The Cynicism and Contempt of John McCain
Or, Get Your Hot-Buttered Popcorn It’s Film References Time!
“It is dangerous for a democracy when a presidential candidate can lie with impunity, change positions on a whim, and physically and verbally threaten others and virtually none of it is reported by a besotted media eagerly awaiting the next moment when he might slap their backs in friendship.”
— Cliff Schecter, author of “The Real McCain: Why Conservatives Don’t Trust Him And Why Independents Shouldn’t,” as quoted by Robert Greenwald at AlterNet.org.
While our corporate Stay-Prest Media obsess over every detail of the Dem Party High Noon confrontation between Sen. Serial Mom (‘Annie Oakley Meets Rocky and the Amazon Woman on the Moon,’ as directed by David Lynch) and ‘The Golden Child’ (‘Native Son Goes to Washington,’ as written by Clifford Odets and starring Sidney Poitier as both Langston Hughes and ‘Mr. Tibbs’), they’ve mostly been ignoring the flip, flop and flee of the sometime rustic-ranch resident of Sedona, Arizona, the former Hellcat of the Navy lurking under the fading Republican brand, ‘John McCain Goes to War’ (as directed by Sam Fuller-Brush-Man).
Weve seen this movie before; it was shown to the bored passengers of Kentucky Fried Airlines on flights to Political Tedium in 1980, 1988, 1996, and even, improbably, 2000 and 2004. While, according to the Big Media Handbook, a Democrat can never be a War Hero, even though he may have piloted a bomber over Europe in WWII, as George McGovern did; or saved a soldier’s life under fire, as John Kerry did; it’s ridiculously easy for any Republican to claim the status.
Although Navy Carrier Pilot Poppy Bush and the 10th Mountain Division’s Bob Dole could legitimately honk up their time in service, Army Lt. Ronald Reagan made venereal disease warnings for the military and fought The Good War from the satin-sheeted trenches of Hollywood; Air Force Lt. Junior Bush committed the ignoble offense of posing for pictures in uniform wearing medals he hadn’t earned and then ditched out entirely on his last two years of weekend-warrior physicals and stateside Champaign Squadron duty, a stunt that would have quickly deposited a poor man’s son on the flight line at an airfield near Saigon or a SAC base in Witch’s Tit, Alaska. Yet they were both, at one time or another, dubbed ‘War Heroes’ by the National Corporate Media.
John McCain can trumpet his combat time in the Navy with some validity, although the third reel of this picture shows Sen. Rambo unheroically, if understandably, breaking under North Vietnamese torture and singing his guts out, as he admitted on CBS’ “60 Minutes” nearly a decade ago. But never fear, Republicans — Democrats will not be mocking him by hopping around on jocular Ruptured Duck crutches, nor wearing ‘Traitor John’ arm slings or yellow songbirds on their shoulders at their Denver convention this year that sort of stomach-turning street theater is strictly reserved for the degenerate Swift Boat ignorati of the GOP Fleet Enema.
Keeping with Orson Welles’ protagonist in his 1941 masterpiece “Citizen Kane,” the Arizona senator tries to portray himself as a stalwart Man of the People, a plain-spoken Maverick Reformer you can safely imbibe a Blue Collar beer with, a Harry S Truman in Republican armor out to slay the dragons of official corruption, political partisanship and perverse moral concupiscence in Washington, while carefully disguising his elite Admiral’s-boy, Annapolis-grad past; his second wife’s wealth that purchased his political career; and his cynical behind-the-scenes manipulations on behalf of campaign contributors from Charles Keating to Paxson Communications. Only recently has the Big Media noticed that he has a flock of well-paid lobbyists on his staff and the Punditrocracy apparently naively believe, as stated by political flack-turned-journalist George Stephanopoulos on his This Week program May 25, that they have now all been dismissed. The truth is, if McCain fired all of the lobbyists and ex-lobbyists on his campaign staff, he wouldn’t have any campaign staff left. It seems it will fall to the eventual Democratic candidate to point out that from McCain campaign chief Rick Davis on down, the Republican candidate’s advisors are the sort of slick-suited marketers who will gladly advertise the ‘good side’ of tyrannical and genocidal regimes, or without reservation brush up the public image of businesses that peddle toxic poisons or tainted foodstuffs to the peasantry, if the price is right. They are direct ideological descendants of Edward Bernays, figuratively sticking shiny new dimes in the palms of monsters for distribution to the public, hoping to distract the happy recipients from noticing he is getting innocent people killed in an endless war for cost-plus profit or cruelly evicting families from their homes.
It’s illustrative of the true McCain personality to closely investigate several recent blips on his Maverick Reformer War Hero radar: