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Right. “Pretending.”

[ 30 ] December 19, 2010 |

His column is very good and properly criticial, but there’s still something amusingly I-can’t-quit-you about this bit from Joe Klein’s postmature farewell to his admiration for McCain:

Two of the bills original sponsors, John McCain and Orrin Hatch, voted against the bill…and one wonders why, especially in McCain’s case, given the fact that he recently won reelection and doesn’t have to pretend to be a troglodyte anymore.

Continuing to believe that deep, deep down McCain is really a principled moderate at this late date is about as sensible as believing in Ralph Ciferetto as a life partner.

Tracee: What should I do? He acts like he doesn’t give a shit.
Tony: You ever think he’s not acting?

It’s really way, way past time to stop pretending that there’s some decent, non-troglodyte McCain hidden deep inside. You are what your record says you are.

Benen has more.

Comments (30)

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  1. DrDick says:

    McCain is now and always has been a totally unprincipled political opportunist with troglodyte tendencies.

  2. Joe says:

    The column (that is the not very good part, I guess the ‘balance’ portion required for his MSM cred) suggests the McCain was a great guy and all until circa mid-2008.

    I read his daughter’s book. She is ridiculed as a twinkie. But, at least when Bush’s people smeared her father, mother and sister in ’00, she felt obligated to leave the party and actually vote for Kerry. What did Klein’s erstwhile hero do, including when Kerry was smeared in ’04?

    Where were the signs he truly “refused to indulge” the extremists back then? I must have missed his maverick passionate act of conscience.

  3. RepubAnon says:

    I’d say it’s the reverse: John McCain’s always been a vengeful opportunist who no longer has to put on a “centrist” act to try and impress the Village People.

    After all, the Village People know that they’ll probably need to work for Rupert Murdock at some point – so before long, Tea Party will be supplying the left-of-center perspective on all the talk shows.

  4. jeer9 says:

    The real question is why did McCain select Palin as his running mate. He didn’t know her. His team hadn’t properly vetted her. When he met her, he didn’t like her (and still doesn’t.) It’s almost as if he got a call and was told this is your choice. Or perhaps he’s just stupider than we could ever imagine. Yeah, that’s probably it.

    • Davis X. Machina says:

      Why couldn’t it be both?

    • DrDick says:

      It’s almost as if he got a call and was told this is your choice.

      From the Illuminati I presume.

      • elm says:

        No, no, no. From the Oligarchs who wanted to make sure their man Obama won. As jeer told us previously, Republicans will, of course, go out of their way to ensure that Obama will win reelection, so it stands to figure that they wanted him to win in 2008 as well.

        • DrDick says:

          And please explain to me how Obama benefited the Oligarchs more than any of the Republicans? McPoopyPants after all is an honorary member by marriage.

          • jeer9 says:

            Here’s the conspiratorial view for all the “Obama’s doing the best he can” gang. After eight years of Bush and Cheney incompetence/criminality, the threat that Dems would sweep into power with a mandate for reform and legal prosecution was very real. A McPoopy Pants victory would just put off the day of reckoning, and the oligarchs/establishment/illuminati have never particularly cared for him and his “independent” (emotionally stunted) behavior – though I’m sure he would have perpetuated most of the insane policies of the previous administration. Better to push forward the bright young rhetorically gifted Dem whom they know is much more conservative than he appears to be to extend and elaborate on support for the 2% and to continue the numerous constitutional abuses – which he then does. All of Obama’s actions since he took office have been geared toward resurrecting a discredited ideology through bipartisanship, making legitimate once again a bankrupt party. This strategy has also had the bonus of discouraging and alienating the Left as well as all those who thought that the government might once more be able to function effectively. McPoopy Pants was never their guy, and I doubt he could have passed the last tax giveaway 81 – 19. The repeal of DADT was their small way of saying thank you. We’ve got your back, and we’ll make sure not all your supporters desert you. Obama is a shoo-in in ’12. His only threats are a primary (highly unlikely) or a third party candidate with name recognition (also highly unlikely). The public loathes the Republicans, and they only returned to office due to the apathy induced by the Dems and their Trojan horse. Obama will look a model of statesmanship and rationality after two years of this congress. His Republican opponent will be unable to separate himself from the crazies. This will set the stage for a different sort of Republican in 2016, a strong man, a veteran of conflict, the intellectual force behind The Surge, the Man Called Petraeus. What a contrast he will be after Obama – except that he won’t be, not really. I will now cover my crystal ball.

            • djw says:

              Just out of curiosity, do you know the identity of any members of the cabal who control all elections and all votes in congress? Is it safe for you to name names?

              • Malaclypse says:

                I’ve heard that this is the man in charge.

              • jeer9 says:

                They are the same cabal that Walter Karp references in his book Indispensable Enemies: The Politics of Misrule in America. He doesn’t name names either. It’s a rather sad work, though enlightening all the same. My favorite passage is when he quotes from Lincoln in 1858 discussing the political shenanigans of those who wanted to legitimize the extension of slavery: ” We cannot absolutely know that all these exact adaptations are the result of preconcert. But when we see a lot of framed timbers … joined together and see they exactly make the frame of a house or a mill, all the tenons and mortices exactly fitting … we find it impossible not to believe that {the ruling politicians} all understood each other from the beginning and all worked on a common plan.” Apparently, Karp states, even Lincoln when he called upon his fellow citizens to “overthrow the present ruling dynasty” labored under the paranoid delusion that the dynasts had been acting together.

              • Malaclypse says:

                Those {brackets} are doing a lot of work. I mean, a skeptic might point out that the word “ruling,” which that skeptic might point out was, well, central to your point, that skeptic might point out that the word “ruling” is nowhere in that speech.

              • jeer9 says:

                Malaclypse,
                So your interpretation of that passage is that it’s a reference to average working men or some group that Lincoln is unwilling to identify (though he earlier mentions the President and the author of the Nebraska Bill), but not the ruling class? Now I enjoy a Bloomian misreading as much as the next critic, but that one seems particularly unfruitful given the thesis of the speech.

              • Anonymous says:

                So is it not safe for you to name names, or do you not know them?

              • Malaclypse says:

                I was saying that implying that Lincoln believed that there was a ruling class, based on a speech where the word “ruling” does not occur, except for the places Karp inserted it, was a bit disingenuous.

                Interestingly, I could only find the quote “overthrow the present ruling dynasty” in Karp’s work, and I did not see a citation. I’m not a Lincoln scholar, but some here are. Where/when did he say that?

              • CBrinton says:

                Interestingly, I could only find the quote “overthrow the present ruling dynasty” in Karp’s work . . .

                It’s a fairly close paraphrase of a bit from the House Divided speech (elided in the version you linked):

                “We shall lie down pleasantly dreaming that the people of Missouri are on the verge of making their State free, and we shall awake to the reality instead, that the Supreme Court has made Illinois a slave State. To meet and overthrow the power of that dynasty is the work now before all those who would prevent that consummation.”

              • Malaclypse says:

                Thank you.

              • dave3544 says:

                Soros, right? Soros is one of them. Glenn Beck told me so.

                Since we’re here…

                Jeer, what was the oligarch’s real plan in 2000? I mean the Supreme Court picked Bush, obviously, but did the rulers really want it to come down to some disputed votes in Florida? What was the plan there? Do they control votes down to the hundreds? If the oligarchs used their police powers to stop thousands of black Floridians from voting in 2000 – to stoke racial hatred and further divide the working classes, I suppose – why let Americans “elect” a black man in 2008?

                This is hard, maybe a chalkboard would help.

            • DrDick says:

              WTF ever said “Obama’s doing the best he can?” There is a big leap from Obama is a major disappointment and not very effective to your grand conspiracy theories.

    • Murc says:

      Actually, that’s relatively simple to explain.

      John McCain has a tendency to react, to OVER react, to slights, real or perceived. When the Republican establishment picked Bush over him in 2000, and ignored or downplayed the vile Rovian tactics directed at him and his family, McCain ‘got even’ by going all mavericky. The ‘maverick’ that people miss wasn’t motivated by a deep sense of principle; he was motivated to stick it to the jerks who stuck it to him. That meant being every Democrats favorite Republican for awhile.

      Now, apply that same dynamic to the 2008 VP selection. McCain wants his good friend, Joey Joe-Joe, on the ticket. Wants him real bad. Gets told he can’t have him by, well, everyone. So, he lashes out and picks the most barely acceptable running mate possible (remember, Sarah Palin was on the list with Bobby Jindal and Tim Pawlenty as a ‘rising star’ of the Republican Party back then), someone who his handlers can’t really openly object to but who he’s pretty sure will leave them seething.

      That’s a much simpler explanation than that there was some conspiracy afoot, don’t you think?

      • Malaclypse says:

        Obviously, McCain only overreacts because that is what the Illuminati Oligarchs instruct him to do.

      • Jeffrey Kramer says:

        I don’t know… I remember reading Michael Lewis’ book (Losers) about the Republican 1996 campaign, and there’s a very gushing portrait there of McCain the tolerant, open-minded maverick. I’m pretty sure it specifically listed McCain’s magnanimous refusal to abandon his friendship with a man who’d recently come out of the closet as one of the signs that this was a very different kind of Republican, and wouldn’t it be wonderful if he ran for President in 2000?

        • Murc says:

          At the time that was written (’98), McCain would have been the tolerant, open-minded maverick who took a courageous stand against MLK day right up to the point where it was no longer politically advantageous to do so.

          So, y’know.

      • ChrisS says:

        So, he lashes out and picks the most barely acceptable running mate possible

        Partly, but I think it was more that she was a woman and he saw what kind of media attention the democrats were getting with Hillary in the race. They could give a fuck about her ability to govern. She was as token as token gets (besides Michael Steele).

  5. Walt says:

    My pet theory about McCain is that he comes across as a principled maverick when he’s serving as a mouthpiece for Mark Salter. When McCain gave his graceful concession speech in 2008, one completely out of character for his campaign, I remember thinking “He got Salter to write that,” which later turned out to be the case.

  6. Epicurus says:

    Now, how do we get this message to the outside world? McCain’s psychological failings have long been well-known, and yet he has somehow managed to cling to a Senate seat for 30-odd years. I blame the voting population of the State of Arizona for this travesty, and as the author has correctly noted, his record speaks for itself.

  7. LosGatosCA says:

    It’s amazing how politics seems to have become about 90% projection and 10% superficial nonsense. Any sense of public purpose and serving the greater good of the country went out of fashion in the 70′s, but somehow the media still hasn’t caught on to this act in both parties. McCain is a self-entitled pompous ass who had the good luck, and that’s saying something, to be a POW because otherwise he’d just have been seen for what Ross Perot saw 35 years ago – an immature superficial opportunist.

  8. Pinko Punko says:

    Note that Kevin Drum kind of alluded to a possibly honorable John McCain as well (in linking to the same Klein post)

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