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John McCain, Prisoner of War
July 5, 2008 10:58 AM   Subscribe

John McCain, Prisoner of War: A First-Person Account. Originally appeared in the May 14, 1973, issue of U.S.News & World Report. "My six years of hell" is a February 2008 extract from McCain's book Faith of My Fathers.
posted by kirkaracha (82 comments total)

 
John McCain, imprisoned by his belief that any war the US is in is a chance to redeem the loss of the Vietnam War.

America, imprisoned in a quagmire in Iraq because old men are re-fighting the last war lost to insurgents.

Taking nothing away from McCain's suffering or heroism as a POW, that experience does little or nothing to prepare him to be President. Note "President"; the entirety of that job is not just being "Commander-in-chief" of the armed forces (and being a POW only tangentially touches the skills needed to be commander-in-chief, let alone president of the United States).
posted by orthogonality at 11:04 AM on July 5, 2008 [17 favorites]


McCain is a remarkable man, a courageous hero, who endured pure hell for five and a half years because he refused to do the easy thing and instead did the right thing.

But he'd be a shitty president.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:06 AM on July 5, 2008 [24 favorites]


Apparently McCain lied about being offered an admiral's position, which isn't surprising since there was nobody alive in his family pushing his carreer for him. He probably graduated from the academy only because they were afraid to fail him, because of his father.
posted by Brian B. at 11:09 AM on July 5, 2008


That title is almost exactly the same as Obama's book (Faith of My Fathers vs Dreams of My Fathers). Are these guys trying to fit as closely as possible to the same stupid clichés?

a) yes
b) no
c) maybe
d) fug it all
posted by Termite at 11:13 AM on July 5, 2008


John McCain wasn't a very sharp sword before he endured 6 years of torture and he's done nothing to convince me that experience has given him the kind of enlightenment I want in a President.

We the American people have already endured 8 years of dealing with a post-addiction president mired in denial. I'd like a leader with less baggage this time.
posted by any major dude at 11:14 AM on July 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Let's cut to the quick:

the best general, arguably, America ever had: Ulysees S. Grant. The worst president America ever had--Grant would be among the 5 listed.

Experience counts:
McCain has had 30 years in Congress. Obama, but two. Anyone else spring to min d with so little experience that became president? Lincoln.
posted by Postroad at 11:16 AM on July 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well if there's one thing we learned in 2004, it's that being a war hero is no qualification to be president.
posted by mullingitover at 11:21 AM on July 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


Experience counts:
McCain has had 30 years in Congress. Obama, but two. Anyone else spring to min d with so little experience that became president? Lincoln.

I think Obama is a bigger fraud than McCain, but McCain is not very smart, and smart goes a long way in preventing people from doing the wrong thing on false principle.
posted by Brian B. at 11:26 AM on July 5, 2008


yeah...i'd think we'd want a commander-in-chief smart enough to um, not get captured, right?
posted by sexyrobot at 11:26 AM on July 5, 2008


the best general, arguably, America ever had: Ulysees S. Grant.

Grant was no better a commanding general than Hooker or Burnside. It was just that, by that point in the war, the public was willing to accept massive casualties in order to defeat the Confederacy through attrition, something which was unacceptable in 1862 and 1863. Superior commanders accomplish their objectives with minimal loss of life, which is something that Lincoln, the original clueless commander-in-chief, couldn't see. While none of the Union generals were brilliant tacticians, I'd give the laurel to George Thomas.

As for McCain, he would have saved himself a lot of needless suffering (and possibly even capture) had he paid more attention to ejection procedures in flight school.
posted by Makoto at 11:30 AM on July 5, 2008


John McCain wasn't a very sharp sword before he endured 6 years of torture and he's done nothing to convince me that experience has given him the kind of enlightenment I want in a President.

Look any guy who spent six years as a guest of the charming Uncle Ho and lived to tell about seems to me to be a guy who isn't gonna step and fetch for anyone. McCain political history as a loose canon bears that out. He is an unlikely candidate for this Republican party to have ended up with.

That being said, as an Obama supporter, McCain's political independence from is something that my guy seems to be lacking in spades.
posted by three blind mice at 11:37 AM on July 5, 2008


And the irony is, today he's fine with torture.
posted by DU at 11:38 AM on July 5, 2008 [10 favorites]


a guy who isn't gonna step and fetch for anyone.
posted by DU at 11:39 AM on July 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


three blind mice wrote:

Look any guy who spent six years as a guest of the charming Uncle Ho and lived to tell about seems to me to be a guy who isn't gonna step and fetch for anyone.

I'm not sure what angle you are looking at McCain from but from where I'm standing I saw McCain turn into George Bush's personal pet once he seemingly made a back door agreement with the Bushies that he was to be the anointed successor. This happened at a time when he and possibly Colin Powell were the only Republicans who commanded enough respect from both sides of the aisle to stop the Bush administration's quixotic drive to war - I'd say that brands him the most pathetic waterboy in American history. I hold McCain and Powell with greater contempt than Bush and Cheney because they knew the war was a bad idea, had the power to stop them and cowardly (in Powell's case) and greedily (in McCain's case) did NOTHING.
posted by any major dude at 11:52 AM on July 5, 2008 [9 favorites]


McCain is a superman. He spent 6 years freeloading off of Paris Hilton. Imagine 6 years of the simple life. How many immunity challenges would he have had to won? Respect.
posted by srboisvert at 11:53 AM on July 5, 2008


I thought that John McCain perhaps had something going for him in the 2000 primary season -- when he was still Mr. Maverick and called the religious right "agents of intolerance" -- but now, eight years later, he's at the beck and call of the Family Research Council and the Ohio Citizens for Community Values.

No independence there -- and no difference there from GWB, either, other than perhaps that GWB's hip-meld with those groups was far more sincere, and they know it, too.
posted by blucevalo at 12:00 PM on July 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


As for McCain, he would have saved himself a lot of needless suffering (and possibly even capture) had he paid more attention to ejection procedures in flight school.

yeah...i'd think we'd want a commander-in-chief smart enough to um, not get captured, right?

Wow. Those are some fairly disgusting statements.
posted by kbanas at 12:03 PM on July 5, 2008 [9 favorites]


That title is almost exactly the same as Obama's book (Faith of My Fathers vs Dreams of My Fathers). Are these guys trying to fit as closely as possible to the same stupid clichés?

Interesting! I think you're right, there is an air of being principled about both of them, though I also think McCain was broken - not by his captivity, but by the Bush political machine in 2000 or thereabouts.

Plus he's a generation out of date, which would be a suicidal choice for this country now.
posted by emmet at 12:06 PM on July 5, 2008


Could we just vote tomorrow and avoid an endless string of political posts? Anyone with me on that?
posted by HuronBob at 12:06 PM on July 5, 2008 [8 favorites]


Eight years too late.
posted by R. Mutt at 12:16 PM on July 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


All I can say is this: he's one great American.
posted by MarshallPoe at 12:17 PM on July 5, 2008


I always find the intersection of military history and politics interesting. To pull back and write things small, the wargaming hobby is full of people who think they know something about strategy and tactics and full of small companies that pull it out a couple times, then crash and burn.

Running an Army (or company, or country) is not like fighting a war and is even less like fighting a war in the movies. For the past however many, we keep hearing about "the will to win" and "staying the course". I hope we're getting a sweet deal on all this old used Enron motivational crap, but all the will in the world is not going to make your tanks run when the fuel runs out. If we're going to put a general in charge, lets get a general who worries about things like supply lines and maintenance and all those other things that don't make for a rousing soliloquy in a movie, but tends to be what decides the victor.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 12:21 PM on July 5, 2008


That's nice and all that McCain behaved heroically while a POW, but that was 30 years ago and doesn't have shit to do with policy of today. What's McCain gonna do when the Republican leadership wants him to do X? Is he gonna be all heroic then?

Wake me when McCain switches parties or runs as an Independent. THEN I'll call him a maverick.
what has he actively done?

seems to me to be a guy who isn't gonna step and fetch for anyone.

He voted for the Iraq War, so where was Mr. Maverick then? Oh, that's right, advocating stupidity along with the rest of them, Democrats included.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:42 PM on July 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


All I can say is this: he's one great American.

Oh, absolutely. He's one of five great Americans.

Christ.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:45 PM on July 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


McCain is a superman. He spent 6 years freeloading off of Paris Hilton. Imagine 6 years of the simple life. How many immunity challenges would he have had to won? Respect.

Paris Hilton wasn't even born yet, he was freeloading off her aunt, Hanoi.
posted by empath at 12:55 PM on July 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think you guys are mixing up your heiresses McCain started shacking up with. Paris Hilton is the alcohol-addled nymphomaniac. McCain's married to the drug-addled kleptomaniac.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:59 PM on July 5, 2008


There's some swiftboat-y stuff out there about McCain's real POW experience. I don't know how believable it is, though.
posted by empath at 1:01 PM on July 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Deal with the big issue first! Does Scarlett Johansson send e-mail to McCain or Obama?
Now who do you want to be in charge?
posted by Postroad at 1:11 PM on July 5, 2008


People are really mean.
posted by MarshallPoe at 1:12 PM on July 5, 2008


MarshallPoe writes "People are really mean."

Yeah, how dare you point out McCain's compromised ethics? Jerks.
posted by mullingitover at 1:21 PM on July 5, 2008


Er, Termite, it's 'Dreams from My Father', not 'Dreams of my fathers', and Obama wrote it about his early life and absent father 12 years ago, before he entered politics. So b), unless you count McCain trying to imitate Obama, which ironically will only become a cliché if McCain loses.
posted by topynate at 1:29 PM on July 5, 2008


the entirety of that job is not just being "Commander-in-chief" of the armed forces (and being a POW only tangentially touches the skills needed to be commander-in-chief, let alone president of the United States).

When did "commander-in-chief" start becoming another word for "president," anyway? I realize that's part of the president's job, but when did it become shorthand for his entire job?
posted by roll truck roll at 1:34 PM on July 5, 2008


In other news:

"Jose Padilla announces Presidential run; cites unassailable torture, POW qualifications"
posted by JackFlash at 1:44 PM on July 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


Is it true the North Vietnamese nicknamed him "Songbird?"
posted by dopamine at 1:45 PM on July 5, 2008


It was really pathetic how McCain's people tried to capitalize on the non-issue of Wesley Clark's non-criticism of McCain's military service.

And then, when Obama nonetheless distanced himself from the remarks, the McCain people basically said, "No, we won't accept you distancing yourself from the remarks. The remarks were made by someone supporting you, therefore you must be held responsible for the remarks."

It was the most bizarre effort to manufacture a grievance that I have seen in some time.

The kinds of slights that ordinary people are expected to endure every day, a freakin' Presidential candidate gets in a tizzy about? Aren't Presidential candidates supposed to be stronger, more stolid and stoic than the rest of us?

It really supports the view of McCain as hopelessly thin-skinned, and temperamentally unsuited to the responsibility of being President. He's got a sensitivity to slights that would be more appropriate to a twelve-year old child.
posted by jayder at 1:45 PM on July 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


Garry Wills on the term "Commander in Chief."
posted by blucevalo at 1:45 PM on July 5, 2008


When did "commander-in-chief" start becoming another word for "president"

When enforcing and obeying the law were dropped from the job description.
posted by hexatron at 1:47 PM on July 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


but when did it become shorthand for his entire job?

When the President decided to start the longest war in American history?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:01 PM on July 5, 2008


It was the most bizarre effort to manufacture a grievance that I have seen in some time.

This has been the stuff of US politics for about 20 years. All someone has to do is say something obviously true and the press goes apeshit.
posted by srboisvert at 2:02 PM on July 5, 2008


I think Obama is a bigger fraud than McCain, but McCain is not very smart, and smart goes a long way in preventing people from doing the wrong thing on false principle.

Yeah well two months ago you were ranting about how he could never get elected. Now he's way up in the polls.
posted by delmoi at 2:15 PM on July 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah well two months ago you were ranting about how he could never get elected.

I made no such rant, ever, and encourage you to find it to save your credibility and illustrate what I actually did say. I supported Hillary as a better bet to remain liberal and get elected in the swing states. Obama has already turned sourly moderate, and his numbers aren't any better than Kerry's were at the same time.
posted by Brian B. at 2:56 PM on July 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure what angle you are looking at McCain from but from where I'm standing I saw McCain turn into George Bush's personal pet once he seemingly made a back door agreement with the Bushies that he was to be the anointed successor.

Based on the angle of his voting record, McCain is more politically independent of his party than Obama.

I wish my guy would show the same guts.
posted by three blind mice at 2:58 PM on July 5, 2008


Let me drop in here that he is NOT the favorite son of most of the Republicans I know of.

Most of them see him as way too left. Just sayin'.
posted by konolia at 3:11 PM on July 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


To say that McCain is more politically independent of his party than Obama is of his may simply suggest that one party is much more worth being a part of based on what it does for the nation.
posted by Postroad at 3:15 PM on July 5, 2008


If going against your party is such a great qualification to be President, why not just vote for the candidate of the other party?
posted by waitingtoderail at 3:24 PM on July 5, 2008


McCain flushed his self respect down the toilet when he followed his bullshit party pundits and started criticizing Kerry for that "You might get stuck in Iraq" statement a couple years ago. McCain knew what Kerry meant but still he kept up that talking point like a pathetic tool.
I don't hate the dude, he seems like he could've been a nice guy if he hadn't been dragged down by his bottom- feeding political fiends and forced to be a petty fool.
posted by Liquidwolf at 3:54 PM on July 5, 2008


Let me drop in here that he is NOT the favorite son of most of the Republicans I know of.

Most of them see him as way too left. Just sayin'.


That scares me way more than the prospect of a McCain presidency.
posted by treepour at 4:00 PM on July 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Based on the angle of his voting record, McCain is more politically independent of his party than Obama

John McCain voted with George Bush 95 percent of the time in 2007.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:32 PM on July 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


This article is actually a fascinating account. The tragedy is that the story becomes sullied and loaded with all of the baggage that McCain has accumulated in recent years.
Let me drop in here that he is NOT the favorite son of most of the Republicans I know of.

Most of them see him as way too left. Just sayin'.
your point is what, exactly? that your Republican friends are in some way reliable sources basing their judgment on actual evidence? Or that what they consider "too left" vs "just right" is some kind of point in their favor when it comes to political judgment?
posted by deanc at 4:52 PM on July 5, 2008


McCain was also ranked between 65% and 81% by the American Conservative Union every year between 2000 and 2006, and he has an 83% "lifetime rating." three blind mice may have a point in that of the eight (seven of them former) 2008 GOP presidential candidates that the ACU ranked with "lifetime ratings," McCain had the lowest number (Tom Tancredo had the highest score, 99%).
posted by blucevalo at 4:55 PM on July 5, 2008


It's very sad that harsh interrogation techniques were once performed on Senator McCain, but all this talk about torture contradicts current US government guidelines -- let's reread the Gonzales memo, it shows quite clearly that the interrogations did not provoke "organ failure", and if indeed some impairment of bodily function resulted (the partial, somewhat limited movement in the Senator's shoulders) it might be considered minor -- thankfully, the Senator has not lost the use of his arms -- and since he had been wounded in combat, I'm sure that more than a few Justice Department attorneys could argue that the damage to his shoulders had already happened in combat, and he might simply have suffered from substandard medical care -- again, substandard medical care is negligence, not torture.

Senator McCain also signed a confession in captivity admitting to war crimes and thanking the Vietnamese doctors -- this only shows that harsh interrogation techniques were indeed successful, as the Pentagon and the White House and the Office of the Vice President so often reminded us these last few years.

In short, all this talk of torture is just hyperbole. Only a liberal would say that McCain was tortured. If he were an Iraqi we wouldn't even be having this conversation.
posted by matteo at 5:33 PM on July 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


Any closed system degrades from entropy over time and, like most of the Republican royalty, McCain was born into a closed system a long time ago. His grandfather and father were four star admirals, which got him into the Naval Academy, where he behaved like a spoiled brat and graduated 894 out of a class of 899. Then he wrecked three planes before they let him drop real bombs on people
posted by Huplescat at 6:46 PM on July 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Most of them see him as way too left. Just sayin'.

Most of your friends are apparently extremists, completely out of touch with the majority of Americans. Just sayin'.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 6:47 PM on July 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Armitage, you live in Brooklyn, which skews your sample.


Round these here parts, it's somewhat different.
posted by konolia at 6:50 PM on July 5, 2008


Actually I wasn't sampling Brooklyn. I mean the country in general. Given that virtually no Democrats would consider John McCain "way too left" and at least some significant portion of Republicans don't, what percentage of the country does that leave? 25%, 30% tops? People who consider McCain "way too left" are like ardent George Bush supporters; more than none, but pretty obviously an extremist minority at this point.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:00 PM on July 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Okay, let's see your statistics.

Bear in mind what I know has to do with North Carolina Republicans as my husband has connections. There were a LOT of unhappy people when McCain got the nomination, to include some who were hoping for Giuliani.
posted by konolia at 7:26 PM on July 5, 2008


Oh, and btw, remember there are conservative Democrats down here (folks who are democrats only for local elections but who usually if not always vote for Republican presidential candidates) who probably couldn't tell you anything about politics but know who they like.

It's hard to believe people can be that ignorant about what it means to be part of a political party, but there it is.
posted by konolia at 7:28 PM on July 5, 2008


While I support Obama, I have to give McCain some credit in pushing against the currents of his party to an extent, even if only in tone. I'm genuinely surprised he got as far as he did, given that Huckabee and Romney looked and sounded like platonic ideals of half their party apiece.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 7:29 PM on July 5, 2008


konolia... you've been in Fayettville too long... time to move to someplace halfway sane. Take my word for it. I've been there.
posted by Huplescat at 7:39 PM on July 5, 2008


Okay, let's see your statistics.

Oh come on, it's just common sense. The Republican Party is generally considered to the right of the Democratic Party; the two parties generally come within a few percent of splitting the vote of the majority of Americans. How can the percentage of people in the country who consider the Republican nominee not just "left" but "way too left" be anything other than a minority?

There were a LOT of unhappy people when McCain got the nomination, to include some who were hoping for Giuliani.

Giuliani, the unlikely hero of social conservative wingnuttia. That's just hilarious.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:45 PM on July 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Republicans will vote for anyone who will keep their tax breaks intact. End of story. Everything else is propaganda. They care about nothing but their money and making more of it. The are branding McCain as a maverick because they know they are entering their most challenging election year in history and their only chance of keeping the white house is to make McCain out to be more of an independent than a Republican. I'm old enough to remember a Congress where John McCain was as far right as you can get and he hasn't changed a bit, it's just that Gingrich and Delay got a bunch of Stepford nere-do-well's elected in the past 15 years under the stipulation that they would vote in lock-step with them and speak only the talking points religiously faxed to them each morning. Compared to them anyone - even McCain, will come off as a common sense liberal.
posted by any major dude at 7:49 PM on July 5, 2008


any major dude, I am a Republican, and that's NOT who I am. There are a lot of us out here that vote that way just because we are social conservatives. If the Republicans suddenly became proabortion and the Dems started picketing abortion clinic, and NOTHING ELSE CHANGED, I'd change my registration immediately.
posted by konolia at 7:54 PM on July 5, 2008


If the Republicans suddenly became proabortion and the Dems started picketing abortion clinic, and NOTHING ELSE CHANGED, I'd change my registration immediately.

Which pretty much explains why you keep getting used.

Oh well. The Great White Hope of social conservatism may be fizzling out with precious little accomplished, but speaking as a socially liberal financially well-off New Yorker, thanks for all the tax cuts.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:13 PM on July 5, 2008


konolia, try not to turn this into a debate about your political beliefs. Despite what your Republican friends say, calling McCain "too left" is the mark of someone who is a radical, rabid right-wing far out of touch with mainstream America or someone who simply doesn't pay attention to politics very closely and is just aping a bunch of "conventional wisdom" talking points.

This article about McCain is fascinating and moving. The problem is that McCain pissed his legacy away by becoming a mindless supporter of the Iraq war and hitching his wagon to people who never learned the lessons of Vietnam and have been itching for an opportunity to refight it all over again. The fact that such a fascinating article compels us to have a back-and-forth debate about McCain's virtues and vices is a tragedy, though to a degree it's his own fault.
posted by deanc at 8:16 PM on July 5, 2008


If the Republicans suddenly became proabortion and the Dems started picketing abortion clinic, and NOTHING ELSE CHANGED, I'd change my registration immediately.

Congratulations on being an ignorant single issue voter, I guess?
posted by chiababe at 8:16 PM on July 5, 2008


the best general, arguably, America ever had: Ulysees S. Grant. The worst president America ever had--Grant would be among the 5 listed.

The best general, arguably, America ever had: George Washington. The best president America ever had--Washington would be among the 5 listed.

If you're making a point about how military service doesn't always translate into the political arena, that's not true as a rule.
posted by Heminator at 8:19 PM on July 5, 2008


McCain may go against his party more often than Obama, but that's just because Obama's party isn't as hell-bent on ruining the country as McCain's is.
McCain lost any credibility he ever could have had when he embraced the Bushes after what they did to him in 2000.
And lastly, could we please stop talking about his valiant decision to stay in Hanoi when he was offered the opportunity to leave? Had he left, his career and life (as well as his father's) would have been ruined. Leaving was not a realistic choice for him. Instead, he chose to stay, got his accommodations upgraded, and made propaganda tapes for the Viet Cong.
posted by bashos_frog at 8:33 PM on July 5, 2008


Bear in mind what I know has to do with North Carolina Republicans as my husband has connections. There were a LOT of unhappy people when McCain got the nomination, to include some who were hoping for Giuliani.

Wait a minute. McCain is anti-abortion and Giuliani is pro-choice. And they prefer Giuliani because McCain is too far left. Please explain.
posted by JackFlash at 8:36 PM on July 5, 2008


Giuliani, the unlikely hero of social conservative wingnuttia. That's just hilarious.

If you think about it, Giuliani was really appealing to social conservatives: social conservatism is always about authoritarianism and obedience, and Giuliani exuded that in spades. His mindless warmongering was also appealing to social conservatives as social conservatives find the "war on terror as an unlimited, endless moral crusade against islam and the middle east" to be a very appealing message.
posted by deanc at 8:40 PM on July 5, 2008


...could we please stop talking about his valiant decision to stay in Hanoi when he was offered the opportunity to leave?

Psssh, that's the least of our problems. I haven't seen a single comment on what exactly McCain was bombing before he was shot down. He flew missions in Operation Rolling Thunder and knew about the risk of civilian casualties. But he chose to fly regardless. The dark side of patriotism, to say the least.
posted by symbollocks at 9:27 PM on July 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


And lastly, could we please stop talking about his valiant decision to stay in Hanoi when he was offered the opportunity to leave? Had he left, his career and life (as well as his father's) would have been ruined. Leaving was not a realistic choice for him.

Um, but by staying he stood a pretty good chance of dying. And since he was fortunate enough not to die, he was merely tortured for years.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:42 PM on July 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


That title is almost exactly the same as Obama's book (Faith of My Fathers vs Dreams of My Fathers). Are these guys trying to fit as closely as possible to the same stupid clichés?

Yes.
posted by citron at 10:55 PM on July 5, 2008


Wait a minute. McCain is anti-abortion and Giuliani is pro-choice. And they prefer Giuliani because McCain is too far left. Please explain.

We have some Yankees in our local party to whom abortion isn't a litmus test. See, people have differing reasons why they are Republicans.
posted by konolia at 5:36 AM on July 6, 2008


Armitage, you live in Brooklyn, which skews your sample.

konolia, as someone who lives here, I can tell you that not everybody in NYC is on the left. We have our share of what you might call urban rednecks, but I don't know anybody who'd consider McCain 'too liberal.' That's pretty far out.
posted by jonmc at 6:00 AM on July 6, 2008


You and Pips need to come visit NC. I will introduce you to some rightwingers. And NC barbecue. If I play my cards right, during the political season you can do both at the same time.
posted by konolia at 6:57 AM on July 6, 2008


I will introduce you to some rightwingers.

I've met my share. and here in the Northeast, we have the patrician old-money rightwingers, too (which is what the Bushes are underneath the whole cowpoke routine), who are the real power in the party. I've had NC 'cue. Great stuff, indeed.
posted by jonmc at 7:30 AM on July 6, 2008


Washington Post, July 7:

McCain has spent the past year and a half trying to straddle the philosophical schism in the modern Republican Party. In primaries, he stressed his conservative credentials, but since clinching the nomination he has often reminded voters of his more moderate stances while professing his fealty to conservative positions. A platform fight at the convention could disrupt that carefully choreographed effort by highlighting the stark differences in vision for the party separating McCain from some of the GOP's most dedicated activists.
posted by blucevalo at 8:59 PM on July 6, 2008


He wasn't good enough in 04. Why would anyone vote for him this time around? His credentials could not beat GW, and GW didn't serve shit. If he wins, the world is will be one step closer to doomsday. We're so close now, I can feel the heat.
posted by Flex1970 at 9:17 PM on July 6, 2008


The best general, arguably, America ever had: George Washington.

I vote for Nathaniel Greene.
posted by spicynuts at 7:31 AM on July 7, 2008


You and Pips need to come visit NC. I will introduce you to some rightwingers. And NC barbecue.

Or, alternatively, Western NY or most of Pennsylvania west of Philly. I live in Brooklyn but spend a lot of time in Western PA - konolia knows of what she speaks.
posted by spicynuts at 7:34 AM on July 7, 2008


I was in Kentucky for the 4th, and was amazed to see myriad Obama stickers and not a single McCain one. Granted, this was in Louisville (probably the most liberal area in KY), but I didn't see any pro-McCain stickers when I went out to the gun range on Saturday, and a friend who had been out in Eastern Ky told me that she had seen but one McCain sticker and several Obamas in the backcountry. I'm not sure how many Republicans are going to hold their noses and go vote for someone they didn't want on their cars.
posted by 235w103 at 11:54 AM on July 7, 2008


any major dude: Republicans will vote for anyone who will keep their tax breaks intact.

konolia: There are a lot of us out here that vote that way just because we are social conservatives. If the Republicans suddenly became proabortion and the Dems started picketing abortion clinic, and NOTHING ELSE CHANGED, I'd change my registration immediately.

Michael Tomasky has an interesting analysis of the three major factions of the Republican party: neo-conservatives, who advocate higher defense spending and greater willingness to use force; social conservatives such as konolia; and tax-cut advocates. He makes the point that within the party, none of these factions balance each other.
... the party is still in the hands of three main interests: neoconservatives; theo-conservatives, i.e., the groups of the religious right; and radical anti-taxers, clustered around such organizations as the Club for Growth and Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform. Each of these groups dominates party policy in its area of interest—the neocons in foreign policy, the theocons in social policy, and the anti-taxers on fiscal and regulatory issues. Each has led the Bush administration to undertake a high-profile failure: the theocons orchestrated the disastrous Terri Schiavo crusade, which put off many moderate Americans; the radical anti-taxers pushed for the failed Social Security privatization initiative; and the neocons, of course, wanted to invade Iraq.

Three failures, and there are more like them. And yet, so far as the internal dynamics of the Republican Party are concerned, they have been failures without serious consequence, because there are no strong countervailing Republican forces to present an opposite view or argue a different set of policies and principles.
What konolia's saying is that social conservatives don't like McCain. Neo-conservatives like him, although they're not happy with his past opposition to torture (the new litmus test). And of course he's promised to make the Bush tax cuts permanent.
posted by russilwvong at 4:21 PM on July 7, 2008


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