It's beginning to appear as if Senator John McCain might just be becoming a bit unhinged. His obsessive quest for the presidency just may be taking a psychological toll on the man.
Recently on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” McCain – who is famous for his shoot from the hip approach – made the following statement: “I think maybe shopping in Baghdad, I had something picked out for you, too — a little IED (improvised explosive device) to put on your desk,” in response to Stewart’s referencing McCain’s most recent controversies. The other stupid McCain trick before that statement was at a campaign appearance in South Carolina when he parodied the opening lyrics of the Beach Boys rock classic "Barbara Ann," calling the tune "Bomb Iran," and changing the words to "bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb.”
It didn’t take long for the flak to start. Representative John Murtha – himself a decorated military man – from the House floor demanded that McCain apologize to the troops in Iraq for making light of the IEDs that are responsible for the death and maiming of many of the US military. Firing back, McCain said that his critics should “…lighten up and get a life.”
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This is far from the first time that McCain has found himself on the wrong end of the stick, as it were, for his seemingly insane off-the-cuff comments and (now) world famous flip-flops, some examples are:
- McCain excoriated Jerry Falwell as “an agent of intolerance” in 2002, but has since decided to adopt a more to self-serving approach by kissing Falwell’s posterior. Matter of fact McCain has now hired Falwell’s debate coach.
- McCain at one time vehemently opposed Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy, now he fully supports them
- In 2000 McCain accused a couple of Texas businessmen Sam and Charles Wyly of being corrupt. He attacked them publicly and filed a complaint against them for violating campaign finance laws. This time around McCain has groveled at their feet for support.
- McCain supported a major campaign-finance reform measure under his name and then abandoned it.
- McCain used to call Grover Norquist a “crook” and a “corrupt shill for dictators,” he has since reconciled with Norquist as his presidential aspirations came to the fore.
- After Abu-Ghraib and during the then hot and heavy torture debates, McCain took a firm line of opposition to torture. The boys in the back room at the White House then put McCain on the rack and he caved, voting for torture.
- McCain was also against presidential candidates campaigning at Bob Jones University, now he loves campaigning there.
- McCain was against the Confederate flag, then he was all for it.
- And now, McCain is both for and against overturning Roe v. Wade.
One of my new daily tasks is now to cruise the web looking for McCain absurdities, they are not hard to find, I just set up a Google alert under Senator John McCain and they flood into my inbox.
Now, I am certainly not a shrink, but I do know that in the psychological arena a “vacillating personality” or flip-flopper if you will, is a recognized personality disorder. This disorder is generally manifested by, “Vagueness of Purpose.” “Ingratiousness.” “Ambitious and enterprising and wants to get ahead.” That would certainly seem to fit Mr. McCain as well as his many, confusing and misleading statements and positions.
Of course, to be fair, it fits about 99 and 3/4 percent of politicians out there. But Senator McCain has taken it to a higher level, in watching his sometimes antics, I get the distinct impression that the guy is unbalanced.
Of course, the current occupant of the White House is totally certifiable, even his father has questions about Dubya’s sanity. I mean, after all, most leaders as empire builders have to be a bit unhinged. There is no way one could continue to send young men and women to certain death in illegal wars unless you were wacko. So Senator McCain wants his shot at dubious notoriety just like Nixon, and George W. Bush, hells’ bells’ what’s another nut case in the Oval Office, give or take a few?
Maybe part of McCain’s obsequiousness could be traced to the bruising 2000 campaign in which the Bush camp savaged him so brutally. Maybe, just maybe, it triggered a dependency style in McCain. How else to account for his fawning “suck-up” to those he once held in such contempt? But then, I think no, here is a man who went through five and one-half years as a prisoner of war, after all of that, how in the hell could continuing incarceration in the political cage drive you over the edge? Perhaps the complexity of continually wanting to appease – within the political arena – exacts a more devastating psychological toll than what was thrown at him during his stay at the Hanoi Hilton?
I suppose those things are best left to the psychological experts to determine, in the meantime, is John McCain nuts?
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