Monday, October 6, 2008

Press Won’t Let You See the Real McCain! Why?

John McCain doesn’t have the character, intelligence, talent or ability to be President of the United States. It is a fearful prospect!
by Charlie Leck

I have a few readers who really keep me on my toes. They also supply me with good information and reading suggestions. Scott, one of my most helpful readers and, obviously, well informed and well read, suggested I tell you all about a recent article in Rolling Stone Magazine.

“This is the story of the real John McCain, the one who has been hiding in plain sight. It is the story of a man who has consistently put his own advancement above all else, a man willing to say and do anything to achieve his ultimate ambition: to become commander in chief, ascending to the one position that would finally enable him to outrank his four-star father and grandfather.”
[Make Believe Maverick, by Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone Magazine]

Wow! I read the story and you should too!

There’s too much out there about John McCain that isn’t coming out. This is a man who has lived a rather empty, vacuous life. The nation should know more about him. I actually tremble sometimes, thinking about what our nation will stand for under this man. You know, we don’t have much left to back up our tough talk. We will be like the massive bully who gets punched into reality one day by the kid who used to be a 90 pound weakling.

In the next few weeks, you will see the real John McCain. He knows now that he cannot win on the issues. He cannot beat Barack Obama in his town hall meetings or in aggressive, honest debate. So, his campaign will now unleash the crap – the swiftboat stuff – and try to scare the electorate. It began with Palen’s attack about Obama being friends (buddies) with terrorists. She’s quite a gal. She didn’t even blush when she said it. She stiff eyed the cameras that were recording her.

So, read the Rolling Stones story and pass it on to your friends. Get everyone we can to read the story.

“In its broad strokes, McCain's life story is oddly similar to that of the current occupant of the White House. John Sidney McCain III and George Walker Bush both represent the third generation of American dynasties. Both were born into positions of privilege against which they rebelled into mediocrity. Both developed an uncanny social intelligence that allowed them to skate by with a minimum of mental exertion. Both struggled with booze and loutish behavior. At each step, with the aid of their fathers' powerful friends, both failed upward. And both shed their skins as Episcopalian members of the Washington elite to build political careers as self-styled, ranch-inhabiting Westerners who pray to Jesus in their wives' evangelical churches.”
[Dickinson, as above]

Remember now, McCain has tried to run for this office before. He’s run in the center, on the left and on the right. He’s tried anything. Now he’s going all out.

"He has embraced those he once denounced as ‘agents of intolerance,’ promised more drilling and deeper tax cuts, even compromised his vaunted opposition to torture. Intent on winning the presidency at all costs, he has reassembled the very team that so viciously smeared him and his family eight years ago, selecting as his running mate a born-again moose hunter whose only qualification for office is her ability to electrify Rove's base. And he has engaged in a ‘practice of politics’ so deceptive that even Rove himself has denounced it, saying that the outright lies in McCain's campaign ads go ‘too far’ and fail the ‘truth test.’”
[Dickinson, as above]

It is quite interesting to read the real story of his military prisoner-of-war experience. McCain, by his own admission, saved his life by telling his captors he was the son of an admiral. Against the code of conduct, he also shared plenty of other information. McCain was much less of a hero than his current day legend leads us to believe.

“In the company of his fellow POWs, and later in isolation, McCain slowly and miserably recovered from his wounds. In June 1968, after three months in solitary, he was offered what he calls early release. In the official McCain narrative, this was the ultimate test of mettle. He could have come home, but keeping faith with his fellow POWs, he chose to remain imprisoned in Hanoi.

“What McCain glosses over is that accepting early release would have required him to make disloyal statements that would have violated the military's Code of Conduct. If he had done so, he could have risked court-martial and an ignominious end to his military career. "Many of us were given this offer," according to Butler, McCain's classmate who was also taken prisoner. "It meant speaking out against your country and lying about your treatment to the press. You had to 'admit' that the U.S. was criminal and that our treatment was 'lenient and humane.' So I, like numerous others, refused the offer.

"He makes it sound like it was a great thing to have accomplished," says Dramesi. "A great act of discipline or strength. That simply was not the case." In fairness, it is difficult to judge McCain's experience as a POW; throughout most of his incarceration he was the only witness to his mistreatment…
[Dickinson, as above]

Now, the material above deals only in a cursory way with McCain and the Navy. Dickinson’s account goes into much greater depth about this, about McCain’s very selfish divorce from his first wife, his extraordinary affair with his current wife, his raging temper, the advantages and favoritism he enjoyed in the military, and the preposterous birth of his political career.

You really need to set aside a solid hour so you can read this long, long article in great detail.

A real-life picture of John McCain should be drawn by the media and one needs to wonder why it isn’t when such casual little relationships Senator Obama has had earns major headlines.

The Keating Five
Dickinson will tell the story for you of McCain’s relationship with Charlie Keating in such a way that you can only shake your head in disbelief that McCain could wave this off as nothing more than Keating’s infatuation with military heroes.

“Charlie Keating, the banker and anti-pornography crusader, would ultimately be convicted on 73 counts of fraud and racketeering for his role in the savings-and-loan scandal of the 1980s. That crisis, much like today's subprime-mortgage meltdown, resulted from misbegotten banking deregulation, and ultimately left taxpayers to pick up a tab of more than $124 billion. Keating, who raised more than $100,000 for McCain's race, lavished the first-term congressman with the kind of political favors that would make Jack Abramoff blush. McCain and his family took at least nine free trips at Keating's expense, and vacationed nearly every year at the mogul's estate in the Bahamas. There they would spend the days yachting and snorkeling and attending extravagant parties in a world McCain referred to as "Charlie Keating's Shangri-La." Keating also invited Cindy McCain and her father to invest in a real estate venture for which he promised a 26 percent return on investment. They plunked down more than $350,000.”
[Dickinson, as above]

Dickinson will also take you on an extraordinary tour of McCain’s political record and show you how easily McCain’s political loyalties could change depending on the particular currents of the time. McCain could maneuver in these currents better than any politician in Washington.

"In the year before his Senate run, McCain had championed legislation that would have delayed new regulations of savings and loans. Grateful, Keating contributed $54,000 to McCain's Senate campaign. Now, when Keating tried to stack the federal regulatory bank board with cronies, McCain made a phone call seeking to push them through. In 1987, in an unprecedented display of political intimidation, McCain also attended two meetings convened by Keating to pressure federal regulators to back off. The senators who participated in the effort would come to be known as the Keating Five.

“‘Senate historians were unable to find any instance in U.S. history that was comparable, in terms of five U.S. senators meeting with a regulator on behalf of one institution,’ says Bill Black, then deputy director of the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation, who attended the second meeting. ‘And it hasn't happened

Following the meetings with McCain and the other senators, the regulators backed off, stalling their investigation of Lincoln. By the time the S&L collapsed two years later, taxpayers were on the hook for $3.4 billion, which stood as a record for the most expensive bank failure — until the current mortgage crisis. In addition, 20,000 investors who had bought junk bonds from Keating, thinking they were federally insured, had their savings wiped out.

“‘McCain saw the political pressure on the regulators,’ recalls Black. ‘He could have saved these widows from losing their life savings. But he did absolutely nothing.’”
[Dickinson, as above]

Today, in the shadow of our current financial crisis, John McCain decries the deregulation of restrictions of the financial industry. Dickinson will tell you the story of McCain’s absolute involvement in getting that deregulation through the U.S. Congress. He wasn’t the father of deregulation – perhaps we could call him “a first cousin,” however. Parental honors go to McCain’s advisor, Phil Graham…

“Indeed, if the current financial crisis has a villain, it is Phil Gramm, who remains close to McCain. As chair of the Senate Banking Committee in the late 1990s, Gramm ushered in — with McCain's fervent support — a massive wave of deregulation for insurance companies and brokerage houses and banks, the aftershocks of which are just now being felt in Wall Street's catastrophic collapse. McCain, who has admitted that "the issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should," relies on Gramm to guide him.”
[Dickinson, as above]

McCain is a questionable character in so many ways; yet he always seems to receive favorable treatment from the press. Why? It’s difficult to find an answer. Dickinson tries.

And Dickinson is remarkable on McCain’s famous temper. You shouldn’t miss reading that section. Why don’t we hear more about it from the press? If Obama had evidenced such a temper in his early years in politics, it would be all over the ink and broadcast media. You know it!

“At least three of McCain's GOP colleagues have gone on record to say that they consider him temperamentally unsuited to be commander in chief. Smith, the former senator from New Hampshire, has said that McCain's ‘temper would place this country at risk in international affairs, and the world perhaps in danger. In my mind, it should disqualify him.’ Sen. Domenici of New Mexico has said he doesn't ‘want this guy anywhere near a trigger.’ And Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi weighed in that ‘the thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded.’”
[Dickinson, as above]

Again, you tell me why the press doesn’t pick up on this. Why isn’t McCain challenged on it?

Can you image a ‘hawk’ with such a temper becoming President of the United States? Did you hear the question? Can you imagine it?

“McCain used to believe passionately in the limits of American military power. In 1993, he railed against Clinton's involvement in Somalia, sponsoring an amendment to cut off funds for the troops. The following year he blasted the idealistic aims of sending U.S. troops to Haiti, taking to the Senate floor to propose an immediate withdrawal. He even started out a fierce opponent of NATO air strikes on Serbia during the war in the Balkans.

“But such concerns went out the window when McCain began gearing up to run for president. In 1998, he formed a political alliance with William Kristol, editor of the
neoconservative Weekly Standard, who became one of his closest advisers. Randy Scheunemann — a hard-right lobbyist who was promoting Iraqi exile Ahmad Chalabi — came aboard as McCain's top foreign-policy adviser. Before long, the senator who once cautioned against ‘trading American blood for Iraqi blood’ had been reborn as a fire-breathing neoconservative who believes in using American military might to spread American ideals — a belief he describes as a ‘sacred duty to suffer hardship and risk danger to protect the values of our civilization and impart them to humanity.’ By 1999, McCain was championing what he called ‘rogue state rollback.’ First on the hit list: Iraq.”
[Dickinson, as above]

Most sensible Americans consider the Iraq war one of the biggest military and intelligence mistakes our nation ever made. John McCain was a bigger proponent of war with Iraq than even George W. Bush. Dickinson will take you through McCain’s ceaseless efforts to get that war rolling.

You want such a man to be President?

“Indeed, McCain's neocon makeover is so extreme that Republican generals like Colin Powell and Brent Scowcroft have refused to endorse their party's nominee. ‘The fact of the matter is his judgment about what to do in Iraq was wrong,’ says Richard Clarke, who served as Bush's counterterrorism czar until 2003. ‘He hung out with people like Ahmad Chalabi. He said Iraq was going to be easy, and he said we were going to war because of terrorism. We should have been fighting in Afghanistan with more troops to go after Al Qaeda. Instead we're at risk because of the mistaken judgment of people like John McCain.’”
[Dickinson, as above]

Country before politics!

It has lately been John McCain’s battle cry: “Country before politics!” Yet, in fact, John McCain goes with whatever current will carry him faster toward his political goals. Ross Perot’s feelings about McCain are echoed by dozens of national figures who have worked with him.

“‘He ‘is the classic opportunist,’ according to Ross Perot, who worked closely with McCain on POW issues. ‘He's always reaching for attention and glory.’”
[Dickinson, as above]

Dickinson provides you with a litany of McCain’s flip-flops. The flip-flopping accusation probably cost John Kerry the presidency in 2004. The press tore into Kerry for perceived flip-flops. Why is it they don’t touch John McCain on this issue? Can you tell me?

After presenting this long list of McCain’s changing political opinions in order to advance his political interests, Dickinson arrives at the latest and cruelest of them all.

“But perhaps the most revealing of McCain's flip-flops was his promise, made at the beginning of the year, that he would ‘raise the level of political dialogue in America.’ McCain pledged he would ‘treat my opponents with respect and demand that they treat me with respect.’ Instead, with Rove protégé Steve Schmidt at the helm, McCain has turned the campaign into a torrent of debasing negativity, misrepresenting Barack Obama's positions on everything from sex education for kindergarteners to middle-class taxes. In September, in one of his most blatant embraces of Rove-like tactics, McCain hired Tucker Eskew — one of Rove's campaign operatives who smeared the senator and his family during the 2000 campaign in South Carolina.”
[Dickinson, as above]

I’ve tried to entice you to go to the Dickinson article. What more can I say? Please!



Comment from Scott

One of the things that really pissed me off at the RNC was the way that they attacked Obama's record as a community organizer. I think that community organization is a perfectly valid activity for a young graduate interested in making a difference.

What I find ironic is that there disdain may be Obama's greatest asset. How did Obama out compete Clinton with the entire DNC behind her? Community organization.

How is Obama competing in Virginia, North Carolina, and Indiana and all the other states that trend republican? Community Organization.

Obama is taking the skills he learned and using them to great effect, while the Republicans make fun of those efforts. Talk about out of touch.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Charlie. This piece really sums up all the discomfort I've been having with McCain and his efforts at a makeover. I have friends in Phoenix active in the Republican party who had real problems with the Senator's desires to climb higher on the political ladder. I also have friends and family who over the years, upon meeting the Senator in other than a televised setting, came away with a much less than favorable impression of his true character and temperament. My blog today links to yours. Hopefully, my 10 readers will take the time to inform themselves. Best regards,