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Republican columnist George Will has been echoing The Wall Street Journal’s sharp criticisms of Mc Cain. The paper was alarmed by Mc Cain’s somewhat childish attacks on Chris Cox, chairman of the SEC. A problem was McCain had no factual information at his disposal. Will called his  candidate’s comments "fact-free slander."  He complained that McCain’s comments were "unpresidential" and that the senator had a "Machiavellian worldview." Some of us who have studied McCain had reached that conclusion months ago.  Will correctly noted that the senator has a way of "substituting vehemence for coherence."  Will suggested that McCain was temperamentally unfit to be president.

It has long been said that McCain reacts to people and events on a personal level, often accompanied by intense emotion and anger. The trouble is that this is no longer an occasional problem. It now marks his everyday behavior.  If elected, we can only pray that this complex and erratic man will settle down and and behave reasonably—every day. With Sarah Palin at his side, many assume that God is behind the McCain/Palin ticket. But God  may simply assume that the voters saw something he did not and decline to work the needed miracle.

.    McCain’s track record in dealing with the POW/MIA people is very troubling and marked by wild outbursts and irrationality.   During Senate hearings on POW/MIAs, he belittled and interrupted witnesses who disagreed with him. He erupted in anger, shouted, shook his fist, and reduced some to tears. Then he demanded that the Justice Department investigate some of the people who opposed him on this issue. St. John Mc Cain told reporters:

The people who have done these things are not zealots in a good cause. They are the most craven, most cynical and most despicable human beings to ever run a scam.

The Justice Department did his bidding and probed two organizations, but did not find evidence of  a scam. Mc Cain heaped scorn on H. Ross Perot, whose concern about the POW/MIAs was certainly sincere and well-informed. Navy Captain and fellow POW Eugene "Red" McDaniel was also attacked by the Arizonan as a fraud.

In 1995, Senator McCain gutted the Missing Personnel Act, which would have made it easier for families of missing soldiers and those would be missing in the future to gather information from the Pentagon. He has also consistently opposed releasing documents about POW/MIAs.

    As  late as 1996, he was still unbelievable uncontrolled in his conduct regarding these people, erupting in anger and accidentally turning over the wheelchair of a missing POW’s mother, Jane Duke Gaylor.
The accounts of McCain’s eruptions into anger are legendary and  truly frightening.  Politicians usually have huge egos and some of this par for the course.  However,
Mc Cain sets the standard for an enormous ego and anger. As a child, he would become so angry that he would hold his breath and sometimes pass out. In private school, he was called " John McNasty"  and "Jerk."  Even those who defend him from charges that he was responsible for the loss of lives in the USS Forrestal fire, admit that he up to that time he was a total screw-up in the Navy.

In Congress, he has heaped verbal and physical abuse on colleagues. He shoved around Representative Marty Russo (D., Illinois) and once in January, 1995 scuffled with Sen. Strom Thurmond (R., S.C), then 92 years old. He is known for talking down to people, and once called some young Republican Representatives "boys." When one objected to the term, McCain lunged into him.  In  1992, two physicians visited him to discuss the endangered red squirrel.  One of the doctors reported that  McCain  " slammed his fists on his desk, scattering papers across the room ....He jumped up and down, screaming obscenities at us for at least 10 minutes. He shook his fists as if he was going to slug us."   Often volunteers and even the average Joe have been on the receiving end of his uncontrolled temper.  This is the behavior of an emotional child.

John McCain has called colleagues ugly names and even said that gentle Senator Charles Grassley (R., Iowa) was a "f---ing jerk."   Last year, he shouted  " at Senator John Cornyn (R., Texas),  F--- you. I know more about this than anyone else in the room!"  For good measure, he added that some of the Texan’s concerns were " chicken ---- stuff."   New Mexico Senator Pete Dominici   was repeatedly  called an "a—hole."  He explained, ‘I wouldn’t call you an a–hole unless you really were an a–hole.’ "Sh—head" is also part of his public vocabulary.   When cautioned about his foul temper, he usually erupts again, reinforces the charge, and adds to the abuse.  There are numerous stories about a red-faced Mc Cain screaming at and berating terrified aides.  On April 30, 2008, his wife Cindy was target of abuse at a Town Meeting during the 1992 Senate campaign.  He said, "At least I don't plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cXnt."     He often raged at reporters when they asked him questions about his wife’s financial involvements with convicted Charles Keating or about the birthday greetings he sent to his friend Mafioso Joseph Bonanno (Joe Bananas).  He has a long history of exploding at people who irritate him or just disagree. For some strange reason, he cannot control himself around the families of missing soldiers when they respectfully ask for more information about POW/MIAs.  He has repeatedly heaped abuse on these poor souls.   This is not a nice or even rational man. Can we expect this kind of irrational behavior if he is sent to the White House?

When Senator Dennis Di Concinni (d., AZ) announced he was not running for reelection, McCain visited the other senator’s office and shook hands with some people. When he faced aide Judy Leiby, " ‘You could tell he was so angry, he was white, ‘ she said. ‘He turned back to me and said, ‘I'm so glad you're out of a job, and I'll see that you never work again.'"

The problem is not that John McCain is often not  very likeable. If that were the only problem we might put some more claims to he ready for the White House. After all, he has made some positive contributions as a Senator.  Moreover, he is also capable of being charming. Even before he ran for Barry Goldwater’s senate seat, he has assiduously courted and charmed the press.  He has been so successful at recruiting the media, that he refers to it as "my base." It now covers for his many gaffs , confusions, and just plain false statements .  

Could McCain hold his temper when dealing with foreign leaders. According to Thad Cochran, McCain in 1987 grabbed an associate of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega by the collar  and lifted him out of a chair.  In 2006, he told German Foreign minister Walter Steinmier, "I haven’t come to Germany to hear this crap!"  His treatment of foreign leaders is consistent with what he has become, an old style militarists who now sees things in blacks and whites and constituently reveals an intense impatience with complexities and accurate data with respect to international affairs. He still thinks Al Qaeda comes out of Iran and even predicts that this tiny faction could end up ruling Iraq. We respect him as a war hero but should fear him as a potential President of the United States. He would be as "roll-the-dice," trigger-happy president .  He is a ticking time bomb!

Several retired officers spoke for the record. Major General Paul Eaton said, "I think it is a little scary. I think this guy's first reactions are not necessarily the best reactions. I believe that he acts on impulse." Major General Scott Gration added, "I have tremendous respect for John McCain, but I would not follow him." Retired senior officers live off of directorships and other perks provided by the corporate world, yet they spoke out. It would have been safer to limit their criticism to some of McCain’s policy ideas and avoid the question of being temperamentally fit to be commander-in-chief.

The difficulty is  that John Mc Cain seems to be "terminally angry."   Senator Pete Dominici  (R, NM)   believes McCain is a hothead who should not have his hand anywhere near the nuclear trigger. Former Senator Bob Smith (R.,.New Hampshire) has said that McCain’s mercurial temperament disqualified him for the Presidency.  According to Smithy, McCain’s propensity for rage would "would place this country at risk in international affairs, and the world perhaps in danger."  The fear that he  would endanger the United States if permitted conduct its foreign relations is not confined to a few.   A 1999 Arizona Republic, which endorsed McCain five times for the Senate,  editorial urged the rest of the country to study McCain’s temperament because it presented a grave issue.

If McCain is truly a serious contender for the presidency, it is time the rest of the nation learned about the John McCain we know in Arizona. There is also reason to seriously question whether he has the temperament, and the political approach and skills, we want in the next president of the United States.

Senator Thad Cochran (R., Mississippi), said the thought of McCain as president sent a chill down his spine. Paul Johnson, a a former Phoenix mayor Arizona editor and journalist, worries that John McCain is "in the area of being unstable." Pat Murphy, a Arizonan and McCain acquaintance, has said: "McCain has a temper that is bombastic, volatile, and purple-faced. Sometimes he gets out of control. Do you want somebody sitting in the White House with that kind of temper?'

Bartram  S. Brown, M.D.  once head of the National Institute of Mental Health, has said that the White House is a "character crucible."

It either creates or distorts character . . . . Even if an individual is balanced, once someone becomes president, how does one solve the conundrum of staying real and somewhat humble when one is surrounded by the most powerful office in the land and from becoming overwhelmed by an at times pathological environment that treats you every day as an emperor?

John McCain has campaigned endlessly on his superior judgment, but his recent choice Sarah Palin to be his vice presidential running-mate was a display of poor judgment, irresponsibility, and letting ambition get the best of him.  We have seen how the White House atmosphere has magnified the character flaws on George W. Bush and Richard Cheney and led to a chain of disastrous decisions. There is no evidence to suggest that McCain’s problems with rage, irrationality and rash and irresponsible judgments  will disappear. His emotional volatility, irrationality, and poor judgment are likely to increase if John McCain goes to the White House. Who will be in a position to tell the emperor to chill out?

Originally posted to ShermanDeBrosse on Sat Oct 04, 2008 at 12:22 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I agree... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama, vcmvo2, buddabelly, Floande

    but you might want to fix your title. ;)

    "Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!" --Albus Dumbledore

    by Luthien Tinuviel on Sat Oct 04, 2008 at 12:25:06 PM PDT

  • may want to fix your title (0+ / 0-)

    John McCain -- Putting the "ick" back in Maverick!!!!

    by fhamme on Sat Oct 04, 2008 at 12:32:19 PM PDT

  •  Good article in Rolling Stones (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jane Lew

    It appears "maverick" is a way to frame nasty and incompetent.  Good Article!

    Here's a link to a Rolling Stone Article calle, "John McCain: Make Believe Maverick".

    Here's a link to a Rolling Stone Article calle, "John McCain: Make Believe Maverick".

    The youngest McCain was not cut from the same cloth. Even as a toddler, McCain recalls in Faith of My Fathers, his volcanic temper was on display. "At the smallest provocation," he would hold his breath until he passed out: "I would go off in a mad frenzy, and then, suddenly, crash to the floor unconscious." His parents cured him of this habit in a way only a CIA interrogator could appreciate: by dropping their blue-faced boy in a bathtub of ice-cold water.

    McCain was not only a lousy student, he had his father's taste for drink and a darkly misogynistic streak. The summer after his sophomore year, cruising with a friend near Arlington, McCain tried to pick up a pair of young women. When they laughed at him, he cursed them so vilely that he was hauled into court on a profanity charge.

    When McCain was not shown the pampering to which he was accustomed, he grew petulant — even abusive. He repeatedly blew up in the face of his commanding officer. It was the kind of insubordination that would have gotten any other midshipman kicked out of Annapolis. But his classmates soon realized that McCain was untouchable. Midway though his final year, McCain faced expulsion, about to "bilge out" because of excessive demerits. After his mother intervened, however, the academy's commandant stepped in. Calling McCain "spoiled" to his face, he nonetheless issued a reprieve, scaling back the demerits. McCain dodged expulsion a second time by convincing another midshipman to take the fall after McCain was caught with contraband.

  •  McCain is a trainwreck (0+ / 0-)

    just waiting to happen

    "Proud to proclaim: I am a Bleeding Heart Liberal"

    by sara seattle on Sat Oct 04, 2008 at 01:32:53 PM PDT

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