Thursday, September 11, 2008

Raw Story Breaks One

Betty Ford Photo Downloaded from The Library of Congress

Cindy McCain Ain't No Betty

First let me say, I have a personal connection with Betty Ford. Before I sobered up I was kicked out of her treatment center. I had it coming. They were right, I was disruptive and not at all interested in living my life clean and sober. They did the only thing that they could do to protect the integrity of their program and the fragile sobriety of their other patients. They kicked my ass out.

I have attended, and still attend, meetings at a little AA club in north Palm Springs that was donated by the Fords. I have gone to meetings with Betty. She was a great member of AA. She helped a lot of folks while she was alive, and through her foundation, and the clinic that bears her name, still continues to help people live lives free of the scourge of alcohol and drug addiction.

I loves me some Betty. When I was approaching five years of sobriety, Betty herself invited me to speak at the clinic. I reminded her that a part of my story was getting kicked out of her clinic. She said that was one of her favorite parts of the tale. Well, that and some of the wilder stories of being loaded on tour. . .

Nick Juliano at Raw Story has an interview with Tom Gosinski, who was at the heart of the squashed and ignored scandal that surrounded Cindy McCain's "charity" which was being used, along with forged prescriptions and dummy names, to supply Mrs. McCain with a steady flow of prescription painkillers.

John McCain, as a U.S. Senator, used his influence to get Cindy McCain, a prescription drug abuser, a diplomatic passport, thereby avoiding any messy searches of her luggage by Customs. John McCain, as a U.S. Senator, used his influence to hamstring the DEA investigation that, had it followed its normal course could have resulted in mandatory sentences, which Senator McCain supports, of close to seven years in prison.

John McCain as a husband, and loved one of a junkie, enabled, abetted, and covered up his wife's drug habit and behaviors.

When Betty's own behavior grew to be unignorable, Betty went totally public. She told on herself, which, by the way, is the essence of AA. Telling on yourself. Knowing who you are and what you have done, then, resolving to live your life in a better way is the heart of the program. Once she had changed herself and her own life, Betty devoted a considerable amount of time and a not inconsiderable amount of money to helping others with the same problem find their own healing and recovery.

John and Cindy McCain just wanted the shit to go away.

Speaking from my own experience, the shit never goes away. I used heroin. That shit never quits talking to you. I need to spend a certain amount of time out of every single fucking day making sure that I do not go back into that life and that world. I'm not afraid that using drugs again would kill me. I'm not the slightest bit afraid to die. I'm afraid that it wouldn't kill me and I'd have to go back to that shabby and tawdry lifestyle that is the lot of the addicted.

My personal experience with the process of recovery leads me to believe that by trying to ignore the problem and wish it away Cindy McCain is either still loaded or worse, still very sick without any medicine.

The behavior of the McCains, especially when set up beside the open, honest, and noble good works of the Fords is a perfect window on what kinds of behavior to expect from a First Family bearing the name McCain.

Like they say in the movies Go Read The Whole Thing.

On a personal note:

This afternoon and evening I will be at our local mosque. Five years ago on 9/11 some racist assholes decided to "honor the dead heroes" by vandalizing the mosque. Since then, every year on this day, folks of all faiths, and some of us with no faith at all gather to be at this place. Those who pray, pray. Those who play, like me, play a set of music.

Mostly we are simply there, with our eyes and hearts open, and a plate full of stuffed grape leaves.

For any of you who lost friends and family in the tragedy seven years ago, my thoughts are with you. Today I am standing with my Muslim friends protecting them from the self proclaimed "real americans." My set list includes Palestrina, Bach, Mozart and the immortal Turlogh O'Carolan, maybe even some Bob Marley. (No Woman, No Cry is a beautiful harp song)


Matt Stoller at Open Left is all over this one too.