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Posts Tagged ‘temperament

Hothead McCain Says “Horseshit” Twice in Debate

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I wasn’t going to bring up McCain’s foul language, but since he did…. Do Americans really want to elect a man to the presidency who is so hotheaded, he can’t even control his tongue during a televised presidential debate, being viewed by the entire world?  

McCain is as notorious for his foul mouth as he is for his knee-jerk temper and hair-trigger rage. And I’m not just talking about the occasional “shit!” many of us might blurt when stubbing our toe on the footboard. I’m talking crude and gross slurs, jokes, epithets, you name it. So, in this sense, I suppose the senator is to be commended for restraining himself from calling Obama by one of the epithets he’s known to employ when speaking, among friends, about African Americans and other “different” people who make up the tapestry of this great nation he so professes to honor and love.

The irony during last Friday’s debate was that Obama’s statement was not actually “horseshit,” as McCain asserted. The fact is, McCain really did refuse to meet with Prime Minister Zapatero in his Sept. 17, 2008 radio interview, as we discussed in a recent post. So McCain’s muttering of the word “horseshit” — not once, but twice — is not as much an indictment on his foul mouth, as on his hair-trigger temper, which had already been seething, barely contained beneath the surface, throughout the entire debate, as we discussed in yesterday’s post. Again, I wasn’t going to bring up his foul mouth, but since McCain can’t seem to control himself, even when in the midst of a foreign policy debate being watched by millions of people around the world, including world leaders ….

BELOW: McCain apparently has a history of hurling barnyard excrement at people who disagree with him or otherwise annoy him. In the first video below, he hurls chicken shit, plus the F-word at a fellow Republican senator during a heated debate on immigration reform in May 2007. In the second video, McCain at least checked his profanity at the door, but not his temper. The NYT reporter in this April 2008 video is to be commended for her bravery. Lesser journalists might have slinked under the nearest seat.

A former Capitol Hill chief-of-staff, Doug Thompson, went on the record to make public some of the jokes he heard Senator McCain tell to his drinking buddies at Bullfeathers, the popular Capitol Hill watering hole (see quotes, below, sourced “DT”). Thompson has, in turn, been widely slandered by Republicans as being a liar. Thompson stands by his version of history, as heard by his own two ears on many occasions, including time spent, by invitation, at McCain’s own table. According to Thompson, McCain didn’t use polite language in the jokes: He used names like “fags” or “queers” or “dykes” or “niggers” or “spics” or “wetbacks” or “gooks.” Below, you will find a litany of other examples of McCain’s foul food for the soul.    

WARNING: Some of these are really, really gross, vulgar, crude and offensive. I repeat these here, because they are an established part of John McCain’s record that is not as well known as it should be. My opinion is that these belong in a nuclear waste repository. Hopefully, statements like these will one day be erased from our national psyche, as we retire men like John McCain from the world stage. 

I hated the gooks. I will hate them as long as I live. — John McCain, 2000 (Note: after using this term for 27 years, McCain retired it during his presidential campaign, in the wake of public criticism

For me to stand here and say I’m going to declare divorces invalid because of someone who feels they weren’t treated fairly in court, we are getting into a tar baby of enormous proportions and I don’t know how you get out of that.” — John McCain, 2007

Two dykes are talking at a bar and one leaves. As she walks toward the door, the other watches her leave and says out loud: “God, I’ve love to eat her out.” Two men are standing near by and one turns to the other and says: “I’d like to do the same. Guess that makes me a dyke.” — John McCain 1980s (DT)

Question: Why does Mexican beer have two “X’s” on the label? Answer: Because wetbacks always need a co-signer. — John McCain 1980s (DT)

ABOVE: John McCain stereotypes Irish as drunks in this joke, just last week, on Sept. 21, in Scranton, PA

Did you hear the one about the woman who is attacked on the street by a gorilla, beaten senseless, raped repeatedly and left to die? When she finally regains consciousness and tries to speak, her doctor leans over to hear her sigh contently and to feebly ask, ‘Where is that marvelous ape?’ — John McCain (DT) (see also Keith Olbermann’s comment here on this joke and others).

Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because Janet Reno is her father. — John McCain 1998 (DT)

ABOVE: McCain joins in the spirit of the “How do we beat the bitch?” question in November 2007

I play to win. I do whatever it takes to win. If I have to fuck my opponent to win I’ll do it. If I have to destroy my opponent I won’t give it a second thought. — John McCain, spoken before a gathering of GOP operatives at the National Republican Senatorial Committee where McCain outlined his campaign strategy in his senate race (DT)

 Do you know the best thing about having Alzheimer’s? You get to hide your own Easter eggs. — John McCain, spoken at a GOP fundraiser, shortly after Ronald Reagan announced he had Alzheimer’s Disease (DT)

ABOVE: McCain jokes about killing Iranians, July 2008. This video is followed, below, by his infamous “Bomb, Bomb Iran” joke, told in April 2007.

ABOVE: Here is a similar joke, this time a joke about bringing IEDs onto the Daily Show, which many found offensive, considering that American soldiers face the not-so-funny risk of being blown up by IEDs, better known as roadside bombs, on a daily basis.

BELOW: Listen to McCain’s March 2008 response to those who criticized his above jokes. Specifically, he said, “When veterans are together, veterans joke, and I was with veterans, and we were joking. And if somebody can’t understand that, then my answer is please get a life,” an explanation he was to repeat several times on the campaign trail.

Three reporters from Arizona, on the condition of anonymity, also let me in on another incident involving McCain’s intemperateness. In his 1992 Senate bid, McCain was joined on the campaign trail by his wife, Cindy, as well as campaign aide Doug Cole and consultant Wes Gullett. At one point, Cindy playfully twirled McCain’s hair and said, “You’re getting a little thin up there.” McCain’s face reddened, and he responded, “At least I don’t plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt.” McCain’s excuse was that it had been a long day. If elected president of the United States, McCain would have many long days. — from the book, “The Real McCain” by Cliff Schecter

 

ABOVE: Racial innuendo against African Americans (Tiger Woods = black man = Barack Obama = not someone you’d want your white sons to emulate) made during a McCain event in April 2008. The maverick didn’t see fit to dispute the racist remark. 

ABOVE: Here, McCain takes a more subtle approach in his infamous “celebrity” ad. Whether or not this was intended to be racist remains a topic of controversy. 

LASTLY, in the “lie down with dogs, you get fleas” category, here’s is a 2007 radio commentary on McCain’s choice of advisers/managers for his presidential campaign.

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My friends (as John McCain is fond of saying) when you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Or — to put it more succinctly and within the context with John McCain’s world view — when you’re a horse’s ass, everything looks like shit. With friends like John McCain, do the people of this country really need enemies?

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For more reading on McHothead’s temper:

Washington Post: McCain: A Question of Temperament

Huffington Post: McCain Gets Testy with Des Moines Register (Check out the videos and story from McCain’s interview with the Des Moines Register this past Monday — a mere 3 days after the debate, on Sept. 29th. It seems the old guy’s struggling harder each day to keep his rage to a simmer)

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John McCain’s Rage: The Loser in the Debate

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Any old fool can start a war. It takes a real leader to stop a war before it begins.

No one else seems to be saying it, so I will. McCain was scary last night. And I don’t mean ‘scary’ in the strong-on-foreign-policy, ain’t-no-one-gonna-mess-around-with-this-guy  sense of the word, but scary, as in, this guy’s like a ticking bomb, and he’s gonna blow any second.

One doesn’t need a degree in the behavioral sciences to have noticed that McCain’s body language betrayed him last night, conveying an easily-provoked rage that spiked intermittently throughout the debate. His head, in particular. At several points during the debate, such as when Obama enumerated flaws in McCain’s foreign policy record (see video), McCain’s face physically drew-up and hardened, like a coiled fist. At one point, his entire face literally rippled with rage, the muscles in his jowls hardening like marbles under his skin. His pupils grew beady and jittery — looking almost deranged — while he waited his turn to respond. And respond, he did, his voice quavering (feebleness, fury or fatigue?), his mouth curled into a snarl, his pointed tongue darting out like a serpent as he spoke.    

I’ve seen this before. Anyone has, who’s ever witnessed ‘what McCain does’ when he’s crossed (see videos, below). When you hear from his Capitol Hill colleagues that McCain has a short fuse, that he’s a hot-head, this is what they’re talking about. Disagree with McCain, piss him off, and you are not only persona non grata, but you will likely find yourself in his crosshairs for the next few years. McCain is nothing, if he’s not vindictive, which makes moot any attempts to tally points between the debaters last night to see who came out on top. In both domestic and foreign policy, the clear loser was John McCain, as his rage simply got the better of him. 

If the diplomatic needs of the United States were limited to only bluster and bellicosity, or to, on occasion, staring down a fellow world leader and being able to reduce the dialogue, from start to finish, into seeing 3 letters in his eyes — K.G.B. — then McCain would be our man. Were the world a schoolyard, we could, perhaps, comfortably turn loose the scrappy schoolboy with the angry little man complex, his arms and fists perpetually poised to deal a blow. But on the world stage, we need a leader whose hands are as open to exchanging a handshake as they are to displaying the strength of a hardened fist. 

We need leaders of sound temperament, whose experience includes a history, past and present, of pragmatic, clear-thinking and foresight: leaders capable of nuanced thought in a world that is rarely black or  white, but is nearly always a mix of the two, with myriad shades of gray in-between.  We need a leader who can conduct a debate with a colleague — a fellow leader in his own country — without struggling so hard against his own personal demons, without struggling so hard to keep from detonating. For this was McCain’s fatal flaw last night: as his rage consumed him, his body language betrayed him — making hollow any claim he could verbalize on owning the character and temperament necessary to being a great president. As his rage won, John McCain lost the debate. And, in the end, it was this that defined the real difference between the two candidates: It is one thing to SAY that you own the temperament, character and good judgement to be president; it is another thing, entirely, to SHOW that you own those qualities.

Any old fool can start a war. The last thing this country needs is an old warrior whose worldview is tainted with old, unresolved rage. We do not need a leader who sees the world through the lens of a blind rage, ever on the verge of rearing its ugly head.

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by Mantis Katz for the canarypapers

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ABOVE: McCain grows angry, sarcastic in discussion w/George Stephanopoulos on health care in April 08

ABOVE: NBC news report in March 08, detailing McCain’s anger in exchange with reporter

ABOVE: McCain during a committee hearing with families of Vietnam MIAs, who were seeking declassification of Vietnam documents, believed to contain information on their loved ones, who never returned home from war. Body language: Although this hearing took place 15 years ago, again, we see the body language as McCain seethes and writhes with anger, taking his glasses on and off, repeatedly shoving them into his pocket.  His facial expression at 5:37 on the video is not only scary, it is grossly inappropriate and unbecoming for a man serving a position of authority on the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs. 

BELOW: The veterans advocacy groups and individuals leading this effort believe that John McCain stonewalled their efforts in order to avoid declassifying documents that would also reveal to the public unknown or unbecoming aspects of John McCain’s own history in Vietnam. This is discussed in the video, below, by some of those family members and veterans who have spent many years fighting to have the documents and information declassified. 

BELOW: But why listen to me? Listen to what Pat Buchanan and others — including McCain, himself — were saying, just this past spring.

SEE ALSO OUR RELATED POSTS ON McCAIN:

John McCain in Crisis Mode: Throw Hot Potatoes, Hope Someone Else Gets Burned

The Rise and Fall of McCain-Palin: A Shakespearean Tale of Junked Mavericks and Junkyard Dogs

The Emperor’s Old Clothes: The 3 Fatal Flaws of the McCain Doctrine

John McCain and the Snake Oil Express Take Wall Street by Storm

Monkeys with Molotovs: The Gutter Politics of McCain, Palin, Rove & Co.

SEE ALSO:

Huffington Post: Angry Video

Written by canarypapers

September 27, 2008 at 9:42 am

The Rise & Fall of McCain-Palin: A Shakespearean Tale of Junked Mavericks and Junkyard Dogs

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The mavericks have surely seen better days. It’s difficult to say which candidate is more guilty of wrecking the ticket’s facade of competence:  Her oily highness, whose primary role on the ticket, thus far, has been to smile, pose for pictures and recite bumper sticker slogans while simultaneously thumbing her nose at media questions, ethics investigations and subpoenas? Or the main maverick, who simply can’t help himself, as — in times of both crisis and calm, either of which offers golden opportunities to ‘act’ presidential — he instead shows his true colors, behaving, in the words of George Will, “like a flustered rookie, playing in a league too high”?

Grinning from ear-to-ear, the cats who swallowed the canary

One thing is for sure, the McCain-Palin ticket is a walking, talking wreck, and it’s only a matter of time before enough people say, “Enough!” It can’t happen soon enough for me. I, for one, will not miss their jubilant smiles from the campaign stump — those cat-who-swallowed-the-canary grins as they secretly gloat at their daily success of pawning a counterfeit platform full of lies onto another credulous crowd. Nor will I miss the cheers, jeers, hisses and chants of their lie-guzzling fans — their appetites perpetually whetted for cheap, dirty campaign slogans and smears, yet devoid of a hunger for truth and substance.  

 

This is what junkyard dogs do: they curl their lips into a vicious snarl, teeth bared, ready to sink their teeth into someone’s flesh. Friend or foe, it doesn’t much matter. Junkyard dogs will as easily lick the hand that feeds them one day, as they will bite it the next. And sometimes it’s hard to tell a grin from a snarl. To be sure, between McCain and Palin, there’s enough slobber and lies to foul the national dialogue for another 41 days. 

The history books may one day accurately record the demise of the McCain-Palin ticket as the logical conclusion of fiery rhetoric colliding with an even fierier reality. Facts are facts: reality always (eventually) trumps illusion, and truth always (eventually) trumps lies. But I’m hoping for a more timely arrival of the truth this election season. The good news for Americans is that, this year, we see some promise that truth may actually arrive on time, in its own time, instead of post-election, when it’s far too late to be of any use.

At the same time, I’ve become too wise to hope too much, too soon. I’ve seen enough over the past 8 years to know that anything (anything) is possible. “Enough” has yet to be enough. For the next 41 days, there still remains the possibility/likelihood of a September surprise or an October event of such magnitude that Americans would again be blinded by fear and panic (I’ve seen it happen) into doing something reckless (I’ve seen it happen) like appointing another fox to guard the henhouse — or, in this case, electing a pair of junkyard dogs to restore the finer points of truth, law, order, justice, humanity and scruples to our American government. 

No doubt about it: the mavericks have seen better days. And today — for all their strutting and fretting, their sound and fury — the two of them are poised mid-air in the jaws of the forlift. All that remains is for the American people to push the “HELL NO” lever on the McCain-Palin ticket and send their mangled platform to the polical junkyard where it belongs. Below is some tangible evidence for those who, like me, are in sore need of hope that, this time around, things will be different: truth will indeed trump lies, before it’s too late to matter. My perusal of the past week’s headlines, alone, has given much fodder for hope.

HOW ABOUT THAT SARAH?

Ever hear of an American political candidate barring the press outright? Well, to be fair, the McCain team didn’t completely block the press. The rules were: cameras yes, journalists no. This was, after all, a photo-op. Sarah’s whirlwind diplomatic tour this week — designed to dispel ugly rumors that she’s not ready to handle world affairs — is instead confirming what we already know: the McCain campaign doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of convincing any but the dumbest and most gullible of Americans that Sarah Palin is qualified to even act as mayor of Wasilla or the governor of Alaska, much less as vice-president or (gulp) president of the United States. Still, the McCain team perisists in erecting a facade, of sorts. Hence, the gag order on Sarah Palin’s mouth, juxtaposed with pics galore from carefully staged photo-ops. This manipulation of the press, by barring reporters access to a candidate, is unprecedented — not just in presidential politics, but in the entire history of American politics. Even Fox News was at a loss to pretty this one up: 

There’s not once chance that Governor Palin would have to answer a question. … They’re eliminating even the chance of any kind of interaction with the candidate — it’s just unprecedented.

To be fair, the media were officially allowed 29 seconds in the presence of her oily highness, in which they were able to glean a glimpse of Sarah’s foreign policy finesse during her meeting with Afghanistan president, Hamid Karzai, with their dialogue — from beginning to end — duly reported by the New York Times

“What is his name?” Ms. Palin was heard to ask, referring to the birth of Karzai’s first child least year. 

“Mirwais,” Mr. Karzai replied. “Mirwais, which means, ‘The Light of the House.'”

“Oh nice,” Palin responded.

“He is the only one we have,” Mr. Karzai said.

 

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GEORGE WILL COMMENTS ON McCAIN’S TEMPERAMENT

McCain was his own worst enemy last week as, in desperation, he impulsively mis-fired one sure-fire gaffe after another. George Will commented on this Sunday, then again yesterday, in the Washington Post

Under the pressure of the financial crisis, one presidential candidate is behaving like a flustered rookie playing in a league too high. It is not Barack Obama…. For McCain, politics is always operatic, pitting people who agree with him against those who are “corrupt” or “betray the public’s trust,” two categories that seem to be exhaustive — there are no other people…. 

Conservatives who insist that electing McCain is crucial usually start, and increasingly end, by saying he would make excellent judicial selections. But the more one sees of his impulsive, intensely personal reactions to people and events, the less confidence one has that he would select judges by calm reflection and clear principles, having neither patience nor aptitude for either….. It is arguable that, because of his inexperience, Obama is not ready for the presidency. It is arguable that McCain, because of his boiling moralism and bottomless reservoir of certitudes, is not suited to the presidency. Unreadiness can be corrected, although perhaps at great cost, by experience. Can a dismaying temperament be fixed?

SAM DONALDSON ON McCAIN’S DEREGULATION HYPOCRISY & THE INFLUENCE OF AGE

Sam Donaldson , equally unimpressed with John McCain’s “presidential” presence and economic finesse, commented on McCain’s two-decade-long support for deregulation (which McCain quickly flipped into a newfound criticism of deregulation last week):   

The question is, who in this crisis looked more presidential, calm and unflustered? It wasn’t John McCain….His talking points have gotten all mixed up and I think the question of age is back on the table. 

We deregulated in the beginning of ’99 and 2000 the banking industry, Phil Gramm and others, I think that Obama ad is correct. He was one of the prime movers. Now we’re going to have to clean that up at great expense. So I mean, I think for John McCain, though, who has the heaviest burden here, since he voted for all the deregulation, for him to now say he would be the toughest re-regulator is kind of a hard thing to swallow.”

(PHOTO, LEFT) McCain at an appearance this summer with Phil Gramm, his long-time financial adviser and campaign co-chair (until this past July). As one of the architects of the deregulation and decapitated laws that have so crippled Wall Street, Phil’s name has become a household word, as well as a favorite four-letter word.  

SPEAKING OF DEREGULATION….

Shooting himself in both feet, Sen. John “I’m-always-for-less-regulation” McCain penned an article for the September-October issue of Contingency, wherein, he makes a case for maverick-style health care reform. Paul Krugman brought this article to public attention yesterday, drawing our focus to one particularly disturbing passage, in which McCain presses for a “freer market” for health coverage, making the argument that health insurance would benefit from the same sort of innovation enjoyed by the deregulated banking industry. In McCain’s own words:

Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.

Oh, if only McCain could eat his own words, erase them from the annals of history…. Then maybe his campaign’s recent deathbed conversion to anti-regulation would be believable, and his recent attacks, blaming Obama (instead of deregulation) for the Wall Street crisis wouldn’t be so laughable. 

 

AND SPEAKING OF PAUL KRUGMAN…

In a recent NYT op-ed piece titled, “Blizzard of Lies,” Krugman sees the McCain-Palin campaign’s smears and lies as bellwethers of what they’d bring to the presidency. 

How a politician campaigns tells you a lot about how he or she would govern….The Obama campaign is wrong to suggest that a McCain-Palin administration would just be a continuation of Bush-Cheney. If the way John McCain and Sarah Palin are campaigning is any indication, it would be much, much worse.

BUT I THINK SHAKESPEARE SAID IT BEST, SOME 400 YEARS AGO:

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, 
Signifying nothing.

 

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by Mantis Katz for the canarypapers

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