“Mouth-mouth-mouth almighty, tongue everlastin'...You're never satisfied unless there's something happenin''.”
In this silly-as-a-concussed-Tiny-Tim-on-laughing-gas season where on the Democratic side the story is tales tall and Reverends galled, the surface conventional wisdom is that the dangerously flawed GOP candidate John McCain is in good shape—what with his having had his two-decade “get-over” pass extended another election cycle by a callous-kneed press.
You would think based on that meme and the Democratic party's Presidential contenders' knife-fight / lye-splashing / dog-siccing that McCain would be able to just coast this bad boy on out—right up the war dead's blood-greased road into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
As the mighty “Karnak The Magnificent” would say, “You'd be wrong, Postum™ and Poli-Grip™ breath!”
For you see, in spite of a for-the-most-part “salad-tossing” press corps, John McCain simply cannot help but be John McCain.
And what is John McCain, exactly?
He is...an unrepentant, compulsive, proud and utterly uninformed, world-class BLABBERMOUTH.
Oh yes, I left out self-destructive in that litany of descriptives, and that really is the most damning part of it all.
I mean...the smart political thing to do would be for his handlers to shutter him away from most public contact and manage his appearances in a major way—perhaps allowing him to only speak bland, koan-like platitudes like Peter Sellers' Chance, the Gardener in the 1979 film “Being There”. But he has too much pride for that, and way too big of an ego. It is his deep love of his own perception of likability that enables his blathering. He thinks he can do wrong and that no one will ever call him on his bullshit and misdeeds.
He's partially right about that. For the most part, they won't.
But the bigger problem is that he simply won't shut up long enough to not eventually say something so egregious, off-putting or absurd that it cannot be ignored.
As Ralph Kramden so eloquently bellowed in frustration, he...“is a BLABBERMOUTH!”
It's a narrative that is starting to take hold about him—amazingly even with a lapdog media verbally fellating him. The “WTF”-is-he-talking-about?” candidate. It's one thing to be deemed “the pretty boy”, or “the affable, loopy reverend”, “the charmer” or “the tough lady”, but for an undesired image of the “WTF”-is-he-talking-about?” candidate to settle in as a large part of one's persona? Well...
...that's just political suicide. Plain and simple. To be known as an unmanageable, uninformed nut who spouts off about anything at the drop of a hat.
And the things he says!
1.) “There are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through those neighborhoods today”.
“General Petraeus goes out there almost every day in an unarmed humvee. I think you oughta catch up. You are giving the old line of three months ago. I understand it. We certainly don’t get it through the filter of some of the media.”
You know, for a hot minute, things appeared better in Iraq—primarily due to Moqtada Al-Sadr's Mahdi army's cooling its heels for many months. Of course as we're seeing in recent days and as originally predicted, the so-called “surge” would not give the desired result—namely Peace in Iraq. In fact, that marketplace where McCain and his mush-mouthed Senate shouder-parrot Lindsey Graham visited and rooked the vendors is now absolutely off-limits for U.S. personnel—flak-jacketed, bodyguarded and Blackhawk-hovered or not. Oh yes...it's safe, folks. Safe in that brutal, sadistic Laurence Olivier in “Marathon Man” kind of way.
Then there's this pearl...
2.) “The issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should. But, I’ve got Greenspan’s book,”
How, in the name of all that is holy do you say something so stupidity-revealing as that in the midst of a campaign season (January of this year) where the economy is reeling like a George Foreman-struck Gerry Cooney on greased roller skates? People are losing their jobs like mad. Gas is nearly $4.00 a gallon and the housing market's bleeding out like a Manson victim “and you don't understand economics as well as you should?” You might think that's some sort of endearing, folksy bit of “Cracker Barrel” honesty (wrapped around a pleading core of “this is my way of telling you to NOT ask me tough economic questions”), but if a 527 runs that line in an ad in Ohio, Michigan or Pennsylvania come general election time when people are eating dry-ass pancakes for dinner while doubled up in Uncle Ernie's house on the shitty side of town because somebody lost their Goddamned job in this economy “you don't understand”, you just see how far that takes you. Oh yeah, the dude whose book you haven't gotten around to reading? Greenspan? His policies happily, greedily set up the housing market economic disaster “you don't understand”. Re-read your “Collected Sgt. Rock—1968-1975” bound volume. It'll do you as much good.
Want more? Howsabout what happens when the fabled “Saint McCain” is questioned with any toughness? Yep, you get his legendary gas-soaked short fuse of a temper on ready display, as noted here:
3.) McCain Loses Cool With NY Times Reporter
ABC News' Bret Hovell Reports: Senator John McCain grew agitated Friday with a New York Times reporter who asked about his 2004 conversation with then-Democratic nominee John Kerry about McCain possibly running as Kerry’s vice presidential nominee.
New York Times correspondent Elisabeth Bumiller: Senator can I ask you about Senator Kerry. I just went back and looked at our story, the Times story, and you told Sheryl Stolberg that you had never had a conversation with Kerry about being, about Vice President –
John McCain: Everybody knows that I had a private conversation. Everybody knows that. That I had a conversation. There’s no living American in Washington -
McCain: - that knows that, there’s no one.
McCain: And you know it too. You know it. You know it. So I don’t even know why you ask.
EB: Well I ask because I just read –-
McCain: You do know it. You do know it.
EB: Because I just read in the Times in May of ’04 you said.
McCain: I don’t know what you may have read or heard of, I don’t know the circumstances. Maybe in May of 04 I hadn’t had the conversation --
EB: But do you recall the conversation?
McCain: I don’t know, but it’s well known that I had the conversation. It is absolutely well known by everyone. So do you have a question on another issue?
EB: Well can I ask you when the conversation was?
McCain: No. Nope, because the issue is closed as far as I’m concerned. Everybody knows it. Everybody knows it in America.
EB: Can you describe the conversation?
McCain: Pardon me.
EB: Can you describe the conversation?
McCain No, of course not. I don’t describe private conversations.
EB: Okay. Can I ask you –
McCain: Why should I? Then there’s no such thing as a private conversation. Is there (inaudible) if you have a private conversation with someone, and then they come and tell you. I don’t know that that’s a private conversation. I think that’s a public conversation.
EB: Okay. Can I ask you about your (pause) Why you’re so angry?
McCain: Pardon me?
EB: Nevermind, nevermind.
Note that there may be no bigger reporter/shill for the GOP status quo than Bumiller, infamous for her dewy-eyed reportage on the reigning Chowderhead-In-Chief for the last eight years, and McCain absolutely lost his Peanut Butter Do-si-dos over this sycophant's mild pointing out of this blatant flip-flop of his. Which highlights another fatal flaw—his inability to keep to the story on even simple lies he's told. He reminds me of an old relative of mine who when someone mentions an incident where she's acted or spoken inappropriately in the past will simply pretend it didn't happen and then, when others dare continue talking about the truth of what did happen, will then absolutely lose her mind in a blind rage at the incident's being “re-hashed”. McCain can't help himself with this unfortunate tic either—try as he might. The so-called “Straight Talk Express” easily morphs into a nasty, “Berate Talk Express”.
But worst of all and most recently was his embarrassing, meandering blabber-mouthery at a Mid-East photo-op on things Iraqi, Al-Qaeda, and Iranian where he stood like the doddering, unnerving, bathrobed old coot “Herbert” from “Family Guy” and confidently pronounced an utter fantasism of how he saw the war in Iraq going and who was who, and doing what in it.
4.) Today, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said that Iranian operatives are “taking Al-Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back” — despite the fact that Iran is a Shiite nation and al Qaeda are Sunni fighters. Responding to reports of McCain’s factually inaccurate claim, the McCain campaign released a statement attempting to paint the senator’s fundamental error as an isolated slip of the tongue.
The fact that McCain made identical remarks on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show as well makes it clear McCain did not simply “misspeak.” What’s more, McCain corrected himself only after Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) “stepped forward and whispered in the presidential candidate’s ear.”
Here's a picture of Lieberman helping his fellow war-crazed codger out after his fuck-up.
And yes, that's McCain with a “What the hell do you mean I've shit my Habands?” look on his face.
It was an utterly embarrassing moment with him having to be prompted on camera to fix a slap-dash, “I'm just wingin' it” gaffe. More campaign ad fodder. Mix it in with his “Make it 100 years in Iraq” idiotic pronouncement (where Lieberman was too many feet away to tug his Members Only™ jacket to tell him to “ix-nay on the undreds-hay earsyay alk-tay”) and his “Get the hook”-worthy “Bomb Iran” shitty karaoke singing and you have right there a compelling troika of images for an ad that with the proper supportive verbiage would be absolutely damning. You think that hastily cobbled together Wright ad was tough? This ad would feature the candidate swift-boating himself with his own words. Good God.
And the super shit-kicker is that there are many months to go and plenty more time for McCain stick his foot so far into his mouth he'd shit shoelaces. You think he won't? That this unrepentant verbal “wild man” would shut up? Be handled? Not play his favorite game of cool, “Off-the-cuff-Johnny”?
Please, that's how this egomaniac rolls. He can't help it. Feature...not a bug, ya'll.
A friend I ran into uptown recently half-joked “I wouldn't be surprised if he (McCain) fucked up and let slip the 'N'-word on the trail. He's that verbally volatile.”
I don't know if he's quite that reckless...or stupid, but his adoration of all things self and his delusional infallibility is going to be the death of his lucky stumble towards 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. That is the one unmitigated joy we have to count on and that will keep on giving. Mockery is the kryptonite to a candidate aspiring to high office. Especially mockery brought on one's own endless chain of silly, laughable pronouncements. Unprompted. Unfiltered. Unbelievable.
So keep it up, Johnny. Especially on the heels of eight years of a President you so cravenly embraced. A man with a knee-high to a sewer-residing amoeba's approval rating who is now a hated joke amongst the American people due in large part to his own string of idiot pronouncements.
“Mission Accomplished.” “Heckuva job, Brownie.” “The economy's doing great.”
You go there, Johnny. Keep opening that mouth of yours and helpimg yourself out. You can't help it.
You know why?
You tell him, Ralph. (fast forward to the last 30 seconds)