the hours before the polls closed, the puffed-up McCain
always given to overstatement proclaimed "if
we win in Michigan, we'll be unstoppable!" Well, not quite.
The South is solid Bush country, and in spite of the Texas
governor's cavalier treatment of the California GOP
he skipped the Golden State's GOP convention, while McCain
stole the spotlight and the show Dubya could still
pull it off. But why should any conservative really care much
what happens to the GOP, anyway? After all, here is a candidate
who not so long ago was denouncing the Republican Congress
for "balancing the budget on the backs of the poor" and distancing
himself from the right-wing of his party by calling himself
a "compassionate conservative" as opposed to those
hardcore, hard-hearted conservatives way over there
on the far right.
the Christian Coalition and others came through for Bush in
South Carolina, most of the rest of the organized Right has
been sitting on its hands this election season, with only
Alan Keyes stirring up any real grassroots enthusiasm. Ever
since Pat Buchanan left the Republican Party with a good part
of his following, the heart seems to have gone out of the
conservative wing of the GOP. The New York-Beltway clique
of "neo"-conservatives, centered around the Weekly Standard
and the New York Post, figured this out early on, with
neocon grand strategist Bill Kristol making a big show of
glomming on to McCain. With their hopped-up agenda of Big
Government "national greatness" at home, and stepped-up US
global intervention from Chechnya to China, the neocons and
the man who called Vladimir Putin a fascist were made for
each other: with his compulsive bellicosity, his perpetual
hysteria, and the messianic flavor of his public pronouncements,
McCain is the true candidate of those who want a Caesar instead
of a President.
the neocons may have access to the media, both their own (the
Standard, the Post, Commentary, etc.)
and that of the liberal "mainstream," there are only about
seventeen of them. They make an inordinate amount of noise
because perhaps fifteen of them are newspaper columnists,
but otherwise command no troops and have no real grassroots
organization. Like a parasitic plant or animal, they attach
themselves to whatever healthy specimens happen to be in the
vicinity, and only leave when they have sucked the vital juices
of their host down to the last drop. Kristol
made this clear in his endorsement of McCain, which he wrote
up for the Washington Post in the form of an obituary
for the conservative movement. Wiping his fangs, and belching
discreetly, Kristol walks away from the dried-up husk of the
American Right without so much as a backward glance, driven
to move on to his next victim by an insatiable hunger for
only proper response to such defections is: good riddance.
But what of the conservative grassroots? Left to stand alone
against the hostile takeover of their party, the remnants
of the Republican Right have no choice but to fight with everything
they have because Dubya isn't doing it. While George
W. Bush burbles about being "a uniter not a divider," the
Arizona buzz-saw is cutting through the thicket of Bushian
bromides with slashing rhetoric designed to demonize his enemies.
But no matter. This is not a crusade for George W. Bush, but
a war against a man who could destroy not only the
Republican Party but also the country. As
I have pointed out in more
columns than I care to count, the prospect of John McCain
as the next President of the United States means that war
is a certainty; for there is hardly an area of
the world in which McCain does not see the US intervening
to protect its "values" as well as the "national interest."
As he made clear most recently in the South Carolina debate,
he would force a confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia;
and given his bloodthirsty rhetoric about the need for American
troops to take Belgrade, this self-styled Teddy Roosevelt
clone would re-start the Kosovo War at the least provocation.
But even if the prospect of mass murder and perpetual war
leaves you unmoved, there are other reasons to not only oppose
John McCain but to work day and night for his defeat.
election year is supposed to be all about "character." That
philandering liar in the White House, who makes Caligula look
good by comparison, is the symbol of everything Republicans
are supposed to despise. There was a minor tempest, during
the South Carolina primary, over a McCain ad that likened
Dubya to our Felon-in-chief. But who is the real Clinton clone
here? If we look at the sordid story of McCain's first marriage,
then the answer becomes all too clear.
McCain waited for the return of her husband from his Vietnamese
captivity for five and a half long years; as
McCain idolator David Grann put it in the New Republic,
she was "a kind of modern-day Penelope to McCain's Odysseus."
She carried her burden with nobility, and resolve, staying
faithful to the man she refused to believe she had lost
even in the face of her own tragedy. It was Christmas Eve,
1969, while driving along a snowbound street, that she went
crashing into a telephone pole: the impact hurled her through
the windshield. She lost her left leg, ruptured her spleen,
and went through a long series of agonizingly painful operations.
Before the accident, she had been a statuesque beauty who
worked as a model; she came out of it with four inches subtracted
from her height, broken in body but not in spirit.
Her love for her war hero husband forbade her from letting
him know anything of her condition: he knew nothing of the
accident, and she refused to write him about it since it would
only make his burden heavier.
RETURN OF THE INGRATE
man would be lucky to have such a fierce, unbending love:
she stuck by him, agitating for his release, and living for
the day of his return. Her devotion was repaid with rejection.
He learned of her accident on the plane home, and wasted no
time in getting rid of her. He was soon back to his old tricks
of playing the field "just as he had at the Naval Academy,"
says Grann and soon sought a divorce. He openly acknowledges
that his behavior was solely responsible for the break-up
of his marriage, and seems to glory in the macho role while
simultaneously professing at least some sense of remorse:
"I think she has reason to be bitter," McCain told one interviewer.
for Carol, she avers that "the breakup of our marriage was
not caused by my accident or Vietnam or any of those things.
I don't know that it might not have happened if John had never
been gone. I attribute it more to John turning forty and wanting
to be twenty-five again than I do to anything else." This
doesn't sound like bitterness; it is more like benevolence,
in that it gives her ex-husband the benefit of a doubt and
seems to excuse his disloyalty as practically hormonal, or
at least fated. A less charitable and more realistic
appraisal of McCain's motives is that he might have
found his physically-impaired spouse more of an albatross
than an asset for a man intent on a political career.
his choice of a new wife was not exactly inconvenient. As
put the question:
United States Senator John McCain be a presidential contender
if it weren't for his marriage to Cindy Hensley McCain, heiress
to the Hensley liquor fortune? It's doubtful. The senator's
wife and more important his father-in-law, James Willis
Hensley, are very wealthy people."
a career military man, from a military family, his pay peaked
at around $45,000. After retiring in 1980, however, and getting
rid of Carol, he swept Cindy Lou Hensley off her feet and
moved to Arizona, her home state, "to plunge into the world
of politics." While working for his father-in-law, he "was
promoting himself as much as he was Budweiser beer. A better
job description might have been 'candidate.'" This opportunist
on the make was no wild man, sowing his wild oats, but rather
a man with a mission, a ruthless man who knew what he wanted and got it. The New Times put it well: "From Day
1, Hensley money has enabled McCain to be a full-time politician,
free from financial concerns." From Day 1 of this campaign,
John McCain has posed as a man of character: his supporters
have even gone so far as to characterize him as "the Anti-Clinton."
This is a lie, and not a white one either. It is the exact
opposite of the truth, as his personal history specifically
the way he discarded his first wife like a used-up dish-rag makes plain as day.
this "dirty campaigning"? What nonsense! If a man is going
to pose as a Hero, a moral exemplar to youth, and a shining
knight in armor come to rescue a decadent nation, then he
had better measure up to his own standards or else
get out of politics. As the latter is not likely to happen
at least, not voluntarily those who know the
truth about McCain and understand its ominous implications
must work to bring this awareness to the general public. If
the Bush campaign is "above the battle," then the battle must
be fought without them and in spite of them
because the stakes are too high to entrust the outcome to
a bunch of wimps. The media screams about every exposure of
McCain's record as a "smear" and "negative campaigning," and
cheers while McCain calls into question the right of his conservative
opponents to speak out. Let them howl. The campaign to expose
the dark side of John McCain must and will continue: they
are howling with pain because it is effective.
THE "McCAIN MAJORITY"
is not too late to wake up the American people to the great
danger represented by McCain but the hour is late.
Will "Mad John" McCain continue to get a free ride from the
media? Now is the time for the alternative media, and especially
the online media, to take up the job abandoned by the Old
Media and stay tuned to this column for more. There
is no greater enemy of free speech on the Internet than John
McCain, who supports
mandatory "filtering devices" installed on computers in
libraries and schools to filter out politically incorrect
ideas. Furthermore, he fully supports the efforts by the Clinton
administration to build surveillance devices into the wiring
of the Internet to combat "cybercrime" and keep track
of us all. So let us use our First Amendment rights while
we still have them, and expose McCain the man, as well as
McCain the politician, to the full light of day.