Sunday, April 08, 2007

Thank You (Again), Frank Rich

This morning, Frank Rich has an Op/Ed piece in the New York Times about Senator John McCain’s political suicide. Rich says, “The political press has stepped up its sotto voce deathwatch on the McCain presidential campaign”. However, the interesting part of the Rich article is where he details the president’s whines and complaints against the Democrats during his Rose Garden press conference on Tuesday, April 3. The litany actually turns out to be a listing of abuses committed by the Prez himself and/or the Republican Party. Rich said, “ Almost everything he said was patently misleading or an outright lie, a sure sign of a leader so entombed in his bunker (he couldn’t even emerge for the Washington Nationals’ ceremonial first pitch last week) that he feels he has nothing left to lose.” 1. “He chided his adversaries on the Hill for going on vacation just as he was heading off for his own vacation in Crawford.” 2) “Then he attacked Congress for taking 57 days to ‘pass emergency funds for our troops’ even though the previous, Republican-led Congress took 119 days on the same bill in 2006.” 3) “He ridiculed the House bill for ‘pork and other spending that has nothing to do with the war,’ though last year’s war-spending bill was also larded with unrelated pork, from Congressional efforts to add agricultural subsidies to the president’s own request for money for bird-flu preparation.” 4) “Mr. Bush’s claim that military equipment would be shortchanged if he couldn’t sign a spending bill by mid-April was contradicted by not one but two government agencies. A Government Accountability Office report faulted poor Pentagon planning for endemic existing equipment shortages in the National Guard. The Congressional Research Service found that the Pentagon could pay for the war until well into July.” 5) “Congress’s failure to fund our troops on the front lines will mean that some of our military families could wait longer for their loved ones to return from the front lines, he said. And others could see their loved ones headed back to the war sooner than they need to…His own failures had already foreordained exactly these grim results.” 6) “The once-pacified Tal Afar, which Mr. Bush declared ‘a free city that gives reason for hope for a free Iraq’ in 2006, is a cauldron of bloodshed.” Rich says many have watched “the constantly recycled and ridiculed spectacle of (McCain’s) ‘safe’ walk in Baghdad” and that the incident “has the staying power of the Howard Dean scream. Should it speed America’s disengagement from Iraq, what looks today like John McCain’s farcical act of political suicide may some day loom large as a patriot’s final act of sacrifice for his country.” That’s certainly a positive spin on John McCain’s ego-driven obsession with being President of the United States at all costs. I see McCain as a 70-year-old addled Vietnam vet who can no longer discern reality from fantasy. I see McCain as an old fool for whom war is a re-play of his days of glory. I see him as a man willing to kill thousands more innocent people to live out his dream that the US will leave Iraq as glorious victors, not as impotent losers the way we left Vietnam. I see John McCain as a dangerous old soldier with unfinished business on his mind who has lost touch with his moral center.


Barry Schwartz said...

I differ on this, that I doubt McCain is any worse at discerning 'reality' now than he was long ago. And also with regard to the other things, he was already 'bad' from before the beforetime. Even what seemed like 'good', the campaign finance reform, was, I suspect, a creamy whipped topping on a cloyingly sweet presidential campaign cake.

Basically, I don't cut him any slack. During the period when I thought he might be okay, I was IMO dead wrong and my earlier impressions were better.

Barry Schwartz said...

I wish I had something on McCain like I do on Dick Cheney, showing that he is bullying people with lies rather than delusional. With Dick Cheney, it's his repeated reference to Saddam harboring terrorists, when obviously Dick Cheney knew that these terrorists were in the northern no-fly zone, being protected in fact by Bush and Cheney specifically so that Cheney could bully people with lies.