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'Niceguy' Eddie

Political Talk Show Host and Internet Radio Personality. My show, In My Humble Opinion, aired on RainbowRadio from 2015-2017.

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Friday, May 13, 2011

The Tragedy of John McCain

By now, I'm sure many of you have heard John McCain's position regarding the use of torture (ahem) enhanced interrogation techniques, the waterborading of Khalid Shake Muhammad and the Death of Osama Bin Laden.

In short?

1) Traditional methods of interrogation led to Bin Laden's capture
2) Torture doesn't work and produces bad information
3) The Republicans are full of shit on this one.

Now let me say up front: There's a LOT that John McCain does, says, believes and champions that I don't not support or agree with.  (And to be fair, as it turned out, I can say the same about Obama! LOL) And I'm well aware that his "Maverick" label is more a creation of his own campaign strategists and the media than anything based in reality.  But in those rare instances when a Republican gets it right and speaks the truth, 80% of the time that Republican seems to be John McCain.  (And before you dispute that, do the math, and first consider how rare it this that this actually happens!)

Unfortunately, these rare occasions when Senator McCain stands up to his party, stands up to popular (on the Right anyway) but ultimately immoral and illegal behavior, and shows himself to be a fine, upstanding, principled, American Public Servant, only serve to contrast John McCain-R the party sell out that we saw in the years between being knee-capped by George Bush in the 2000 Republican Primaries and the 2008 Presidential Campaign in which he became a more reliable proponent of party talking points than all of AM Talk Radio and Fox News combined.  Oh, yeah, and along the way... INTRODUCED AMERICANS TO SARAH F. PALIN!

WTF happened? 

It like after the 2000 Primaries he made a personal pact, George Wallace style, that he'd never be out-niggered (or out-liberaled) ever again, and started a steady march to the Right that continued even after his 2008 Presidential electoral loss to Barack Obama!

I mean... How can someone who demonstrates that they have enough of a conscience to make a statement like this one, spend so much of the rest of their time trying to prove otherwise?!  How does a guy that I probably would have voted for in 2000 (yeah, though admittedly I learned a LOT in the years that followed) become such an utterly despicable sell-out, and then have the nerve to show me something like this, as if to say, "The John McCain you admired once? The one that would have kept you in the Republican party (albeit in the libertarian faction)? He's still here!  Deep down.  I did all I could to suppress him all these years, but I'm too old to ever run again, so I'll let him out occasionally. Just to tease you a little, and make you think of what might have been!"

For brief moment, seeing him on CNN the other day, I felt like I should party like it was 1999. 

I'm sure it won't last.  The Right can't allow the truth to be told.  Especially not on national television.


  1. Yeah, Sen. McCain would have gotten my vote in 2008, except for two things:

    Foreign policy expressed in badly rephrased Beach Boys - Bomb, bomb Iran.

    And, as you said Sarah F. Palin.


  2. There could be a few things going on, one of them being the fact that he probably won't run for another term.

    That said, I think that McCain finally came face to face with himself. There's a scene in A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS (top 3 all time in my book) in which Thomas More asks his friend Norfolk, who's trying to convince him to "get along (survive, actually) by going along," if there isn't someplace, deep inside, where the "real Norfolk" exists, and a line that he can't cross and remain himself. I think this issue is essential to the real McCain. He softened on the issue under pressure during the Bush years, but now he's back. He knows, first hand, the negligible positives and overwhelming negatives of torture. He also knows (possible projection alert) that the determination to "leave the rack and the thumbscrew in Europe," to quote one of the founders (either Patrick Henry or Tom Paine, I think) is one of the cornerstones of "American Exceptionalism."

    McCain is actually being a patriot here, and that's a word I use very rarely, as I think it has been cheapened terribly over the last couple of decades.

  3. @okie - McCain had my [potential] vote in 2000. As it turned I voted for Gore. Mainly because I HATED, HATED, HATED George W. Bush. (Though I like Gore a lot more now than I did then - I was badly misinformed about him by the MSM, back in my pre-MMFA days.) But McCain DID NOT have my vote in 2008. Never, at any point. Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran, yes, but his reversal of his previously principled position on imigration (that bothered me); and the disastrous idea of allowing people to buy insurance accross state lines - which long term would cripple every state's ability to regulate insurance coverage AT ALL (good-bye any hope of autsim coverage); and his Herbert Hoover-esque ideas about gov't spending freezes (which, sadly, we're seeing many of implimented now anyway, to the tune of 300,000 lost Gov't jobs); all had pretty much had me turned off to him before I'd ever even heard of Sarah F. Palin. Once she showed up? Fucking shit. No fucking way.

    @Conchobar - Interesting take. (Man for All Seasons - CLASSIC.) I really have to wonder how things would have turned out if McCain had stuck to his old self, ran on some of the things that he believed in that went against the party faithful, and just plain ran HONEST. (And, of course, w/o Sarah F. Palin. With a MODERATE VP.) The 2008 election was not "close" in the way that Bush/Kerry and Bush/Gore were, but w/o the polarizing presence of Sarah Palin and McCain's steady march to the hard right over the years? It might have been a lot closer. He might have had a chance, if he survived the primary. (It's not like the Right was going to stay at home a just LET Obama take it anyway!)

    But then... maybe I'm not thinking about the "real McCain" either. He's a tough one to really pin down. He's hard-right on so many things, but he's also supported some principled, bi-partisan intitiatives that traditioanlly came for the liberal side (immigration, campaign finance reform) and then you've got his statements about torture to go with his [early] criticism of the Bush administration. It's frustrating to see someone get so much right and yet still be mostly worng! (I have the same problem with Lindsay Graham: Every now and then he says something that earns my respect. Then the next day, he's right back to pissing me off again!) The Right Wing Conservative hard-cores HATE [McCain.] (Though MMFA did a pretty good job a the time of showing why they really had no reason to.) IDK... warts and all, he's still probably a better Senator than he ever could have been President. He's just not the take-charge type. And after eight years of Bush NOT BEING in charge, I don't think I couldn't deal with another 4-8 of the same. It would have been "President Palin" in the same way it was "President Cheney." Only Palin is just slightly less evil and yet significatly less competent.

    Thank you both for your comments.