Senator John McCain: the American of America's military Americanism for America's America -- Go America! Military! YARRR!
That's the McCain Brand for the general election. And it makes perfect sense. Reason the first: Senator McCain is an American, so there's that connection. Obviously. It doesn't matter that he's also a Muslim. He's still an American, regardless of his "religion." Reason the second: America has sold-out its sovereignty to foreign governments and corporate interests, just like Senator McCain has sold out to the Bush administration.
It's a perfect match. Senator McCain and America: sell-outs.
President Bush, during their famous doofus-dance White House summit last month, gave Senator McSell-out permission to distance himself from the White House: "Whatever he wants me to do, I want him to win." This would explain the senator's remarks from yesterday:
"The point is, I'm not running on the Bush presidency, I'm running on my own service to the country, my own record in the House of Representatives and the United States Senate and my vision for the future," McCain told ABC television.
"Now we'll have lots of time to portray that, and I'm doing that now."
He'll definitely have to "portray" this approach, since it's not even close to genuine.
The senator's remarks yesterday (not to mention all of his future "portraying") don't nearly erase his record of spineless genuflecting at the imperial altar of Bush. Being such an America's American, it's astonishing that he'd be so willing to repeatedly grovel at the feet of this regime -- especially on issues that represent his various breads and butters ("breads and butters," by the way, also happen to be the colors used by his make-up artist).
If Senator McCain were the growling, hardtack-eating, glass-pooping American he claims to be, he never would have made peace with the Bush administration after they, on the way to their coup, so brutally smeared him -- practically shaming him out of the campaign in 2000. A man of Senator McCain's media-and-BBQ-ribs-backed maverick swagger should have opposed the Bush White House every step of the way... simply on principle. Fuck you! I am McCain! YARRR!
Instead, we got this:
Cake from the president! Yummy!
The McCain Amendment back in 2005 was meant to codify the U.S. Army Field Manual for Human Intelligence Collector Operations as the legal bounds for the interrogation of prisoners. The vice president lobbied heavily against any such rules and Senator McCain obviously cut a deal with the White House on the thing.
First, Senator McCain agreed with Cheney that the amendment rules shouldn't be applied to CIA interrogators, leaving the Agency with all of the torture latitude it had previously enjoyed. Extraordinary renditions could continue. Yarrr! Maverick?
Second, the McCain Amendment stripped detainees from using habeas corpus -- another sell-out to Cheney's Sith choke hold.
And finally, Senator McCain agreed to stand there with President Bush when the appropriations bill (with the amendment attached) was signed -- knowing full well that the president had drafted and attached a signing statement that obliterated all of the rules; allowing the regime to torture at will.
Way to stand up to the administration on torture, Senator! Yarrr?
When Congress attempted to apply the U.S. Army Field Manual rules to the CIA in the Intelligence Authorization Act this year, Senator McCain -- again -- sided with the administration and voted against the bill, which passed along party lines but without a veto-proof majority. So the president vetoed the bill. Yar. Whatever.
Overall, Senator McCain has voted with the Bush administration 89 percent of the time. And then there are the public statements that sound like they're from the same Mad Libs book. Glenn Greenwald compiled the exhaustive list here. So the idea that Senator McCain would be the manifestation of a third Bush-Cheney term is very much accurate and well-worn. But the more important discussion is the how and the why.
If you happen to be a member of the very serious traditional media, you should ask him. Put down the goddamn barbeque and ask him.
How did he earn this Bush's Third Term reputation? Because he sold out his principles as a senator and as a man. Why? Because he wanted to run for president and he knew that for it to be a successful endeavor he would have to walk this ridiculous, wet-bread middle way between appearing in public as this crazy insane dwarf rebel -- the YARRR! -- while, behind the scenes, falling over himself to enable and appease the Bush White House.
The fact that his most slimy back alley capitulations had to do with torture (especially given his background) makes him all the more pathetic, weak and in desperate need of this overzealous America's Most Awesome American marketing scam.