Chauncey McCain, when asked about the economy, stared at the camera and said, “as long as the roots are not severed, all is well, and all will be well in the garden.”
More and more John McCain appears, if not actually in his second childhood, then certainly old, fossilized, and out-of-sync with the twenty-first century.
He clings to mistaken principles and outworn policies like Linus clinging to his blanket. He can recite name, rank, and serial number but cannot give us an independent vision for the future. Not surprising. Since the children of men have only the ability to look in one direction at a time, his rear view vision precludes foresight. For him earmarks have become earworms—the tune you can’t get out of your head.
To a carpenter every problem looks like a nail. To McCain there isn’t a situation that can’t be solved by eliminating pork. It’s hard to inhale the winds of change when you have your nose stuck up the rear end of a pig.
He strutted and preened during the debate, his notorious temper barely contained, quick to sneer that Obama didn’t “understand”. But his is the incomprehension. There is more to the art of governance than cutting taxes and waging war. He does not seem capable of making the connection between the slavish devotion to deregulation he has displayed all his political life and the debacle that awaits us. You could say that the policies McCain supports are directly responsible for the current fiasco.
Let me say it. The policies McCain supports are directly responsible for the current fiasco.
Of course, Republicans in their creative and imaginative way, are now blaming Democrats all the way back to FDR. They may get away with it. The Big Lie, you know.
His admirers, who have always lauded his courage, candor, and dedication to duty, now shake their heads “more in sorrow than in anger”. Courage has become recklessness, candor, belligerence, and dedication, obsession. “Where is the old McCain?” they ask plaintively as though they’d never seen the results of ruthless and cynical ambition.
He’s still there. Beneath the you-don’t-like-this-incarnation-wait-a-minute slideshow of the campaign, there is the same politician with the same old boy Republican values that got us into this mess.
As an alpha dog warrior better known for action than ideas, he has to let us know he can still tree a squirrel. And so there has been a lot of noise this week– to little effect. Or to quote Stephen Leacock, “he flung himself upon his horse and rode madly off in all directions.” But toughness without judgment is bluster.
And like many another foolish old man, he has become politically infatuated with a younger woman of unsuitable background and education.
Voters, is this really whom we want for President–a man nearing his dotage, not very bright, no longer principled, with a hair trigger temper and itchy trigger finger, who has chosen an American primitive for his running mate?
If so, then the next barbecue you invite him to may be fueled by apocalyptic fires.