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The Rottenness of John McCain

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       Do you remember the John McCain that ran against George W. Bush in 2000? You know, the straight-talking maverick that even Democrats liked. What ever happened to that guy?

     Was there a deal struck between John McCain and the Republican establishment before the 2004 election? Did they promise McCain that if he would stop criticizing George W. Bush and start supporting the Bush agenda, he would be the Republican party’s nominee for President in 2008?  

     That theory began to look doubtful last summer, when McCain’s presidential campaign was about broke and trailing in the polls; but when the corporate media hailed McCain’s third place finish in the Iowa Primaries as the greatest victory since Truman over Dewey, it became pretty clear--the fix was in.

     Why else would John McCain get off the “Straight-talk Express” to take a seat behind George W. Bush on the “Brown-Nose Express”? No honorable person can support George W. Bush and his policies without demeaning themselves and sacrificing their honor (ask Colin Powell). Did John McCain succumb to what Thomas Jefferson described?                          

·        “Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct.”--Thomas Jefferson

     With this thought in mind, I began to explore the life of John McCain. I wanted to tell the story of a noble warrior who had forsaken his ideals and supported a man he detested because of his ambition to be President.

*****

     John McCain’s mother was an oil heiress. Both his father and Grandfather were Admirals in the Navy, and that was to be John McCain’s destiny and his first ambition--to be an Admiral.

After attending an expensive boarding school, where he earned the nicknames: "Punk" and "McNasty", McCain got into the Naval Academy on the strength of family connections. He was almost expelled twice for bad conduct, but his mommy came and fixed things for him the first time, and a classmate took the fall for him the next time. McCain graduated fifth from the bottom in a class of 899 cadets.

     Up to this point, McCain’s history of preferential treatment and being bailed out by friends and family is reminiscent of our fearless leader, George W. Bush. They both even became pilots, but this is where their paths diverge. Boy George jumped to the head of the line to get into the Texas Air National Guard, so he didn’t have to “shoot himself in the foot” to dodge Viet Nam; and John McCain opted to fly in Viet Nam because he needed combat missions--if he ever wanted to make Admiral.

     Unfortunately, McCain had already crashed two planes and caused an international incident by flying too low and cutting some power lines in southern Spain. This would have been enough to ground most pilots, but McCain was not most pilots...

·        “...McCain pulled strings to get ahead. After a game of tennis, McCain prevailed upon the undersecretary of the Navy that he was ready for Vietnam, despite his abysmal flight record. Sure enough, McCain was soon transferred to McCain Field--an air base in Meridian, Mississippi, named after his grandfather--to train for a post on the carrier USS Forrestal.”-- Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone, 10/16/08

     While on the Forrestal, McCain narrowly escaped an explosion and fire that started on the flight deck after he had fired his engine for takeoff. As brave men fought and died to save the USS Forrestal, John McCain watched on closed-circuit television, and his own words reveal his feelings:

·        “This distressed me considerably. I feared my ambitions were among the casualties in the calamity that had claimed the Forrestal.”--in McCain’s book, Faith of My Fathers

     McCain transferred to the USS Oriskany and was shot down over North Vietnam on October 26, 1967.

     The rest of the story is familiar to Americans: McCain becomes a war hero by being a prisoner of war in Viet Nam for five and a half years--during which he learns the true value of family and country. He returns home and confirms the importance of family by divorcing his wife and marrying a rich beer-heiress. He gives up on becoming an Admiral. His wife buys him a house in Arizona, so he can enter politics. He is soon caught with his hand in the cookie jar in the Keating-five Savings and Loan scandal, but he learns another valuable lesson (don’t get caught). McCain gets off with a slap on the wrist, and has been a straight-talking maverick, fighting for the little guy ever since (or so he tells us).

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Mick Youther is an American citizen, an independent voter, a veteran, a parent, a Christian, a scientist, a writer, and all-around nice guy who has been aroused from a comfortable apathy by the high crimes and misdemeanors of the Bush Administration.
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