Sunday, April 20, 2008

Times are too precarious to risk an American Kruschev

With our country standing on a precipice, with our national standing at it's nadir point; the temperament of those standing before us, asking us to elect them to the nations highest office is not merely a legitimate concern, it is an issue of paramount importance.

Put bluntly - John McCain has temper issues that raise serious questions about his fitness to serve as the president and commander in chief of this countries armed services. I don't think it would be a wise move to elect a man to the presidency who hurls "fuck you's" at other senators, and who blows up at his wife and calls her a "cunt."

In fact, it can truthfully be said that McCain started his Senate career with a temper tantrum.

On election night 1986, the election that elevated him from a seat in the House to the Senate seat he still holds, he publicly raged at and berated a young Republican campaign volunteer, screaming in his face and poking him in the chest in a crowded ballroom. What offense had he committed to warrant such public abuse and humiliation? He had set up the podium from which McCain made his victory speech - but the podium was a little bit too tall, and the 5'9" McCain looked, on teevee, like he is 5'9" instead of towering and heroic.

John Hinz was the head of the Arizona state GOP at the time and he was offended by the outburst. "Here this poor guy is thinking he's done a good job, and he gets a new butt ripped because McCain didn't look good on television," Hinz said when interviewed about the incident in 2000 when McCain lost the GOP nomination to Bush. Hinz went on to say that the incident was so over the top that it troubled him for years. "There were an awful lot of people in the room, and you would have to stick cotton in your ears not to hear it. He was screaming at him, and he was red in the face. It wasn't right and I was very upset at him."

Keep in mind, that is the executive director of the state party, speaking about a candidate who had just secured a seat in the United States Senate.

In 1995, McCain and Strom Thurmond got into a shoving match on the floor of the Senate. Thurmond interrupted an opening statement to the Senate Armed Services Committee by McCain, asking "is the Senator about through?" McCain thanked him for his courtesy (translation: "Get bent") and continued on (it should be noted here that McCain despises longwindedness in others and lets his impatience be known, in many rude and unsubtle ways.) Later, he accosted the elderly Thurmond on the floor and a scuffle ensued, although no punches were thrown. As The Washingtonian noted, the two "did not part friends."

When McCain ran for the republican nomination in 2000, the republicans enjoyed a 55-45 majority in the Senate. Of those 55 republican Senators, only four supported their colleague's bid for the nomination, most of the rest openly supported the candidacy of George W. Bush, who went on to win the nomination.

Why would McCain's fellow Senators be so reluctant to support their comrade?

Maybe because he's a prick?

He has accosted and attacked and accused many of them of wrongdoing, and basically acted like he alone has the market cornered on honor. He has it all and no one else can have any. There just isn't a square to spare.

He has exploded in anger at many of them, and alienated them in the process. He openly and publicly called Pete Domenici an "asshole" and Charles Grassley a "fucking jerk" when they had the temerity to advocate positions that McCain didn't agree with. After the Domenici "asshole" incident, one republican Senator who had thought about supporting his presidential bid, telling NEWSWEEK at the time "I decided I didn't want this guy anywhere near a trigger." [emphasis mine]

And here is an interesting opening sentence from the third paragraph from that 2000 NEWSWEEK article...even back then, the media mancrush was apparent...McCain has avoided harsh media scrutiny, and some senators are just plain jealous of his friendly relations with reporters. "He says things that would get us [negative] headlines, but he gets a freebie," groused one lawmaker.

The Arizona Republic has made an issue of his temper for years, reporting on his volatility and the wrath he has unleashed on the states political leaders for years. In fact, the largest daily paper in Arizona was blunt about addressing the issue of McCain's temper in a 1999 editorial when it wrote "If McCain is truly a serious contender for the presidency, it is time the rest of the nation learned about the John McCain we know in Arizona. There is also reason to seriously question whether he has the temperament, and the political approach and skills, we want in the next president of the United States." [emphasis mine]

I believe that the issue of temperament is going to be of paramount importance. We, as a nation, have a lot of hard work ahead of us, and the next president is going to need to have patience and diligence and not be a reactionary jackass.

The last thing we need is Nikita McCain banging his shoe on the desk and vowing revenge on our "enemies."

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