This skirts the edge of linkwhoring, something I’ve been avoiding, but I think it’s important. “It” being an article by Matt Welch about John McCain.
John McCain scares me. He has for a long time. There are a lot of smooth-talking, power-hungry operators in Washington, but McCain scares me because he’s one of the few that has the knack of appearing to be something other. People voted for George W. Bush because in him they thought they saw a straightforward, down-home kinda guy. But McCain makes Bush look like a two-bit carnival huckster. Where John Kerry threw his purple hearts in people’s faces, McCain’s experience as a POW is wielded less ostentatiously and yet is always there. McCain’s stock in trade is Sincerity, with a capital S. He’s the original Straight Talker from 2000.
And yet this is the guy who co-sponsored the hideous McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform bill, more properly called the Incumbent Protection Act. An attack on political speech so craven it bars groups like Greenpeace or MoveOn.org from mentioning a candidates name in ads in the sixty days before an election. And then used his “campaign finance reform” foundation as a front to fund preparations for his next presidential campaign.
This is also the guy who blew up doping scandals in baseball into a national crisis requiring congressional intervention.
And if Matt Welch’s read on him is correct, he’s a hardened war-hawk who’s grand vision of America is one in which everyone must sacrifice in order to restore the stature of the glorious republic.
Matt may or may not be right; lord knows there’s precious little of substance to work from in all that straight talkin’. What seems clear, though, is that McCain is no moderate, and he’s no stranger to cynical self-advancement.
To paraphrase Garth Algar: “John McCain is nobody’s friend. If John McCain were an ice cream flavor, he’d be pralines… and dick.”
EDIT: OK, it’s not so much linkwhoring. I wrote that before I realized I had a few paragraphs in me.