooter (very much the same McCain sported in the 90s and early 2000s) is fairly undeserved.

                He has been one of the more straight-line democratic voters, he has spent a great deal of democratic party money on his campaign, he has used his influence to push out more progressive candidates in support of mainstream democratic candidates. And just recently, he capitulated to White House pressure and abandoned the progressive cause of auditing the Fed, leaving two congressmen I consider to actually be fairly independent, Ron Paul and Alan Grayson, out to dry.

                I’m not saying anything bad about Sanders relative to the rest of congress or the executive. He is just another player in the system, and as I would expect with every single senator, he behaves differently for the media than he does when he is amongst his fellow legislators.

              • John Protevi says:

                I definitely support Brad’s demand that LGM never comment again on John McCain without an equal amount of commenting on History’s Greatest Hypocrite, Bernie Sanders.

              • Malaclypse says:

                I heard Bernie Sanders once bought Amy Goodman a coffee after appearing on Democracy Now.

                Ron Paul hanging out with Stormfront members, however, does not imply anything about his independence.

                Yep, Ron Paul, a real straight-shooter.

              • Brad Potts says:

                You wouldn’t happen to teach a course titled “Playing to the Fourth Wall Through Vapid Rhetoric”?

                If you willfully exaggerate my points and put words in my mouth because these discussions are meant to be solely about how awful John McCain is, I can refrain from commenting on other topics.

                Please take all of my previous comments and replace them with:

                “Ooooh those grimy republicans! I can’t believe what a group of slick tricksters they are!”

              • Brad Potts says:

                Ron Paul is socially backwards, uses his libertarian arguments for social control, has at least latent racist behaviors, is far too accommodating to unsavory racist elements.

                He also has been very critical of some of the more egregious republican policies. He has been as vocal an opponent to the civil rights violations and wars in response to 9/11.

                His response to the support from stormfront was, “I don’t want the support of racist groups, but I would rather spend it on my campaign than return it to a racist group”.

                He is not a perfect legislator, not even a particularly good legislator, but there is little question of his independence from the Republican party.

                The republican party has basically done everything it could to keep him marginalized.

              • John Protevi says:

                Oh noes! Not willfull exaggeration! At LGM of all places!

                I’m reformed. I support Brad’s call for this to be A Very Serious Blog dedicated to an Evenhanded Treatment of John McCain and Bernie Sanders!

              • Brad Potts says:

                No, John, you are entirely correct.

                I am reformed. I support John’s attempts render discussion of these topics to unserious tribalism.

                I don’t know what I was thinking looking for serious discussion in a blog filled with professors and lawyers.

              • John Protevi says:

                Brad, don’t confuse mockery with being unserious. There’s a long and proud tradition here at LGM of mocking your brand of weak-ass High Broderist bipartisanship, and I aim to keep it up, because — seriously — what you’re selling shouldn’t be bought.

                Next up: Brad shows how Jon Stewart (not even his real name!) and Glenn Beck are Two Sides of the Same Coin.

              • Brad Potts says:

                High Broderist bipartisanship

                You fucking turd.

  7. wengler says:

    In not electing McCain we passed up a great opportunity to see the second coming of Nixon.

    Even with this he is still ten times less an asshole than JD Hayworth. I mean it is Arizona after all. Sheriff Joe for dictator of the Arizona Republic!

    • Malaclypse says:

      In not electing McCain we passed up a great opportunity to see the second coming of Nixon.

      We had that already. He was named Reagan. He was a lot more likeable than Nixon, so we cut him a pass.

      Never forget Reagan kicked off his campaign in Philadelphia, Miss, talking about state’s rights…

      • wengler says:

        I don’t think of Reagan and Nixon as being anywhere close to each other. Nixon had a brain and Reagan did not. Reagan led a conservative movement while Nixon stood largely alone.

        It’s odd to think that Bush II combined the worst of both Nixon and Reagan in one convenient package. A man with no brain leading a movement of idiots into war and economic devastation.

        My comparison of McCain to Nixon is that both of them are largely interested in foreign affairs while letting other people decide domestic policy for them. It doesn’t mean they are good at foreign policy, just that there are very few issues on the home front that they care about. This is why McCain pushes out whatever extreme rightwing talking point on domestic policy that he can. He just wants to get re-elected so he can wargame fighting Russia in the Caucuses. Because that is what he likes to do. Just like Nixon.

        • Malaclypse says:

          Nixon had a brain and Reagan did not.

          I’ll buy this criticism of my position.

          Reagan led a conservative movement while Nixon stood largely alone.

          This, however, I’ll argue with. Look how many ex-Nixon people ended up with both Reagan and Bush 2. Nixon’s resignation and pardon let us forget about Rumsfeld, Cheney, etc all getting their start with him.

  8. skidmarx says:

    Didn’t Nixon and Clinton both campaign on healthcare reform and the War on Drugs?

  9. Brad Potts says:

    That is true, Scott.

    But that should have set off bullshit meters at the time.

    It also hardly rare for the media and politicians to team up and create narratives that really have no basis in reality. Thats why I’m a big fan of Bob Somersby.

    A relevant example is the details of the Obama campaign, and the overarching narrative that the campaign and the media wanted to erect. A look at Obama’s statements read as a centrist who believed in marginal improvements to government rather than an overhaul. Yet, the common perception of him was either socialist, gun-hating peacenik revolutionary, or progressive beacon of light in a corrupt, capitalist, lower class trampling society.

    Political branding is the way it works today, whether its “W”, “O”, “Maverick”, “Mama Grizzly”, the Pauls, or even Bernie Sanders.

  10. Malaclypse says:

    It says something that this idea is too insane for even Alan Keyes to advocate.

    Yes, Alan Keyes is less insane on this subject than most Republicans.

  11. Lis Riba says:

    According to Last Call, Daniel Okrent’s new book on Prohibition, the way the Anti-Saloon League got the 18th Amendment thru Congress was to convince Congressmen and Senators that a vote in favor wasn’t necessarily a vote for Prohibition. Rather, Congress was just voting in favor of “submission” of the amendment to the states.

    McCain’s language sounds eerily similar.

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