Saturday, September 27, 2008

Presidential Debate #1: McCain Curses

Sen. McCain Swears During National Debate, Upset At Obama

Sen. John McCain was triggered back to his hot-headed out-of-control days tonight, cursing twice in front of tens of millions of America citizens whom he was trying to persuade to vote for him.

"HORSESHIT," McCain swore. Seconds later, "Horseshit."

McCain has a reputation for mood swings, for suddenly reverting from 72 years, all the way back fifty years ago to his 20s, when as a Navy pilot, he was wild and out of control.

McCain takes pride in being wild and out of control. Think Tom Cruise as Lt. Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell in Top Gun up against Val Kilmer as Lt. Tom 'Iceman' Kazansky.

(Pay attention now... here is the whole deal.)

  • Losing control IS BEING MAVERICK.
  • I AM A POW.
  • By definition, a Prisoner of War is NOT IN CONTROL of his own life.
  • If McCain ever gives up LOSING CONTROL, he gives up BEING A POW.
  • If McCain gives up his story of being a POW, he surrenders who he IS -- or at least who he considers himself to be.
  • Attack "Maverick", especially in a massively public setting, e.g.: "You're no 'Maverick' and you never truly have been' and you attack McCain at the very core of who he IS. You are likely to not only break him, but for him to lose it big-time -- anger, lashing out -- as he tries to defend who he considers himself to be. He is unlikely to be able to stop himself.
  • McCain will reflexively LIE in order to defend Maverick. He will do ANYTHING to defend Maverick. Maverick is essential to the survival of McCain (or so McCain 'knows', deep down in the part of him of which he is unaware and blind.)
  • Do not worry about breaking him or damaging McCain. Just attack him enough to provoke a heated response. The point is to demonstrate his unfitness for duty: temper, lies, and Noun, Verb, POW.
Human beings consist of historical stories we tell which define us -- in a particular body (your own body and its biology), as part of a particular cultural/historical background (the historical background you are part of), and with a particular (specific) set of vocabulary (your own linguistic possibilities, the vocabulary which you have) -- and which give our lives meaning as we live together with other people in communities, societies, and cultures (Asian, African, European, North/South-American cultures, among others.)

BEING A POW is THE defining story of McCain's life.

Take away being a POW, and McCain would be case (and cast) adrift. McCain was always a poor student with no real ability to learn. Accordingly, he lacks any compensating ability to reorient himself around a different story.

Shorter me: McCain can not learn a new version of himself. He is stuck with the unworkable version which sucked hard, even before Vietnam.

Bluntly, had McCain not gone to Vietnam and returned as a POW, he'd be nothing right now. Maybe a car dealership owner in Arizona. His inability to learn and short temper would have stuck him at the short end of failed business lawsuits and ventures. But being a POW had let him off the hook for a multitude of sins. Lucky for McCain he was shot down; it made his career. That, and dumping his first, poor, crippled wife (who loved and had waited for him; and then holding her entire medical future as a gun to her head financially to make goddamn certain she never told tales out of school) for a rich blond beer heiress.

POW is McCain's story, his entire identity, public and private, personally and politically.

McCain will reflexively defend the POW story at any cost.
  • One could say, LOSING CONTROL DEFINES being a POW, as clearly to be a POW is to NOT BE IN CONTROL.
  • How he survived then is how he and his body know to survive today...
  • Abase yourself to people in power
  • Demand surrender from others
  • Be unpredictable, dangerous, and torment the hell out of people
  • Therefore, now, 50 years later, McCain sees himself and demands others see him also, as a
  1. Maverick,
  2. Dangerous
  3. Out of control
  • McCain is Angry (it is how he survived as a POW; he was angry. Other people had other emotions. McCain was angry.)
  • Life is Black and White for McCain. There truly is no difference between one brand of Islam and other. A gook is a raghead is a wetback is a redskin is a girl.
  • If you're not a white man, who gives a fuck?
In short, McCain lives out life now, as it was 50 years ago, over and over again.


Because it was the defining moment of his life and he survived.

McCain is replaying his survival in every aspect of his life.

Being a POW was central to the story McCain is living out, his survival story. To challenge that story in any significant way -- and by challenge, I mean to make changes to whom McCain is, which is what would happen were McCain to question any of his fundamental assumptions, or to seek out therapy for the obvious damage done to who he is, and for which our Nation clearly owes him for his service -- would be to destroy his own story about himself.

McCain's story about himself, who he considers himself to be (and this is tautological but none-the-less true) would not survive a serious examination of who he considers himself to be, because part of who he considers himself to be IS an unexamined out-of-control maverick who is too dangerous for anyone to ever truly examine closely or suss out.

This is not TRUE.

It is simply the story McCain told himself in the POW camp to survive as a prisoner, to survive torture, and still tells himself today to survive being alive. Including to survive the Bush administration. Being a Senator from Arizona. And having to suck up to everyone to raise the money to stay in power. This story -- because the story clearly has little to do with the facts, just as the story had little to do with the facts when John was a POW -- allows John to survive now and allowed John to survive THEN.

The POW story disconnects WHO HE IS from reality.

Returning full circle...
  • McCain will always lose control.
  • Losing control (he would say, being unpredictable and dangerous -- "That's right Iceman. I am... dangerous") is CORE to his Maverick identity.
  • Being a "Maverick" is the identity which anchors his sanity.
  • Attacking McCain's Maverick-ness attacks the core of whom he considers himself to be.
McCain's PTSD adaption -- he certainly is not cured or in any way resolved with his PTSD -- has him telling this story of being a Maverick to everyone. To the extent people buy it, or fight it, people are then inside of McCain's prefered frame: Maverick, out of control, dangerous.

Since returning from Vietnam, McCain has used his POW status to keep the framing on Maverick. This lets him off the hook for confronting MEGA-FAIL questions which he can NOT answer such as
  • Why have you lost 5 aircraft?
  • Why do you so frequently lost your temper?
  • Are you too volitile, short-sighted, and quick to rush to attack, to be trusted with National Command Authority strategic assests of any kind?
  • Would letting you anywhere near our SIOP be a serious risk to the people of the United States? Should your PTSD permanently disqualify you from ANY position of national authority, till you have received long-term therapy for your obvious anger-management issues?
Gen. Clark put some of these questions to McCain. McCain and his media friends RACED to hide behind POW POW POW. The questions are legitimate.

To this day, the Senator, according to many serving and recently retired Generals and Admirals who have served with him, does not have a stable mood, and is famous for his unpredictability when he sits in for Principles in National Security drills.

The unpredictability of India and Pakastan in C3, that we simply do not know what they will do with their weapons, is an enormous weakness in their system. It does not make them stronger. Unpredictability makes them weaker, as a stronger foe -- us, for example -- while apparently showing more "respect" because of one's unpredicability, in actual fact will be giving MUCH more time to figuring out how to fucking DESTROY you.

One can live with a predictable enemy. An unpredictable enemy must be destroyed completely.

Unpredictability in C3 systems is considered a HUGE failing -- one large enough in the United States to prevent non-elected staffers from receiving high-level security clearance. When it comes to dealing with any aspect of our strategic weapons systems, the United States National Command Authority strives, indeed, demands predictability at all times.

Boom Chicka Boom
Rejecting Theological Thinking: CJCS Mullen Gets Real With Cheney
Boom Chicka Boom: Cat's in the Cradle
The U.S. Iranian War

This is what you WANT in C3:
He Saved The World (No Cheerleader)

General Clark ate McCain for LUNCH about precisely this issue.
As I wrote June 17, 2008:

Clark on McCain: “Largely Untested and Untried.”

The full article is worth reading.
Huffington Post

"I know he's trying to get traction by seeking to play to what he thinks is his strong suit of national security," Clark said of McCain while speaking from his office in Little Rock, Arkansas. "The truth is that, in national security terms, he's largely untested and untried. He's never been responsible for policy formulation. He's never had leadership in a crisis, or in anything larger than his own element on an aircraft carrier or [in managing] his own congressional staff. It's not clear that this is going to be the strong suit that he thinks it is."

Resume aside, though, Clark also took issue with the Arizona Republican's instincts on national security. "McCain's weakness is that he's always been for the use of force, force and more force. In my experience, the only time to use force is as a last resort. ... When he talks about throwing Russia out of the G8 and makes ditties about bombing Iran, he betrays a disrespect for the office of the presidency."

There's more...
This wasn't a victory on points. It was a clean knock-out. Clark won.

One of the major strategic questions of the Democratic campaign has been how to destroy McCain's image, who people think McCain is, who he claims to be.

General Clark just demonstrated a big piece of the answer. HUGE win.


The media took sides.

They already always clearly have a strong opinion about who John McCain is and what he stands for. Their preconceived notions were on display from the start and all the way through the interview. They were an enormous barrier to effective communication.

Like most protracted teenagers, when someone challenges their preconception with a well-thought out, carefully reasoned, well-grounded assessment, THE MEDIA HATE IT. They remind me of high schoolers being told off in painful, public detail by the school's best teacher, the one everyone admires and wants the approval of. That teacher never chews you out in public unless you really screw up, but they don't hesitate to tear apart your work in a way which makes clear you've been skating by. That's what happened here.

Check this carefully....

The media simply couldn't argue the POINT, which Clark made clear without saying word one directly about them to anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear, that they have been lazy goof offs who are brutally biased for McCain, against Obama, and are not doing their damn jobs. Or they would already have reported this obviously well-grounded assessment/interpretation about McCain's national security ability -- “Largely Untested and Untried” -- over which Clark was taking them to school. They couldn't argue the actual point. It was that clear, that obvious, that elegant a takedown. In effect, Clark's hit on McCain took out two targets with one shot. That, my loves, is a fucking pro.

The media -- like high school students being dressed down -- were left:
  • instead of dealing with the consequences of what does it mean if “what everyone knows about McCain is a lie?”, which is what I think a reputable journalist would have done. It's sure as hell what I hope I would have done, taken the interview in the direction it was going and see what I learned instead of trying to wrench it around to some pre-determined point of view to support what I thought I knew. Nope...
  • The media left untouched -- were left stunned by -- General Clark's assessment that McCain on national security is “Largely Untested and Untried.”
  • What is there to say about that but, “Well, yeah. Obviously. McCain was a fighter pilot who got shot down.
  • Then, after he was a POW, after he left the military, he divorced his critically crippled badly disfigured middle-aged wife who had waited for him all those lonely years, left her dependent on him for money for her medical care (to this day so to this day she still dare not speak out against him), left her and married a young blonde rich girl whose Daddy gave McCain a job and then paid for war hero John McCain to become a Congressman and a Senator. This is the beautiful trophy wife McCain then called a **** in front of a bunch of national reporters back in '92 according to The Real McCain by Cliff Schecter. (Link NOT safe for work; headline uses the word.) (And no, we do not use that word on GNB or any variation of the word. It's a FAIL. Don't do it.)
  • Because McCain's is the kind of temper you want holding the Gold Codes, having access to the Playbook and the Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP) and being able to ask for the Nuclear Football. Oh yeah baby, let's play football!
  • Oh yeah, and on the interview? Finally, when none of that other stuff worked, the last thing the media folks did was they tried sucking up to teacher about how if only they had four stars, showing big smiles of TEETH, and reaching over and brushing Clark's shoulders. What... they think a full four-star general has never had people suck up? *snickers*
None of it worked.

Clark was a full grown adult in a room of children.

Clark is genuinely DANGEROUS. He's not pretending to be; he is.

Again, full circle...

McCain said HORSESHIT during the debates -- twice.

No one serious cares about the word.

What matters is McCain lacks enough control to keep from cursing on national television. We all remember the hissy-fit Republican's threw over Ms. Jackson's breast being exposed by accident during the Super Bowl half-time show some years ago.

Yet now, the Republican's candidate for President curses, twice, when children and women are watching? Shameful.

Kennedy/Nixon debates: Nixon was famously assessed on television by the independents as not trustworthy. In this first Obama/McCain debate, McCain will be judged as too angry, and a liar, while Obama will be ruled Presidential.

McCain can not help himself. This IS who he is; he can be no other.

He is unpredictable. Unfortunately for McCain, it totally predictable, that he's an angry old man with poorly resolved PTSD and an incomplete understanding of reality (he was a D student) who will say and do anything to try and win the White House.

That, as McCain says, is HORSESHIT.

Hat Tip DailyKos.